Dexter: A Beautiful Day Review -

Dexter Review

Mania Grade: B

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  • 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:

Dexter: A Beautiful Day Review

Acquired taste to pop culture mainstay

By Jarrett Kruse     July 02, 2013


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. 


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fatpantz 7/2/2013 12:06:33 AM

I thought the opener was better than a B...had a very strong open and played off the last season, which had great characters but was not the strongest.  I cannot wait to see how this final season plays out.

batkruse 7/2/2013 2:51:57 AM

 Definitely had a strong first ten minutes or so but then I thought it kind of stalled a bit leading up to the surprise ending. 

blankczech 7/2/2013 7:35:43 AM

 The first couple of episodes in a new season are usually a little slow as they set up the story lines. Standard Dexter fair (after 90 hours of this saga, you sort of get the routine down). Nice to see Jennifer Carpenter spiraling out of control, no one plays mentally unstable better than her.  Business as usual with the other characters.  Writers have put Batista back on the force, Quinn is playing hide  the salami with his daughter (who cares if any of this makes sense, just buy into it and move on)?  Seeing Charlotte Rampling at age 67 was a bit of shock...she was a real hottie back in the day. 

ddiaz28 7/2/2013 7:46:57 AM

Decent start to the last season.  Loved Jennifer's downward spiral.  Although I was surprised to see she's using investigations as a cover for her behavior.  One thing that bothered me throughout the episode were Vogel's pointed stares and obvoius questions to Dexter about the Bay Harbour Butcher.  I kept thinking how dumb she was being.  But obviously at the end you realize she was doing it on purpose.  It will be interesting to see what she adds to the show. 


blankczech ... that's Batista's sister, not daughter. 

noco71 7/2/2013 7:51:40 AM

Meeh. I didnt think the opening episode was very good to be honest. It seems kinda bizarre that we skip ahead 6 months and nobody seems any the wiser about Dexters real,identity after the La Guerta killing. I guess that is the corner the writers painted themselves into though. Undoubtedly things will start to spiral out of control as the season and Dexter comes to an end. It should make for interesting viewing although I cant help but feel that the series as whole as gone a few seasons more than it should have.    

DaForce1 7/2/2013 4:05:24 PM

 I have a feeling that Vogel is Dexter's grandmother. That's why she knows so much about him. I'm going to go on record as predicting that by the end of the season, Harrison will be living with Deb to give them both the normal life that Dexter wants for both of them, while Dexter fakes his death to be free to let the Dark Passenger to keep doing his thing elsewhere other than Florida.

blankczech 7/2/2013 7:06:51 PM

 ddiaz28...let me wipe the egg off my face,,,your correct of's Batista's sister not daughter...but with the 16 year age difference you can see how a nitwit like me can get confused

fatpantz 7/2/2013 10:36:59 PM

And best of all we got to see the very sexy Aimee Garcia's boobies!!  Attention Hanso....BOOBIES!!!

TheSilentKiller 7/4/2013 10:10:05 AM

 I thought it was all kind of ho hum until the final line. This Vogel thing could be interesting. I wonder if it'll come out that Vogel had an affair with Harry, and the undertmining of Harry's character sends Dex off the deep end. 



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