TV Recap: 'Dexter' Episode 803 - 'What's Eating Dexter Morgan?'



dexterDexter Episode 803
“What’s Eating Dexter Morgan?”
Written By: Lauren Gussis
Directed By: Ernest Dickerson
Original Airdate: 14 July 2013

In This Episode...

A patrolman finds Deb asleep in her car. She is drunk and her car isn’t as much parked as it is crashed into a parking meter. He has no choice but to take her to the station, but at least he keeps her out of the drunk tank. She begs him not to call Dexter, and instead call Quinn. Quinn tells Jamie he was called in on a case so as not to upset her, then talks the arresting officer out of booking Deb before taking her straight to work.

In the morning, Miami PD arrives at the Lyle Sussman crime scene. He is no longer hanging from a meathook, but has been taken inside. His death is made to look like a suicide, with a gun blast to the head to obscure the damage from the meathook. That afternoon, Vogel gets two more gifts, left at her front door, marked “His” and “Hers.” Inside are two more scoops of brain. She shows them to Dexter, who is ready to investigate the next potential subject on Vogel’s list: Ron Galluzzo, a man who strangled his friend in high school. Galluzzo convinced Vogel a bully committed the murder, and Vogel spoke for him at his trial. Then it turned out that Galluzzo lied. Galluzzo will have to wait: Quinn calls Dexter to let him know about Deb. Dexter goes straight to her office and won’t leave until she agrees to go to dinner with him. That night at dinner, Dexter gets the ball rolling on conversation by showing her a video of the club shootout from last season (two seasons ago?) then points out a guy having dinner with his family a few tables away. That is the guy Deb saved, the family she helped keep in tact, proving that she is a good person. Deb accepts this, at least on the surface.

Dexter vets Galluzzo. He is a douchey fitness guy hawking gym equipment at a mall kiosk. Dexter plays the casual customer, who “happens” to have Vogel’s book with him. Galluzzo plays dumb, but Dexter knows he is hiding something. He goes to Galluzzo’s house and finds the place a cross between a frat house and a hoarder’s house: it’s filthy - except for the dining room. The  table is set for a formal dinner, and the kitchen is immaculate. Dexter immediately recognizes this as Galluzzo’s kill room. He peeks into a crock pot and discovers that tonight’s menu is finger stew. Interestingly, Dexter is taken aback by this discovery - who knew that cannibalism would be one of his “buttons?” Inside the freezer are carefully labeled containers: liver, ground thigh, intestines, kidney. An in-tact brain marinates in garlic sauce. All human. He’s not the Brain Surgeon, but he fits the code. Dexter will return to kill Galluzzo before the episode’s end. First, he must take care of his sister.

Deb has spent all night drinking and watching the video Dexter showed her. In the morning, she stumbles drunkenly into Miami Metro, desperate to confess. Quinn whisks her off to an interrogation room, shuts off the mic, and tries to talk to her. Deb insists that she killed Laguerta; Quinn keeps explaining that Estrada killed her, that this is just guilt. The more he denies it, the angrier she gets. To calm her, he gives her paper and pen and tells her to write it all down. He then steps outside and calls Dexter. He comes running with Vogel, who explains that Deb is probably suffering from survivor’s guilt. Deb grows more hysterical when Dexter enters, so he tranquilizes her. When Quinn comes in, Dexter says she passed out and they were going to take her home. Vogel pockets the notepad with Deb’s confession, and they leave out the back.

Back at Deb’s house, Dexter realizes that, as much as he wants to, he cannot fix Deb, and finally accepts Vogel’s help. She insists Dexter leaves them, and he does - but first he handcuffs Deb to the sofa. “She will be pissed, maybe even violent,” he explains. “I can handle her.” “You don’t know my sister.”

Dig It or Bury It?

This episode really didn’t pick up until the last act or so, with Deb confessing and Dexter and Dr. Vogel “rescuing” her. But I don’t think Deb has hit rock bottom yet; this was her trying to crawl away from rock bottom.

I am no longer convinced that Vogel is the Brain Surgeon, but I believe she may be working with the Brain Surgeon, controlling him, something like that. There is definitely something hinkey with her.

Greatest moment in the episode: when Dexter gives Deb a sedative injection. Vogel watches and says, “Well that was interesting.” It was as if she was watching a YouTube video and she didn’t know what to think about it. It was almost adorable.


Dexter’s relationship with Deb is a source of fascination with Vogel. She is shocked to know that Deb knows about Dexter’s secret, and more shocked that he seems to genuinely feel bad about it. It’s unusual for a psychopath to have, you know, feelings. Vogel asks why Dexter didn’t kill Deb when she walked in on him stabbing Travis. Dexter seems disgusted by the thought: “She is my sister. I love her.” “And what is it you love about her?” “I don’t know, having a beer with her. She was always there. She looked up to me.” Vogel points out that everything he mentioned involved things that Deb does for Dexter. 

Flashback to the Future

Dexter wakes to hear Harrison calling for daddy. His voice is pained. Dexter runs... sees little bloody footprints... follows them to the bathroom... where Harrison sits in a pool of blood. Dexter’s breath catches in his throat, and he realizes that it isn’t blood - it is melted popsicles. Harrison ate an entire box of them, made a mess, and now has a tummy ache. When questioned as to why he ate all those popsicles, his response is completely logical: “Because I love them.”

Vogel tells Dexter that Harry wanted the first rule of the code be that Dexter only kill bad people. It was Vogel who made “Don’t get caught” the first rule... to give him some “wiggle room.”


Dexter checks up on the next patient from Vogel’s list - and her patients just get worse and worse. Meanwhile, Deb moves in with Vogel while she treats her for PTSD.