(Beware, SPOILERS BELOW)
The lines have been drawn and the final battle is about to take place. I know there's been some people who feel that Dexter hasn't had enough action this season and are disappointed, but I'm not. It appears to me that the writers are trying to have some sort of resolutions to the story arc of Dexter and the people around him so the final season could never be like all the rest. The dialogue and acting is as it always is. If I could use one word to describe season eight so far it would be 'la familia.'
*Dexter gets to see video of his deceased father talking to Doctor Vogel (his spiritual mother) about how they are going to teach him how to survive.
* Dexter and Debra try to work out their problems so they can be brother and sister again.
* Harrison is longing for a mother.
* Vince finds out he has a daughter named Niki.
* Angel isn't digging that his sister Jamie has moved in with Quinn while we now know Joey still has feelings for Deb.
* Dexter falls in love with Hannah.
* Dexter became a father figure/mentor to Zach Hamilton before he was killed.
*(Please add your own)
You get the point and (please add your own relationship family ties this season) now we have to add one more family member into the mix, but I'll get to that in a little bit.
Episode nine "Make Your Own Kind Of Music," opens with Dexter in bed with Hannah. She tells him that she has to go to her friend Arlene Shram's to get money that she's been stashing with her so that she can build a life and after some light chatter, Dexter tells her that he loves her. This isn't the type of love he feels for his sister Debra, it's the cloud nine with all the violins version of love and it's the first time he's ever said it to a women and meant it.
Dexter goes to Dr Vogel to find out what their next move should be. He asks her about the song that was playing when he found Zach in house and wonders if there's any significance tied to it. The song is "Make Your Own Kind Of Music" and Vogel says she used to play it all the time and maybe some of her patients heard it. Dexter seems a bit agitated and revved up so Vogel warns him to calm down because he's being too emotional. And then he throws a bomb into the mix saying that he's going to try and have a life with Hannah. Crazy killers don't do those types of things, as any psychopathic whisperer can tell you, so Vogel gives him a stern warning.
Dexter defends his actions by saying Vogel's always misjudging him. Is Dexter really so much different from every other psychopath that Doctor Vogel has studied? Absolutely, and I've been wondering if he shouldn't have his own classification. He appears to be something all together different.
Debra's boss, Elway, ed the US Marshall services at the end of last episode to try and find Hannah for reward money and now an agent Marshall Cooper (the excellent Kenny Johnson of The Shield) has shown up to investigate his tip. There's no good that can come out of that.
Dexter and Vogel case Zach's studio and find that he was attacked and probably killed there. Dexter discovers some trace hair and blood evidence that has DNA on it underneath a table and he wonders if Zach used his training to leave Dexter a clue to catch the killer.
Quinn meets up with Debra and shows her a picture of Zach and asks her to look into him as Cassie's killer because he's not allowed to investigate the Hamiltons anymore by orders of Captain Matthews.
Dexter gets a familial match on the DNA sample and it appears that whoever left the DNA is also related to Doctor Vogel. This is another bombshell since Vogel maintains that she has no family at all. She confesses to him that she had two sons and one of them was killed in a swimming pool by her oldest named Daniel, who was also a psychopath (that's why she's in the field) and by the way, he happened to love the song Make Your Own Kind Of Music. Her and her husband lied to the authorities and said it was an accident and then locked him up in a mental institute in England when he was fourteen years old. Three years later, a fire broke out there, killing seven kids including her son. She hands Dexter a photo of Daniel taken when he just was in his teens and he takes it back to the lab and uses an aging software package so he can get somewhat of an idea of what he looks like now. Guess what? The composite looks an awful like Cassie's boyfriend Oliver Saxon. I nailed that one.
Cooper shows up at Miami PD to interview Dexter to see if Hannah had ed him, but Angel reminds him that it was Dexter who turned her in. Angel then dispatches a protection detail for Dexter's house and his son, Harrison.
Dexter then meets up with Hannah and they drive to Arlene's very nice house so she can pick up her 500,000.00 in cash. Arlene used to look like a straight up junkie, but since Hannah has been supporting her and her kids, she's pretty cleaned up. She wheels out a luggage bag full of money in it when Marshall Cooper shows up to ask Arlene some questions about Hannah. Cooper surprisingly finds Dexter is sitting at a table, eating. He starts grilling her about her nice living situation when Dexter makes believe that Arlene is his new squeeze and he's taking care of all of this. Cooper seems to buy it, at least momentarily and leaves, but let's face it. Kenny Johnson isn't going to take a small role so I imagine he'll be around the next three episodes to throw a monkey wrench into Dexter's plans.
Debra slyly interviews Jamie about Cassie's killing and learns that Oliver, her boyfriend of only a few weeks was very clingy, and Cassie was about to dump him until he offered to take her away for a romantic weekend. Deb's spidey sense tingles, so she and Quinn go re-interview Oliver. Debra catches him in a lie and knows there might be something off about him. As they are leaving Oliver's, Quinn turns to Deb and lays a surprise lip lock on her. He immediately apologies to her, feeling embarrassed, but I don't think she minded at all. It looks like Jamie will be the odd man out soon. That's okay, I never liked them as a couple.
Hannah needs a better place to hide out since Cooper is on her tail and the only place Dexter knows where she would be safe is Debra's house. Ouch. She's the last person who'd want to see Hannah, which is the reason why it's the place to go to. They go over there and Dex begs Debra to hide Hannah just for a couple of days until he gets her out of Miami and Debra reluctantly agrees. How's that going to work?
