Dexter: A Beautiful Day Review (Mania.com)

By:Jarrett Kruse
Review Date: Tuesday, July 02, 2013
Source: Mania.com

*SPOILERS*

Now in its final season, Dexter has moved from acquired taste to pop culture mainstay and our fascination with Miami’s favorite blood spatter analyst continues. The eighth year of the Showtime hit opens with a powerful new episode that keeps the forward momentum of a terrific season 7 finale. The show continues to maintain its freshness and hits the gas full throttle in a solid opener worthy of the Dexter canon. However I do have some concerns of just how things are going to end eleven weeks from now. I think it is a fair assumption to think that things are going to end badly for Dex and company; it is just a matter of how. 

It is six-months after the season 7 finale and we are left to fill in the blanks of just went on in that dramatic high point and now. While some feel that the new season should have started right at the fallout of LaGuerta’s shooting, I actually liked that there has been some extra time for the characters to adjust to the fallout of the shock ending orchestrated last year. The post-LaGuerta era has left Dexter in a semi out of control state alone with his demons and trying to make things right with his sister Deb. Unfortunately Deb has fallen down the rabbit hole and into drugs with a felon in Fort Lauderdale that she was trailing at her new private security gig. She has completely unraveled with guilt from the shooting and has gone off the proverbial deep end. I was surprised at how quickly they took Deb to a whole other life but it works because her character is so layered with hurt at this point. She is in bed literally with a drug dealing felonious thief that is trying to make his big score with the robbery of a mobbed owned outfit.  It is what the writers did not show that make you wonder how long it was before she started to fall apart upon choosing to kill LaGuerta instead of her brother. One month? Two? It is sad to see what has come of the tough talking Deb and upon Dexter tracking her down she looks like hell and is beside herself with grief. And who can blame her. Self-preservation seems to be Dex’s only play but now that he has dragged his sister down with him and it is easy to see why Deb has spiraled out of control. When he confronts his sister and eventually kills the drug dealer she was making time with, you get the impression that time for Dexter is now a major concern. Deb knows the truth and she is the only one…I think.

Cut to Miami Metro and enter neuropsychologist Dr. Evelyn Vogel (Charlotte Rampling) has been brought on in a new case where the killer scoops brain matter out of his victim’s skulls. The frightening looking and sounding doctor has volunteered her services to Miami Metro in trying to find this new killer. From the get-go Dexter is able to tell that something is off with the good doctor and man does Rampling pull off being a completely creepy character. After his usual amount of snooping, a huge reveal is given to us in the final scene where Vogel lets Dexter know that she knows everything about him. While some shows might fall into parody after such a long run, Dexter thrives on having the “one baddie per season” rule. Although technically you may say that there season 6 had two in Colin Hanks and Edward James Olmos. 

Competing storylines have Quinn with Batista’s sister and peripheral characters like Vince and Angel are in the background but there is nothing really new for us to digest. There are some other things going on but they take a back seat to the primary storyline of Deb and Dexter.. While he is able to intercept Deb from revealing who she is to her new guy, we are given a peek at “El Sapo,” a mob hitman that was ready to wipe out the delinquent. While it will be at least a few episodes before we are able to determine who the main bad guy is, Dexter still has to deal with the worst opponent of all at some point—himself. 



Mania Grade: B
Episode: A Beautiful Day (Season 8, Episode 1)
Starring: Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, Desmond Harrington
Written By: James Manos Jr. (developer), Jeff Lindsay (novel), Scott Buck
Directed By: Keith Gordon
Network: Showtime
Series: