Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Showtime’s Dexter #808 “Are We There Yet”

Dexter and Zach have dinner at Grandma Vogel's
Bad Murder JuJu
By Catherine Giordano

There’s a lot of bad-murder-juju in every episode of Showtime’s “Dexter,” and it’s particularly prevalent in episode 808, “Are We There Yet” which aired on August 18, 2013. We go from scenes that make us think of one big happy family to scenes that make us think of one big murder-happy family.

Hannah and Dexter set off on a road trip to murder-ville just like any couple going away to the Keys for a nice weekend.  Dexter has discovered that Zach has a room in a motel there and believing that Zach murdered Cassie, Dexter plans to kill Zach because he is an out-of-control psychopath unlike Dexter who is the very-much-under-control psychopath. But Zach convinces Dexter that he did not kill Cassie; he was busy killing a rapist friend from high-school at the time.  It appears that Zach was framed for this murder with his blood placed under Cassie’s fingernails.  

Dexter and Hannah clean up after Zach’s latest murder, disposing of the body that was in the trunk of Zach’s car.  Then they all drive back to Miami together--Dexter driving, Hannah in the front passenger seat, and Zach in the back seat asking, “Are we there yet?” Is this a happy family or what?

But wait it gets better. They all head over to Dr. Vogel’s house for a nice family dinner.  Vogel is grandma in this scenario, and she just happens to have a secret-recipe casserole ready. She insists that everyone stay for dinner. Secret recipe? Are we supposed to read something into that, especially when she wants to make sure no one is a vegetarian.   

Debra heads down to the Keys also. She has persuaded Elway that the firm should try to capture Hannah because there is $250,000 in reward money on her head. She tells Elway she knows Hannah is Miami. Debra has hidden a GPS tracker on Dexter’s car and she follows him to Zach’s motel room. She confronts Hannah, but eventually has to back off because Dexter loves Hannah. So is Deb now accepting Hannah into the family? Will she be the sister Debra never had?

Talking about family, Dexter’s son, Harrison, is so cute, I think he is going to have a cameo appearance in every episode from now on.

And let’s not forget the new daddy-daughter relationship between Matsuka and Niki. Niki had been working as a topless waitress and Masuka was so grossed out by the site of “daughter-boobs” that he found a job for Niki in the crime lab. Niki is very new agey, so she is doing a sage cleansing of the lab to get rid of the bad murder juju. Girl, there is not enough sage in the world to dispel the murder juju that hangs over all the characters on this show.

Dexter has gotten Hannah a new passport (with a new identity) and the plan is for her to fly to the Bahamas early in the morning. From there she will disappear again. Where will she go? Dexter wryly suggests Argentina. This harks back to something Hannah told Dexter back in season 7.  Argentina has always represented a magical place to Hannah, a place where one could escape one’s problems. 

They are saying good-bye, but Dexter and Hannah cannot bear to part.  An extended scene of passionate lovemaking ensues. Dexter’s body protectively shields Hannah’s body while giving us a nice look at Dexter’s butt. (I liked that the show did not go the usual route and show Hannah in all her naked glory.)  The next morning Dexter takes Hannah to the waiting plane, but at the last moment, he asks her to stay.  It’s a wonderful loving moment, but I suspect by the end of the season, we will look back at this moment as the “this-is-the-moment-when–it-all-started-to-go-wrong” moment of the week.

There is a lot that can go wrong. Debra may have decided not to pursue Hannah anymore, (in fact, it appears that she has decided to leave the private detective agency), but Elway is taking it up where she left off. He’s now trying to find Hannah.

Things have already started to go wrong for our little happy family.  When Dexter returns to his apartment, he finds Zach sprawled in an arm-chair. Closer inspection shows that Zach is dead and his skull has been cut open “Brain-Surgeon” style. This is the I-told-you-you-so” moment of the week.  I told you the Brain Surgeon would strike again.

Zach is dead, and just when I was starting t like him.  His boyish charm, naivete, and desire to please were getting to me. His father seemed to be cold and rejecting—the give-him-everything-money-can-buy-but-never-your-time-or-love type. And Dexter was starting to be the “nice daddy” and Zach seemed so happy with his new daddy.   

As with the previous victims, Dr. Vogel has been gifted with a jar containing a piece of the victim’s brain. And it just so happens that after the family dinner, Hannah and Dexter left together and Vogel was tasked with driving Zach to Dexter’s apartment. I’ve been saying that Vogel is the brain surgeon, although I thought that was a far-out-there idea when I first suggested it in my review of episode 5. Is this further evidence or is it a red-herring?

One more far-out-there thought. If Zach didn’t kill Cassie than who did?  Was it her new boyfriend, Oliver Saxon? Is Oliver somehow connected to Vogel—perhaps her long-lost son. Is Oliver feeling some sibling rivalry towards Zach and Dexter? Did Oliver kill Zach?

There is plenty of murder juju to go around. 

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