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'Dexter' Recap: Seriously, 'Are We There Yet?'

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Note: Do not read on if you have not yet seen Season 8, Episode 8 of Showtime's "Dexter," titled "Are We There Yet?"

Farewell, Zach Hamilton. Hello again, Brain Surgeon. And watch out, Dexter and Hannah. It seemed obvious that Dexter's protege would not make it through this episode alive, but the fact that he ended up murdered in Dexter's apartment rather than dead on Dexter's table was a shocker.

But the title of the episode -- "Are We There Yet?" -- seemed to be a wink and a nod to the show's slow march to the end. We're three quarters of the way through this final "Dexter" season now, and it hasn't exactly been a roller coaster ride to the finish, yet. When contrasted with what "Breaking Bad" is doing with its final episodes on AMC, "Dexter" is taking its sweet time setting up its end-game.

Granted, there are a lot of balls in the air, and I have no doubt the writers of "Dexter" will pull everything together in a wild final flourish, because they've always been great at that. And a few of those threads are starting to connect, with Dexter's inner circle under attack and his apartment complex under siege. There's still time for "Dexter" to pull off a great ending, even if parts of this season have felt like a long road trip.

So let's talk about this episode, right after I sage my apartment.

Really, it was all about Dexter and Hannah. The perfect serial-killing couple is together again. The episode started with Dexter saying, "Ever since Hannah came into my orbit, she's all I can think about," and progressed to a steamy sex scene under a full moon. Yes, I'm talking about the several shots of Michael C. Hall's butt. Anyway, it ended with Dexter making a spontaneous, last-second plea for Hannah to stay in the country, just as Elway was calling in a tip about her possible presence in Miami for a shot at the $250,000 bounty. Love may just lead to Dexter's downfall.

On to The Brain Surgeon. He's not dead yet, it appears, which means that he wasn't A.J. Yates after all -- unless, of course, he had a protege of his own. Or he's Dr. Vogel. Or Cassie's boyfriend Saxon. Who knows at this point. To make matters worse, it was The Brain Surgeon who also probably killed Dexter's neighbor Cassie, making it look like Hamilton's handiwork.

So whoever he (or she!) is, he's good at this. And he's quite fond of "Make Your Own Kind Of Music." Do we need to put the "Vogel is The Brain Surgeon" theory back on the table? Granted, I'm not sure why Vogel would want Zach dead after she encouraged Dexter not to kill him. It seems like a long-shot, but when was the last time "Dexter" featured an unseen, secret-to-the-audience "big bad"? Leave your theories in the comments.

Then, there was the Deb and Hannah showdown, in which Deb finally saw the luminous light that is Dexter and Hannah's love and backed off. Hopefully, she'll give that GPS unit back to Hank Schrader in his garage. Calling off her crusade against Hannah seemed to be another turning point for Deb, who's now thinking about going back to being a cop again. Good luck with that.

There were a few great group scenes in this episode that provided some excellent comic relief. The first was when Dexter, Deb, Hannah and Zach all found themselves in that motel kill room together. After Deb and Hannah had it out, the guys came in to cut the tension ... with a proverbial knife.

"Well, you're both breathing. That's a good sign," Dexter quipped. Then, Zach and Deb traded "Who the fuck are you's?" and all was well. Those one-liners were only topped by Vogel's "The truth is you make a good couple. And probably a bad one too. Bon appetite!" at the family killer dinner. Good times.

So, where is "Dexter" going? The Brain Surgeon is out there, and whoever s/he is, s/he's hitting Dexter close to home. Miami Metro could soon be looking for Hannah. Quinn is still investigating Hamilton. And sooner or later, Batista has to discover that Deb killed La Guerta, right? "Dexter" has four more episodes to pull it all together. It should be a fun month.

Other random thoughts:

  • Of course Dexter knew a guy who could get Hannah a fake passport. The lesson, as always: Better call Saul!
  • It makes perfect sense that Masuka calls Dexter the King of Spatter, because it sounds like it could double as his porno nickname.
  • Is it possible that the potential "Dexter" spinoff could be a "Kindergarden Cop"-inspired comedy starring Harrison and Quinn? They flashed the banter to make it work. "My name is Harrison!" "And a fine name it is," got them off to a great start.

What did you think of this episode, and this final season of "Dexter" as a whole? Leave your thoughts and theories in the comments.

"Dexter" airs Sunday nights at 9 p.m. ET on Showtime.

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