Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Showtime's Dexter "Scar Tissue" #804 "Bubbling Up"

by Catherine Giordano

The plot is bubbling over on Showtime’s Dexter, season 8, episode 4, titled “Scar Tissue,” that aired on Sunday July 21, 2013. Most seasons we get only one or two serial killers for Dexter to stalk and eventually kill. For this last season, we get a new serial killer every week. Who knew Miami is such a hotbed of serial killers?  
Dexter and Debra take a car ride before a fateful turn.

Dexter hasn’t even dispatched last week’s killer whose cuisine favors human organ meats, and he has another one to deal with. This week the serial killer is AJ Yates who currently works as a cable installer. He seems to be just a normal guy, but Dexter is stalking him, he sees him remove his hat and is shocked to see that Yates has a scar on his scull that matches the skull carving pattern of “The Brain Surgeon.”  Dexter eventually get’s into Yates’ house and discovers a shoe closet displaying women’s shoes—only one shoe of a pair. Dexter lifts some partial prints from the shoes so he can check the prints for a match to dead or missing women.

Dexter doesn’t know it, but Yates is also in the house, in his basement lair. A young blond women is down there with him, obviously passed out from torture, or maybe dead. Yates also has surveillance cameras throughout the house so he can see Dexter’s every move. (Two small questions:  Why doesn’t Dexter notice the cameras, and why wasn’t Yates’ car present to tip Dexter off that Yates was at home?)

Yates silently creeps up the stairs with a knife intent on murdering the intruder, but he retreats when he hears Dexter talking to Vogel on the phone. It appears that Yates retreated specifically because he discovered a connection between Dexter and Vogel. Is Yates another one of Vogel’s “creatures”?. We have one clue: Yates tells his blond victim, “She has found herself a hero.”

After Dexter has confirmed that the prints from the shoes are a match for dead or missing young women, Dexter returns to the house with killing on his mind. He finds that Yates has apparently left in a hurry, leaving a lot of stuff behind, but taking the shoes. Dexter sees a sliver of light under the door jamb and goes down into the basement to investigate. He is rummaging through Yates’ stuff when he hears a thump. The sound came from a tool cabinet in the room. Dexter finds a woman inside, stabbed and left for dead. However, since she was crammed into the cabinet, the pressure of her legs against her torso had stopped the bleeding. Dexter ties her up in the same position and takes her to the emergency room of a nearby hospital, where he drops her off and escapes without being seen.

Dexter returns to the house with Vogel. They discover plenty of evidence that Yates is “The Brain Surgeon” including tools and an instruction manual “Brain Surgery for Dummnies.” (Just kidding about the manual, but they did find a chart related to brain anatomy.) 

They also discover a computer with a folder for Vogel's patient files. How did Yates get them? Vogel claims not to know. Even more damning, Dexter finds a file with Vogel’s  notes about him dated two weeks earlier. She describes Dexter as an unfeeling person who only thinks he has feelings for Debra. Dexter boils over with rage when he sees this evidence that Vogel has been treating him like a “lab rat.” He vows to have nothing more to do with her. After he kills Yates, of course.

Yates has a father in a nursing home. Dexter sneaks into the home, and calls Yates from the home’s phone pretending to be a staff member. He tells Yates that he needs to come right away because his father will die within a few hours. When Yates arrives, Dexter tries to inject him with his customary sedative, but Yates sees him and there is a struggle. Yates pulls the plugs from his father’s oxygen tank in order to set off the alarms and bring the nursing staff to the room. Yates escapes out the window; Dexter hides behind the door and escapes while the nurses have their backs turned, the nurses reconnect the old man to the tubes keeping him alive.  

Vogel has been treating Debra for PTSD. She has brought her back to the container where she killed LaGuerta. She is making Debra relive the events of that night over and over to desensitize her and to show her that she had no choice. “You will always choose Dexter.” she tells Debra.

The treatment seems to be working because Debra has simmered down and is looking and acting like her old self. The newly calm Debra goes to the police station and tells Dexter she wants to talk to him. Dexter is very happy that Debra is no longer freezing him out. They go for a ride in Dexter’s car and Debra tells Dexter that she has found a tape of Vogel in session with their father, Harry. On the tape, Harry is seen to be distraught because he came upon Dexter in the midst of a grisly killing. Despite his years as a police detective, he couldn’t stomach it. Debra asks Dexter if their father killed himself. Dexter confesses that he found out a few years ago that their father had not died of a heart attack, but instead had killed himself. Harry’s suicide had been covered up by his cop buddies.

Suddenly, Debra reaches over and grabs the wheel of the car, turning the car off the road and into a lake. This is the “does-suicide-run-in-the-family” moment of the week. The car is beginning to sink and we see both Debra and Dexter, unconscious inside the car. A man who happened to be nearby fishing in the lake, jumps in and pulls Debra out of the car and gets her back to shore. Debra comes to just as the car is covered over by the water. We see the air bubbles rising .and Dexter in the car, still unconscious.

Suddenly, Debra dives into the water, swims to the car, dives under, and pulls the still unconscious Dexter to safety.

This was an Interesting turn of events for me because this type of scenario was on my mind. Just before I watched this episode, I was wondering if the series will end with Debra and Dexter as a murder/suicide or a double suicide. After Dexter left the nursing home, he thought, “To save his own life, Yates was willing to take his fathers’.” Is this foreshadowing for something Dexter might do? Dexter thinks he is better than Yates when it comes to family. Is he?
That is the trouble with knowing that this is the last season. I’m watching the show with thoughts of the end bubbling up and, thus, everything that happens on the show is seen with the impending end in my mind. 

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