One of the things that's been irksome about this final season of Dexter is how disparate and seemingly random so many of the plot lines seem to be.
This week's episode, "Are We There Yet?" seems to be finally attempting to tie all of them together ... but this reviewer still can wonder in frustration, "Are we there ... at the series finale ... yet?"
The episode opens where the last one ended -- at Cassie's crime scene.
Dexter notices blood under Cassie's fingernails. He quickly confirms it's Zach's blood but lies to Masuka about it.
"What a waste," Dexter wonders about Zach. "He could have had a great future."
Dexter has to act quickly because Quinn isn't as easily fooled as Masuka. Quinn notices the similarities in Cassie's murder and the person Zach actually did kill. Vogel tries to talk Dexter out of murdering Zach, but Dexter is on the hunt.
Hannah joins Dexter in the hunt and they track Zach down to where he's staying. Dexter finds a huge set of knives (as he would) and begins to set up his kill room.
Quinn, meanwhile, meets up with the guy who was dating Cassie. He claims they talked about a life together -- what?! How long were they dating? Quinn ignores that fact, as we the viewer are supposed to, and shows him a photo of Zach to try and positively identify him as the killer.
Meanwhile, when Zach returns to his room, Dexter confronts him and Zach claims innocence. He claims he was going after someone named Sean Decker. He claimed Decker killed someone on spring break two years ago and he had to pay for what he did.
Just in case the audience is oblivious, Dexter thinks, "He was following the code without even knowing it."
Of course, Zach isn't as good at this yet as Dexter is and he has Decker's body in his trunk. Dexter is mad that he didn't have a plan, but he helps Zach get rid of the body while Hannah cleans up Zach's room.
Deb comes in -- she's tracked them -- but doesn't hurt or arrest Hannah, despite trying to get Jacob, her boss, to do it earlier.
Deb just seemingly leaves because next thing you know, we're at Vogel's where she's insisting Zach, Dexter and Hannah all join her for dinner.
Over the meal, Vogel observes, "You're [Dexter and Hannah] obviously quite taken
with each other ... the truth is, you make a good couple. And probably a bad one, too."
Everyone starts to muse over whether or not someone tried to frame Zach for Cassie's murder, and that theory is later confirmed when Dexter returns home to find Zach's dead body in his apartment -- with half his skull cut off and revealing his brain inside. (Part of it, naturally, is sent to Vogel, confirming that -- duh -- of course the Brain Surgeon is still alive.)
Dexter dumps Zach's body and a plot line that had potential -- the idea of Dexter finally, properly teaching someone to be like him -- comes to a screeching halt.
Paving the Way for the Final Few Episodes
The other bulk of the episode is spent on trying to believably put Dexter and Deb back together as a couple, only to lay the track work for them to be broken up -- seemingly by Deb's boss, who initially refuses to help look for her but eventually finds her with Dexter at the end of the episode after they have sex.
Dexter will do anything to protect Hannah. So we have to assume if it's a choice between Jacob and Hannah, Dexter will choose Hannah, right? That probably won't sit well with Deb, who may finally learn she can't choose her brother over other people she cares about.
We also hear the "Make Your Own Kind of Music" song yet again in a Dexter episode. The first time we heard it this season, you can't help but feel that connection to a famous Lost episode. Now, it's just odd and there has to be something to it. Leave your theories in the comments below on why it's now been used twice.