Review: 'Dexter' begins its eighth and final season on Showtime Special

Posted Jun 27, 2013 by Mindy Peterman
Will Dexter survive The eighth and final season of the controversial Showtime drama or will he end up joining those who've been victims of his Dark Passenger?
If you’ve watched Dexter these past seven seasons, you know that nothing about this character or those associated with him is assured. Last season’s finale brought this home more than any other episode of the series. With the death of Captain Maria LaGuerta (Lauren Velez) at the hands of Lieutenant Debra Morgan (Jennifer Carpenter), who also happens to be Dexter’s sister, the story took a completely different path. LaGuerta got too close to the truth about Dexter...and his sister. When you fly that close to a shocking reality, this sort of ending is inevitable.
Beware! There are spoilers ahead.
Season eight’s opener, “A Beautiful Day”, brings us up to speed. It is six months after LaGuerta’s death. Deb has left her job on the force and Dexter (Michael C. Hall) has gone back to his life, caring for his son Harrison (who looks about two years older than when we last saw him) and working for Miami Metro as a blood spatter expert. New challenges face him this time around, one of which is that a horrific killer is at large. Dubbed the Brain Surgeon, this murderer illustrates his creativity by slicing off the back of his victim’s head and removing the part of the brain that controls empathy.
But the case is not Dexter’s main concern. Deb is. He hasn’t spoken with her since LaGuerta’s death and sets out to see what she has been up to. What he finds is not pretty. She is working freelance for a private firm, and has taken up with a sleazy mobster on the pretext that she is on the job. Meanwhile, she seems quite comfortable doing drugs and having indiscriminate sex with her new friend. But when Dexter finds her, everything changes.
A new and important character, Dr. Evelyn Vogel (Charlotte Rampling), is a natural and welcome extension of Harry, Dexter’s father who exists only in Dexter’s mind. Vogel is an esteemed neuro-psychiatrist who has been brought in to help solve the Brain Surgeon case. Her specialty is working with psychopaths. The shocker is that we find out she knew Dexter as a child. Harry sought her help when he discovered his son’s psychopathic leanings and Vogel developed the Code (so when Dexter’s murderous urges took over, he would seek out bad guys to do away with instead of innocent people).
“A Beautiful Day” is a compelling beginning of the end for a show that’s pushed the boundaries of right and wrong for seven seasons. It will be interesting to go along for the rest of the ride to find out what Dexter’s fate will be.
The eighth season of Dexter premieres on SHOWTIME, June 30. Check local listings for time.