The answer is yes, yes we will. In fact, that’s what the episode starts out with. As you’ll find out, I was incredibly pleased with last night’s episode. It had everything that last week’s premiere lacked and had me shrieking with excitement throughout. Before I get too excited though, let’s have some wine.
This week, I’m sharing with you Rosenblum’s Stark Raving Malbec. First off, I love the bottle. I also love how “Stark Raving Malbec” sounds like “stark raving mad,” which doesn’t work quite as well for Star Raving’s other wines. The complexity of this wine is quite intriguing. Aged in an oak barrel, the first notes of black cherry, blueberry, chocolate, and bacon. Yum! The flavors continue to be very warm, fruity, and having a strong tone of gaminess. Exciting, no? I love unconventional wines, and this one definitely makes the list. Enjoy!
I won’t go into the Previously On Dexter because you should know what happened previously if you read my last recap. I will take this time, however, to talk about the opening credits. This is one of the few shows I’m aware of that has had the same opening credits throughout every season. They’re so simple, so quotidian, and yet incredibly violent, which I didn’t realize until a few seasons in. Every macro shot of part of his morning routine is alluding to something much, much darker. Check out all the tension he puts into making coffee, or tying his shoes, or putting on his shirt. It’s smoldering.
As I mentioned, the episode starts with a lot of our questions from last week being answered. We start off watching a video tape of a recorded interview between Harry and Dr. Vogel, before Dexter killed an animal for the first time. Harry noticed Dexter’s problems at a young age, like when he expressed interest in visiting a crime scene and admired it like a painting. We learn that Dexter stole a bloodied shard of glass from the crime scene, preserving it as a trophy that would one day lead to his collection of blood slides. This makes Dr. Vogel the fourth living character aware of Dexter’s dark passenger (the others being Lumen, Hannah, and Deb). More exciting than that though, we learn that Dr. Vogel played a pivotal role in creating “the code” by which Dexter so diligently commits his murders. She thought Dexter could be shaped into something good instead of institutionalized as a child. Hopefully she made the right decision.
But why now? If Dr. Vogel has known about Dexter for all these years, why is she waiting until now to tell him that she knows what he truly is? Well, Dr. Vogel saved Dexter’s life, and now she needs him to return the favor. “The Brain Surgeon,” as Masuka fondly named this season’s serial killer, has been leaving the scooped out portions of the victims’ brains on her doorstep, wrapped in butcher paper. Dr. Vogel suspects that the killer might be one of her former patients, and that she might be next. So, what better thing to do than enlist Dexter’s help?
Dexter, however, is more concerned with The Brain Surgeon for now. A plastic bag found at the scene lends itself to being the murder weapon, and fingerprints on the bag trace to the killer, Lyle Sussman… or so we think. He opens up to Dr. Vogel about the lead, but they end up talking about how there might actually be a human side to Dexter. He expresses interest in having wanted a psychiatrist to talk to when Harry died (killed himself). Maybe Dr. Vogel did a better job with her patients than she thought? She doesn’t recognize the name Lyle Sussman as one of her previous patients so, of course, this must be true.
Eventually, Dexter makes it to Sussman’s hunting cabin in the woods and finds him hanging from a noose on the back porch. If Sussman didn’t kill the 2nd Brain Surgeon victim, who did? An anonymous DVD sent in to Miami Metro reveals that Lyle Sussman was being forced to asphyxiate the victim. Now, a lot of people at this point speculate that somehow Dr. Vogel is the Brain Surgeon and that she has an ulterior motive for contacting Dexter. It definitely seems suspicious when she calls Dexter to her house to check for intruders, only for him to find the house empty. She invites him inside and goes on to explain that psychopaths are necessary for society to function. The episode ends with a maternal moment — Dr. Vogel hugging Dexter, reaffirming his existence.
Following Deb’s hunt for the jewelry that Andrew Briggs stole, she managed to pull a storage key off of him after he was stabbed by Dexter last week. Elway is a little fuzzy about the details regarding when and how Briggs was killed, as well as concerned that Deb was “intimate” with the suspect, but he seemed to be calmed by the fact that if Deb is right about all this, they’ll still get 20% of the recovered jewelry. Elway and Deb foray to Briggs’ apartment to look for evidence of a storage unit rental. Luckily, they find it, but after Elway doubts her reasons for leaving Miami Metro, she decides to investigate the unit alone.
As Deb leaves Briggs’ apartment, we realize El Sapo has been following her, and shows up at the storage unit soon after she does, ready to steal her gun, beat her down, and take the jewelry she finds. He puts the gun in his glove compartment and drives off after a very intense fight. “What the hell’s your problem?” El Sapo even asks. He didn’t want to kill Deb, just take the jewelry.
Later that day, however Miami Metro finds El Sapo shot dead in his car in Briggs’ motel parking lot. Some blood on the driver’s side window and the gun found in the glove box convince Dexter that his sister killed El Sapo. After confronting Deb, Dexter finds himself forced to switch out the evidence and conceal her murder of El Sapo from the police. We also get reminded of that awkward time in Deb’s life when she admitted to Dexter that she was in love with him. He owes it to her to cover up her murder for all he’s put her through.
In terms of uninteresting story arcs, Angel admits to Quinn that he’s been aware of Quinn’s relationship with Jamie. If they’re going to be together, Quinn needs to earn Angel’s respect. He also needs to stop thinking about Deb too, though, because Jamie and Quinn get in a fight over how consistently preoccupied he is with Deb. They seem to break up, but it’s always hard to tell with Quinn.
Recap: First, thanks for your patience in trying out my arc-based recap instead of covering the episode minute-by-minute. Saved me about 600 words, hah. Anyway, this episode was a stunning follow-up to last week’s. Deb wrapped up all the loose ends with the Briggs/El Sapo case, and Dexter is learning more about the Brain Surgeon serial killer. Dr. Vogel’s history with the Morgan family was revealed only two episodes in, which (hopefully) means any further information revealed about her is sure to be a shocker. I’ll try not to speculate too much, for those who are trying to unravel the series on their own. Good luck!