Season Premiere: Dexter – “A Beautiful Day” (Season 8, Episode 1)

“Dexter, you’re the problem. Not the solution.”

In the first episode of Dexter‘s final outing, Dexter needs Deb, Deb needs coke and brains need melon-balling. We return to the (wonderful) world of everyone’s favorite blood-spatter analyst six months after the events of the previous season. Things seem to be better than ever for our hero, except for one thing: Deb has vanished from Dexter’s life.

While Dexter has been busy trying to have it all, Deb has been busy trying to lose everything. Deb, no longer in the employ of Miami Metro, has become a private detective for another ex-Miami Metro detective, Jacob Elway (Sean Patrick Flanery) and has really immersed herself in her cover. Deb has fallen so deep into her abyss of drugs (both prescription and illicit), sex and self-loathing that she does not seem able (or willing) to crawl out of it. To make matters worse, Dexter — the person she least wants help from — continually tries to reach out and ‘save’ her and drives her further away with each attempt. Unfortunately, Dexter seems to be oblivious to the fact that every time he reaches out with a ‘helping’ hand to pull his sister from the waters, he’s pushing her head further under the tides.

If only Dexter would listen to Head Harry.

Dexter is too busy snapping at anything that moves, though. Deb’s rejection causes Dexter to start coming apart at the seams — calm, calculating Dexter is replaced with a short-tempered, out-of-control Dexter reminiscent of earlier seasons (see: the bathroom scene in “My Bad”). Dexter loses his cool on a number of occasions during the episode; however, his most notable breakdown happens in the final scene of the episode, with Dr. Evelyn Vogel (Charlotte Rampling), a neuropsychiatrist specializing in profiling psychopaths (well, that’s a mouthful). Dr. Vogel comes from England to help Miami Metro with their most recent case involving a brain and a melon-baller, and seems to know a thing or two about Dexter’s past.

Dexter has troubles keeping his two worlds from clashing.

Dexter coming undone.

While it seems like the brain-balling baddie is being set up as the “big bad” of the final season, I think this season will play out more like season three; the development and eventual collapse of the relationship between Dexter and Dr. Vogel (much like the one with Miguel Prado) will take center stage with “the Brain-Baller” being an afterthought. It’s apparent in the final scene that Dr. Vogel studied Dexter as a child and probably played a part in the development of Harry’s Code (and, consequently, the development of Dexter as a person). While I do not expect Dexter to make it out of the series alive (or at the very least, free from prison), I think Dr. Vogel presents herself as the key to Dexter defeating his darkness. If Dr. Vogel did create Harry’s Code, it seems like the show-runners could be setting Dexter up to battle his inner demons by battling her.

Regardless of what will happen, I absolutely loved the premiere. I’m sure this season will be a thrilling send-off befitting one of the best shows on television today. What did you think of the premiere of Dexter‘s final season? How do you think the show will end? How do you think it should end? Share your thoughts in the comments below, I’d love to hear them!

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About Daniel

I'm a guy who spends way too much time playing board games and watching television with his friends. View all posts by Daniel

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