Very minor "spoilers" ahead:
And so it begins...
Season eight of Dexter starts about six months after the end of season seven. Deb has left the police force and gone into private security. It has been at least a month since Dexter has seen her, and a few weeks since they last spoke. She has fallen off the map, and I don’t think it is a spoiler to say that Deb is in a downward spiral of epic proportions. Dexter is worried about her and begins risking himself in order to save her. But Deb doesn’t want to be saved.
Meanwhile, Dr. Vogel (played by Charlotte Rampling), a neuropsychiatrist and criminal profiler, is back in town. She is old friends with Matthews and volunteered to consult on a new, gruesome case (though certainly no more gruesome than, say, any of the Doomsday Killer’s tableaus). Vogel makes Dexter nervous, and between her and Deb, he is closer to a nervous breakdown than ever before.
Vogel has an ulterior motive for showing up at Miami Metro. As I surmised from the various trailers, Vogel treated Dexter as a child. We don’t learn much else about her in the season premiere, but it seems pretty easy to see why she is there: she thinks that Dexter’s traumatic childhood has turned him into a serial killer. What I haven’t figured out is why she chose this time to come back to Miami. According to Matthews, she went back to England for many, many years, but has been back in Miami for about a year. Does she suspect Dexter killed Laguerta because Laguerta was getting too close to the truth? Was the death of the man who killed Dexter’s mother a warning sign? Even so, that would have been six months ago - why show up today? It is very likely that I am over thinking this.
I feel like there are going to be two major arcs this season. The first: Dr. Vogel wants to study Dexter. I have no doubt that she knows Dexter is a serial killer. I don’t think she will turn him in if he will open up to her and explain his psychopathy to her. I think her interest in Dexter will be an exploration of nature vs. nurture: would Dexter have turned into a serial killer if his mother hadn’t been killed in front of him? I think that she will also want to study a “kinder, gentler” psychopath. Dexter is very likely the only psychopath she has ever heard of who seems to have a genuine love for his child. That has got to be an academic goldmine for her.
The second major arc: Dexter’s attempt at reuniting with and repairing Deb. Frankly - and I hate to say this - but I think Deb will die before the series is over. Knowing Deb’s character over the span of eight years, I think Laguerta’s murder is the tipping point. There is no coming back for her. I don’t see her as suicidal, but I do see her as putting herself into increasingly dangerous situations which will leave her dead. I think she will likely die before the series finale, giving Dexter some time to go off the deep end. I’ve said before that there are only three possible endings for Dexter: death, escape, and capture. I feel capture is the only viable option for wrapping up Dexter, and what better way for him to get captured than on a violent, grief-fueled killing spree? On the upside, he could probably go with an insanity plea.
Hannah has not made her appearance yet, but we know actress Yvonne Strahovski is returning in the role. I’m still dealing with the Deb and Vogel stuff; I can’t think about her yet.
Talk to me. What do you think of these theories? Do they hold water? Are they ridiculous? Do I need to get a life?
Dexter returns to Showtime for its eighth and final season beginning June 30th.