Dexter recap: Review of season premiere ‘A Beautiful Day’

By 06.30.13
dexter season premiere


The season premiere of Dexter‘s final season just hit the airwaves. Let’s talk about S08E01 “A Beautiful Day” as we dig into Showtime’s longtime flagship show.

WINNER: Dexter’s recreational time

While you might think that Dexter might be a little stressed after the situation with his sister shooting Maria LaGuerta at the end of of last season, it’s all been rosy for Dexter. He’s coaching his son’s soccer team, making sexy friends, and loving life.

Meanwhile, LaGuerta got a bench dedicated to her for her service to the Miami Police. How fitting given how closely a bench resembles LaGuerta’s personality.

On the down side, Dexter hasn’t seen hide nor hair of Deb in the months since the incident. And it’s getting to him, if not because he misses his sister moreso becayse he’s unsure how she might respond to her newfound place in Dexter’s serial murdering habits.

LOSER: Deb’s new career

Deb, meanwhile, is not taking things so well. She left the force and is doing blow while hooking up with some scumbag in some low-rent environment and begging to get involved in his drug-running operation.

But it’s related to her new job working in the private sector as some sort of bounty hunter. It’s unclear if she’s fallen for the guy she’s supposed to collar or if she’s just trying to get close to him to get all $500,000 of the jewelry he stole to get the bounty on his head. Or it might be just that she loves blow and getting skeeted on by randoms. Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.

WINNER: Quinn’s blue balls

Quinn tries multiple times in the episode to have sex to conclusion with Jamie but gets interrupted by Bautista stopping by and killing Quinn’s boner and later by Dexter stopping in to tell Quinn that he hasn’t spoken to Deb in forever and he needs to get a hold of her because there might be a hit man after the guy she’s currently boning.

Dexter tracks Deb down to the guy’s house to warn her about the hit man situation, gets shut down by Deb, and then gets into a fight with the guy. Things escalate into a fight quickly and end with Dexter stabbing the dude to death. Deb takes it about as well as you’d guess and tells Dexter to get out of there as she calls the murder in to police.

Naturally, the hit man named El Sapo sees Deb leaving after the police come. He glared at Deb leaving the scene so I would say there’s a good chance we’ll see him again.

LOSER: Dexter’s parenting skills

In the episode, Dexter angrily shouts at Harrison for breaking something of LaGuerta’s, leaves him in the car in a situation in which he kills another man, then briefly sees Harrison run away. Not sure the victory in coaching Harrison’s soccer team quite balances out all of that willful neglect.

LOSER: Anyone who cuts off Dexter

Dexter is so overcome with rage after an encounter with Deb at a supermarket — in which Dexter tracks Deb down and finds she’s getting cozy with her bounty — that he nearly strangles a guy who cut him off in front of his kid.

A new expert in the office, neuropsychiatrist Evelyn Vogel (Charlotte Rampling), comes into the Miami Metro office to discuss sociopaths in relation to a murder case in which someone cut out the back of the skull of a victim.

Dexter is naturally reluctant to spend time with Vogel given her skills. But she summons him to discuss the case for some reason and decides to dig a little deeper on him. Of course, she brings up the Bay Harbor Butcher and makes things sort of awkward in that “Does she know something’s up with Dexter or not?” sort of way.

Turns out she offered herself up to work for Miami Metro for free for reasons beyond the understanding of former Captain Matthews’ — who’s apparently working for the force again, I guess?

At the end of the episode, Vogel confronts Dexter with some childhood drawings of his that show Dexter’s early psychotic tendencies. When Dexter goes to confront her, she says that he can’t kill her because it’s a breach of Harry’s code. Ruh roh.

It’s nice to have Dexter back and it’s even nicer to know that there’s an actual end date that they’re going to have to stick to. Given some of the wandering direction of previous seasons’ plotlines, knowing they need to get to a particular end should help the writing team. I’m going to reserve judgment on the presence of the Vogel character until we get a better sense of where the story fits into the overall tapestry of Dexter.. I’d hope that the final season of the show doesn’t get bogged down in introducing this new character when there are so many preexisting plot threads in need of closure.

Here’s hoping Deb gets some semblance of resolution sooner than later…the story of Deb hanging on by a thread mentally was wearing thin on me by the end of this episode. If it goes on for another 10 weeks, I will not be a happy camper.

Giving the episode three out of five disturbing childhood drawings. Let’s make the rest of the season carry the weight that a final season of a show’s eight year run should.

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