TV Review: Dexter S08E05, This Little Piggy

High drama and multiple subplots make this a meandering episode

Deborah Cornelious July 30, 2022
  • Direction
  • Acting
  • Screenplay
  • Cinematography

This hodge-podge of 40-something minutes packed in so much information that it kinda went skimpy on the finer aspects of almost all story arcs. “This Little Piggy” begins with the Morgan siblings in family therapy with Evelyn Vogel (Charlotte Rampling) right after Debra (Jennifer Carpenter) tried to kill Dexter (Michael C Hall) only to save him just before death laid its icy grip around his neck. Dexter, with very due measure, is pissed off to mammoth proportions. Debra, on the other hand, has done a 180-degree turn from what we’ve seen so far. Like a little puppy, she’s pleading with Dexter to understand her situation. Apparently, with PTSD you have to hit rock bottom to surface up to normalcy. In this scenario, Debra did save his life in the end, but oh wait, she was the one who tried to kill him in the first place.

When Vogel falls into peril, it’s up to the brother-sister duo to combine their efforts against a common enemy and save the day. When Debra admits to not being able to imagine a life without Dexter and he in turn reveals he doesn’t hate her, and this is despite her murder attempt, you can’t help but go “eh?” Vogel, still frighteningly manipulative, has managed to get their relationship back in the right direction.

Inconvenience caused by the following spoiler is greatly regretted. Vogel gets kidnapped by the serial killer Yates, the guy they suspect to be the brain surgeon. I’m not really digging the unraveling of this character. He sliced up men’s brains and then did a completely different kill job on women? The title to this episode is a chilling reference to Yates’ murder process. He suffers from serious mommy issues, but the writers haven’t fully addressed how he got the title, “brain surgeon.” Could it be that the killer is someone else and the viewers are deliberately being led in another direction? I hope so, because the end of Yates was not really sigh-inducing. Finally, when disposing the body, Dexter, Debra and Vogel, yep ALL three of them are onboard the Slice of Life as if sitting around a holiday meal as a family. Like Debra said earlier, the family that kills together…

Now then, in addition to this not-very-gripping series of events, there’s another murder plot brewing. A woman has been beaten to death and the highly influential Hamiltons get dragged through the mud. Joey Quinn (Desmond Harrington) is heading the case while being repeatedly reminded that the head of the family is a friend to Miami Metro. When an eye-witness recants his story, it’s also appears that corruption could be at play within the homicide team. We know what we’re going to be subjected to with the next few episodes. While we’re recovering from the chilling kill of Yates, little story lines mushroom all over. Vince Masuka’s (CS Lee) daughter may be a money vacuum. A genuine fear overcomes him and he enlists Debra’s help in stalking his sperm-donor daughter. Any ideas we had about this subplot being strong have been proven wrong. It just appears to be scripted in so Masuka would have some screen time. But if she turns out to be a serial killer, now that would be riveting stuff. Also, Cassie (Bethany Joy Lenz) returned for five minutes in the episode. Jaime (Aimee Garcia), the meddling nanny invited her over for dinner amidst Dexter’s Vogel rescue attempt. Try, which we know they will, but I just can’t see Dexter and Cassie together. Then there’s detective Miller (Dana L Wilson) vying for a sergeant’s position that’s already been promised to Quinn. Finally, Jacob Elway’s (Sean Patrick Flanery) eagerness to illegally track a number for Debra is indicative of their future romance. Hopefully, it will happen and the show won’t take an incestuous turn.

All in all, a bland episode in the otherwise gripping run. Next week, “A Little Reflection” looks promising where the writers explore Vogel’s psychopath recruitment ideas and Dexter’s attempts to do away with a killer.