Dexter—Season 8

dexter season 8 poster review episode guide list
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Michael C. Hall is still great as Dexter

Storyline for the season is all over the place, unnecessary final sequence in last episode


Seems like everyone wants Dexter

Seems like everyone wants DexterMaria LaGuerta (Lauren Vélez) is dead…shot down by Debra Morgan (Jennifer Carpenter) while protecting her brother Dexter (Michael C. Hall).  Quitting the force and joining a detective agency, Deb tries to come to term with her actions.  Dexter discovers the origins of Harry’s “code” and learns that his murderous actions might have found direction from Dr. Evelyn Vogel (Charlotte Rampling) who secretly worked with Harry to help shape Dexter’s youth.  Now, someone known as the Brain Surgeon is killing people and secretly leaving clues with Evelyn…and she’ll need Dexter’s help to find out who in her past is out to get her.  As Dexter’s life continues to change, will Dexter be able to hold on to the people most important to him?

Dexter—Season 8 aired from June 30, 2013 to September 22, 2013 on Showtime and ended the long running horror-drama.  The final season and episode was met with very polarized reviews.


Tools of the Trade

I loved Dexter when it kicked off.  The first five seasons of the show had some real spark.  The end of season 5 felt like the real end to the series with a bit of The Sopranos mixed in with Dexter always have to look over his shoulder for the next person after him…unfortunately season 6, 7, and 8 despite having some good moments, failed to live up to the original run.

I will give Dexter—Season 8 this, it did leave me questioning where it was going.  As opposed to previous seasons, I managed to keep myself in the dark on what happened in it and the only part I thought I knew about the ending wasn’t true (I had seen something that I thought gave it away…I was wrong).  The problem with Dexter—Season 8 is that I don’t know if the writers knew where the season was going for a lot of the season.


The final kill!

I did like Charlotte Rampling and the idea of “the origins of Dexter” as a way to send off the character.  I thought the storyline involving her character was interesting and developed, but the season kept having weird, undeveloped tangents throughout the story.  Characters like the “first” Brain Surgeon killer (Aaron McCusker) and Zach Hamilton (Sam Underwood) never developed.  The introduction of Oliver Saxon halfway through the season (along with the doomed Cassie Jollenston) were a misstep because I felt you didn’t get to know the characters…plus, you get the go nowhere plot with Masuka and his discovered daughter which felt completely thrown in for C.S. Lee’s character to have something to do and tons of boring “you love Debra and not me” scenes between Jamie Batista (Aimee Garcia) and Joey Quinn.  In addition missed opportunities between Dexter and characters from his past…like his step-children Astor and Cody didn’t appear (though mentioned) and that didn’t make much sense storywise.

Michael C. Hall remains the thrust of the show and the reason to watch.  I have never thought Jennifer Carpenter was a very good actress and this season was especially challenging for her since her character was on an (illogical) emotional rollercoaster.  Her performance in the final episode however was rather good.  I also never was a Hannah McKay (Yvonne Strahovski) fan so her return hurt the final few episodes as well.



*****Spoiler Alert*****  You can’t talk about the season without talking about the ending.  I didn’t buy it.  I was fine with Deb’s death though her character was all over the place this season and even more bi-polar than normal and I liked his killing of her killer (and Batista and Quinn looking the other way for it).  I was fine with Dexter riding into the hurricane to kill himself…end of series.  Instead, the writers chickened out.  Just like in Harry Potter, they found they couldn’t kill the character they and the audience had grown to love.  Instead you get a stupid coda where Dexter is a lumberjack.  I don’t think he could have given up Hannah and Harrison despite the danger he presents (he is too possessive in nature…I know that the season about breaking nature but I don’t think he was even strong enough to do it), and it is also rather cold that he gave his kid away to someone and doesn’t allow Harrison’s half-brother, half-sister, and grandparents know about it.  It was unnecessary and a waste of a so-so ending to a so-so season.

Dexter goes out with a bit of a whimper.  With new good series popping up all the time, it had some problems competing in the last few years and stuck around a bit too long.  If you only watch the first five seasons of the series, you won’t be missing much…but watching the last few seasons hurts rather than helps a good series.

Dexter—Season 8 Complete Episode Guide:


“A Beautiful Day”

8.1       A Beautiful Day Airdate:  06/30/13

Dexter (Michael C. Hall) finds his life going smoothly six months after LaGuerta’s murder but finds Deb (Jennifer Carpenter) won’t talk to him.  Deb tries to cope with murdering LaGuerta and finds herself falling under deep cover while working a case involving stolen goods and a thief named Andrew Briggs (Rhys Coiro).  Batista (David Zayas) finds himself burdened with LaGuerta’s belongings and his sister Jamie (Aimee Garcia) tries to hide her relationship with Quinn (Desmond Harrington).  Deb’s mark finds himself the target of the mob for his robbery leading Dexter to take drastic action.  The arrival of a new serial killer who cuts out part of brains means a serial killer profiler named Dr. Evelyn Vogel (Charlotte Rampling) has come to help the investigation and reveals shocking information to Dexter.


“Every Silver Lining…”

8.2       Every Silver Lining… Airdate:  07/07/13

Dexter learns of relationship with Dr. Evelyn Vogel and his father (James Remar) and discovers that she is seeking Dexter help.  Deb and her boss Jacob Elway (Sean Patrick Flanery) seek out the stolen jewels from Briggs, and Deb finds herself the target of El Sapo (Nick Gomez).  Batista reveals he knows about Quinn’s relationship with Aimee, and Quinn decides he must make some decisions.  Dexter seeks out the killer after Vogel and finds he might be too late.  When El Sapo is found dead, Dexter realizes Deb could be in real danger…or even worse.


“What’s Eating Dexter Morgan?”

