Crumbs: Reviews » Dramas » Dexter » Season 8 » A Beautiful Day
Critical reviews of U.S. TV shows
and analysis of what makes them
good, bad, irritating and enlightening.




Episode 1 - A Beautiful Day

8 July 2013

Credit FX

I thought this was a good start to the final season of Dexter.

The switch from Deb feeling she needed Dexter to him being lost without her seemed to make sense. He's never had to deal with the emotional consequences of his murders and to see his sister so disturbed by him throws off his equilibrium. It's as if without her to provide the semblance of an ordinary life he's begun to lose control. His rage at the traffic incident was uncomfortable and when adding Harrison to that mix (when he breaks LaGuerta's vase) suddenly made things real.

The way Dexter murdered Briggs actually felt a little shocking and certainly lacking in any kind of judgment or planning. Deb's reactions to him were what gave the whole thing real emotional meaning. As you'd expect she plays her brokenness really well and her disgust with her brother and herself were pretty sad.

Let's not forget though that the personal side of Dexter's life has always been interesting. It's the "professional" side if you will that usually falls into cliché and convenience. We got a hint of that with Dexter's ability to guess Deb's password and both Batista and Matthews back at their old jobs despite retiring.

The real key though will be Dr. Evelyn Vogel. Played with intrigue and power by Charlotte Rampling but very much in the Dexter tradition of a figure who knows who Dexter is or in some way can empathise with him until he has to kill them off. So what is she? A mother figure? Is he a professional fascination? Does she want to encourage his code so that he will kill the bad? It doesn't seem like she realises that Dexter abandons Harry's code as soon as he feels threatened. We shall see. We'll also wait to find out if El Sapo saw the murder at the motel.


Add your comments on this episode below. They may be included in the weekly podcasts.

Post your comment


  • I liked Deb in this episode. She's unraveling but seems to have a handle on her situation. I like that they didn't force a perspective onto us. They just presented her taking drugs, shacking up with the guy she's supposed to be taking down, and calling Quinn to get information. She admitted to Dexter that she's not doing so well but we don't really know how bad she actually is. They left us to draw our own conclusions and I think that's good storytelling.

    The longer the season goes without Hannah the more I'll be thinking about her as I watch. I hope she isn't used as a traditional villain on her return. Unless Deb is going after her, she has no reason to harm the Morgans.

    I'm looking forward to the episode tonight. I'm hoping we find out what Vogel's deal is sooner as opposed to later.

    Viewer score: 59 / 100

    Posted by Romit, 07/07/2013 11:16pm (7 years ago)

  • I more or less liked this episode. It seems like they are continuing their `better`streak from last season. So hopefully this show will end on a higher note. Dr Vogel is an interesting character. I`m so glad I didn`t watch the promotions as I`ve since heard that if you did you`d have already known what her deal is (seems like Dexter is one of the worst offenders for adding major spoilers to its next week promotions).

    The only major criticism I had was that scene to get viewers up to speed as to what happened over the last six months couldn`t have been more on the nose if they had tried. Each character had to say something that had happened but it was so scripted it made me cringe. It could have come directly from bullet points written on a board in the writer`s room. Like Batista says `When Mike Anderson was killed I just wanted to get away from all this. It took Maria`s death to turn me back. I just wanted to chase bad guys.`And someone else says `Yeah Deb took Maria`s death really hard and one day just left work and no one has seen her since`or something. For a show that is so keen on using voiceover this whole clichéd scene could have easily been avoided.

    Viewer score: 60 / 100

    Posted by Kay, 05/07/2013 1:37pm (7 years ago)

  • I did a Dexter marathon only a few months ago so (unlike many fans) I haven't had time to lose patience with the show. I really like the premise for the final season. From what I've read Dr Vogel is the creator of Harry's code and I've always felt it was that childhood serial killer training that really ruined Dexter's chances of living a normal life. If Harry had got advice from a shrink who wasn't such a psychopath fan then things could have been so different.

    Also, Dexter guessing Deb's password was 'fuckingpassword' might have been a contrivance but it still made me giggle.

    Viewer score: 70 / 100

    Posted by Kelly, 01/07/2013 10:07pm (7 years ago)

  • I mean, come on. The writers aren't even trying to come up with something good. Skipping six months is exactly the part that I feared the most, because the aftermath of the last season's finale was probably the only reason why I still want to watch this show.

    Instead of that, they give us Deb and drugs (which is probably what I was expecting), soon-to-be-serial-killer Dexter's son and, let's not forget, Quinn's subplot.

    But don't get me wrong - I am not exactly hate-watching. All the cliches, for me, are just hilarious. The pointless voice-overs, Dexter strangling some random guy and, of course, Maria LaGuerta's bench make Dexter better than most of the comedies on TV.

    And although I am pretty curious about the mysterious doctor, and the scenes between Deb and Dexter were pretty good, this was a terrible first episode of the season. Even by Dexter's standards.

    Viewer score: 24 / 100

    Posted by Telemanas, 01/07/2013 3:53pm (7 years ago)

  • If the goal of this season is to make me uncomfortable, then this episode succeeded.

    I appreciate we are meant to feel warm and fuzzy about Serial Killer soccer Dad, Dexter. It was intended to be a contrast to falling-apart Deb. But I saw the strings far to easily and kept getting pulled out of the moments.

    The best parts featured our creepy new Doctor. It was fun to watch her unnerve Dexter. I also liked Deb realizing Dexter needed her more than she really needed him. Even it if it was really on the Nose, in the way it was delivered.

    Viewer score: 47 / 100

    Posted by Yogabon, 01/07/2013 12:52pm (7 years ago)

RSS feed for comments on this page | RSS feed for all comments