Dexter: 8.02 - Every Silver Lining - Review

Second week into the new, final Dexter season, and it looks like the knife is really slicing into the sound now! The kick-off episode last week had some strong scenes with Deb, but otherwise seemed content to just gently start rolling some balls down the hill. Some quite exciting balls (ahem), but nonetheless, considering THIS IS THE END, I'd hoped for them balls to pick up more speed, tension and drama.

Well, not to yet drop the spoilers, but I came a lot closer to my dream here. The spoilers will be starting after this picture.


Are You My Real Mummy?

The centrepiece development of this episode was a great big continuity insert into our serial anti-hero's origin story: Dr Evelyn Vogel knows about Dexter's father's code of "KILL ONLY THE BADDIES, DEX" because she helped him come up with it, after Harry came to her desperate for help with his unstable son. Thus making her, in some weird ways, Dexter's mother, and it's this relationship, the one type of guiding light he's never had before, which is his major ongoing plotline for now.

This is good. I like this. It's been a few years since they messed around substantially with Dex's notions about his past - in fact, possibly not since the first two seasons where they added his evil brother and Harry's relationship with his real mother. So doing it now, as we enter the final one, both feels like an refreshing concept and a full-circle back to the start. Clever. Full credit to the writers for this, even if past seasons suggest she'll inevitably betray him and he'll have to kill her. The fact it's the last year adds extra tension to even that.

And of course, it's a nice way to ramp up Dex's central dilemma: after the events of last season, Dexter had started to doubt the code, wonder whether he was really doing good, or just killing people on a lame excuse and hurting his sister. Now he has his "mother" to argue on behalf of the code, just as he has Deb to scream against it. Interesting.

Will Showtime do a spin-off? Surely they can't just let it end...

It's also a relief that Dexter has an intruging plot, because otherwise he was in serious danger of getting eclipsed by his sister. Her spiral of self-destruction and self-pity after last year's finale might've seemed like the character had simply morphed into another one if actress Jennifer Carpenter wasn't playing it so perfectly, but the yearning, desperate look in her eyes lets us see the real Deb, buried in there somewhere.

And, of course, she's now killing people and covering it up, albeit quite badly. Will the ending of Dexter be that he teaches a "Code" to his sister just before he finally gets murdered/imprisoned/executed, leaving her as the new righteous serial killer of Miami? I wouldn't put it past them, and it would set up a Debra spin-off quite neatly (if Carpenter doesn't want to move on, which she might well do after eight years).

The Miami Metro aren't in it much this week - Quinn's subplot is made slightly more interesting by intersecting with Debra's, but the Morgans are the main reason to watch as ever. A good episode on all counts anyway, the intruiging start to the season's themes that I was hoping for last week. Only ten more to go!

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