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'Dexter' Recap: Up Goes the Body Count

(Photo: Showtime)

Oh, Cassie. You poor, sweet, beautiful thing. Didn’t anyone tell you that the number one rule in the Dexter-verse is to never be young, kind, pretty, and in Dexter’s immediate vicinity? It didn’t work out for Rita, and we knew from day one that it would never work out for you.

It would certainly appear that Zach Hamilton — Dexter’s shaky at best protégé — bludgeoned Cassie to death after his mentor’s neglect made him restless. As Dr. Vogel pointed out, Dexter may have studied the code for years before his first kill, but Zach was already a killer. He wouldn’t be able to watch and wait like Dexter did; he had to strike now. And Cassie, unfortunately, was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

But there are other forces at play, here. Mainly, Hannah McKay. Deb summed up Hannah's effect on the Dexter-verse perfectly (and, startlingly, without any swear words): “She is a vortex. She is a black hole. She sucks everything into her being, leaving nothing behind.”

Cassie, as well as Hannah’s far from innocent new husband, Miles, is only the first victim of this black hole. There will undoubtedly be others. But hear me out: isn't it fully possible that Dr. Vogel actually killed Cassie?

It’s pretty clear that there is far more to Vogel than what meets the eye, and despite her calm demeanor, I think that there is a very legitimate possibility that Vogel is a psychopath herself. A psychopath who has already shown that she is capable of manipulating and controlling Dexter. She subdued the threat that was Deb, but Hannah is just too strong a force for Dr. Vogel to reckon with. Killing Cassie as a punishment for Dexter getting distracted — triggering his guilt by pinning it on Zach — could be a brilliant move on Vogel’s part. It could turn Dexter's attention away from Hannah, which is exactly where Vogel wants it.

Even if I’m wrong, a Hannah vs. Vogel vs. Debra battle for Dexter’s soul seems to be imminent. All three women have strong ideas on how Dexter should live his life, and at least two of them seem to be incapable of tolerating one another. When Dexter ended up on the side of the road, poisoned by Hannah, Deb’s message was clear: “I want her gone."

Of course, Dexter cannot be trusted when it comes to Hannah getting gone, so Deb continued to track them as Dexter took care of the situation. And — again, of course — Dexter’s version of taking care of the situation consisted of doing exactly the opposite and becoming completely entwined in Hannah’s affairs all over again. 

This time around, Hannah’s baggage came in the form of Miles, her $700 million husband who knew all of her secrets but still loved her, fiercely, anyway. These feelings were clearly not reciprocated. The fact that Hannah was in Miami to begin with when she’s a wanted criminal there proved to everyone with half a brain that she had not gotten over Dexter. She has enough money at her disposal — not to mention a freaking yacht — to hide anywhere in the world, yet she’s right back in the one town where everybody knows her name, and not in the Cheers way. Smart.

It was a precarious situation, but it was quickly rectified — kind of. Hannah told Dexter that she came to Miami so that he might kill her husband, but she changed her mind when she realized that this might be an inconvenience for him, what with Dexter being the love of her life and all. Miles ended up dead anyway — sliced and diced by Hannah — since he was an abusive, controlling freak who thought that he “owned” and could therefore rape his trophy wife. When you think about it, showing up in Miami with an abusive husband was actually the perfect way to trigger Dexter's jealousy and sympathy. Point, Hannah.

Dexter definitely could have walked away from the situation, as Hannah literally left a bloody mess  that would have put her right back in jail for life, but he instead chose to help her wash away the blood on her hands and get rid of the body. He then told her to get the hell out of dodge, but something tells me she'll be sticking around for awhile.

So that’s the deal with Hannah — Dexter’s number one mess. His other mess, Zach, spent the week itching for a kill as he was increasingly neglected by his distracted mentor. Zach seemed to be really stoked on the idea of learning the code and actually living with his little problem, which is part of the reason why I’m not entirely sure that he actually killed Cassie. (Also, it happened offscreen, which is always suspicious.) With Dexter and Vogel’s guidance and Quinn off his trail (Zach reported him to Miami Metro), he has more to live for right now than he has probably had in years. Why would he screw it up? Is he really that stupid? I suppose we’ll find out soon.

Over in Deb land, her boss (Jacob) began circling the Morgan/Hannah vortex due to his massive crush on Deb. Deb haters likely rejoiced at his little speech at the beginning of the episode, which (rightly) put Deb in her place since she’s been so f**king rude to this man — a man who gave her a second chance at a prosperous career, then let her walk all over him pretty much 24/7. “Next time, you’ll maybe want to try a little bit of gratitude, instead of always being such a f**king bitch,” he growled.

Deb listened, in her own way. And now it looks like Jacob is about to get sucked in to this whole mess. Deb is tracking Hannah using company resources, so Jacob will definitely get stuck in the muck in one way or another as the series comes to a close. Same goes for Jamie, who is moving in with Quinn in a move that appears to be a giant “f**k you” to Angel for not giving Quinn the promotion/forcing him to back off of Zach.

All of these characters seem to be metaphorically spinning around this Hannah/Dexter vortex, in an exciting way that should lead to a pretty epic conclusion. There’s been some really strong writing in general this season, which just makes the show’s strange Masuka C-plot all the more puzzling. It doesn't fit at all right now — it's a giant distraction — and I just don't see how their daddy-daughter drama could possibly factor into the bigger picture. It looks like she'll be working in the lab now since dad clearly did not approve of her "daughter boobs" being on display at the "sports bar," but that's all pretty minimal. It's a minor complaint since the rest of the season has been pretty fantastic, but the scenes are frequent enough to warrant a negative mention.

Anywayz, what did you think of tonight's Dexter? Are you sad to see Cassie go? Do you think it was Zach, or Vogel or — heck — even Deb? Were you pleased with Hannah's big return? Let us know in the comments!

Dexter by the Numbers:
Deb’s Weekly F-Bomb Count: 12
Cases Solved by the Miami Metro Homicide Department: 0
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