Dexter recap: The Big Brain Theory

Dex and Hannah take a wild road trip and a serial killer from the past returns to claim another victim
Ep. 08 | Aired Aug 18, 2013

THE SINCEREST FORM OF ANNOYANCE: Dexter (Michael C. Hall) tries to convince Zach (Sam Underwood) to stop imitating him.


10. Hannah isn't leaving Miami: Dex drops Hannah off at her hotel room and they blather to increase sexual tension. Once they start making out, my inner 13-year-old is thinking: Bet they won't show her naked. And they don't. Instead, they show Dexter butt, which shocks me for a wonkish reporter-y reason -- usually cable series stars get naked in the first couple seasons until they renegotiate their contracts and then start refusing to shed their clothes. Dex flips over a couple more times, showing his butt from more angles. And-- whoa! Dex has sex naked except for dark socks? Yikes, is he the Eliot Spitzer of sexy serial killers? The next morning Dex asks Hannah to stay in Miami and she does. That's a great idea! I'm sure it will work out.

11. The brain surgeon returns! Dexter finds Zach brainless and Vogel has a new trophy box. The brain surgeon theorists on the comment boards can celebrate: Yates was not the brain surgeon. He/she is still out there. A few episodes back, I predicted Yates was the brain surgeon despite the plot holes in that solution because it seemed like there were even more plot holes for the killer to be yet another elaborate misdirection, especially if it's Vogel. I'm sure many of you are, once again, thinking Dr. Vogel, yes?

My theories having not seen beyond this episode or even next week's preview:

1. Here's my stab at Vogel's secret: One of Dexter's earliest victims was Dr. Vogel's husband ... that's not a bad theory, right? But ideally the secret should impact the action moving forward and I'm unsure how that would -- unless Dr. Vogel is also the brain surgeon and Dexter is her ultimate target. Or: Is her supposedly dead husband the brain surgeon? Ahhh, that could be it -- he was a doctor, after all, and there could be all sorts of reasons he'd have a grudge against his ex-wife. But at this point in the season, wouldn't the brain surgeon be a character we've already met?

2. Brain surgeon theory. The easiest candidate is Cassie's boyfriend since we don't know anything about him. Deb? ... I mean ... the Brain Surgeon is killing serial killers, true, but is also about tormenting Dr. Vogel, and Deb was in her motel-sex-coke spiral when all this started and didn't know Vogel yet. Quinn? Masuka? Matthews? Batista? Nope, not unless we've been wildly misled about their characters. Elway? Again, no connection with Vogel and wildly out of character. Somebody from a previous season? It would be hilarious if it was Lumen ... but not in a good way. Which leaves Dr. Vogel. Maybe her first victim was her husband and all those brain pieces are her trophies. I previously dismissed the idea it might be Vogel because that solution seemed to have more plot holes than rage-filled Yates being the killer: Why would she put boxes on her own doorstep and then look surprised to find them when nobody was around? Why would she presumably manipulate Yates into violently kidnapping her, when he came so close to killing her and Dexter barely found her in time? The only motive she'd have for killing Zach Hamilton, who she nurtured and embraced The Code, is if everything she's previously said about the value of teaching The Code is utter b.s. ... and if that's the case, then pretty much everything she's said and done this season is in contradiction to her being the brain surgeon. So I'm going with Vogel's husband, Cassie's boyfriend or, long shot, Vogel herself.

At this point, I want my own brain to be quiet because this is all making it hurt! Let me know what you thought of this week's hour and any theories you have.

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