Dexter Season 8 Review “A Beautiful Day”

Dexter Season 8 Review A Beautiful Day

“You made me compromise everything about myself that I cared about…and I hate you for it.” – Debra Morgan

Are we really here already? After seven (mostly) great seasons, oodles of plot twists, and hundreds of victims, Dexter returns tonight with their eighth and final season premiere. Before tonight I had all kinds of different theories about where this season would go, since we have to be working towards some kind of endgame at this point, but after “A Beautiful Day” it seems pretty clear. Dexter might be facing one of his smartest opponents yet, and they might just be the one to finally expose him for what he truly is.

It’s been six months since the turbulent events of the season seven finale and LaGuerta’s death, and it appears that Dexter couldn’t be doing any better! He’s flying kites with his son, sleeping with beautiful women, and his bowling team “Bowl ‘Til You Bleed” is back in business! He’s even narrating all of this to us while an acoustic version of Louis Armstrong’s classic “It’s a Wonderful World” plays! Everything is coming up Dexter! I believe that six months is the longest time jump we’ve ever had between seasons, but at first it seems like Dexter is the happiest he’s been on this series in quite a while!

Debra, on the other hand, does not appear to be doing so well. The first we see her she’s snorting cocaine with her new drug-dealer boyfriend, and already seems to be showing physical signs of addiction. It made me feel a little bit better that she still seemed quite keen on finding out who this guy worked for and was trying to do her new job as a PI, but it didn’t make it any easier to watch a character that we’ve grown to love going through such a terrible phase in her life. Things get even worse when Deb shows up and quickly stabbed her new boyfriend in the chest, and it’s revealed that the hitman Dex was trying to protect Deb from now has her in his crosshairs. Way to go, Dexter! Put a target on your sister’s back and you almost lose your kid in the process!

Deb’s aforementioned PI work is set up with the introduction of a big player for the season in Deb’s new boss, Jacob Elway. Played by Boondock Saints‘ Sean Patrick Flannery, I’m not sure what to think about Mr. Elway quite yet. We only had one scene with the guy, but we know that he’s scheduled to appear in all 12 episodes of this final season, so expect his role to only develop from here. I suspect that he, by the sole reason that he’s an attractive male with no established relationship, will be romantically paired up with Deb by the end of the season. I hope to be proved wrong, but Deb has shown us in the past that she has a thing for authority figures.

Our other big guest star of the season is English actress Charlotte Rampling, who’s playing the “Psychopath Whisperer” Dr. Evelyn Vogel. Dr. Vogel is immediately a very captivating and intriguing presence, and you have Rampling’s great performance to thank for that. We quickly learn that she’s been researching Dexter for quite a while now, and the fact that she knows enough to even mention “Harry’s Code” is pretty freaking awesome. I mean, this is episode one, you guys, and she already knows about the code! It makes sense that she would be able to learn this, though. At this point Dexter has killed 126 people, so it’s getting more and more unrealistic that someone out there wouldn’t be figuring him out by now. If Dexter can figure out that El Sapo is a hitman after about a minute and a half of searching the computer (When nobody else has figured it out), it makes sense that the Psychopath Whisperer will have already figured out Dexter Morgan. I loved seeing Dex scan the morgue for sharp instruments while Vogel was questioning him, by the way.

The one big guest star that we did not see tonight was Yvonne Strahovski’s Hannah McKay. We know that she’ll appear in several episodes this season, and she was featured heavily in the “Previously on Dexter” scenes, so I’m interested to see how she’ll factor in to the story from being in prison. My guess is that Vogel is going to question her about Dex, seeing as how Hannah knows his secret and now has a bone to pick with him.

As for the other members of Miami Metro, I guess I should mention them, even though I’m having an increasingly difficult time mustering the enthusiasm to give a crap. Anyway, Batista has been named lieutenant in Deb’s absence. I’m not sure why we had the fake-out last season of Batista pretending to retire and buy a restaurant, when he’d just be back at Metro in episode one. It’s a little frustrating that even the stupid little story lines that they give these minor characters don’t even end up paying off. Oh, and Jamie and Quinn are boning each other. Because…why not?

What did you think of the eighth and final season premiere? Sound off in the comments section below!

Random Thoughts:

– Has there been any other show that has run as long as Dexter and had the exact same opening credit sequence? The names might have changed, but most other long-running dramas would change up their opening after a few years.

– I mentioned in a couple reviews from last season that they seemed to be building up Det. Angie Miller’s character, and now she’s playing an even bigger role than ever before. I guess that with Deb and LaGuerta out of Miami Metro they felt like they needed a recognizable female face.

– I definitely appreciated the fact that Jamie, for once, was not able to completely eschew her personal life in deference to Dexter’s crazy work/killing schedule. It’s been almost comical in the past how much time she spends with Harrison, and how willing she is to completely give up her personal life to watch this kid day and night.