Dexter fans rejoice! The finale train finally seems to have left the station and is picking up wind. After a slow and somewhat rocky start; dealing with the emotional wreckage of Debra’s shooting of Captain Laguerta (Lauren Velez) to save her brother Dexter (Michael C Hall) last season, and establishing the final storyline for our slaying siblings; Dr Evelyn Vogel (Charlotte Rampling) a psychologist with a few psychotic tendencies of her own, a killer with a penchant for removing brains, an apprentice serial killer for Dexter to train up and the return of dear Dexter’s dull, but demented dalliance Hannah McKay (Yvonne Strahovski) the show finally appears to have gotten back into it’s stride.
We start our story this week with Dexter and Hannah wrapped in each others naked bodies. Happily planning their new life together. It’s not so simple though - Hannah’s a wanted fugitive and needs to get out of dodge, and Dexter is an upstanding citizen with a life, a job, and a family in Miami - and a killer to catch. However, Dexter’s willing to sacrifice everything to run away to Argentina with McKay. Who tried to kill his sister by the way, did I mention that?
Before departing to the lab to discover the identity of Zach’s killer - and the Brain Surgeon - Vogel warns Dexter against his plans to start a new life with Hannah; straddling two worlds is dangerous. Killers cannot have a full emotional life. Dexter’s not having it; Vogel under-estimates him.
Meanwhile Deb’s visiting her old colleagues. She’s thinking about picking up the badge again. Her old partner Quinn (Desmond Harrington) needs a favour; could she look into a suspect for Cassie’s murder. It’s Zach Hamilton. Oh dear, this puts Deb in a difficult situation. Again. Now it’s up to her to get Quinn off Zach’s trail and onto someone else...
Luckily for Dexter, Quinn’s off Zach’s trail. He’s had his attention, thanks to Deb, focused onto Cassie’s boyfriend, Oliver Saxon (Darri Ingolfsson). He and Deb question him and soon holes start to appear in his story; he tells them that Cassie loved him deeply and was desperate for a romantic to the Bahamas and that he was fully booked with work commitments. Deb, however, had it on good authority that the Bahamas was HIS idea and that Cassie wasn’t as keen on him as he made out.
Deputy Marshal Clayton turns up in the lab. He’s looking for Hannah and, as her ex boyfriend, he wants to know if he’s seen her. Dexter lies saying he hasn’t. Lieutenant Angel (David Zayas) wants to put a protective detail on him. Dexter, the last thing he wants, asks that they watch his son instead. Angel obliges and the search continues.
He races over to Hannah’s and they set off to visit Arlene - an old friend who’s been stashing money away should Hannah need it. Next is finding another place to hide. Dexter has a brilliant suggestion; she stay with Deb for a while. She’s not impressed - the woman did to try to kill her after all - but reluctantly agrees to help.
Dexter tracks Daniel to a local visit, where he used to dine with his mother, playing Make Your Own Kind of Music over and over. Dexter follows him out and Daniel manages to give him the slip. Worried that Daniel might go after Vogel for revenge, Dexter speeds back to Evelyn’s house to find her furious. He lied to her, drugged her and went after her son. She wants nothing more to do with him.
It’s clear that the threads are finally starting to come together. That Dexter is finally working into a situation where you can see the end game. However, fans should accept that this is probably not the ending they would like to watch, but rather the ending the writers would rather tell. There are several questions left unanswered; Will Dexter evade Miami? Is Hannah really over Dexter turning her in? How will Deb react when she finds out what her beloved brother is planning? Why have they cast an actor like Sean Patrick Flannery to play a part that seems to have little or no significance to the major story? Oh, and the big question; what on Earth is Dexter playing at? Leave Miami to set up a happy life with the woman who tried to murder your sister?
That being said, this episode carried strong performances throughout. The pacing was great - hardly a second wasted. I say hardly because we didn’t really need that odd moment with Masuka’s daughter - the only downside to the episode. Arguably this isn’t the best season of Dexter and it’s a huge shame to see the huge potential of a final season being squandered on re-cycled story points and whiplash-inducing character twists.
Let’s just take comfort in that, as the slow-burn cranks up to a boil, some kind of calamity is going to come and the story will end in some kind of tragedy. Dexter can’t really be about to set down his knife and swan off into the sunset can he? This twisted tale can’t have a happy ending. Can it?