Dexter Season 8 Review “Every Silver Lining…”

Episode 802

“I’ve…destroyed Deb. You were wrong about me. I’m a mistake.”
“You’re exactly what you need to be, Dexter. Perfect.”

Wow. Which episode is this? The tenth? Eleventh? Wait, this is only the second episode of the season? I can’t remember any other season in Dexter history that has so much at stake and so many interesting storylines going at once at only the second episode, but “Every Silver Lining” continues from the big cliffhanger of last week’s premiere, as we find out that Dr. Vogel knows what Dexter is and knows about Harry’s Code!

Thankfully we aren’t kept in suspense any longer to find out why Vogel knows so much, as the episode starts off with a fascinating scene where Vogel shows Dex a video of Harry, wherein he reveals everything to Vogel. This is the first episode of the series that’s actually directed by Dexter himself, Michael C. Hall, so it was fitting that we open on a close-up reaction of him watching his dearly departed father describe a young Dexter’s homicidal tendencies. I was very interested to learn how long Evelyn has been aware of Dexter, and now we learn that she’s been aware of Dexter since he was ten, which means she’s been sitting on this secret for a whopping 32 years! I was hoping to hear a little more explanation of why she hasn’t encountered Dexter before this, especially considering she must have heard about all of the crazy serial killers that Miami has had in the past few years, and you think she’d have put two and two together and paid him a visit. I hope to get some more clarification on that in the future, but for right now I’m loving the great mother/son dynamic here so much that I’m willing to overlook the specifics.

The biggest problem of the episode for me, and a problem that I fear might affect the rest of the season as a whole, is the Dexter writers’ insistence on having some sort of “Big bad” for every season. Some of the big bads in the past have been great, with season four’s Trinity Killer and season one’s Ice Truck Killer coming to mind immediately. However, when the interplay between Dexter and Vogel is so compelling, and Debra’s dynamic with Dex and her new job is so intriguing, I can’t help but feel like the whole “big bad” idea is a little worn out. Especially when it’s handled as poorly as it was tonight.

We got a quick scene of Lyle Sussman suffocating some dude in a dark room, and then that dude shows up later with his brain cut open. Then, at the end of the episode, we see that the murder was actually being taped and that Sussman was being coerced at gunpoint. Except we’ve already seen this murder happening earlier in the hour, and it looked totally different. There was no camera planted in front of Sussman, and there was no gun to his head either. It just seemed like such a misleading fakeout that it would have been more effective if they just left out that scene altogether. I’m interested to see the reason for these brain pieces being sent to Vogel, but I’m only interested because I like Vogel so much; I don’t care about this Brain Surgeon guy!

We got some more development on Deb’s case involving Briggs and El Sapo, as El Sapo attacks Deb in a storage locker and is subsequently shot. Considering how ominous and imposing they made El Sapo seem between last episode and the first half of tonight’s installment, I really thought he’d be a more formidable foe. I wasn’t altogether surprised when it turns out that Deb was the killer, and I’m frankly surprised that Dexter didn’t make that connection himself. I would have liked to see some explanation of how Deb was able to free herself from the storage locker and get a gun so quickly, but it’s still interesting to see the amount of overkill that Deb is exhibiting here. She shot that dude like crazy, and then didn’t seem to be the least bit guilty about it when Dexter questioned her later. It’s possible that killing LaGuerta has helped desensitize Deb to the idea of killing, and that would certainly be an interesting twist for her character to see her become more Dexter-like.

The crew at Miami Metro has always been the weakest part of the show, but I’m actually kinda liking the Jamie/Quinn pairing more and more. I groaned when I saw that they were together in last week’s premiere, but it looks like they’re lumping Jamie, Quinn, and Angel’s storylines together.. That’s a welcome change from last season having the Jamie/Louis relationship, the Quinn/Russian Stripper thing, AND the whole storyline with Angel retiring and opening a restaurant. Instead of three storylines I don’t really care about, I’m cool with them combining them into one storyline that I don’t really care about. The lesser of two evils, right? Oh, and just in case you were looking for more reasons to hate Quinn, I like how he writes off Jamie and Angel encouraging him to grow up as “A Cuban thing”. Yes Quinn, when people implore you to stop being an immature douchebag it’s because of their nationality. That must be it.

I’m really loving the dynamic so far between Vogel and Dexter, and the ending scene (where I pulled my weekly quote from) was absolutely phenomenal. I can’t tell if Vogel’s angle is completely cooperative or not, though. She seems to be saying all the right things, and stroking Dexter’s ego by calling him “The Alpha Wolf” and “perfect”, but on a show like Dexter you’ve got to question everybody’s motives. Maybe this whole thing is a setup. Maybe she’s just doing all of this as in-depth research for her next book. Or maybe she’s the Brian Surgeon herself!

Random Thoughts:

– For anybody wondering how I got my “32 years” math from early in the review, it was stated in episode 12 of season six that Dex was born on February 1st, 1971, and Vogel said she was first approached by Harry when Dex was 10. Therefore, if it’s 2013 in the Dexter universe then she’s known his secret for over 32 years!

– Whenever I hear “Make your own kind of music” by “Mama” Cass Elliot, it always reminds me of the LOST season two premiere where Desmond plays a portion of the song down in the hatch.

– All right, any Spanish speaking readers know what Jamie angrily yelled to Angel after their fight? Oh, and please edit it for the comments if necessary. 🙂