While he's dated many girls over the seasons and has let in each one a little bit more than the last -- Hannah was the first to truly see who he is and even revel in it -- Dexter has never let his family in to see who he really is.
Rita went to her grave thinking her husband was a good person. Harrison's too young and naive to even suspect anything. And while Deb knows her brother is a killer, he's never shown her all aspects of that part of his life. Until now.
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The episodes starts in the middle of a therapy session with Deb and Dexter, with Vogel as their therapist. "You almost left my son an orphan," Dexter spits at his sister for trying to drown him in the last episode.
Deb quietly takes the majority of the blame for everything that's led them to this moment. It's Dexter at his most selfish and temperamental -- and to this reviewer, unlikable -- but Vogel winds up taking Deb's side, much to Dexter's anger.
"Family therapy ... who needs it?" Dexter thinks to himself. Family is a burden to Dexter, until it's threatened, of course.
When AJ Yates -- who may or may not be the Brain Surgeon -- kidnaps Vogel, Dexter and Deb snap into action to try and rescue their surrogate mother.
Dexter isn't able to help rescue Vogel right away, however, because Jamie has arranged a double date with them, Quinn and new girl Cassie.
Luckily for Dexter, Cassie lies to Jamie to help Dexter get out of the date and go help Deb rescue Vogel. AJ is about to cut one of Vogel's toes -- which gives us the name of the episode, "That Little Piggy" -- when Vogel starts slapping him until he bleeds.
While he goes to get cleaned up, Vogel calls Dexter and Deb's boss is able to illegally trace the number. Deb and Dexter rescue Vogel, but Yates is gone. Or so they think.
He was hiding under the bed, ready to kill Deb when Dexter stabs him through the bed. Vogel and Deb then accompany Dexter as he dumps the body in the ocean -- as he's done so many times before.
He's letting his family in to every aspect of his life as a killer, not just in the killing, but in the clean-up as well. "I wanted to be with family," Dexter tells them.
Masuka, meanwhile, becomes suspicious of his new family. He thinks his daughter might just be using him for his money, so he asks Deb to investigate her.
It's nice that Masuka is finally getting a plot line that doesn't involve him being a creep for once in the final season, but it does seem a bit out of place.
(The case of the week is also all about family, involving a father accused of killing his mistress. It's obvious and on-the-nose and not worth discussing.)
In the final season, it's great to see Dexter exploring matters of family and what defines one. It's just a shame that it's doing so at such a deliberately slow, uneventful pace.