‘Dexter’ Season 8 Premiere Review – The End Begins

Published 2 years ago by , Updated June 30th, 2013 at 11:14 pm,

dexter season 8 premiere Dexter Season 8 Premiere Review   The End Begins

Six months have passed since the events of the Dexter season 7 finale, revealing that, in spite of what previously occurred, Dexter has been able find solace in the peace that Debra’s forced bloodshed has provided him. No longer seen as the prime suspect for the Bay Harbor Butcher, or the focus of desire for a femme fatale, Dexter has taken these months to put his life in order, to once again be happy.  For Dexter, it’s as if things couldn’t be any better; Deb, on the other hand, isn’t holding up so well.

As Dexter has been enjoying his life, Deb, instead, made the decision to quit the force and join a private investigation firm; a step up from her previous position, no doubt, but one that she uses to punish herself for what she’s done. Instead of taking on the type of high-profile cases a former Lieutenant in the private sector should, it’s the “down and dirty” ones that she feels most comfortable immersing herself in. For Deb, it’s simply about mentally surviving what she has done and, right now, numbing the pain is the best that she can do.

Deb and Dexter’s relationship, too, has reached its breaking point, forcing Deb to realize that Dexter’s unapologetic thirst for the blood reaches far beyond what she could ever imagine, to include the loss of any innocents who may get in the way. And even though Deb is aware that James Doakes fell at the hand Dexter, to keep his secret safe, it was she who had the choice, who decided to choose Dexter’s life over LaGuerta’s. The loss of a criminal’s life is one thing, while the loss of an innocent one is completely different – but to Dexter, they’re one in the same; just another mess to clean up, so to speak.

dexter season 8 premiere harrison Dexter Season 8 Premiere Review   The End Begins

But Dexter’s life isn’t as perfect as he believes, and it’s Debra who has been able to touch the heart of the monster, forcing him to step outside his sociopathic lifestyle in an attempt to feel for, to understand, to “fix” the sister he inadvertently and unintentionally betrayed. As a serial killer mastermind, Dexter is self-sufficient and almost perfect, and it’s likely that he could very well thrive and survive if left alone. But Dexter isn’t alone – not anymore.

Dexter’s interest in human relationships has been a part of the series from the beginning, but now, with his secret out there, with Harrison growing up, with Deb taking on an emotional weight she was never prepared for, he wants to – and must – integrate himself in aspects of humanity that, up until this point, he simply observed. Like with most things, however, this must be learned, not forced, and Dexter still stumbles when he attempts to be “normal,” even if his heart is in the right place.

Dexter’s weakness has been and always will be the human relationship, and as Dexter attempts to force Deb to understand that murdering LaGuerta is “all right,” to provide her with the same logic that he uses to sleep at night, he continues to reveal more and more of his broken personality, showing her what truly lies deep within his tainted soul.  What’s more, each and every attempt that Dexter makes at mimicking normality opens himself up to being caught, as Dexter was built for one thing and one thing only: to kill. Anything outside of that is, as Harry continuously warns him, a mistake. So which path will Dexter choose?

dexter season 8 premiere 3 Dexter Season 8 Premiere Review   The End Begins

Perhaps the addition of Evelyn Vogel, who is revealed to have played a part in Dexter’s origins, will allow him to explore all that went in to creating the murderous machine that he finds comfort in. But still, even with knowledge of the past, Dexter is going to have to make a decision for himself and his future: Will he continue on his path of taking lives, fulfilling the destiny that his father, Harry, laid out for him? Or will he shed his bloody apron and continue to reach for those emotional bonds he yearns for, filling his world with life instead of death? At this point, is it even possible to change? Does anyone – including Harry – want him to change?

For many years, Dexter has excelled at the job he was given, to kill, but throughout, he has continuously reached beyond the murderous binds that tie him, obtaining things he could have never imagined possible. And though it’s Dexter’s past that most certainly defines him, it’s the decisions that he makes now, for his future, for his family, that will reveal the true strength of the man behind mask.

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Dexter returns next Sunday with “Every Silver Lining” @9pm on Showtime.

Follow Anthony Ocasio on Twitter @anthonyocasio
TAGS: Dexter
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  1. Was great from the beginning. Nervous when I thought his son was missing.

  2. wow,that was an awful episode-dexter runs around at high drama–it’s all about the over acting of deb.

    • I found debs acting spot on, no clue why you think it’s over acting.

    • I agree. Deb is waaay over-dramatic. She has gotten quite boring.

  3. loved it!! awesome premiere cant wait to see how the evelyn vogel story line plays out. Also its James Doakes not “Doax”

  4. Can’t wait for Hannah to inevitably come back later in the season, by far my favourite relationship of Dexters.

  5. The usual first episode in a long running series. Expositional, contrived and a little on the nose (not smearing Harrison with the blood etc). No real problem with this as you accept a correlation between acknowledgement of long term fans and the invitation between potential new ones.

    Got Deb spot on though. The trailers suggested a character fully gone in all capacity. I was also worried Dexter would “save” her at the end and all would be forgiven, but no, she is together and the damage is all in relation to her brother.

    I suspect ultimately the validity of this entire season is going to rest on who Evelyn Vogel actually is, both in terms of overall context to the legacy of the show and pertinence to this actual season. They absolutely need to get this right (I’m having nightmares about utterly implausible scenarios playing out and destroying everything, the most ludicrous being it is Dexter’s mother and the whole thing was a switch by Harry etc etc).

  6. What is it with these cop-out season premieres these days? Falling Skies jumped ahead 7 months and completely glossed over the interesting part of making contact and forming an alliance with the new arrivals, and now Dexter jumps ahead and glosses over the interesting immediate aftermath of Deb’s action. Too hard to write, was it?

  7. I too was wondering why gloss over the fact that she killed La Guerta with her service revolver and not the gun Dex intended on using. That would fairly easily link the murder to her. Hopefully they “flashback” or talk about how the crime scene was fixed

  8. I think at some point Batista will start looking into LaGuerta’s murder.
    Well at least I hope he does because the way it played out during the premiere was a bit laughable.
    My “newest” prediction for the final scene…
    It will be the exact same shot that opened the season but Deb will be flying the kite instead of a Dexter.

    • its gonna be Dexter in a cell, possibly on a table and he looks up and sees Harry with a disappointed look on his face. Thats what I imagine but maybe not

  9. Dexter seasons usually fare better when compared to as a whole. So to people who were disappointed: this is episode 1. It always ramps up progressively over time. Can’t wait to see the rest.

  10. This episode was great and I loved it. I just hope they don’t loose themselves into “filter side storylines” like they did last season except the last couple of episodes. With this being the finale I hope that Showtime and the writers don’t hold anything back.

  11. More nekkid Jaimie please.

    • YES!

  12. Pace, and inserting question marks that guide you into the next episode are the hallmarks that made me drift toward even the remote “like” for DEXTER. The faster they can continue the pace they had inside this episode, the questions that pop up and the acting tour de forces like what we saw inside the convenience store and outside the hotel room: I am SUPER stoked to see what happens.

  13. My prediction is that there will be one of two possible endings;

    1) Dexter is killed through an act of self sacrifice to demonstrate to Deb that he does possess a degree of empathy / altruism

    2) Deb is so affected by killing an innocent person, that she requests that Dexter end her life on the condition that she is his last ever victim.