We start, of course, in therapy, with Dexter and Deb talking through, with Vogel, Deb’s aborted attempt to kill them both. But Dexter is annoyed. Really annoyed. “OK, so I’m not perfect”, he huffs. Well, yes, that’s one way of putting it, Dex. He seems to be trying to minimise not only his entire history, but the specific incidents which drove Deb to hit the drink and drugs, throw away her career, and nearly lose her life. And eventually he storms out.
This is, I think, dangerous territory for the show. The specific queasy thrill of Dexter has always been the way in which we are not only sympathetic to, but almost complicit with, the show’s titular anti-hero. Part of that has always been a pretty frank acknowledgement of what Dexter is, and the show’s done a remarkable job of keeping us onside. If Dexter is, at this late stage, going to turn into a whiny little bitch, then there’s a chance that the uneasy compact between show and audience, on which the show has been built, could be tilted off-balance. The ending is a little problematic as well, but I’ll come to that.
Ignoring, as I will, Quinn’s possible promotion, Dexter’s MILFy new neighbour, and Masuka’s on-the-take daughter, the main storylines this week focus on Yates, last week’s Brain Surgeon candidate; and a new case, that of Norma Rivera, found murdered. The main suspect for Rivera’s killing is her boss, Hamilton, who’d been having an affair with her, but as soon as Hamilton’s heavy-lidded teenage son slouches into view, all but wearing a T-shirt with “I’m totally a killer, whatevs” on it, it’s pretty obvious who actually murdered Norma. Unfortunately for Miami PD, a witness who might have put Hamilton, Jr., at the scene withdraws his evidence, so it looks as if it’s going to be down to Dexter to decide whether Harry’s Code incorporates the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child, or whether the kid’s going to end up strapped to the table.
Yates, meantime, has catapulted himself to the top of the Brain Surgeon possibles by abducting Vogel. She at least has the minimal advantage, as his ex-therapist, of knowing where his metaphorical bodies are buried (the actual bodies are buried in his garden, it turns out), and there’s a genuinely thrilling moment when she shifts gear and starts impersonating his domineering mother. It distracts Yates enough to stop him from breaking one of her toes, and with the help of both Deb and Vogel (and an assist from Deb’s boss Elway) Dexter is able to track and kill Yates.
Which takes us to the end, and Dexter, Deb, and Vogel out on the yacht, swapping happy smiles as Dexter tips Yates into the sea. This, observes Vogel, is how Dex and Deb “find (their) way back to each other”. It’s not lost on Deb – on anyone, really – that she’s managed this by helping Dexter out with an extrajudicial execution. I wonder whether this is altogether wise: Deb needed to find out about Dexter’s big secret, for sure, but does she need to join in to ensure a happy future for everyone? I don’t know. That having been said I enjoyed this episode more than the last two; there was plenty going on, much to ponder, and even the subplots provided interest rather than irritation.