Dexter 8.10 “Goodbye Miami” Review: Well, At Least They Killed Someone

Chris King September 9, 2013 0

Dexter 810Even though this final season of Dexter has been a total bore, with the exception of the season’s first three episodes, I will say that something happened last night in “Goodbye Miami” that actually awoken me from my stupor. The Dexter writers killed off Vogel in sweet, throat-slitting, bloody fashion, and while I don’t think that the death was very shocking or that Vogel as a character really had much of a purpose anymore (more on that below), I was still happy to see something final season worthy occur during a Dexter episodes.

For a show that has been a longtime favorite of mine, and one that just came off what I believe was its best season yet, it’s really a shame to see how far Dexter has fallen. I’m no longer just making fun of the Miami Metro subplots anymore; I’m also laughing at Dexter saying “Argentina” fifty times an episode, as he plans to run away with Hannah, or Deb and Quinn’s stupid, nonsensical romantic storyline.

I’m really hoping that Vogel’s death will finally inject some energy and urgency into these final two episodes of Dexter and that the show will once again regain its footing, but to be honest, who am I kidding? The writers will probably just have Harrison fall down the stairs next week or Deb suddenly fall in love with Dexter again, continuing all this pointless soap opera crap while avoiding the real, interesting drama that Dexter has sitting right in front of it. Dexter and Deb’s relationship, the possibility of Dexter getting caught, the validity of Dexter’s humanity, and Dexter finally paying (in some way) for all the death and destruction he has caused are a few of the main issues that the show explored somewhat in its earlier episodes this year but has since forgotten and replaced with romantic triangles and awful actors (seriously, Vogel’s son, the Brain Surgeon, is trying WAY too hard to be menacing).

So let’s get back to Vogel, because her death was one of the only somewhat interesting parts of last night’s bland episode. The final image of “Goodbye Miami” is Dexter holding a dead, blood-soaked Vogel in his arms, broken by the fact that he has lost another person that he was so close to. However, I never felt that Dexter and Vogel were that close. Sure, there was that one time that Dexter allowed her and Deb to accompany him on his boat as he dumped a body, when he told that he “wanted to be with family.” However, aside from that one line and the fact that Vogel was the one who helped form Harry’s Code, the connection between Dexter and Vogel never felt very fleshed out for me and was something that the writers simply told us (through the obnoxious use of voiceover and Ghost Harry) rather than showed us through the characters’ interactions.

While an argument can be made that Vogel was like a surrogate mother to Dexter, someone closer to him than his real mother because she was essential in molding him into the man—and by extension killer—that he is today, the fact that so many of their scenes together were essentially therapy sessions and arguments over morality and, for the most part, rarely displayed any amount of affection or love made it hard to like Vogel and also made it difficult to buy into the belief that Dexter cared so much about her. Overall, Vogel’s death on its own doesn’t mean much, but if it causes something to change in Dexter and can make these final two episodes more suspenseful and interesting, I can try to ignore the hollowness of the characters’ relationship and just attempt to enjoy some actual entertaining drama, something that has been missing for way too long during this final season of Dexter.Dexter

Other thoughts:

- If you are interested in debating/discussing how Dexter may end, I would recommend checking out this website, created by Hannah Bloom. It’s a cool interactive site that allows you to explore possible finale outcomes and predict which one you think is the most likely.

- Miami Metro Update: Jamie and Quinn broke up, then Deb rejoined the force, and she and Quinn hooked up (RIP independent and awesome Deb. You’ve been fantastic to watch these past two seasons).

- The fact that the writers really had Harrison fall off a treadmill and then need to go to the hospital in order to have Hannah seen by someone and therefore cause the marshal to suspect Dexter again is just some seriously lazy writing.

- As I said before, could the Brain Surgeon be any less threatening? And I swear if he isn’t taken care of by the end of next week’s episode or hasn’t seriously caused Dexter any harm by the end of the season (Vogel’s death doesn’t count), I’m going to lose it. I want to focus on the character of Dexter and the possibility of him finally having to face the consequences of his actions. I don’t want to see him running around trying to find and kill another serial killer for the series’ final two episodes.

- The one “saving grace” scene from this entire episode was a small one between Dexter and Deb, when she arrives home to find him outside with Hannah and Harrison. When Dexter comes inside and shares a beer with Deb, as they talk about his “new family,” there was such a sweet, real sadness to the scene, and both Michael C. Hall and, especially, Jennifer Carpenter made all the dialogue and looks feel entirely earned and genuine. I wish there had been more scenes like that throughout this entire season.

What did everyone else think about last night’s episode of Dexter?