Dexter Season 8 Review “Scar Tissue”

Episode 804
“Why the f*** should I even trust you?! Why the motherf*** do you even care?!” – Deb
“Are you upset?” – Vogel

Well, that was unexpected!

Dexter had incredibly strong opening and closing scenes in tonight’s installment, and thankfully all of the stuff in the middle was almost as good! We’ll get to that crazy ending a little later on, but first let’s talk about that awesome opening scene.

Dexter has always had a flare for the dramatic opening, and tonight’s episode “Scar Tissue” was no different. While I was initially disappointed that we didn’t get to see Deb wake up back at home, and the flurry of F-bombs that would have surely followed, what we did get was even more satisfying! We find out that tonight’s installment has cut ahead one week from the end of last week’s episode, and we see that Deb has been living with Dr. Vogel and has been undergoing some hardcore therapy sessions. All of the scenes between these two great actresses were absolutely electric, and I hope we get more in the future. Jennifer Carpenter has been absolutely killing it as Deb for quite a while now, but Charlotte Rampling is so darn good as Dr. Vogel that it’s really a treat to see the two of them square off.

Meanwhile, we get the pretty abrupt reveal that Quinn has passed the sergeant exam. It’s just been one episode since we saw Quinn struggling so hard in the practice exam, so this whole accomplishment could have been set up a little better. It was an interesting wrinkle to find out that Angie Miller scored even higher than Quinn, so it looks like her character is finally going to be getting her own little storyline pretty soon. It seems a little “Too TV” that Quinn is given an ultimatum by Angel of solving this case in order to make sergeant. As if his performance on this single case is the only determining factor. Shouldn’t you be looking at his whole body of work as a detective and police officer? Not to mention that it’s a HUGE conflict of interest to have the big brother of your girlfriend as the guy determining if you get a promotion or not.

Elsewhere in Miami Metro, Masuka had another beautiful woman walk into his lab, but this time he awkwardly finds out that she’s his daughter (after hitting on her, naturally). Dora Madison Burge from Friday Night Lights made her debut as Niki, and as much as I love seeing FNL actors show up on my TV shows, I can’t help but feel a little confused by her inclusion. I’m not sure what’s going to happen here, since we know that (hopefully) nothing romantic will happen between her and Masuka. I guess we’ll see, but for now her adorable Masuka laugh is enough to keep me interested!

It’s been a bit of a strange pattern for Dexter so far this season, as he’s just been straight up checking off names in Vogel’s book to narrow down who the Brain Surgeon is. Each new episode has brought us a new psychopath that Vogel used to treat (thankfully they’ve all stayed in the Miami area!), and each psychopath has their own perversions or homicidal tendencies. Tonight’s psychopath-of-the-week was Yates, a cable guy who kidnaps and kills young women. I’m starting to get a little irritated at Vogel’s complete inability to except that Dexter might somehow be different from the rest of the psychopaths she’s met. Sure, he’s not a normal guy, but he’s never unhooked his dad’s breathing tube in order to get away. Dexter would never endanger a family member like that for personal gain! These other dudes are straight-up evil, and it’s downright irritating at this point that Vogel can’t accept that Dexter might not be a textbook psychopath.

I am loving the small glimpses of the shady side of Vogel. I said a few weeks ago that she seemed a little too keen to help Dexter, but tonight we find out that she may not be as altruistic as she seemed. First she has a somewhat lame response for why Yates has a scar on his head, planting the seed of the possibility that she did brain surgery on some of her patients. Then we find out that she’s been keeping notes about Dexter, all the while completely doubting anything Dexter’s been saying! I’m not sure if it was wise for Dexter to be so quick to alienate her and shut her out, as she’s one of the few people out there that knows his secret and could easily use all of the evidence at her disposal to expose him. My guess is that Vogel will continue investigating Dexter, and that she’ll go visit Hannah McKay in prison to get her perspective on the issue.

Ok, that’s enough jibber jabber. Let’s get to that big ending scene! The big car crash was cool, as it’s so rare that we get big action set pieces like this on Dexter, but I wasn’t sure what Deb was trying to accomplish here. It seemed like Deb was trying to kill herself, what with her emotional scene with Quinn, but surely there would be more effective ways to do that. Plus, she could endanger Dexter in the process. If her goal was to harm Dexter, then surely she could have thought of a more direct way that wouldn’t have harmed her, and she wouldn’t have jumped in and saved him at the end. I guess she wanted to harm both her and Dex at the same time, as she felt they were both responsible for LaGuerta’s death and her life going down the drain, but then Harrison wouldn’t have a father or auntie anymore! I have a feeling that the writers said “Ok, we need to end this episode with something big”, and decided on this without thinking if it made any sense for the character. I’m not entirely clear on her motives here, so please feel free to comment with your opinion on what Deb was thinking.

Overall I quite enjoyed “Scar Tissue”. With only eight episodes left until Dexter is gone forever, we have to be ramping up to the endgame pretty soon here. Let me know how you think the series will end in the comments, and I’ll see you next week!

Random Thoughts:

– I loved the bullet hole in the side of the shipping container in the opening scene. It was a great visual touch that added a nice pop of light to the shot.

– I’m liking the pattern of Friday Night Lights actresses getting involved in Masuka’s life. First Brea Grant in season six, now Dora Madison Burge. Hopefully by the end of the series we’ll get Minka Kelly or Adrianne Palicki in there!

– While I did love that Niki had Masuka’s laugh, I have a feeling that the laugh was added in post-production since it sounded a little off and we didn’t actually see Niki laughing on camera. I really want to actually see Dora Madison Burge perform her weird little laugh!