Welcome back, fellow Dexter fans. Zarnyx is taking the week off from the Dexter recap, so I, your intrepid Captain Bluebeard, shall be navigating the waters of last night's episode in his place.

As we saw last week in Blood Spatter Analysts: “Scar Tissue” (Week Four), Debra had reached rock bottom, unable to cope with her guilt, her knowledge of what kind of monster her beloved brother has always been, and most recently the fact that her father had taken his own life when he was unable to face what he and Dr. Vogel had allowed Dexter to be. Debra decided their father was "half right" and set out to do the job properly, intending to kill herself and Dexter by pulling the car off the road and into a lake as he drove. A fisherman saves Debra, who immediately regrets her decision and saves her helpless brother.

***SPOILERS FOR EPISODE 5 TO FOLLOW***

This week we open up to a seething Dexter and recalcitrant Debra adorably in couples therapy with Dr. Vogel- whom they both currently hate, but not many therapists specialize in serial killer relationships, so who else can they call? Dexter is reasonably angry with Debra for nearly depriving his son of both his aunt and father, but this is obviously a huge turning point for her. She had his life in her hands again and learned she couldn't have made any other choice. Vogel tells Dexter this is a good thing, as only now can Debra begin to heal her emotional scars. Dexter doesn't quite buy it and storms off to catch AJ Yates, their most recent lead for the Brain Surgeon/Melon Baller, who now knows he's being stalked. Debra tells Vogel she has never seen Dexter this angry, to which Vogel replies "That isn't anger... Dexter is hurt." I think this surprises Vogel more than Deb.

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Meanwhile, Masuka meets with his new-found daughter, and after a heart to heart with the bad advice squad, begins to suspect her of only wanting him for his money, or his kidneys. She does outright ask if he lives in a big house and if he has a lot of money, so it's hard to blame him. Masuka will hire Debra to look into Nikki, stressing he does want to have family in his life.

Matthews puts pressure on Quinn to go easy on a rich, politically connected suspect with an incredibly creepy teenage son. Like, almost as bad as Elizabeth Mitchell's kid in V. The victim is the man's housekeeper and lover. A local street vendor can place the boy at the scene of the murder, but later refuses to testify, and Matthews again tells Quinn to let it go.

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Dexter is called to AJ Yates' house, where the forensics techs have already dug up 3 corpses, each under a rose bush, and expect to find more under the rest of the rose bushes. These bodies are all missing one shoe, and have mangled toes, which indicate that Yates keeps his victims alive, possibly for weeks, as some of the broken toes show signs of healing. Dexter ignores a few calls from Debra. While he and Debra are both busy, Dr. Vogel settles in for an uneventful tea and sits with her back to the windows, because she has nothing to worry about, and, indeed, nothing bad happens. Until we see a figure walk past the windows, and a chair thrown through one of them, and AJ Yates takes her. Debra, frustrated by her inability to reconnect with Dexter, goes to Vogel's house to find signs of a struggle. She meets Dexter at Yates' house, where he is working the scene and they formulate a plan to track him down, using the resources of the police and Debra's private investigation firm, except....

Jamie made dinner plans for Dexter and his new neighbor. Jamie refuses to let Dexter off the hook and threatens to walk out the door, leaving him stuck with Harrison for the night. Dexter, "serial killed bested by a 100 pound nanny," is forced to leave Debra and Dr. Vogel waiting while he makes nice with the new neighbor, but finds a way to convince her to let him off the hook and make Jamie think it is her idea.

They track Yates by searching houses where he has installed cable and telephone service, looking for ones that may be unoccupied, while Vogel tries to talk her way out of a torturing. We learn the basis of Yates' psychopathy, which stems from an abusive mother and him hiding under the bed, glimpsing her feet as she looked for him and leading to his predilection for foot torture and collection of women's shoes.

