Dexter: “A Beautiful Day”

So, what does a beautiful day look like in the world of Dexter Morgan? Simple: a bloody mess.

Season Eight’s premiere episode didn’t start out that way for our favorite serial killer though. Six months has passed since Deb, Dexter’s sister, shot and killed their boss Lieutenant LaGuerta. LaGuerta had uncovered the truth that Dexter was really the Bay Harbor Butcher. But Deb couldn’t have the man she’s in love with get caught. If you’re new to Dexter, you don’t have to backtrack what you just read. Yes! She loves her brother, and not in a regular family type of way. I know! Even though they are not biological siblings, it’s still far beyond twisted – even for the writers of Dexter. Anyway, Dexter being a psychopath has quite easily moved on. A beautiful day for Dexter has looked like him coaching his son’s soccer team to a championship, bowling for his old crew ‘Bowl till you Bleed,’ and moving on from his fatal attraction romance with Hannah McKay (look for her to rear her pretty head as she escaped police handcuffs last season).

Deb, on the other hand, has not adjusted so well in the wake of murdering LaGuerta. Having left the Police force, Deb is now a Private Investigator. Only, she’s getting a little too comfortable on the job. A beautiful day for Deb looks like snorting cocaine, drinking booze at every available moment, sleeping with the man she’s supposed to bring to the authorities. Deb is doing anything and everything to extinguish her conscience. And it’s breaking an already fragile character. Deb’s a basket-case at the best of times. Add on murdering her boss, a fellow police officer, well that has sent Deb pirouetting over the edge.

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But as Dexter begins to hunt down Deb to help her, he too is being hunted. There is a new serial killer Miami Metro is investigating. A body was found with the cranium carefully sliced with a small part of the brain scooped out with a melon baller. Aside: I love these little moments in Dexter – humor and horror intertwined. Deputy Chief Matthews has brought in Dr. Evelyn Vogel to assist in the case. She is the foremost authority on the brains of psychopaths and to her close friends known as the Psychopath Whisperer. But there is something more to Dr. Vogel. She has her eerie eyes planted on Dexter. Whenever she speaks about psychopaths, she looks right into him, as if she knows every little secret he’s left in garbage bags at the bottom of the ocean. Clearly, Dr. Vogel has Dexter unnerved. Going after Deb, he leaves his son, Harrison, unattended while confronting the dead-beat she’s shaking up with. A beautiful day for Dr. Vogel is understanding serial killers, and she’s apparently found one. In an even greater twist, it looks like she’s known about Dexter and Harry’s Code (the line his father gave Dexter between who he can and can’t kill) for quite sometime.

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“A Beautiful Day” was a terrific first episode to Dexter’s final season. It had all the elements of what makes Dexter great – witty humor, twisted murders and questions begging to be answered. It left me in a state where I can’t wait until next Sunday night. I rarely had that feeling last season. Season Eight has started with great promise. Not only is Dexter beginning to unravel with Deb going off-the-rails, his world has been turned upside down with the introduction of Dr. Vogel. Questions abound. In what ways did Dr. Vogel know Dexter so many years ago? Did she know his father, as she knows of Harry’s Code? Did she know Dexter as a child after his mother’s brutal murder? If so, did she try to counsel him? Is she back to help Dexter, or expose him? And why is she at Miami Metro anyway? My prediction to this one is that Matthews brought her in. Perhaps he’s been tipped off to Dexter’s proclivities while helping LaGuerta last season. The mystery is terrific – a great gift from the writers.

All this leads to the biggest question of all: what will come of Dexter in his final season? Will he be caught? Will he get away with it all? Or will his scenario be something more satisfying, something a little less black and white and a little more twisted. The writers have taken us on a fantastic ride with Dexter. I ask only this, please don’t let us down!

*In case you’re new to Dexter, here is my season by season one word lowdown. Now I’m only comparing seasons within the Dexter universe. Be aware, any season of Dexter is better than most of what’s on TV anyway.

Season 1 – Amazing

Season 2 – Great

Season 3 – Decent

Season 4 – Amazing, near Flawless

Season 5 – Meh

Season 6 – Great

Season 7 – Good

Season 8 – ?

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