Dexter (season 8)

Dexter (season 8)

DVD cover
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 12
Original network Showtime
Original release June 30 (2013-06-30) – September 22, 2013 (2013-09-22)

The eighth and final season of Dexter premiered on June 30, 2013.[1] The season follows Dexter Morgan, who is forced to deal with his past when he comes across Dr. Evelyn Vogel, an expert on psychiatry who returns to Miami. Nicknamed the "Psychopath Whisperer", she claims to have structured the code for him alongside Harry. This season also deals with a new serial killer in Miami that removes pieces of the victims' brains, and with Debra who is trying to deal with what she has done in the past season.



Special Guest Stars


Guest stars


On March 1, 2013, Jennifer Carpenter reported on her Twitter that Michael C. Hall would be directing the second episode of season 8, which was his directing debut.[2]

On April 18, 2013, Showtime officially announced that the eighth season would be the show's last.[1]

On May 9, 2013, the official Dexter Facebook fanpage posted a behind the scenes photo of a clapper showing that episode 6 of season 8 would be directed by John Dahl.[3]


No. in
No. in
Title Directed by Written by Original air date U.S. viewers
851"A Beautiful Day"Keith GordonScott BuckJune 30, 2013 (2013-06-30)2.48[4]
Six months after killing LaGuerta, a shattered and guilt-ridden Debra has quit her job at Miami Metro and joined a private investigation company to get away from Dexter. In her absence, Batista has returned from retirement and become Lieutenant. Miami Metro investigates a new serial killer, the "Brain Surgeon", and receives unexpected help from psychopath expert Evelyn Vogel (Charlotte Rampling), who appears to have a special interest in Dexter. Debra works undercover to bring in Andrew Briggs (Rhys Coiro), who has stolen from the mob. Dexter warns Debra that Briggs is being targeted by a mob hitman, but ends up killing Briggs himself. Quinn and Jamie have begun a relationship, which Quinn wants to keep a secret from Batista. Vogel confronts Dexter with murderous drawings from his childhood, and reveals that she knows about Harry's Code.
862"Every Silver Lining..."Michael C. HallManny CotoJuly 7, 2013 (2013-07-07)2.52[5]
Vogel reveals to Dexter that she helped Harry create his Code, harboring a perverse interest and admiration for psychopaths. She asks Dexter to track down the Brain Surgeon, whom she believes to be one of her former patients and a grave hazard to her life. Debra has a violent confrontation with the hitman, and eventually murders him; Dexter finds her blood at the crime scene, but hides it from the police. Quinn and Jamie argue over Quinn's future and Batista's involvement in their relationship. Dexter tracks down one of Vogel's patients, Lyle Sussman, who he believes is the Brain Surgeon, but discovers he has been murdered. Vogel and Dexter find a DVD from the Brain Surgeon, showing the killer forcing Sussman at gunpoint to do his bidding. Dexter agrees to track down the killer from Vogel's list of suspects.
873"What's Eating Dexter Morgan?"Ernest DickersonLauren GussisJuly 14, 2013 (2013-07-14)2.43[6]
With Sussman's body arranged to look like a suicide, Miami Metro closes the Brain Surgeon case; however, the real Brain Surgeon leaves disturbing trophies on Vogel's doorstep. Dexter pursues another of Vogel's former patients, Ron Galuzzo. Debra spirals out of control and, despite Dexter's attempts to reconcile their relationship, tries to confess to killing LaGuerta; Dexter arrives and stops her, leaving her with Vogel for psychiatric treatment. Quinn's preoccupation with Debra causes friction between himself and Jamie, and Batista begins to lose faith in Quinn's ability to pass the sergeant's exam. Vogel admits that she finds Dexter's love for Debra unusual and questions why Dexter didn't kill her when she discovered his secret, implying that he is not a "perfect" psychopath. Dexter learns that Galuzzo is a cannibalistic serial killer, and kills him.
884"Scar Tissue"Stefan SchwartzTim SchlattmannJuly 21, 2013 (2013-07-21)2.47[7]
Dexter searches for the next potential killer on Vogel's list, A.J. Yates. He finds evidence that Yates is the Brain Surgeon and tries to kill him, but Yates escapes. Dexter finds out that Vogel is keeping notes on her interaction with him. Miami Metro investigates the murder of one Norma Rivera. Quinn passes the sergeant exam, and Batista presses him to solve the Rivera case if he wants the promotion. Masuka has an awkward encounter with a surprise visitor. Vogel begins Debra's treatment by taking her to the shipping container where she killed LaGuerta. Dexter meets his new neighbor, Cassie, who becomes attracted to him. Upon learning that Harry committed suicide because of Dexter, Debra tries to kill both Dexter and herself, but changes her mind and ends up saving him.
895"This Little Piggy"Romeo TironeScott ReynoldsJuly 28, 2013 (2013-07-28)2.55[8]
Vogel tries to sort things out for Dexter and Debra with a therapy session, but Dexter angrily walks out. Miami Metro steps up its investigation of Norma Rivera's murderer; they target her boss Ed Hamilton, with whom she was having an affair, but Matthews asks Quinn to overlook Hamilton because he is a friend of the department. Dexter suspects that Hamilton's son, Zach, is the real killer. Masuka asks Debra to do a background check on his visitor, Nikki, who claims to be his daughter. Yates abducts Vogel, and Dexter and Debra reconcile as they work together to find her. Yates holds Vogel hostage, but she manages to secretly call Dexter, and Debra traces the location. Dexter kills Yates, and brings Debra and Vogel out to sea with him as he dumps the body.
906"A Little Reflection"John DahlJace RichdaleAugust 4, 2013 (2013-08-04)2.21[9]
