Dexter recap: The Doctor Is Out

Dr. Evelyn Vogel is the latest mother figure to violently exit Dexter's life in 'Goodbye, Miami'
Ep. 10 | Aired Sep 8, 2013

Pillow Talk: Dexter and Hannah continue to make plans for happily ever after in Argentina in "Goodbye, Miami."

For the second time in his life, Dexter Morgan lost a mother. A "Goodbye, Miami" to you, too, Evelyn Vogel, the Doctor Franken-Shrinker who created the internal operating system for the unfeeling terminator that our "heroic" serial killer has been for most of his life. She was slain by her biological son, Oliver (formerly Daniel), Dexter’s latest, last doppelganger and the measure of the monster he could have been: A child of tragedy, warped by neglect, who never benefitted from rehabilitating love or a structuring moral “code,” who can now be nothing more than the small, sinister thing that he is, a furious sociopath with a gleeful love for slaughter. Dexter wanted to put this rabid runt down, and Vogel had (reluctantly) come to see and agree with the wisdom of this revolting mercy: Watching the video Oliver had made of braining Dexter-wannabe Zach, Vogel realized her very bad boy was beyond correction. But Oliver was immediately suspicious of the tea party trap they had set for him. (Was it the creepy-odd Natural Born Killers mood-lighting of Evelyn’s sitting room? So strange.) “The Brain Surgeon” murdered Vogel right in front of Dexter in a staged moment that cast Dexter in the role of voyeur at the lewdest of peep shows -- as well as his younger self. Once again, Dexter was forced again to watch a madman destroy his mother with a showy, gory, psychically violating violence. Arriving at Vogel’s house on the canal, Dexter was stopped in his tracks in the yard by a phone call from Oliver, who threw open the curtain of the living room window with a flourish. Dexter saw Vogel standing behind the glass, looking defeated, hopeless, alone. Then commenced the horror. “Mother chose the wrong son,” said Oliver, a reference to Vogel’s treachery, and also, for us, an allusion to Dexter’s biological bro, who was also at ground zero of The Shipping Yard Massacre, and who, like Oliver, grew up Harry-less, codeless, and Ice Cream Truck deviant. With Dexter ogling, Oliver dragged a knife across Evelyn’s throat. It was deep cut. You could practically hear the rrrrrrrrrip. Dexter screamed and kicked down the door and held Vogel in his arms as she gurgled, choked, and booted. Oliver? Escaped; gone; in the wind.

And so, unintentionally, Dr. Vogel fulfills her redemptive function in Dexter's last story: Facilitating some healing regression therapy. Her death allows the adult Dexter to experience anew an analogous version of the childhood event that has defined his entire life. Dex can now respond in two ways: He can choose to be the Dexter he has always been; or he can choose to be something different, maybe something better. Either way, Adult Dexter can choose who he wants to be, rather than having a persona imprinted upon him by the adults in his life. Surely all of this will be settled once Dexter gets Oliver tethered to his kill table. If Dexter puts him through the ritual, Dexter is reinforcing Dirty Harry-Vogel Dexter. If Dexter spares him, Dexter is cleaning his slate, choosing to become a new creation of his own design. We shall see. And soon. Only two episodes left.

In other developments:

+Deb quit Elway's employ and rejoined Miami PD.

+Jamie was accepted into a prestigious professional program for special needs therapists in Atlanta. She was flattered and relished the affirmation, but wanted to turn it down. She wanted to stay in Miami and build a life with Quinn...

+But Quinn, wanting Jamie to fulfill her dream and realizing he still carried a torch for Deb, broke up with her. Then he and Deb smooched.

+Dexter resigned from Miami Metro (his hug with Angel: awwww!) as he continued to make arrangements to leave Miami with Hannah and Harrison and build a new life Argentina. But U.S. Marshal Cooper continues to hunt Hannah, and he's becoming increasingly convinced that Dex and Deb know more than they're telling.

+And as you might have surmised, James Hibberd is not writing this "recap," such as it is. Your faithful Dexter chronicler is on assignment, and even then, he tried last night to file a recap from... well, wherever he is in the world -- nobody will tell me; somewhere deep beyond The Wall, I suspect -- but he was lacking for a good Internet connection. God bless that hard working man. He'll be back next week. We hope. I saw this episode of Dexter about a week ago, so if I'm not accurately recollecting the details, I hope you'll forgive me, and please, by all means, correct me. I'll tweak anything egregious and note the change in the text. The message board is yours.

Twitter: @EWDocJensen

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