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.

Showtime

Better? Better. Sunday's Dexter episode was better than recent hours.  Zach Hamilton got a personality transplant, Dex bared his booty, and a serial killer who we thought/hoped was dead returned.

This week's episode is titled "Are We There Yet." Some fans have been saying exactly that about the show in recent weeks. And the first half was likewise pretty sleepy. Then four killer characters came together and Dexter got a pulse. Here's 11 things we learned this week, followed by some new theories:

1. Masuka's daughter took the job: Nicki has opted for part-time employment in the Miami Metro. Most people don't know this, but serving buffalo wings topless is exactly the experience a major metropolitan police department requires for scoring a job in its forensics lab. Nicki is also apparently a New Age type, and is worried about all that negative energy floating around in the murder lab. Masuka introduces Dex as the "king of spatter" -- oh, if he only knew!

2. Cassie has Zach Hamilton's blood under her nails: So obviously Dex's Mini Me killed her, right? I love the slyness of this Dex voiceover when he's mulling Cassie's death: "What a waste. He could have had a great future." Not what a waste that his poor neighbor died, but what a waste of great potential serial killer -- very Dexter Morgan, that line. Later, Dex goes home and we get a shot of Cassie's traumatized friend Jaime doing Dexter's laundry. Jeez, Dex, offer your nanny the day off!

3. Quinn is still obsessed with catching Zach: Even after he was told to lay off this case, Quinn is determined to prove Zach is a killer. He says something strange: "You see any of Zach's DNA at crime scene, you let me know." This is sort of an obvious thing to say (finding DNA at a crime scene is Dexter's job) BUT given the revelations later in this hour, could it be a hint that Quinn was the person who planted the blood there? We're probably over-thinking this.

4. Deb shows promise as a Dexter recapper: Deb visits Dex and they fight about Hannah McKay, with Deb wanting a 1-10 scale measurement on how close the woman is to being dead. Dex insists his serial killer ex-girlfriend who just broke into Deb's house and drugged her "isn't a threat." Naturally, Deb is rather skeptical of this claim. "She's using you and you still want to protect her ... you're lying to yourself" and adds "She's a murderer, she needs to be locked up" (a rather ironic statement). But my favorite Deb lines are were when Dex tries to explain Hannah's actions in recent episodes. Deb wants to know: Why would Hannah poison them and leave Dex on the side of the road as a means of asking for help? And why didn't Hannah just have the confidence to kill her husband herself? Deb later rants: "That's what she does! She murders people and gets away with it!" Deb should recap this show since this is pretty much exactly what I wrote last week. It's almost like the writer of this week's Dexter episode is annoyed at having to explain last week's episode.

The honest context of this scene is that Deb is implying that Hannah doesn't have Dexter's best interests at heart and is somehow playing him. But is she just manipulating him to get closer to him or for some other purpose? Perhaps Deb's bringing this up because there's a whole layer to last week's "leave him on the side of the road" stunt that's going to pay off later. Did Hannah do something with Dex while he was unconscious? Again, are we giving the show too much credit, or not enough?

NEXT: Zach gets a personality; Dex shows his pale passenger

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