8.3       What’s Eating Dexter Morgan? Airdate:  07/14/13

Dexter finds the murderer knows Vogel is working with someone and that the suspect’s suicide has been faked for the police.  Deb has another meltdown and causes problems between Quinn and Jamie when she turns to him for help.  Dexter tracks down one of Vogel’s other patients and finds what he’s hiding.  Dexter tries to get Deb on the right track, but a trip to the police station when she’s drunk could threaten both her and Dexter’s future.


“Scar Tissue”

8.4       Scar Tissue Airdate:  07/21/13

Vogel works to help Deb and reveals to Deb the recordings of her father about Dexter.  A girl named Niki Walters (Dora Madison Burge) seeking out Vince Masuka (C.S. Lee) makes a big reveal to him.  Batista learns from Deputy Chief Tom Matthews (Geoff Pierson) that Angie Miller (Dana L. Wilson) is also going for the sergeant-detective position and that he’ll have to make a choice.  Dexter’s hunt for Vogel’s former patient leads him to a man named A.J. Yates (Aaron McCusker) who holds a grudge.  A discovery with Vogel’s tapes leads Deb down a different path in her relationship with Dexter.


“This Little Piggy”

8.5       This Little Piggy Airdate:  07/28/13

Deb’s failed attempt to kill Dexter leads to a rift between Dexter and Vogel.  The search for the murderer of a maid leads Quinn to have to deal with Deputy Chief Matthews.  Masuka worries his newly discovered daughter might be out to take him and goes to Deb for help.  Jamie works to set Dexter up with his neighbor Cassie Jollenston (Bethany Joy Lenz), and Dexter tries to get out of the situation.  When Yates finds Vogel, Deb and Dexter must come to terms to locate them before Vogel is killed.


“A Little Reflection”

8.6       A Little Reflection Airdate:  08/04/13

Dexter and Deb work on their relationship as Dexter takes an interest in the son Zach Hamilton (Sam Underwood) of Ed Hamilton (John D’Aquino) who is responsible for the death of the maid and a patient of Vogel.  Deb and Elway stake out Elway’s sister’s boyfriend and Deb learns about Elway’s feelings for her.  Batista makes a decision about the sergeant-detective position which sets Quinn on a course to bring in Zach.  Dexter’s investigation of Zach leads to a changing point in Dexter’s life and forces him to make a decision.  Deb and Dexter are ambushed by an unexpected return.


“Dress Code”

8.7       Dress Code Airdate:  08/11/13

Hannah McKay (Yvonne Strahovski) is back in town, and Dexter and Deb wonder if she’s come back to finish them off.  As Dexter tries to deal with Hannah, he finds Zach eager to have his first lesson in killing.  Masuka tries to make amends with his daughter and seeks to get her out of her job at a risqué bar.  Deb tries to deal with her boss’s feelings for her and questions Dexter’s commitment to stopping Hannah.  When Hannah reveals she needs Dexter’s help save her from her new husband Miles Castner (Julian Sands), Dexter’s commitment to Hannah may lead to the death of an innocent.


“Are We There Yet?”

8.8       Are We There Yet? Airdate:  08/18/13

Cassie  is dead and Dexter heads to Key West after his prime suspect Zach with Hannah who needs to get out after the murder of her husband.  Deb reveals to her boss that Hannah is in town and sets out to capture her.  When Dexter confronts Zach about the murder, he learns everything might not be as it seems and another killer could be lurking in the wings.


“Make Your Own Kind of Music”

8.9       Make Your Own Kind of Music Airdate:  08/25/13

Zach has been killed, and Dexter convinces Hannah to stay in Miami.  When a U.S. Marshal named Cooper (Kenny Johnson) comes looking for Hannah, Dexter must find a way to keep her hidden.  The search for Zach is picked up by the police as Deb rejoins the police force and questions her relationship with Quinn.  Dexter makes a shocking discovery in his search for Zach’s killer, and the revelation that the real Brain Surgeon has surfaced exposes the truth about Dr. Vogel’s past.


“Goodbye Miami”

8.10     Goodbye Miami Airdate:  09/08/13

Dexter has decided to move to Argentina with Hannah and Harrison, but he has a few loose ends to tie up in Miami.  With Vogel’s son Oliver Saxon (Darri Ingolfsson) still running loose and a potential threatening to Vogel, Dexter must locate him to stop him once and for all.  Quinn makes a big decision on his romance with Jamie, and Deb gets a chilly reception from Elway when she reveals her intentions to go back to the police force.  Cooper begins to suspect Dexter is still seeing Hannah and an accident by Harrison could put Hannah in his sites.  Dexter’s tries to balance his future with Hannah and his quest to stop Saxon but discovers keeping both might not be possible.


“Monkey in a Box”

8.11     Monkey in a Box Airdate:  09/15/13

Vogel has been murdered by her son, and Dexter must stop him as his last day at Miami Metro comes.  With both Cooper and Elway looking into Deb for Hannah’s location, Dexter finds Saxon intentionally inserting himself into his life.  Turning the tables and putting the police on him, Dexter in for the final showdown with Saxon as a storm bears down on Miami that could threaten his escape with Hannah and Harrison to Argentina.


“Remember the Monsters?”

8.12     Remember the Monsters? Airdate:  09/22/13

Deb has been shot by Saxon who is once again on the loose and out for revenge.  With Elway hot on Hannah’s trail, Dexter is forced to improvise to get her out of Miami.  Dexter learns Deb has been shot, and now a final showdown with Saxon is coming.  The storm is coming to Miami…and Dexter Morgan’s days are numbered!

Related Links:

Dexter—Season 1 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Dexter—Season 5 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Dexter—Season 6 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Dexter—Season 7 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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