Dexter investigates Zach and confirms that he murdered Norma. Vogel wants to try and teach Harry's Code to Zach, but Dexter wants no part of it. Debra helps her boss, Elway, to catch his sister's boyfriend in the act of adultery. After being denied the sergeant's position, Quinn decides to start investigating Zach. Dexter captures and prepares to kill Zach, but Zach admits he killed Norma because she was sleeping with his father, which is causing his mother to drink herself to death; Dexter decides to teach Zach the Code. Later, while eating at her house, Debra and Dexter realize they have been drugged; before passing out, Dexter sees Hannah McKay approaching him.
917"Dress Code"Alik SakharovArika Lisanne MittmanAugust 11, 2013 (2013-08-11)1.90[10]
Waking up unharmed, Dexter and Debra realize Hannah has sent them a message. Dexter finds Hannah's current alias and address, and learns that she is married to multimillionaire Miles Castner. Masuka learns that Nikki works at a topless sports bar, and attempts to get her a job in his lab. Zach visits the precinct with his lawyer and demands that Quinn stop following him. Quinn and Jamie decide to move in together. Hannah confesses to Dexter that she returned to ask him to kill Miles. Debra borrows Elway's GPS and tracks Dexter. Miles violently confronts Hannah about her meeting with Dexter, and she kills him herself. Dexter and Hannah dump the body, but Debra sees them together. Dexter is called to a crime scene in his building: Cassie has been murdered, in the same way that Norma was, and Dexter suspects Zach.
928"Are We There Yet?"Holly DaleWendy WestAugust 18, 2013 (2013-08-18)1.94[11]
Dexter finds evidence that Zach killed Cassie. He tracks Zach to a hotel in Key West, and Hannah accompanies him. During the trip, Dexter plans to get Hannah a new identity so she can flee the country. Debra uses the GPS to follow Dexter to Key West. Dexter and Hannah realize that Zach was in Key West at the time of Cassie's death, which means that someone is trying to frame Zach. Debra tries to arrest Hannah, but stops when Hannah convinces her that she loves Dexter; however, Elway informs the authorities that Hannah may be in Miami. Back in Miami, Dexter, Hannah, and Zach have dinner with Vogel. Afterward, Dexter takes Hannah to her hotel room, where they have sex. At his apartment, Dexter finds Zach's corpse, left by the Brain Surgeon. After dumping the body, Dexter asks Hannah to stay in Miami.
939"Make Your Own Kind of Music"John DahlKaren CampbellAugust 25, 2013 (2013-08-25)2.28[12]
Investigating Zach's murder, Dexter finds DNA evidence and learns that the Brain Surgeon is Vogel's psychopathic son, who faked his death years ago and changed his name; he turns out to be Oliver Saxon, Cassie's latest boyfriend who appeared devastated over her death. U.S. Marshal Max Clayton arrives in Miami to search for Hannah, but Dexter throws him off the trail and moves Hannah to Debra's house. Debra suspects Saxon of Cassie's murder, and he goes into hiding. Debra later considers rejoining Miami Metro. Dexter lures Saxon out of hiding but loses him, after which Vogel tells Dexter to let this case go. Dexter makes plans to leave Miami forever and take Hannah and Harrison with him, but not before finding and killing Saxon. Unbeknownst to Dexter, Saxon has reunited with Vogel, who accepts him into her home.
9410"Goodbye Miami"Steve ShillJace Richdale & Scott ReynoldsSeptember 8, 2013 (2013-09-08)2.34[13]
Saxon asks Vogel to help him like she helped Dexter. Dexter plans to quit his job, and tells Debra he's moving to Argentina with Hannah and Harrison. Clayton becomes suspicious that Dexter is leaving at the same time Hannah is rumored to be in Miami. Debra returns to Miami Metro and rekindles her relationship with Quinn, who has broken up with Jamie. Despite her desire to help Saxon, Vogel decides to betray him after Dexter shows her the video of Zach's murder. After an accident, Hannah takes Harrison to the hospital, but a nurse recognizes her and puts Clayton on her trail. Vogel brings Saxon to her house as a trap, but he quickly realizes he is being set up. When Dexter arrives, Saxon murders Vogel and escapes.
9511"Monkey in a Box"Ernest DickersonTim Schlattmann & Wendy WestSeptember 15, 2013 (2013-09-15)2.40[14]
Dexter removes all of the evidence pointing to his relationship with Vogel before calling the police. Elway and Clayton suspect that Debra is harboring Hannah. Saxon offers Dexter a deal that the two will leave each other alone; Dexter agrees, but secretly plans to kill him before leaving. With a hurricane approaching Miami, Hannah goes to the airport to wait for Dexter, but she is followed by Elway. Meanwhile, Dexter captures Saxon, but realizes that he no longer has murderous urges thanks to his relationship with Hannah. Instead of killing Saxon, Dexter calls Debra to arrest him, but Clayton tails Debra and unknowingly interferes. Saxon kills Clayton and escapes after shooting Debra.
9612"Remember the Monsters?"Steve ShillScott Buck & Manny CotoSeptember 22, 2013 (2013-09-22)2.80[15]
Debra is rushed to the hospital and Quinn goes with her. At the airport, Dexter, Hannah and Harrison manage to elude Elway, but they are forced to leave the airport due to the fake bomb scare that Dexter has rigged. Hannah and Harrison board a bus to the Jacksonville airport, but Elway is waiting for them. Hannah evades Elway and escapes with Harrison. Saxon goes to the hospital with the intention of killing Debra, but Dexter spots him and he is arrested by Angel. After successful surgery, Debra suffers a massive stroke from a blood clot, leaving her brain dead. Later, Dexter meets Saxon in his cell and provokes him to stab him with a pen. Dexter retaliates and kills him by puncturing his carotid artery with the pen. Angel and Quinn question Dexter about Saxon's killing and, although they suspect what really happened, conclude that Dexter acted in self-defense. Dexter returns to the hospital during the evacuation and takes Debra off life support. He takes her body out to sea and drops it into the water. Once her body is gone, Dexter drives his boat into the hurricane in an apparent suicide attempt. A few days later in Buenos Aires, Hannah reads of Dexter's death. An undetermined period of time later in Oregon, a bearded log truck driver finishes his day at work and returns to his cabin. The man sits down at his table and is revealed to be Dexter – he faked his own death.


