Okay, so maybe Evelyn Vogel isn't the Brain Surgeon, as we had predicted. Last night's episode pretty much ruled out that theory. But we weren't far off -- just one generation off, to be precise.
We'll put the big reveal behind the jump. Spoilers ahead.
See also: Ten Creepy Dexter Fan Art Pieces
So who's the killer Vogel? It's Evelyn's thought-to-be-dead eldest son, Daniel, who went by the fake name of Oliver Saxon -- a.k.a. Cassie's clingy boyfriend.
But before we put the "Dr. Vogel is the Brain Surgeon" theory to rest, maybe - just maybe - she drowned her youngest son in the pool and Daniel saw the whole thing so she put him away in a mental institution to protect herself? And he contacted her when he came back to Miami and they've been working together since the beginning? It's just a theory, so humor us.
Dexter, on the other hand, doesn't even seem to suspect Vogel in the least. It must be her "spiritual mother" aura that doesn't let him see through her. When Dexter and Vogel go to Zach's studio to look for clues about his death, Dexter finds a hair and blood sample left hidden for him. As suspected, the DNA results come back to be familial to Vogel - but how can that be, if she has no more family? Dun, dun, dun.
Vogel tells Dexter the story of how she lost both her children, and Dexter does his top secret investigating thing and discovers Daniel Vogel is alive and took on the name Oliver Saxon. However, after everything, Dexter doesn't discover if it was Daniel who killed Cassie and why. And was he only dating her to get close to Dexter's apartment, or did he really have feelings for her?
If Vogel's son really were in love with Cassie, then that depth of emotion would make him an imperfect psychopath. For being a psychologist, Vogel is a little rude and discouraging when Dexter tells her he wants to make a life with Hannah - because of this, she tells him he's "not the perfect psychopath I thought you were." According to her, "killers cannot have a full emotional life," but we all know that Dexter is beyond special, so his answer was the perfect comeback: "I think you underestimate me."
Life is the furthest thing from easy - even on television - so Dexter's fairytale ending with Hannah has to be put in jeopardy. That's where Elway comes in. Elway calls in a Deputy Marshall to go after Hannah McKay, and he gets hot on the trail. Judging by the way he treats Debra in this episode, it's safe to say his affectionate feelings toward her may have disappeared for good - or this is his way of treating her badly to show he likes her, in homage to his kindergarten days.
Remember Lieutenant Deb, back when she was still on the force? The one who had these great hunches that would lead her in the direction of the proper suspect - often the same suspect who was being personally tracked by Dexter? That Deb is back. By asking the right questions to Jaime, Deb advises Quinn to turn his eye onto the boyfriend in the Cassie murder case. It's only a matter of time before Quinn realizes who Oliver really is.
In this episode, we also find out the real meaning behind the Mama Cass song - the same song that the episode is titled. Turns out, Vogel and her son shared a fond memory of going to the King's Bay Café every weekend where he would play the song on the juke box.
Using this location (which is not real, nor in Miami), Dexter plans to meet Daniel there and take care of him once and for all. He slips Vogel a sleeping potion because he wanted to spare her from seeing her monster of a son, something that he could not spare Harry from witnessing. "I thought one of Hannah's potions would be gentler than my needle. Now Vogel will never have to face what her son has become," he narrates.
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There's just one thing Dexter has overseen: Harry was nothing like Vogel. Harry was a gentle, loving father, whereas Vogel is a toxic parent who only knows how to raise psychopaths. For her, meeting with her creations ignites a fire within her.
On a final note, we get that this is Dexter's final season ever, but what doesn't sit well with us is Dexter's lack of kills. Hey, we watch this show because we want to see our favorite bad guy kill other bad guys. But this final season has stripped away that essential element that really brought the show together: Dexter's kill room and his sacred kill ritual.
With only three episodes left, even if Dexter were to kill someone in each one, it'll be too little too late. The anticipation of Dexter's secret being exposed won't affect us as much since we've been through it many times before. Here's hoping that show creators have a more creative ending scheduled - one where perhaps the titular character meets his own end as poetic justice.