This week on Dexter, we get a lot of answers to lingering season-long questions -- but are we satisfied with the results?
We now know who the Brain Surgeon is. We know why Zogel began to try to understand and help psychopaths earlier in her career. And we know why that iconic song "Make Your Own Kind of Music" kept creeping up in episodes this season.
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But are those answers satisfying from a dramatic perspective? While it's always challenging to get the audience to care about new characters, it just seems like past seasons' bad guys have had more charisma and depth than the Brain Surgeon/Oliver Saxon does this season.
The Brain Surgeon is Unmasked
Dexter starts off the episode determined to find Zach's killer. It might be more a matter of Dexter needing to kill the person who murdered him as opposed to him actually wanting justice for someone Hannah claims meant so much to him. (Didn't Dexter and Zach meet maybe two weeks ago?)
At Zach's place, Dexter uncovers hair that he thinks Zach pulled off his killer and stuck aside for Dexter to find.
When Dexter runs a DNA analysis on the hair, he learns the person they belong to have a familiar match to Vogel, who admits that, yes, she once had two sons: Daniel and Richard.
One day, she found Richard at the bottom of the swimming pool, dead. She realized Daniel had killed him, and as she describes her son, Daniel, the psychopath, it, of course, sounds like she's describing Dexter.
She claims Daniel died in a mental hospital in a fire. Thinking he's somehow still alive, Dexter runs age regression photo analysis on a photo of Daniel as a child and, after he plays with it a bit more, begins to suspect that he looks awfully like Oliver Saxon, the guy dating Cassie. (Five points to the commenters last week that fingered him as the Brain Surgeon.)
Dexter needs proof, so he steals garbage from Oliver's trash to try and match his DNA, which he does.
Dexter goes to see Vogel, who is happy to hear her son is still alive, and doesn't want her "other" son (Dexter) to kill him. Dexter lies and says he won't if she helps him find Daniel. She arranges a meeting with her son.
Later, Dexter drugs Vogel using one of Hannah's potions so he can kill Saxon. He goes to meet Saxon where he was planning to meet Vogel. At that diner, Saxon plays "Make Your Own Kind of Music" on repeat -- apparently, he liked this song as a child. (Really? Again, Dexter, after how iconic this song was on Lost, couldn't you have picked something different?)
Saxon gives up that his mother is coming and leaves. Dexter follows him, but when he gets to his car, his tires has been slashed. He rushes to Vogel to warn her, but she wants them to leave her alone.
After Dexter leaves, we the audience see Saxon is safe inside Vogel's house, ready for breakfast. Vogel had to prove to him that she didn't send Dexter after him.
Dexter, meanwhile, plans to eventually "kill Saxon and leave Miami forever." With Hannah, of course.
Will Dexter and Hannah Get a Happy Ending?
One of the hardest pills to swallow about this final season of Dexter is the very idea that Hannah and Dexter are truly in love with each other. The show seems convinced, but me as a viewer isn't.
"We're going to make a life together," Dexter tells Vogel of Hannah.
Lem from The Shield (also known as Deputy Marshal Clayton), however, is determined to find Hannah. So much so that Dexter, of all places, hides her out at Deb's.
You know Deb. The woman Hannah tried to kill last season. Seriously?!
(Of course, Deb has her own problems this episode as Quinn makes a move on her, as we've been expecting him to all season long. Jamie probably won't be surprised at all when she finds out.)
Back to Hannah. Apparently, even Harrison loves her and wishes she could be his mom. I know he doesn't remember Rita that well, but did Hannah make that much of an impression on him last season?
If it's not Clayton to end Hannah and Dexter's chance at a happy ending, it might be Jacob, Deb's boss. He's pretty angry that Deb didn't tell him that Hannah and Dexter were involved.
Either way, when a show goes out of its way to have characters say over and over again that they love one another and that they'll run away together, you just know that's never going to happen.