Dexter A Beautiful Day Review. Dexter: Season 8, Episode 1: A Beautiful Day was the beginning of a new storyline and the continuation of one initiated during last season’s finale: Dexter: Season 7, Episode 12: Surprise, Motherf—-r!.
The new storyline involving Dr. Evelyn Vogel (Charlotte Rampling), a person that seems more-than-a-little interested in Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall) and his work, was weak. Does she see beneath Dexter’s veneer or does she just sense something in him (à la Hannibal‘s Will Graham) from having been around so many serial killers in the past? What followed after Dr. Vogel and Dexter Morgan’s initial meeting was a banal verbal dance that did not cease until a reveal occurred that immediately brought up a multitude of questions that will hopefully be delved into during the next episode (Every Silver Lining).
This could open the door into a deeper exploration of Dexter and what makes him tick as the clock on the series winds down.
The most interesting storyline in A Beautiful Day was what happened to Lieutenant Debra Morgan (Jennifer Carpenter) after Captain Maria LaGuerta (Lauren Vélez)’s death. Debra instantly showed that she was not like her brother and was not pretending to be a human being. The same deterioration was present in Detective Monique Jefferies during the Runaway episode of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. Both characters made similar decisions about their police careers but Debra’s descent did not stop with that abortive move.
Debra didn’t just kill Captain LaGuerta in that shipping container, she killed all the good parts of herself that made her able to look at herself in the mirror and hold her head high. Dexter did not understand what Debra was going through because Dexter has no empathy. He did not have the tools to understand and could only witness the results in Debra (like a passive pedestrian on the sidewalk watching an accident occur).
Debra came to the right moral decision far too late and she knew it.
Outside of Debra, Dexter, and Dr. Vogel, the other characters in A Beautiful Day were background noise, including the new serial killer.
Like silly True Blood following serious Game of Thrones, what hurt the season opener of Dexter: Season 8 was that it followed NBC‘s vastly superior Hannibal. Watching A Beautiful Day after watching Hannibal‘s season one finale was the equivalent of watching the predictable verses the unpredictable, the component versus the incompetent (especially when it came to law enforcement on each show and how they performed their jobs).
A Beautiful Day is the beginning of the end but character building has not been abandoned on the Showtime TV show: Debora Morgan’s character was strengthened in A Beautiful Day, expanded, and made more realistic. I wish the same could be said about Dexter Morgan.