Dexter Season Premiere: The User's Mailbox is Full

Episode 1
A Beautiful Day

Six months have passed since last season (thank god), and some things have changed. For Dexter, things have gone back to “normal.” He’s still at Miami Metro, he’s dating big breasted women, and the actor that plays Harrison has been recast (at least I think so).

There’s a memorial service for LaGuerta. Angel gives a short speech, saying how “everyone misses her.” Speak for yourself. It was about damn time she got what was coming to her—namely Dex and Deb murdering her and covering it up.

Oh, and the memorial? An awful white concrete bench. How fitting that it’s as boring as she was. Even Angel thinks it’s tacky. See, he’s having trouble letting go; he still has boxes of her stuff back from when they were an item. Oh, and LaGuerta’s death made Angel rejoin Miami Metro. What, wasn’t his “I’m gonna retire and open a restaurant” storyline working for you?

Everyone wonders where Deb is. She quit the force, that much is obvious, but Dex seems cagey about her whereabouts.

Turns out things have gone downhill for Deb. She’s in a sleazy motel room with a scruffy shirtless dude doing lines of coke and being generally gross. So it ain’t all bad. Scruffy guy is looking for a fence, and no, not the white picket kind.

Dex goes to Deb’s place, fearing she might be dead. She hasn’t answered any of his calls in months, and her voicemail is filled to the max. Ghost Dad shows up to offer yet more never-heeded good advice. He tells Dex to leave it alone; Deb doesn’t want to see him, so just leave her be. Dex is the problem, she disappeared from him.

Not satisfied with that, Dex goes to her new place of employment, a private bounty hunting organization. I think. Sure, let’s go with that. Anyway, we’re introduced to Elway, and he tells Dex Deb hasn’t check in in weeks. She likes the “down and dirty” cases, too. He does give Dex the name of her current assignment, a thief named Briggs. Want to guess as to who he is? You don’t need to guess.

Dex is called to a crime scene, with one of the more interesting murders this show has seen. At first it looks like a simple shooting, but when Dex lifts the victim’s head, he finds that it’s been sliced open, and part of the skull is gone; there’s even a chunk of brain removed.
At Miami Metro, Dex looks into Briggs, and yes, it’s the guy Deb is shacking up with. Dex figures out her banking password and discovers she’s in Ft Lauderdale.

He stakes out the one grocery store that she seems to frequent based on her banking statement, and sure enough there she is, looking very...low rent shall we say. And she and Briggs are all over each other. Dex confronts her in the cereal aisle.
Cereal/serial joke goes here.
He thinks she’s gone off the deep end. Deb assures him she’s trying to find out where Briggs stashed the jewel from his latest robbery. Which includes sleeping with him. Oh, and she hasn’t talked to him in a month because she doesn’t want to. “I shot the wrong person...” Deb says to him before leaving with Briggs.

Ghost Dad talks to Dex on the way home, telling him to leave her alone; he’ll only make things worse. Does Dex listen? Of course not! He’s too busy almost murdering a guy who cut him off in traffic. To say Dex has some anger issues this episode is an understatement.

Remember how I mentioned that things have changed in six months? Here’s another thing: Jamie and Quinn are totally fucking now. 

And despite Jamie’s amazing ass, it’s still super gross. And she still lives with Angel, her brother.

After having sex with *shudder* Quinn, she distracts Angel so Quinn can sneak out by helping him go through some of LaGuerta’s stuff. Is having sex with Quinn a step up from creepy intern guy last season? I really can’t tell.

Next day at MM, the gang has a debriefing by Captain Matthews, where he introduces them to Evelyn Vogel (Charlotte Rampling), a renowned psychiatrist known for her research on psychopaths. She talks about the part of the brain that was taken from the victim; seems it’s the part that processes empathy. Which is something psychopaths rarely possess. We also learn that they found no DNA or fingerprints, and that this murder was planned.

And what does Dex do when he meets someone new? He researches them! Angel interrupts Dex’s research on Vogel to give him one of LaGuerta’s vases. “Gee, thanks,” Dex says. “This will look great in the trash.” (I’m paraphrasing...or am I?)

