Note: Do not read on if you haven't seen Season 8, Episode 5 of Showtime's "Dexter," titled "This Little Piggy."
Ah, that's more like it. With Dexter and Deb finally at peace, this episode of "Dexter" felt like it was back in its comfort zone, which proves the week-old television maxim: If you want to pull a show out of a rut, sometimes you have to drive into a lake.
After all the sibling rivalry, near-confessions and bottoming-out, Dexter now has a partner in crime. And Deb proved herself very helpful in rescuing Dr. Vogel from the creepy toe-clutches of The Brain Surgeon. Indeed, "the family that kills together." Let's break it all down.
The episode opened with Deb and Dexter in what we should probably call an "emergency family session" with Dr. Vogel. And this exchange quickly captures the absurdity of last week's climax:
Dr. Vogel: "Debra, it seems that you've tried to kill Dexter as well as yourself."
Deb: "Well, yeah, but then I tried to save him."
Michael C. Hall was great in this scene though, sarcastically raging at Deb and using the, "But who will take care of Harrison?" argument to make his point. Fortunately, Vogel assured us that Deb has reached her rock bottom, and that it's all up hill from here. Dexter channeled the thoughts of many a viewer by replying, "I'm so f***ing happy for you."
In other family news, Masuka found out he had a daughter named Nicky from a sperm bank donation he made 20 years ago. After he DNA tested a piece of her hair, they went out to lunch to get to know each other, where she told him that her mom just passed away and we learned that she may be using him for burritos.
Meanwhile, Miami Metro is investigating a new murder case: A wealthy, well-connected man named Ed Hamilton is suspected of killing his maid and girlfriend on-the-side, Norma Rivera. But, as Captain Mathews repeatedly warns Quinn, Hamilton is a friend of Miami Metro.
Quinn and Dexter go to take his DNA, where they meet Hamilton's creepy son, who looks suspiciously like Ed Westwick. I'm gonna go ahead and guess that he did it. Later, they learn he was spotted at the scene of the murder the night before. But the witness recants and Mathews tells Quinn to back off. Since Quinn has never been accused of being a smooth political operator, this seems like a potentially sticky situation.
There is some good news at Miami Metro, though: Janet Thorton, the girl Dexter rescued from The Brain Surgeon's lair, pulled through after being stabbed, and identified her captor as Albert "A.J." Yates. (By the way, it should be said that the writers of "Dexter" probably owe Houston Texans backup quarterback T.J. Yates an apology.)
And then, just after putting on "Make Your Own Kind Of Music" by Mama Cass, Yates breaks one of Dr. Vogel's windows and kidnaps her. "Lost" fans will remember that song was used in the Season 2 premiere when we met Desmond Hume. And it has some lyrics that that struck me as thematically interesting for "Dexter."
Nobody can tell ya;
There's only one song worth singin'.
They may try and sell ya,
'cause it hangs them up
to see someone like you.
You're gonna be knowing
the loneliest kind of lonely.
It may be rough goin',
just to do your thing's
the hardest thing to do.
Fortunately, Deb was driving by Vogel's place, feeling vulnerable and in need of a house call, so she stopped by, where she found the crime scene, and Vogel missing.
Meanwhile, we get a glimpse of what may be in store for the good doctor. Miami Metro searched Yates' backyard, and found three dead bodies buried amongst his rosebushes, all with broken toes. His M.O. is even weirder than we thought: He tortures his victims by breaking their toes with pliers, then stabbs them in the chest, and buries them with their purses and left shoes on. Masuka can sense that Yates is a freak, noting, "I mean, I like feet, but this is just cray cray."
Deb shows up at the crime scene to tell Dexter that Vogel was taken, and that she wants to help Dex find Yates and save her. Finally, this is the brother-sister vigilante tag team we've been waiting for!
They spring into investigative action while Vogel is using her finely-tuned manipulation skills to stay alive. First, she tries to reason with Yates. "A.J., I think I know what this is about." (That time we cut open your brain to make you less violent.) Later, when Yates gives her a choice of a broken toe or immediate death, she turns Nurse Ratched on him, calls him his given name Albert and smacks him upside the head.
It buys her a little time, and she manages to call Dexter from the house phone, while Deb calls Elway to trace the number. They listen to her on speaker, trying to buy more time as they speed toward the house. But Yates sees the phone on speaker and freaks. By the time they arrive, both Vogel and Yates appear to be gone. They follow a blood spatter trail, and find Vogel upstairs in a kid's room with duct tape over her mouth.
But Yates is still there too, hiding under the bed with a knife. Deb doesn't see him eyeing her achilles, but Dexter does, and springs into action, stabbing him through the bed with a curtain rod spear. Even Deb is too shocked to freak out.
Vogel is relieved, and pleased that her adopted crew of serial killers is a happy family again. "I'm glad to see that the two of you have managed to find your way to each other."
"Well, the family that kills together ... ," Deb says, summing up the episode.
So they go out for a family Bay Harbor Butcher boat ride to watch Dexter dump the body. "It's beautiful out here, Dexter," Vogel says. He's brought them to his peaceful, lonely, secret place, and their messed-up family looks content in the murderous moonlight. Maybe next week they can invite the Masukas over for dinner.
What did you think of this episode of "Dexter"? Leave your thoughts and theories in the comments.
"Dexter" airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on Showtime.