TV Recap: 'Dexter' Episode 804 - 'Scar Tissue'


dexterDexter Episode 804

“Scar Tissue”
Written By: Tim Schlattmann
Directed By: Stefan Schwartz
Original Airdate: 21 July 2013

In This Episode...

Deb is staying with Vogel while she is being treated for severe PTSD. Vogel takes Deb back to the container, to “take away the power it holds” and remind her that she is a good person, but she will always choose Dexter. It actually seems to be helping. Vogel shows Deb one of the videos she made with Harry, comparing her with her father. They both did what they thought was in Dexter’s best interest.  Deb eventually sneaks into Vogel’s office and finds more Harry videos. She watches one in which Harry is consumed with guilt after he walks in on Dexter during one of his kills. 

Meanwhile, Dexter has cleared four of Vogel’s former patients. Next up is AJ Yates. Yates attacked a classmate at school when he was 12, and was eventually institutionalized at 15. Vogel tried to channel his violence but was unsuccessful. Currently, Yates is a cable installer and “seems” to be a productive member of society. While Dexter is stalking him, Yates takes off his had, and reveals a huge, jagged scar on his head, similar to the way the Brain Surgeon cracked open his victims’ skulls. Dexter is furious and confronts Vogel. Yates had lesions on his brain and Vogel recommended they be removed; however, they were never removed while she was his doctor, so she didn’t know about the surgery. Dexter accepts this and heads to Yates’ house. Dexter finds evidence that suggests Yates is very close with his ailing father. He also finds a closet full of single, neatly organized women’s shoes. Trophies. Dexter isn’t alone. Yates is watching via CCTV from his underground kill room / bunker. He creeps upstairs with a knife, but stops and returns when he hears Dexter on the phone with Vogel. “She found herself a hero,” he mutters to a badly beaten girl chained up in the basement.

Dexter gets prints back from some of the shoes and discovers three that belong to missing girls, including Janet, the one who was in the basement. He returns to Yates’ home, only to find the place cleaned out. But before he leaves, he notices a sliver of light seeping from the wall. Behind the hidden door, Dexter discovers Yates’ kill room, and the CCTV setup - Yates was watching him. Bone saws, specimen jars, and a brain-surgery-by-numbers chart leave no doubt in Dexter’s mind that Yates is the Brain Surgeon. Dexter discovers Janet crammed into a metal tool cabinet. She is still alive, but barely. It seems Yates stabbed her and shoved her in the cabinet before he made a hasty retreat. The angle at which Janet was stuffed in unintentionally helped staunch the bleeding. Dexter ties her up to keep her in that position and drops her off at a nearby ER before returning to Yates’ kill room - with Vogel. They discover Yates has all of Vogel’s patient files on his computer, including one from just two weeks ago. These are notes on Dexter: “Somehow he has deluded himself into thinking his feelings for his sister are genuine, unaware that there are no real emotions behind them.” Dexter is furious that he is just an experiment, a lab rat to Vogel. “When Yates is dead, you are out of my life. It’s over. Understand? Or do you need to write it down?”

Yates has been sleeping in his van now that his house has been compromised. He gets a call from his father’s nursing home saying that dad doesn’t have much time left. Yates races to the nursing home, where Dexter is waiting for him - it was a setup. Yates yanks the breathing tube out of his father, which sends him into cardiac arrest and brings the nurses running. Yates jumps out the window, and Dexter slips out the door, both unseen.

Deb goes to see Dexter at work. She needs to talk to him, so they go for a ride. Deb asks point-blank if Harry killed himself, and Dexter admits that he did. Matthews told him a few years ago that Harry had OD’d on his heart medication. “Was it because of you?” Dexter admits Harry thought he created a monster. “I know how he felt, why he killed himself. But he only got it half right.” Deb grabs the steering wheel and violently sends the car over a bridge and into a lake. A nearby fisherman sees the accident and jumps in to save Deb. Up on the shore, Deb wakes and, after a long moment, she jumps in and saves Dexter.

Also: Quinn passes his sergeant's test - but so does Miller, who Matthews is backing for the position. Masuka discovers he has a daughter, the result of college sperm donations.

Dig It or Bury It?

This was an emotionally draining episode. There were no shocks; no surprises. Deb running them off the road together wasn’t out of character - I knew she wouldn’t just off herself, but I could see her doing something as totally self-destructive as taking herself out with Dexter. And her jumping back in to save Dex, that wasn’t out of character either. One of the reasons that she hates herself so much is because she loves her brother, and she can’t stop loving him despite what she knows about him. I am a little surprised that the good samaritan didn’t jump back in to save Dexter. That was weirdly random, to save one person from a car accident but not both.

Yates having all of Vogel’s case files could mean that he is either a very clever hacker, or it could mean that they are in cahoots. I wouldn’t rule out either possibility. I have images in my head of Vogel setting up a psychopath Thunderdome, pitting two killers against each other in a fight to... well, to the death, obviously.

Psycho Babble

Vogel sees Deb as Dexter’s mirror. She reflects a positive image of Dexter that he balances with his vision of himself as a monster. Now that the mirror is “cracked,” there is a sense of a lack of control. “You want Deb in your life - but you don’t need her.”


Dr. Vogel is kidnapped, and Deb and Dex must team up to rescue him.