Dexter Season 8 Episode 10 "Goodbye Miami" review by Gracie: 2 more left! I found this episode to be written much better than the previous – the characterization of Dexter was greatly improved. I found him to be significantly less selfish – whereas in the last episode, he was like, “LET’S JUST DO THIS!” without even giving a second thought to the consequences, his effect on Deb, the risk of it all, the logistic part of it. I think it was supposed to be like, a sweeping romantic gesture, but the writer of 809 severely underplays the importance of Debra in his life. The writer of this episode however, Scott Reynolds, generally does not. I was left fairly satisfied – first of all, Deb called him stupid, idiot, selfish… all of those things which he is being. So it’s nice to know that at least on some level, because Deb is speaking those words, the writers know Dexter is acting like that. I just don’t understand why this Argentina decision could have been executed better, if it even had to happen at all. I know the writers are capable.
Granted, the Argentina decision was executed better this episode than last. There are still some things that I’ve gathered from reading in between the lines, that I wish Dexter had expressed verbally. But he and Deb DID talk. In fact, he was the one who initiated the conversation: “So… how do you feel about us moving?” Read the rest of the review after the jump.
Thanks for finally showing some damn concern, Dex! I just wish there were more instances this season when he would have done this. Said, “So how do you feel?” It’s become pretty clear to me that although he may feel now, he still has difficulty with empathy. It’s like he has to be smacked in the face to be reminded of the emotional effect he has on other people. Which is in part his fault, and in part a product of the way he was raised.
Anyways, the conversation goes as follows and I think there are some really important points in it:
Dexter: So… how do you feel about us moving?
Deb: Scared. My whole family’s moving.
Deb: You’ve always been there. I don’t know what my life looks like without you.
Dexter: Well, maybe it looks better.
Deb: Really? Hanging out with two serial killers? Does it get better than that?
Dexter: So you see my point.
Deb: …I don’t know. Better or worse, you’ve always been there. Moving on without you feels like jumping off a cliff.
Dexter: I know what you mean.
First of all, if I could have had this conversation lengthened ten times over that would have been great. It’s the kind of relating and emoting that these two should have been doing with each other for the past couple episodes, except it just wasn’t there, and it was a huge source of frustration for me. I lament this season’s apparent inability to highlight the importance of Hannah and the importance of Deb simultaneously. I believe it’s completely possible to do so but it just hasn’t been happening… this episode was much better about that though, as I said. Not only is he asking her how she feels, but he’s also expressing to her the way he feels about leaving her. He basically says, “moving on without you feels like jumping off a cliff, too.” And I believe it. I just wish he’d express it verbally more. Moving to Argentina should be giving him a dichotomy of emotions and they’re failing to highlight half of it. I inferred half of it. I knew he didn’t want to leave Deb and that it would be hard for him. But he didn’t show it till now and I just… yeah. You understand what I’m saying. All I have to say now is that, they better not underplay the importance of his pain in leaving her again. It better be damn prominent in the final two episodes.
Another point about that conversation… alright, this is going to sound tangential for a moment but hear me out. I have been discussing the theory for a while that Dexter’s “demons” are his murderous tendencies, and the only way to be free of them is death. The idea of a ‘new start’ where he can shed his demons is one I am apprehensive about, because being a killer is ingrained into his very being and I don’t know if he can be separated from that. But he was about to do it in season 4, and he seems as if he is about to give it a try again and I’m open to it. On the other hand, Deb’s “demon” is literally Dexter. She loves him more than anything, but he is her poison. And her only way to be “set free” is the same way - his death. Or his absence. His absence being him leaving the country. My desire for the end of the series was for both of them to be free of their demons and I feel that his death is the best way to achieve that. (He could still die, we have no idea.) So as much as I hate the idea that he would up and leave Deb, I do think it’s… probably best. Ever since she found out who he was, he was wreaked havoc upon her life no matter how hard he tried not to. Even when she didn’t know, he was causing some kind of mental block in her. And even though she doesn’t want him to leave, even though she doesn’t understand what life is like without him, perhaps moving forward without him is the best thing for her. And that’s where this ties into the conversation they had. When Dexter said… “Maybe it looks better.”
He’s right. They love each other to death, and moving forward without each other feels like jumping off a cliff, but maybe her life looks better without him. And as much as it kills me, it probably does. So I thought him acknowledging his shortcomings to her was a really interesting line to the conversation. But like I said, I wish that conversation had been way more detailed and fleshed out because I feel like their feelings about being separate from each other deserve to be heavily explored. Which is why I’m hoping it’s further addressed in the final two episodes.
Another great part to that scene, was when Deb said something about “your family” and he replied “your family too.” I started tearing up a bit, couldn’t help it. Mostly because, Deb has been feeling so separate and so removed and so walked all over since Hannah came back, and I feel roughly the same, that the fact he reiterated, no, you are my family too just did me in. She needed to hear that aloud… hell, I needed to hear it aloud.
Mostly, I just really loved that whole scene.