Debra then tells Dexter that she threw Quinn off from Zach Hamilton's trail by having them check out Cassie's boyfriend as a suspect. Dexter immediately tells her that Oliver is a very dangerous man and warns her off checking into him any further. She knows what that means, the table is ready and she says she'll back off, but it hurt her deep down because she knows Dexter's actions will disrupt her life as a detective moving forward.
Back at home, Harrison asks Dexter if they are going to see Hannah because he saw her on TV. He wishes that she could be his mom. What a doll he's turned into. Maybe she can, maybe she can.
Dexter tried to grab Oliver at his apartment after he was tipped off by Deb and Quinn's interview, but he already had cleared out of the place. Dexter then looks in the garbage to see what he left behind, and lo and behold, he finds a used soda can that he can check for Saxon's DNA.
The results come back and Oliver is definitely Doctor Vogel's son. Dexter gives Vogel the news and she's understandably stunned by it, but also a bit thrilled at the idea that one of her sons is still alive after all this time. She starts to freak out a bit on Dexter because now she doesn't want him to kill her son, the Brain Surgeon Killer.
What are you going to do?
What do you think?
I don't know how I feel about that.
He's murdered four people and he's killed Zach Hamilton.
He's my son.
There's nothing you can do for him.
I'm not gonna let you kill him, I'm sorry.
Dexter tries to explain to her that he's got to do it or he'll probably kill her and many other people if he doesn't stop him, but she wasn't having any of it. So Dexter quickly decides to lie. He figures out that Oliver is monitoring her computer since he already stole all her files from it so he tells her to say that she's going to visit this little watering hole Oliver and her used to go to when he was young. He'll probably show up there so she'll be able to try and help him. But Dexter only has one thing on his mind at the moment and that's getting Oliver onto his table. (Hannah quickly popped back in)
Debra is at Miami PD and Angel hands her her detective shield and welcomes her back on the force. Debra has made up her mind and wants to be a detective again, but fears the consequences of being one now while Dexter is embroiled with Hannah so she's hesitant to take her job back. Angel really misses her so he gives her all the time she needs to think about it.
Back at Deb's house, she walks in and finds that Hannah likes to clean up and is also cooking dinner. Hannah asks her if she's hungry and Debra gives her a look that could stop a charging rhino.
Hungry? Are you kidding?
Totally fair. Well I'm going to eat and I made enough for you.
(She asks Debra if she's going back on the force.)
How can I go back? My brother is a serial killer and I have another one hiding in my house eating salad.
It was stupid to think I could go back.
Hannah tells her that they are the same in that they both go after things they shouldn't want and Deb agrees that that's the only thing they have in common except there's one other fairly important thing they share that she refuses to see: Dexter.
Debra starts laughing at the absurdity that she's actually eating food Hannah cooked after she almost killed Deb with poison last year.
I can't believe I'm eating food you made.
It's not bad though, right?
Debra and Hannah have finally found a moment where they can do a little bonding.
Marshall Cooper shows up at Dexter's house this time and tells Dexter that it appears Hannah has left Miami and he's pulling the protection detail from his house. I believe Cooper knows there's something going on with Dexter and Hannah and I'll give you 3-1 odds that he pops up at the wrong time and somebody dies. (probably him)
The next day Dexter meets Dr Vogel so they can meet Oliver, but he doses the tea, knocking her out so he can do what needs to be done. Oliver does show up at the diner and plays Make Your Own Kind Of Music over and over again, waiting for his mom. Almost an hour passes by until he finally realizes she's not showing up. So he leaves and Dexter trails him back to his car, so he can give him a nice warm shot to make him go beddy-bye. But after Oliver pulls away in his car, Dexter sees that his tires have been slashed. Dexter lost him and realizes that Oliver will think Vogel sent him so he races over to her house. Did Dexter really think it would have been that easy?
He gets to Vogel's house, upset that she might already be dead, but she comes to the door and greets him, pissed off that he drugged her. He explained that Oliver got away from him and then she tells him that she'll handle it from now on, it's a family matter. That hurts Dexter because he thinks of her as family, but she says that she can't trust now that he drugged her. Dexter then tells her that he's leaving Miami with Hannah. Vogel dismissively tells him that it will end badly between them. Dexter leaves her place just fine with the fact that he's cutting her out of the hunt for Oliver.
'Vogel thinks I'm caught between two worlds. My humanity and my darkness. I will kill Saxon and leave Miami forever.'
Vogel closes the door behind him and faces Oliver who was there to kill her.
Do you believe me now?
Yes, you didn't send him.
Are you hungry? How about a little breakfast?
OK, Mom. (She softly caresses his hand only like a mother can do.)
Now we have the real threat in season eight finally exposed. And yes, it's a family. A mother's love multiplied with guilt and you have an unshakable bond and this one is going to be lethal. I always knew Dr Vogel was going to play a pivotal role in the season's end, but I thought she was masterminding some experiment and manipulating the events surrounding Dexter. I didn't see this one coming.
The writers have a strong theme running through this season and we'll see how much of a family Dexter has left at the conclusion of episode twelve. Dexter has been running on adrenaline and emotion this entire season and I don't know how much longer he can handle it since he's never been through this before. If he blows, then baby, that's gonna be a real gusher.