Vogel tries to appeal to the good little boy who didn't deserve that treatment, but he is long gone, so she briefly turns the tables by becoming the abusive mother and slapping Yates hard enough to make his lip bleed. This stuns him, and he goes to the kitchen to clean up and collect himself, long enough for Vogel to take his phone and call Dexter, but not long enough for her to speak to him. She leaves the line open, and they use the number to track his location. When they reach the home, Yates has gone to the second floor and tied Dr. Vogel up in the closet, and leaves a window open. Dexter and Debra release Vogel, whereupon we see Yates is in his childhood safety zone under the bed, and ready to strike Debra's ankles when Dexter says he needs to get Vogel to safety before continuing the hunt for Yates. Moments before we all suffer flashbacks to Pet Sematary, Dexter takes a curtain rod and impales Yates through the mattress he was hiding under, in what is at once the most improbable and possibly the most awesome kill of the entire series!

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Debra is in a momentary state of shock, putting together the fact that her feet were inches away from the foot obsessed serial killer, and reconciling that Dexter not only was able to figure it out, but saved her once again the only way he knew how: With stabbing! Debra, already on the road to acceptance, snaps out of it pretty quickly this time and says she's good. Dexter cleans up his mess as he always does, and takes the remains, along with some brain samples and jars, out on his boat and dumps them, but for the first time ever brings people- Debra and Vogel- with him. When asked why the change, he says he wanted to be with family, and with the Brain Surgeon dead once and for all, they lived happily ever after... until next week when they will undoubtedly find more brain spheres in jars.

Thoughts and questions:

  • What is the significance of this housekeeper murder, with the connected man Matthews is trying to protect and the most probably guilty son? I generally don't believe there are going to be any loose or superfluous threads in a final season, so this has to lead somewhere. Right now the simplest (and worst) answer would be the kid gets away with murder, Dexter kills him and is caught because he finally killed someone who will be missed by people with influence and money. I think the utterly mundane ending is something I fear the most for this series.
  • I only just now became suspicious of Dexter's new neighbor, the one Jamie is so intent on hooking him up with. Again, in the final season, I can't believe this is just a simple obstacle, forcing Dexter to find creative ways to reschedule dates. She just moved in to his building while Dexter is connecting with Vogel and hunting the brain scooping killer, and is now in his life? This currently appears to be Jamie's idea, but maybe she is using Jamie. I never thought Vogel was the puppet master behind the other Brain Surgeons, but I did assume it was a man. I now believe it could be this woman.
  • Quinn almost became less than useless, but then it passed. He was even extra useless at the dinner party. I still don't understand his relationship with Jamie.
  • I think Masuka's daughter will turn out to be sincere, but in need of emotional support. Having lived her whole life with only a mother who is now gone, she may have simply been wondering if Vince had room for her in his life. I doubt she came to him looking for money after seeing he works in a crime lab.
  • Finally for this week, my newest, insane, unrealistic fantasy for the end of the series: The Brain Surgeon resurfaces, it is Dexter's new lady friend and he has absolutely no idea. She gets the drop on him, ties him down in a manner he couldn't possibly escape from and has him dead to rights. She treats him the way he treats his victims, subduing and securing him, and waiting for him to awaken. He wakes, she starts spewing some unimportant nonsense about Vogel or whatever, and goes in for the kill, when she suddenly slumps to the floor and Hannah is standing there, holding a needle and smiling. Debra is fine. Fade to red. I tend to firmly grasp to lost causes, so until this season is over, I will remain convinced that Hannah will return to Dexter, and possibly save his and Debra's lives. If that doesn't happen, I will believe it did anyway.
  • It occurs to me Vogel may be a gift- I know bad things are going to happen, but all I want is for Dexter, Debra and Hannah to live and love eachother, so maybe Vogel will be the sacrifice at the alter of the wicked tv writers. At least it isn't being written by George R.R. Martin, somebody has a chance of getting out alive.

So there is my first tv recap ever. Too much? Did I forget anything that may have been important? What did the blood tell you?

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Ready for more? Jump ahead to Blood Spatter Analysts: "A Little Reflection" (Week Six)