According to Metacritic, the early response to Season 8 was mostly positive, the first two episodes of the season received a score of 71 out of 100.[16] With a few episodes left in the season, Rolling Stone opined that Dexter [is] still "cleverly written and has a core cast of characters we care for", concluding that "everyone's favorite serial killer still has some gas left in his tank".[17] However, as the season went on, reception dropped drastically. The post-season reception was extremely negative. IGN gave the season as a whole a 5.5, citing poor writing and the ending as two of the reasons for its poor quality.[18] The A.V. Club gave the season as a whole a D-.[19]

Series finale episode

The series finale met a mixed and polarized response, although the majority opinion was negative. Mary McNamara of the Los Angeles Times praised Carpenter's performance as worthy of an Emmy nomination and argued that "the parting scenes between Dexter and Deb, possibly the most powerful sibling bond television has ever seen, gave the show the send-off it deserved".[20] Mike Hale of the New York Times said he "bought the ending", and fans "may or may not think that Dexter’s final resting place is the one he deserves. But it works".[21] Entertainment Weekly championed the series finale as "the best Dexter episode in years. ... It was also one of the strangest episodes in the show's history ... It's like watching a different series, one that was more compelling than the show it served to close."[22]

Other responses to the finale were scathingly negative. Joshua Alston of the A.V. Club gave the episode an "F" and argued that the writers botched "the landing" by choosing ambiguity to avoid the conflict of "whether or not [fans] wanted Dexter to get away with it."[23] Frazier Moore of the Associated Press called the ending sappy, sloppy, and a "cop-out".[24] Richard Lawson of the The Atlantic Monthly described the finale as an "unbelievably unsatisfying end [which] ruins all that came before it", including Dexter's universally acclaimed seasons 1-4.[25]

