It seems somewhat relevant to point out that tonight's episode of Dexter is the first of the final five episodes of the season and series. It's at this point that the series should be gearing up for the home stretch, and watching "Are We There Yet," I couldn't help but wonder when we'd start to see that. For most of the episode, it was almost as though everything was going to be ok. In fact, things seemed almost too happy. And to add to that, I actually found myself being won over by Hannah.
Not totally. I still don't see her and Dexter having this happily ever after, but I no longer feel quite as flummoxed over why Dexter cares about her or why we're supposed to care about her, for that matter. Prior to tonight, she really just seemed like one more bag of problems in Dexter's life. A pretty bag of problems, sure, but a bag of problems nonetheless. But head Harry's comment about Dexter's desire for Hannah being stronger than his desire for murder made me consider the positive side of this woman in his life. And they are sort of suited for one another. Hannah's the woman Dexter pictures in a sultry way while staring at a dead body. And Dexter's the man Hannah thinks of fondly when her eye spots a stray droplet of blood at the scene of her husband's murder. Let's face it, it's a little romantic in its on macabre way, isn't it?
Even Deb seemed willing to open her mind to the possibility that Hannah might be Dexter's salvation - or at the very least, that Hannah brings her brother happiness. This occurred to her during one of the tenser scenes in the episode, as the two women stood opposite one another, a bag of knives and a set of handcuffs on the bed between them. And after Dexter and Zach Hamilton showed up, Deb threw her hands in the air and left. Abandoning the opportunity for a huge bounty and some resolution to the Hannah issue altogether. It was looking like Hannah might make a clean getaway, with an escape plan and a fresh identity under her belt. But after making love with Dexter, he decided to stop her at the last minute and ask her to say. The cliffhanger there came from Elway. Deb tipped him off that Hannah was in the area, and while she was willing to write the situation off as a loss, Elway wasn't quite as eager to do that. The last we saw of him, he was reporting to someone that Hannah was going by an alias.
On the bright side, at least for a little while, Hannah has a new identity, and she may start going by Claire Thompson as she attempts to start over with Dexter. If that's the case, Elway may have a harder time tracking her down. But that story is by no means resolved, I'm sure.
As relevant as Hannah's story was, her sticking around wasn't the big shocker of the episode. That one goes to Zach Hamilton, who was mysteriously killed and left in Dexter's apartment with his brain cut out. The missing scoop of his brain was jarred and sent to Dr. Vogel, leaving us to wonder who this killer is. Is it the same guy that was previously scooping out brains and jarring them up? Because I thought Dexter caught that guy - AJ Yates? Is it Vogel this time? Remember how we (or I) thought Vogel was the Brain Surgeon last time and then it turned out not to be? Well, what if this time it's her. The last time we saw Zach Hamilton alive, Vogel was giving him a ride home. For all we know, she mimicked her old patient in killing Zach that way.
That brings us to Cassie's murder. I'm assuming whoever killed Cassie is the one who killed Zach. Dexter found blood under Cassie's fingers that matched Zach's, which is what led him to track Zach down to the Florida Keys, where Zach was attempting to deal with the mess he made killing some guy he went to college with. See, Zach didn't kill Cassie. He was too busy stalking Sean Tucker, a guy who once admitted he killed a girl during spring break. Sean met the code, so it seems Zach was following with Dexter's rules, though his kill room wasn't perfect, he forgot to put plastic in his car, and he forgot the gloves ("Fuck me, gloves!"). Also, his method of sedating Sean was basically beating the guy unconscious and then do death. Gross. But let's face it, Dexter's had some sloppy kills before.
Dexter helped Zach deal with the situation, after which came the blowup with Hannah and Deb, and then Dexter, Hannah, Zach and Vogel had dinner together in what had to be the darkest and most bizarre family dinner scene we've seen on TV in a while. I think Jesse Pinkman having dinner at the White House on Breaking Bad is the last notable such scene. Of course, the conversation came around to murder, leading into a discussion about someone messing with Zach's car to cause him to bleed to get his blood under Cassie's fingernails to later frame him for her murder. I'm guessing that this person is the one who killed Zach, and I'm calling it as Vogel. Because dammit, there's something not right about that woman!
Meanwhile, Zach is dead. And just when it seemed like he was figuring out this whole code thing too. But he was a murderer, so let's not feel too bad about his death. Instead, we'll focus on who did it and why. That also eliminates my theory that the series would end with Dexter on Zach's table. Can't say I regret being wrong there, though.
In other news
Deb's thinking about returning to police work. We saw her on Cassie's murder scene tonight, and it was like old times. It seems like she's itching to get back to doing some good. Elway's comments on that sounded almost threatening, and between that and his pursuing the Hannah investigation, I predict some kind of collision involving him before the end of the season. Or at the very least, he could be the one to take Deb down or get the goods on her and try to blackmail her or something.
Niki is now working at Miami Metro. Her first order of business was to rid Masuka's lab of bad energy.
Harrison got pawned off on Jamie and Quinn, who are now living together. Quinn was still looking for dirt on Zach Hamilton tonight, which makes me wonder if he'll pursue an investigation once Zach's father reports his son missing.
Kudos to Wendy West for writing tonight's episode. There were some great lines, including "Don't dude me," "I would give anything to feel nothing again," and "I forget the impact murder has on real people." Those are some classic Dexter insights right there, I'd say.