Dexter Season Premiere Review: Deb Downer

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It was "A Beautiful Day" to jump on board Dexter Morgan's final slay ride this week, as the Dexter Season 8 premiere took viewers six months into the future.

And in many ways a lot has changed at Miami Metro (Batisa has un-retired and taken over as Lieutenant) and around the station (Quinn is bedding Jamie), with characters forging ahead and moving on (and winning adorable soccer championships!) in the wake of LaGuerta's death.

Except Deb, that is. In a major, significant, shocking, coke-snorting way... except Deb.

Deb Undercover

Kudos to both the writers and Jennifer Carpenter for taking the character down such a disturbing path. It was an eerie pleasure to watch such a twitchy, energetic, drugged up Deb in her new life, undercover and out of control.

It brings gravitas to a series that was once a dark comedy but is clearly now headed down a merely dark path, with Deb unable to recover from her actions inside that trailer and Dexter realizing more and more than he has no idea who he is without his sister as a support system. Correction, actually:

Dexter does know who he is without Deb. But it's a picture he does not want painted, one of a serial killer who has no remorse and - as the fascinating new character of Dr. Evelyn Vogel outlined - no empathy. LaGuerta did not deserve to die, she did not fit Harry's Code... but Dexter doesn't care one bit. She was a problem that's now been solved and he's had no trouble forgetting she ever existed.

So he's the opposite of Deb in that regard, someone whose emotions have always spilled over into her love life and her personal life; who care barely order coffee without cursing out the barista or capture a perp without, well, cursing out in joy.

And Dexter has always found safe haven in this connection. If he's at least loved by Deb, if he can at least be there for his sister, he can't be all that bad... right? Wrong, he's starting to wonder.

The tear and rage-filled exchange between Dexter and Deb while both squatted over Briggs' corpse was perfect in how it summed up this evolved (devolved?) relationship. Deb doesn't see herself as lost. She's perfectly in tune with her deeds and the punishment she sees as fit for them. But Dexter? Who is Dexter Morgan? Can he actually be a responsible father and a successful murderer? Where does he turn for any semblance of comfort if the one person who always viewed him as her savior now sees him as the complete opposite?

I shot the wrong person in that trailer. I mean... ouch.

And while Deb was stuck in the past, the premiere did an excellent job of setting up the future. We have a new murderer on the loose and new psychologist in the building.

Dexter and Dr. Vogel

What the heck is the deal with Vogel?!? It's clear she has more than just a passing interest in Dexter and, based on her age and experience working with the police force, we can assume she knew Harry. But how intimately is the question? And how does she know about The Code? Might she have assisted Harry with it? It's not a stretch to think someone in her position, with her knowledge base, would come in handy when molding a psychopath into a productive member of society.

So I'm fully on board. I despised Dexter Season 6. I was blown away by the recovery of Dexter Season 7 and I'm impressed with one hour so far of Dexter Season 8.

Despite Batista dismissing the notion of a bench as a tribute, the series is taking LaGuerta's death very seriously. It's using that event as a jumping off point for its final run of episodes, tearing Deb and Dexter apart - to bring them back together later? To prove that Dexter cannot continue with his charade of a life and force him to make a decision one way or the other? Between his life as a family man and his long-time Dark Passenger?

I have no idea. But with the mystery of Vogel looming large and an in-depth examination of Dexter's way of life on tap this season, I'm excited to find out.

What did everyone else think? Grade the Dexter Season 8 premiere now:


Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (61 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.


Vogel by her age and everything is the creator of Dexter as he lives.. Pretty sure she didn't turn him in because she was proud of her experiment and how it turned out so far... Pretty sure we'll have a flashback with her and Harry.. Give Remar somebody else to talk to!!!


They need to kill Deb...everytime she is onscreen I mute the damn sound because she has been like this the whole series...she was a nutbar before she found out about dexter...she is unwatchable...I like dexter on the hunt seasons 1-5 better than the emotional crap the last 2 seasons and this one end up being


To answer your question about Vogel, in the episode 2 teaser following the show it becomes clear what her intentions are and briefly hits upon her role in Dexter's life. I'm not going to say anything other than that - if you want to find out, google it, I don't want to reveal any possible spoilers.


I thought this was a great start to the season. The relationship between Dexter and Deb is the true heart of this series. Dexter 's fate is entwined with Deb's. He saved her at the end of the first season. Ironically, she saved him at the end of last season. My hypothesis about Dr. Vogel is that she is the one who actually devised Harry's code. She was working with/for the police force when Dexter was a child. Harry went to her out concern for what might happen to Dexter as a result of the trauma of his mother's death. He showed her the pics that Dexter had drawn. She suspected what Dexter would one day grow up to be and devised the Code for Harry to teach to Dexter. She knew the capabilities of psychopaths and saw Dexter as potential "solution." In the trailer for upcoming episodes, I think she refers to Dexter as "perfect." I assume she means that he turned just as she planned. She is his creator. That's my hunch.


Nothing special, compared to the great season past .....but a lot out of the gate that bodes to be very ANNOYING: 1. Harrison has to go , where's Lithgow when you need him ! 2. Nanny doing Quinn ..... 3. Never have been a Rampling fan 4. An entire season of a whacked out Deb...UGH !


Wow, that opener was a series of one-two punches! And Deb and Dex played it perfectly. So much going on. I wonder if we're going to start to see Harrison doing Dexter-type things. How did he get the blood on his stuffed animal? I couldn't remember if it appeared to be from Dexter's bloody hand, or if it wasn't apparent from that. I'm wondering if Harrison will end up starting to become a Dexter at the end of the series. He too witnessed the bloody death of his mother at an impressionable age. In the books Cody and Astrid were "Dexters-in-the-making" and he started teaching them Harry's code and trying to direct their "killing" impulses away from people/kids. Will that be how the series ends, with Dexter seeing Harrison headed into his dad's pathway? Hmmm.


I'm completely blown away by this excellent start to the season too. And I really appreciate that the writers didn't play cat-and-mouse (much) with Vogel. Instead of spending several episode with Dexter trying to figure out if she's there for the serial murder case or for him. Now we know. It's for him, but as Matt said: what's the exact deal? I'm really intrigued about her presence and can't wait to see more.


I really enjoyed the first episode this season. Seeing Deb on such a dramatic downward spiral was brutal to watch, but I'm glad the writers went there. I only have two concerns. First, did Miami Metro do any investigative work into the fact that LaGuerta was killed by a bullet which comes from the same standard issue gun of the police force? We have seen how far the officers will go for one of their own when they have been murdered, and also how ballistics have help bring down other criminals, but this just seems to have been glossed over. Perhaps I missed something and I'm not trying to be nit-picky, but this seems like a major plothole. Also, with only 11 episodes left, I fear that the writers may try to rush/force storylines (as we saw on previous seasons) because of the end date. We've introduced new characters, have a new psycho on the loose, Deb's new personal struggles, Dexter's dark passenger and anger issues, and of course there has to be a resolution to everything. I hope everything is addressed adequately.


WHAT A FUCKING GREAT PREMIERE! I was so hesitant at first. I was thinking that i should wait before i watch it for episode2,3 or more (because i saw all seasons a few months ago)... Great!! Debra & Dexter were breathtaking!

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