Showtime president David Nevins praised the series finale, defending it against fan backlash by saying: "The fundamental design of where they ended Dexter was really well conceived. He had to sacrifice the one person who was closest to him in the world, and he had to leave. That was where it was headed for a very long time." Nevins also said there were never any discussions to kill off Dexter, and they didn't just keep the character alive for a potential spinoff series, which as of January 2014 they were discussing making, but not as a continuation to the original series.[26]


  1. 1 2 Andreeva, Nellie (April 18, 2013). "It's Official: Dexter's Eighth Season Will Be Its Last". Deadline. Retrieved April 19, 2013.
  2. Carpenter, Jennifer (March 2, 2013). "If u thought he was a good actor just wait for 802 Michael C. Hall, director! & I quote "Don't fuck up your line." Wish he'd started yrs ago". Twitter.
  4. Kondolojy, Amanda (July 2, 2013). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'BET Awards' Wins Night + 'True Blood', 'Dexter', 'Keeping Up With the Kardashians', 'Falling Skies' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved July 2, 2013.
  5. Bibel, Sara (July 10, 2013). "Sunday Cable Ratings:'True Blood' Wins Night, 'Keeping Up With the Kardashians', 'Dexter', 'Falling Skies', 'Devious Maids', 'The Killing' & More". Retrieved July 10, 2013.
  6. Kondolojy, Amanda (July 16, 2013). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'True Blood' Wins Night + 'Keeping Up With the Kardashians', 'Sprint Cup', 'Real Housewives of NJ', 'Falling Skies' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved July 16, 2013.
  7. Bibel, Sara (July 23, 2013). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'True Blood' Wins Night, 'Naked and Afraid', 'Falling Skies', 'Dexter', 'Devious Maids', 'The Newsroom' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved July 24, 2013.
  8. Kondolojy, Amanda (July 30, 2013). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'True Blood' Wins Night + 'Naked and Afraid', 'Keeping Up With the Kardashians', NASCAR, 'Dexter' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved August 2, 2013.
  9. Bibel, Sara (August 6, 2013). "Sunday Cable Ratings:'True Blood' & 'Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives' Win Night, 'Dexter', 'Devious Maids', 'The Killing', 'The Newsroom' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved August 6, 2013.
  10. Bibel, Sara (August 13, 2013). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'Breaking Bad' Wins Night, 'True Blood', 'Low Winter Sun', 'Devious Maids', 'Dexter', 'The Newsroom' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved August 15, 2013.
  11. Kondolojy, Amanda (August 20, 2013). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'Breaking Bad' Wins Night + 'True Blood', 'Keeping Up With the Kardashians', NASCAR, 'Real Housewives of New Jersey' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved August 20, 2013.
  12. Kondolojy, Amanda (August 27, 2013). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'MTV Video Music Awards' Dominates + 'Breaking Bad', 'Real Housewives of NJ', 'Catfish', 'Dexter' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved August 29, 2013.
  13. Kondolojy, Amanda (September 10, 2013). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'Breaking Bad' Wins Night + 'NFL Countdown' 'Dexter', 'Real Housewives of New Jersey' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved September 10, 2013.
  14. Bibel, Sara (September 17, 2013). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'Breaking Bad' Wins Night, 'Real Housewives', 'Dexter, 'Devious Maids', 'Boardwalk Empire', 'The Newsroom' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved September 17, 2013.
  15. Kondolojy, Amanda (September 24, 2013). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'Breaking Bad' Wins Night + 'Dexter' Series Finale, 'Devious Maids', 'Real Housewives of New Jersey' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved September 25, 2013.
  16. "Dexter: Season 8"
  17. Neuymer, Scott (August 15, 2013). "Has Dexter Gone On Too Long?" Rolling Stone
  20. McNamara, Mary (September 23, 2013). 'Dexter' Finale: Please, give Jennifer Carpenter an Emmy Nomination. Los Angeles Times.
  21. Hale, Mike (September 19, 2013). "The 'Dexter' Finale: Expect Controversy." The New York Times
  22. Hibberd, James (September 22, 2013). "'Dexter' series finale recap: Our Take on That Shocking, Strange Ending". Entertainment Weekly
  23. Alston, Joshua (September 22, 2013)
  24. Moore, Frazier (September 23, 2013). "'Dexter' cuts its own throat in sappy series end." Associated Press
  25. Lawson, Richard (September 23, 2013). "The Terrible End of Our Once Beloved Dexter". The Atlantic Wire
  26. "'Dexter' Spinoff 'Would Have to Involve' Michael C. Hall, Showtime Boss Says". The Hollywood Reporter. January 16, 2014.

Further reading

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