Dutifully Dissecting Dexter: “What’s Eating Dexter Morgan?” Review

Dexter: "What's Eating Dexter Morgan?" (Photo: Showtime)
Dexter: "What's Eating Dexter Morgan?" (Photo: Showtime)

Warning: If you read this, you’re going to know what happened last night on the third episode of the final season of Dexter. If you don’t want to know what happened, you should probably check out one of our other stories instead.

We’re three episodes into the final season of the show, and at this point, it feels like it should be renamed Dexter & Debra or something that encapsulates the importance of the relationship between the adoptive siblings. I don’t say that in a negative way either; I think it’s a testament to how vital Debra (Jennifer Carpenter) has become to the show, and it’s something I’m glad to see.

Debra Comes Clean

As much as there is a serial killer once again on the loose, operating in the metropolitan Miami area, the primary focus thus far has been on Debra’s downward spiral, and Dexter’s desire to mend the fences that were obliterated when she opted to shoot LaGuerta instead of Dexter at the close of last season.

Last night’s episode opened with Deb being booked for a DUI, and then calling Quinn in the middle of the night for a bail out, furthering the Quinn-Deb-Jamie situation that has been simmering for the last two episodes. My only hope is that Quinn’s involvement in this story goes somewhere beyond them having a big “hug it out” reconciliation later in the year; having him as simply the concerned, caring former boyfriend is just not a good enough use of a solid secondary character in my opinion.

Quinn is at his best when he’s being shady and sneaky and kind of operating outside of the lines. This cleaned up, trying to get his life in order version is just too vanilla. I miss boozy, not-very-good-at-his-job Quinn.

The next morning, Dexter shows up at Deb’s job, and convinces her to go to dinner, where he tries to show her that despite last season’s ending, she is still a good person, playing back a video of her saving a man’s life from a few seasons back. Though she seems to snap out of her funk, the next morning finds Deb parked out front of the police station, taking swigs from a brown paper bag, watching the video on a constant loop.

She makes her way up to Homicide, where Quinn collects her in the hall, and Deb says she wants to make a formal statement, telling Quinn she killed LaGuerta. He corrals her into an interrogation room where he runs back what they believe happened – Escobar shot LaGuerta, she shot back, they died at the same time – but Deb objects, continuing to say she shot the Captain.

Quinn tells her to write everything down that she remembers, and as Deb gets busy putting pen to paper, Quinn calls Dexter, who rushes to the department with Dr. Vogel in tow.

Deb get agitated when Dexter and Vogel enter the interrogation room, and as Deb tries to push her way past her brother, Dexter sticks one of his trusty needles in her neck, eliciting a “That was interesting” response from Vogel that stands as the best line of the year so far. Dexter takes Debra back to her place, and leaves Vogel there to deal with her, but not before cuffing Deb to her couch.

Dexter and The Doctor

We got more one-on-one time between our titular antihero and “The Psychopath Whisperer” this week, and just like last week, a lot of it centered around Vogel peeling back the layers of Dexter, describing him as a perfect psychopath, and explaining that she insisted the first rule of “Harry’s Code” be “Don’t get caught” so that Dexter had some “wiggle room” when it came to his extracurricular activities.

Vogel is interested with why Dexter didn’t kill Debra when she discovered the truth about him, an inquiry that gives us some insights into the doctor herself. She’s not just trying to help Dexter understand himself, but she’s working to understand him better as well, which could lead to some bigger developments later in the season.

Vogel says Dexter’s feelings for Debra are selfish, and while she doesn’t see that as a bad thing, you can tell that Dexter is put off by the notion. Here he thought he was more than your average serial killer, having feelings and attachments, and now this woman is telling him that isn’t the case.

There is friction building between Dexter and Dr. Vogel, and as we’ve learned over the course of seven previous season, that isn’t a good thing for the person not named Dexter Morgan.

What About The Brain Surgeon?

Vogel received “His & Hers” gifts of brain fragment this episode, and the Homicide department found Sussman, last week’s “supposed killer” that Dexter found dead at his hunting cabin, face down in his living room after an apparent suicide.

Of course, we know that isn’t true.

Dexter is starting to cross potential killers of his list by going through Vogel’s last book, and comes upon a guy who sells workout equipment at the mall. He’s creepy in that “there’s something not right about him way” upon first interaction, and when Dexter breaks into his house to investigate him, we find out way.

He’s a killer, but he’s not our killer. Nope, this dude is a cannibal, open who has a sausage grinder bolted onto his kitchen counter and human brains in a garlic butter sauce marinating in the fridge. Actually, he was a killer; now he’s another of Dexter’s victims, the episode ending with him cling-wrapped to a table as Dexter offers a soliloquy about “devouring everyone he cares about.”

NEXT: Quick notes on the fringe players and Spencer’s two cents…

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E. Spencer Kyte

E. Spencer Kyte

E. Spencer Kyte is a freelance journalist based in Abbotsford, British Columbia, where he lives with his wife and dog. In addition to his work here, he writes about sports for Complex Canada and covers the UFC for various outlets. His mom also still tells him what to do on a regular basis, even though he’s nearly 40. He tweets from @spencerkyte.

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