Stars: Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, Desmond Harrington, C.S. Lee, David Zayas, James Remar, Aimee Garcia, Charlotte Rampling, Geoff Pierson, Sean Patrick Flaherty
Writer: Manny Coto, series developed for television by James Manos Jr., based on the books by Jeff Lindsay
Director: Michael C. Hall
Network: Showtime, Sundays @ 9 PM
Original Airdate: July 7, 2013
Viewers who are invested in DEXTER the series and Dexter (Michael C. Hall) the character are hoping against hope that Dex can somehow reconcile with his adoptive sister Deb (Jennifer Carpenter). In “Every Silver Lining,” it turns out that Deb does need Dex, but it’s for reasons that make them, and us, feel sad.
Dr. Vogel (Charlotte Rampling) shows Dex footage of her talking with Dex’s adoptive father Harry (James Remar), counseling him on how to handle Dex who, age ten when the recording was made, is already showing signs of being a psychopath. Vogel says she feels like Dex’s “spiritual mother.” Dex doesn’t particularly like this, but Vogel presses Dex to help her – she’s afraid that the “Brain Surgeon” serial killer is one of her former patients, due partly to the fact that the tissue missing from the scene was delivered to Vogel’s doorstep. Vogel can’t go to the police, as some of her treatment methods were unorthodox and in fact illegal. For awhile, it seems that Dex has a lead on the killer, a man who is not one of Vogel’s former patients. However, Dex’s suspect turns out to be simply another victim, forced at gunpoint to commit murders before being murdered himself.
Meanwhile, Deb finds the storage locker containing the stolen jewels – but she is confronted there by hitman El Sapo. El Sapo beats up Deb, but as he only kills when he’s paid to, he takes the jewels but leaves her alive. Then El Sapo is found shot to death in his car. Dex sees that some of the blood on the car window isn’t El Sapo’s and instinctively takes the glass. Good call – the blood is Deb’s. When Dex asks, Deb acknowledges that she shot El Sapo, though she doesn’t remember the incident well. El Sapo took Deb’s gun. Deb asks Dex to take the gun from police evidence for her – and makes a veiled threat that she may shoot Dex. Dex swaps out the gun in police storage, then talks to Vogel, who gives Dex a motherly(?) hug.
Vogel clearly has an agenda beyond just having Dex deal with her homicidal ex-patient, though whether it’s simply validating her theories through Dex, some kind of maternal (and possibly incestuous) vicarious interest in Dex’s actions or something much darker we cannot yet tell.
What we can tell is that Dr. Vogel’s pronouncements about the nature of serial killers have gone from informative to ever-so-slightly megalomaniacal in just two episodes. It’s one thing to be fascinated by serial killers, another to dub them a “gift” from nature, as Vogel does. She’s trying to manipulate Dexter and it won’t be totally surprising if she turns out to be manipulating others as well.
Having Deb kill El Sapo is horrifying to her, to Dex and to us. She has come utterly undone. Dex feels responsible (as well he should), but it’s unclear whether anything can be done for Deb. In an interesting piece of meta phenomena, viewers of other shows often complain when characters change perceptibly. Here, the changes are evident and agonizing to the characters themselves, with Deb so consumed by self-loathing and unable to trust in any sort of safety net – she’s hated herself before, but previously always had her brother to turn to – that she is behaving as though she’s in a nightmare. The consequences of killing El Sapo don’t even occur to her before she pulls the trigger. Despite her years as a cop, she’s not aware of leaving evidence at the scene until Dex points it out to her; she has no compunction about asking Dexter to steal evidence to protect her. Deb is a great character, wonderfully written and brilliantly played by Carpenter – it hurts to watch her deterioration, because we like and believe in her so much.
Hall directed this episode, written by DEXTER veteran scripter Manny Coto. He gives a lot of space and respect to his fellow cast members, keeping the tension high. Per the episode’s title, “Every Silver Lining” may have a cloud, but this episode, like many others in the series, has a lot of dramatic gold.
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Article: TV Review – DEXTER – Season 8 – “Every Silver Lining”