Another great aspect of the episode – Quinn and Deb. I knew Quinn and Jamie weren’t going to last, that much was obvious. As I’ve said in other reviews, it appears that Quinn and Jamie maybe could have worked in another life where Deb wasn’t around. Deb broke up with him and he let it be and he kind of lost it for a bit, but this last season here he really tried to just live happily as he could and be a good guy. But with Deb as a constant presence in his life… it made it hard for him to forget how he felt about her.
He did the right thing by breaking up with Jamie after realizing that he was always going to care that much about Deb. And that even though he wasn’t going to let anything happen with Deb, it was still a betrayal to Jamie to feel about Deb that way. I wish he’d told Jamie the truth that he still cared for Deb, but he was trying to spare her, I guess… Anyways, I really respect that when he and Deb had that conversation, Quinn told her “I don’t expect anything from you, because I didn’t think you wanted—“ … One of my greatest frustrations, and one of the biggest clichés with men, is that they expect things from women. But Quinn didn’t expect anything. He bowed out of a relationship he didn’t feel honest in, and he cared about the person he loved without forcing anything. Let her make all the decisions.
Quinn has his problems. He fucks up. But I think he’s become a pretty okay guy.
It also makes total sense to me that Deb is at a place where she can commit to Quinn for good now. She’s been through so much since she and Quinn were last together. I don’t blame her for not wanting to get married – that’s not Deb, really – and I don’t blame her for being terrified at the thought “whoa is this really it, for the rest of my life?”
But she’s in a different place. She’s been to hell and back. I think she longs for the stability that that relationship with Quinn gave her. She doesn’t particularly care about climbing the career ladder anymore, she just wants to do some good in the world and feel okay. That’s what she had when she was with Quinn. And her time away from him, and the things she went through, finally makes her ready for that. I think it’s organic, and I think it feels right. Plus, if she could ever eventually truly be honest with a boyfriend about the things she’s gone through, it’d be with Quinn.
Hannah and Harrison were another highlight for me. Here we’ve got a classic case of “kid doesn’t listen even when you constantly tell him no and then they start bleeding profusely.” First of all, I’ve seen people pissed at Harrison for being “stupid” and I just want to say… do you even know how kids work? Probably not. Give the kid a break. Kids are kids. They don’t have the life experience we do. He’s four, and now he’s learned his lesson. But Hannah – Hannah was so good with him (and he was also the bravest kid ever.) When it happened, I was terrified because well… bleeding profusely is not a good thing. Any time wasted could be very, very bad. I half expected Hannah to waste time scrounging around the house for a hat or something, or to go buy a wig, but she didn’t and as “stupid” as that was I really respect her for it, because it means that that child’s life was her number one priority. More than her and Dexter having a future together – and we know how badly she wants that – she cared for Harrison’s life. If anything, it proved how much she truly loves Dexter, how much she’s actually changed, and how she’s being genuinely honest about everything this season. So thank you for this, Hannah McKay.
Granted, the result is that everything is going to come crashing down. The nurse recognized her, that US Marshal knows she’s in Miami for sure now, and he pretty much knows Deb is housing her. Which puts Deb in an extremely precarious situation. And I’m terrified for her.
On the other side of things, we’ve got Vogel and Saxon. Vogel drove me up the WALL this episode. First she chooses Daniel, but then she sees he’s out of control and realizes that he can’t just roam free. Her wishy-washy and really terrible attempts at trying to connect with Daniel annoyed me to death and… well, look how that worked out for her. She got her neck cut wide open.
But I understand why, and how, Dexter cares so much for her. She knew him from a long time ago. She’s technically the reason he’s not dead or in prison. I think she should have taken a DIFFERENT approach, but had she never been around he’d be worse off than he is. Not to mention, we all know Dexter has mother issues. He watched his real mother die, and it screwed him up. It defined him. And now, he watches his “spiritual” mother die, and this time, he’s going to have to choose how to define himself again. It’s actually extremely tragic that Dexter had to see this, too – for all the mistakes he’s made, for all the times he’s been an asshole these eight years, for all the people he’s hurt… well, he didn’t deserve this. Because I do think that underneath it all, he is largely a product of his environment, and he has a desire to be a good person. He tries. He just doesn’t always quite… make the landing.
On one hand – should he try to take out Saxon, he is choosing killer. Not only that, but should he succeed, it will keep his son, his sister, and his girlfriend safe from him. However, it’s risky, because he could get caught. Especially because this kill is revenge driven. Never has he engaged in such a wild goose chase of revenge, and I am positive it will come bite him in the ass. Especially because Saxon isn’t screwing around, he knows what Dex has to lose, and he could expose him for many things.
Should Dexter forgo his pursuit of Saxon and choose to be a new person, it leaves absolutely everyone he cares about in jeopardy. Not only that, but it lets a guy who has hurt him very much escape with no consequences. I’m sure it doesn’t feel right to him, and it doesn’t really feel right to me either.
In any case… if you’ve watched that preview, you know it’s not going to be that simple. I think that once again, Dexter will try to straddle both worlds, and it will be the end of him. I don’t quite see a way in which Dexter, Hannah, and Deb, will all survive this.
The end is nigh!