Deb’s having a lovely time in her den of sin, when Briggs goes outside to meet his fence, a fellow by the name of El Sapo. While Briggs is outside, Deb calls Quinn to ask him about El Sapo. She has to cut the convo short when Briggs comes back inside.
Meanwhile, Vogel asks Dex to meet her in the morgue. They talk a bit about the victim, but Vogel really wants to talk about the Bay Harbor Butcher. She’s fascinated by his belief system, a psychopath with moral guidelines. She’s sad that she never got to investigate the BHB, but I think we all know she knows the truth.

After the morgue, Dex chats with Capt Matthews about Vogel. The two of them were colleagues way back when. And it seems like a very chance occurrence. And maybe it is just a case of luck that she showed up now, but I doubt it.

Quinn talks to Dex briefly about Deb, seems that El Sapo isn’t a fence, but a hitman. Seems Briggs stole from the mob. Whoops! And now Deb is in significantly more danger than before.

Dex is about to rush to Deb’s rescue when Jamie swings by to drop Harrison off. Turns out she had requested the night off. Oh, and Harrison is such a dick. He’s touching expensive equipment and being an annoying little shit. While Dex is investigating El Sapo, Harrison breaks LaGuerta’s vase and Dex yells at him. Yup, anger issues. And since Dex isn’t unhinged enough this episode, he takes his toddler-aged son with him to find Deb.

But don’t worry, Deb is watching cartoons with Briggs in the dark. I mean, how fucking creepy is that? I mean, sure, Briggs is smoking dope, but who watches cartoons in the dark?
This image does nothing for the creepy darkness of the scene itself.
It’s unnerving is all. I imagine that’s what pedophiles do when they’re home alone. Oh, and he also gets a call that El Sapo is on his way to the motel.

Dex has run into a problem; he doesn’t know where to find Deb. So he calls and then shows up at Quinn’s apartment—Jamie’s there, too—and he gives Dex the name of the motel. He also tries calling Jamie, but no luck there.
Wonder why. Yep, still gross.
He pulls into the motel parking lot—with Harrison in the back seat, don’t forget—and snoops around till he finds Deb’s room. She doesn’t give a shit when he tells her about El Sapo. She just wants him to leave; she can’t forget all the bad decisions she’s made that she can’t take back.

Briggs finds them and Dex attacks him and stabs the scruffy jewel thief in the heart. 
Deb is understandably furious with Dex. He tries to say he was saving her, because she’s lost. But Deb sees it differently: Dex is the lost one, he needs her, not the other way around. Dex leaves while Deb calls in the murder to the cops.

Outside, Dex goes to his car only to find that Harrison has disappeared. He finds him soon after. Hey, Dex, I’m pretty sure child locks come standard on most cars nowadays, you might want to look into that. I think that if you’re a parent, you’d want to make sure your gas-guzzling SUV came standard.
Deb answers the cops’ questions—she also got a lead on where Briggs stashed the jewels—and is safe for the moment, but El Sapo is lurking nearby...

Later, Dex does some soul-searching and realizes that Deb’s right, he is lost. The next day, while he’s wallowing in his emo (and sitting on LaGuerta’s bench, just to twist the knife some more), Vogel shows up and hands him a manila envelope. It contains some of Dex’s childhood drawings.
Nothing to see here...totally normal childhood drawings...
He chases her down and questions her. “You can’t kill me...because of Harry’s code,” she says.
You know what, I kind of enjoyed this episode. Although after the atrocious 6th season and the meandering, frustrating 7th, the bar was set very low. But I think there is real potential here. And seeing as how this is the last season, let’s hope the Dexter team has brought their A-game.

Also, how awesome is it that Charlotte Rampling is in this season? If you’re unfamiliar with her work, you should check her out. She’s had an amazing career. We’ve had a lot of amazing actors with brilliant careers on TV this year: Diana Rigg on Game of Thrones and Rutger Hauer on True Blood, to name a few.

Till next week!