Dexter’s Return and Carpenter’s Quest for Gold


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WARNING: This blog contains spoilers and explicit language! 

For eight years, we’ve watched him lurk in the shadows, watching his prey as they have their final drink, their final fuck session, and/or final smoke. With his code and kill set in hand, he performs his ritual to rid the world of those that escaped the justice system. He is a serial killer who has murder the likes of: 

  • Brian Moser
  • James Doakes (this one wasn’t a bad guy; he just knew too much) 
  • Miguel Prado
  • Arthur Mitchell 
  • Jordan Chase
  • Travis Marshall
  • Maria LaGuerta (again, knew too much) 

Through all of the bloodshed, the fans can’t seem to get enough of this anti-hero. Showtime’s critically acclaimed series, Dexter is one of the highest rated shows for the network and on June 30th it kicked off it’s final season with fans everywhere biting their nails in anticipation as the groundwork was laid for Dexter Morgan’s sign off.

How will it end? Will Dexter live? How will Deb (Jennifer Carpenter) cope with the decision of killing LaGuerta instead of Dexter?

Last season we ended with Dexter and Deb in a shipping container with LaGuerta encouraging Deb to shoot Dexter and finally avenge James Doakes’ death. For the entirety of seventh season, Deb held the burden of knowing her brother’s secret (after seeing him murder Travis Marshall at the end of season 6 and ultimately helping him cover up Marshall’s death). Throughout the season, Deb continually struggled to help ‘fix’ Dexter all the while coping with the fact that she was in love with her adopted brother. Yes. I said in love.

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The eighth season picks up six months after the events of the seventh. Dexter is returning to some semblance of normalcy. Deborah, however, has left Miami Metro, picked up a new job as a Private Investigator, as well as a few new habits (cocaine, antidepressants, pot, and heavy drinking). Frankly, she’s a mess and places the blame all upon Dexter for where she is emotionally at this point.

Additionally, Dexter is having to deal with a new serial killer that has graced Miami’s presence (seriously is that all Miami is!? Retirement homes and serial killers!? I’m moving to Portland when I hit 80), dubbed the “Brain Surgeon,” a sinister murderer who after killing his victims cuts off the back of their heads and removes a portion of their brain. Elaborate, no?

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Bodies are piling up and a new face graces Miami Metro for the hunt. Dr. Evelyn Vogel (Charlotte Rampling) a criminal psychologist who seems to have an immediate connection with Dexter for reasons we aren’t sure of at first.

Two episodes into the new season (if you are behind, I encourage you to catch up) and already I am seeing Rampling bring a performance and poise to the show that we haven’t seen since John Lithgow as his turn as Arthur Mitchell (the fan favorite Trinity Killer). While we are still early in the season, I feel Vogel’s true intentions have yet to be revealed, but what is known is she is the key to Dexter’s past, as she birthed the code by which he lives. Is she friend? Is she foe? Only time will tell.

While I have my theories about Vogel, the true focal point of this season is and should be Deborah Morgan. In this writer’s opinion, Carpenter was straight up c*** blocked last award season. Her balancing act of being in love with Dexter and struggling with the moral ramifications of his extracurricular activities was a fine line that any other actress might have overstepped or underplayed. However, Carpenter had enough subtlety to her performance that you felt her heartbreak when the love for Dexter slowly faded (perhaps she was pulling from her wheelhouse as being the former Mrs. C. Hall)

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I am throwing out this prediction now: this is the season that is going give Carpenter her first Golden Globe nomination and I hope her first win, as well. Within in two episodes, Carpenter has shown just how far down rock bottom is. She’s committed to Deb’s spiral into the hell that is now her everyday life. I suspect that as the season progresses we will see Carpenter give us more heartbreaking monologues and subtle stares at Dexter that will truly break the audiences hearts (why can’t those two just reconcile!?).

New episodes of Dexter show on Showtime at 6pm ET / 9pm PT.

Dexter Season 8 (thus far): A-

Until Next Time…

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