Dexter: “Scar Tissue”

Debora Morgan wants to kill Dexter. That’s how “Scar Tissue,” the fourth episode of Dexter Season 8, begins. She flashes back to the night she shot LaGuerta; the same night which cut open such a deep emotional wound, no amount of scar tissue could ever cover. Deb imagines herself making a different choice and shooting Dexter, her self-hatred now consuming him. As 1374456160_3234_d41Dr. Vogel and Deb discuss what happened that night, Vogel offers Debora an interesting alternative. According to the good doctor, Deb was protecting Dexter, much as her father had with the creation of The Code. Vogel believes that Dexter isn’t a monster, that’s he’s being who he is supposed to be, as was Deb. She was the loving sister. Vogel is trying to create scar tissue for Deb so she can not only go on with her life, but protect his secret and her perfect creation. But Deb has been reborn and not in a good way. Ironically, the impetus of this rebirth was in a shipping container, much like Dexter. She wants to make things right, but with Deb nothing is ever conventional. This leads to an ending of sheer delight. I wouldn’t dare give it away, but the ending shows Deb for whom she is in a time of crisis: undecided.

Scar tissue covers an old wound. That tissue is not what it once was, and neither are those who have experienced heavy emotional trauma, the ones that create their own mental scar tissue. Many of us have scar tissue in life. Years can help; the memories once emblazed in the mind can slowly dilute. But scar tissue is not as strong as we’d like. It’s fragile and can be reopened. Life can be horrible, it can be harsh. It’s not always rainbows and unicorns. Dexter shows us that. And for Debora, what is her future knowing what she has done? The events of last season have taken her over the edge with no end in sight.

In “Scar Tissue,” aside from keeping watch over Deb, Dexter is continuing his pursuit of Dr. Vogel’s psychopaths. This time, he follows a cable, phone, internet bundler named AJ Yates. On Dexter’s first stake-out, he notices a line of scar tissue running around the back of Yates’s cranium, much like the victims of The Brain Surgeon. As Dexter digs deeper, he finds that not only is Yates a bundler of cable system packages, but young women too.

Recently, I finished watching a documentary, The Cheshire Murders. It chronicled the 2007 triple homicide of a mother and two daughters in Connecticut. I was appalled and engrossed learning what dark passengers can do – rape, murder and eventual burning of their victims. Is it me or is there something seriously wrong with the human condition? People are not the epitome of evil, but for these events to even happen, I’m compelled to call it into question. What causes someone to do that? Is the answer as simple as Dexter himself mentioning a few episodes ago – “People are crazy.”

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I can accept that in an hour time slot. When I go beyond that, the questions are not so easily answered, yet are posed in their own way every week during season of Dexter. Now, I’m given a false sense of security with Dexter because I really like his character. Plus, the music is extremely catchy. But week after week, season after season, heinous crime after heinous crime is presented to me. Let’s take this week. Yates is a serial killer who is stockpiling women’s high heels in his quiet home. But wait, he has a kill room where he chains his women up and leaves them for dead stuffed inside an auto mechanic’s tool box. Have I become too desensitized? After watching The Cheshire Murders, I was mortified. After watching Dexter, it’s just another day at the office. Is that Dexter’s attraction, showing me what humans are capable of in a way which is manageable to my psyche?

I think so.

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