Last week, Dexter took the night off for Labor Day. (Hey, it's the last weekend you can wear white -- and no color better showcases a splatter of blood.) So when things got back on track last night, we were hoping for a more suspenseful episode. But no luck. While "Goodbye Miami" had its "OMG" moments, it mostly progressed way too slowly for the tenth episode in the final season.
As expected, Daniel Vogel is proving to be a bit of a nuisance. Dexter's instincts are right in wanting to take care of him before leaving for Argentina, but he has not gone up against such a skilled psychopath in a while. (And whose fault is that, Dexter writers?)
Daniel is good. Really good. Though Daniel never had his mother's guidance nor followed Harry's code, he was always clever enough to never stay in one place too long and to mask his tracks. Even Dexter was impressed while he skimmed through Daniel's past.
The main struggle for this week's episode was Daniel's relationship with his mother. He wants Vogel's help in controlling his dark passenger, he wants what she gave Dexter: "You gave him everything you denied me. While I was rotting away, you gave him a life." We learn that his psychotic tendencies stem from mommy issues. Daniel killed his younger brother, Richard, because Vogel appeared to favor Richard more and gave him more attention. It's evident that in this updated scenario, Dexter has replaced the younger brother and once again Daniel will do anything for his mother's attention.
A very confused Vogel has her heart set on helping Daniel and getting Dexter out of the way so he won't end up on Dexter's kill table. Though she is convinced her son won't harm her and even tells Dexter, "Don't use me as an excuse for killing Daniel," we can see through his façade. Even though Vogel might be part of the reason he wants to kill Daniel - he feels obligated to protect his spiritual mother - Dexter also needs to look out for himself and his own family. "If you don't kill Saxon, your life is at risk," chimes in Harry to remind him.
Dexter, on the other hand, is busy planning his future with Hannah. There's so much left to do before they leave: he must quit his job, sell his boat and condo, kill Saxon, get Harrison out of school -- you know, the usual leaving town routine. First on the list: tell Batista. The ironic moment here is how Dexter puts in his two-week's notice with Batista, who once left the force himself for an early retirement, only to come back a few days later. Could this connection mean Dexter won't actually end up leaving Miami Metro?
If Dexter does leave Miami Metro - and when he leaves our TV sets for good - we know that our lives can easily go back to normal. Like he narrates while at an unimportant crime scene: "Nothing will change after I'm gone, blood will continue to pool, I just won't be here to photograph it." Well that's ... comforting?
Let's take a moment to talk about Debra. She's come a long way since episode one. She's no longer hooking up with creepy criminals and doing drugs, she's straightening her hair again, she's left the private investigation world and entered back into the police force, she's friends with Dex again, and lastly, she admits to still having feelings for Quinn. The last part couldn't have come at a better time, seeing as Quinn dumped sweet Jamie because he didn't see a future with her. Maybe this second time around for Quinn and Deb will work out better than the first.
Though we were sort of rooting for Deb and Elway to end up together, we're just glad to see Deb happy and healthy.
So far, Dexter's master plan has been unfolding with relative ease, so it was bound to unfurl soon enough. As far as Dexter and Hannah are concerned, the deputy marshal looking for Hannah McKay has given up, but we know that Clayton still has his suspicions. While Dexter was setting up a kill room (don't get too excited, it's not used), Harrison was under Hannah's watch and he got hurt playing with Aunt Deb's treadmill. Hannah was left with no choice but to take Harrison to the hospital, which wasn't the wisest choice because there she was recognized. The hospital nurse calls up the deputy and when he hears that Harrison Morgan was checked in by his mother, Debra Morgan, who looked just like Hannah McKay, the deputy marshal was not a happy man. It's safe to say that the shit has hit the fan.
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Later on in the episode, the triangle between Dexter, Daniel, and Vogel is revisited. Daniel takes his mother to his very own kill room where he saws into the skulls of his victims - who are still alive, might I add - to cut their brains open. The room is modeled after the treatment room at the institution she sent him when he was 14. He wants her to see the room and understand where he comes from. There he asks for her help again: "I want you to help me like you helped Dexter. I want you to show me how to exist free in the world just the way I am." Vogel is unsure and doesn't want to help him be a killer; after all, Dexter kills with purpose. Daniel warns Vogel not to make the same mistake she did once in choosing Richard, "choose me," he urges. This final appeal scares her into agreeing - "I want to be your mother again. I'll do whatever it takes."
When Vogel goes to Dexter's apartment to plea with him not to kill her son, she once again allows herself to be swayed and ends up hatching a plan with Dexter. We quickly learn that Vogel isn't the best at following through with plans, which could explain her demise. She was supposed to meet Daniel in public, but instead calls him over to her home. Things aren't going too well while she's waiting for Dexter, who arrives two minutes too late. Daniel calls Dexter while he's pulling in and asks him to look at the window where he is standing with Vogel.
"Mother chose the wrong son, again," he says while he slits her throat. And there goes Dr. Evelyn Vogel. Anyone with half a brain (no pun intended) could see that coming. Vogel, why couldn't you?