‘Dexter’ Review: ‘Are We There Yet?’
Dexter investigates Cassie’s murder and tracks down Zach Hamilton
“Dexter” finally returns to form after last week’s unsatisfying episode.
This episode starts where we last left off: at Cassie’s crime scene. Dexter is too busy thinking about Hannah to focus on the dead body in front of him. After Masuka finally gets his attention, Dexter surveys the area and realizes the style of attack is similar to Zach Hamilton. He does mentally reprimand himself for focusing on Hannah rather than Zach, so that’s something. He also finds a bit of blood under Cassie’s nails that may belong to the killer.
Deb shows up to talk but gets interrupted by Battista and Quinn, so she takes off. Her frustration with Dexter’s interest in Hannah is completely understandable.
Dexter and Hannah meet up the next day. Dexter promises to get Hannah a new passport so she can leave. The “will-they-won’t-they?” routine continues to bore.
Dexter eventually makes it to work and tests the crime scene blood. Surprise! It’s Zach’s. Dexter lies to Masuka, however, and pretends it was only Cassie’s blood.
Quinn pulls Dexter aside, still hung up over Zach. He’s come to the same conclusion Dexter has: Zach killed Cassie. Dexter tries putting him off the scent but Quinn doesn’t budge.
After escaping from Quinn, Dexter meets up with Vogel to discuss Zach’s situation. Vogel makes a last attempt to dissuade Dexter from killing him, but Dexter has made his decision.
At home, Dexter tracks Zach’s credit card and discovers that Zach is in the Keys. Deb shows up demanding to know what’s going on with Hannah. Dexter hems and haws but Deb insists Hannah needs to be in jail. Righteous Deb is awesome.
We then learn that Jaime has moved in with Quinn. Thankfully this scene is brief.
Dexter takes Hannah’s passport picture and asks if she wants to go to the Keys with him that night—so that she can be safe with him. It’s definitely not that he wants to be around her or anything. The silly ruse doesn’t work on Hannah or the audience.
At work, Deb lets Elway know Hannah McKay is in Miami and, considering the $250,000 reward they could get for information, tells him it’s a good idea to consider looking into.
That night Jaime asks Quinn to stay with her, afraid of being alone after her friend was murdered. Quinn’s ridiculous “but Harrison is here!” argument does nothing to assuage Jaime’s fears and he gives in rather than going to search for Zach.
On the way to the Keys with Hannah, Dexter gets a call from Deb asking where he is. His cheap lie about going to get dinner doesn’t fool Deb as she’s tracking his car while they speak.
Once he’s hung up, Dexter tells Hannah about Vogel and Zach. Hannah keeps prodding for Dexter to admit he cares about her. He just barely admits it.
Deb is on her way to the Keys. On the phone Elway encourages her not to do anything drastic to Hannah. Luckily this is the new Deb (or, really, the old Deb) so this isn’t much of a concern anymore…not that Elway knows that.
Lunch between Dexter and Hannah the next day provides plenty of cringe-worthy flirtation and “deep” moments. The pair is growing closer every day, indicating Hannah may be here to stay.
After lunch they track Zack’s location and Hannah waits in the car. Dexter walks into a replica of one of his kill rooms, right down to the set of knives. Zach really was trying to emulate Dexter.
At Miami Metro, Matthews questions Quinn on the case. There aren’t any leads, which Quinn isn’t too pleased about.
Hannah and Dexter are sitting in the kill room when Zach arrives. Dexter immediately shoves him against the wall at knifepoint, but Zach claims to know nothing about Cassie’s murder. Time stamps on his camera prove he was tracking someone else to kill at the time. He picked a man named Shawn he used to know because Shawn had confessed killed someone. The subtle look of pride on Dexter’s face is great: Zach didn’t even need to learn the code to do the right thing. Well, as “right” as you can be when deciding to kill someone.
Dexter teaches Zach about his mistakes, including keeping the dead body in the trunk of the car. It’s actually an amusing scene. Dexter is a better teacher than he gives himself credit for. He, Hannah, and Zach are starting to seem like a weird little family.
As Dexter and Zach go to dispose of the body, Hannah waits in the kill room. Unfortunately for her, Deb shows up to arrest her. Hannah’s explanation that she only kills to survive comes off a bit weak, but Deb starts giving in.
Dexter returns the room once the body has been disposed of. He’s both shocked that Deb is there and relieved that she and Hannah aren’t fighting. Zach pops up wondering who Deb is. Deb, sick of it all, leaves without wanting to know what is going on.
The next scene is a deliberate Dexter-and-Hannah-as-parents-with-kid-Zach-in-the-backseat moment. I guess the previous “weird family” idea wasn’t too far off. Dexter drops Zach off at Vogel’s but she insists Hannah and Zach come inside for dinner.
The dinner scene feels weird, but appropriately so. Vogel clinically analyzes Dexter and Hannah’s relationship. (Awkward.) Dexter is still concerned about Cassie’s death because of the similarity to Norma Rivera’s attack, in addition to Zach’s blood being at the scene…despite the fact that he wasn’t there. Dexter thinks someone took Zach’s blood to frame him.
Over at Battista’s place, Jaime watches Harrison and asks her brother if they can sleep there for a while. At this point Jaime seems more like Harrison’s parent than Dexter does.
The next day Elway asks Deb about Hannah and Deb says she’s let it go. Then she drops a bombshell: she wants to quit. Offended, Elway warns her that there’s less money in being a cop than a private investigator. He’s unnecessarily hostile, as though he preferred the damaged Deb to a whole one. It’s a bit weird to be honest, bordering on disturbing.
Dexter drops Hannah at her hotel and offers to pick her up the next day to help her leave, but she declines. She’s afraid of saying goodbye. She’s unsure where she’s going to go. Her new name? Claire Thompson.
Then the inevitable happens: Hannah kisses Dexter, he kisses back, and they fall in bed together.
Afterwards, Dexter goes home and sees Zach sitting in his desk chair. Only Zach’s not moving. The back of his skull has been sawed off. Oh no. The Brain Surgeon. He’s still out there.
The episode ends with three short scenes: Vogel receives a piece of Zach’s brain in a jar. Elway calls the police about Hannah McKay and her false “Maggie” name. Finally, Dexter asks Hannah to stay. She runs into his arms.
I’m relieved to say “Are We There Yet?” was a pretty good episode. Despite the Hannah sections dragging it down, there were plenty of good moments: Dexter tracking Zach, Deb deciding to get her life back on track, Zach’s scenes—even though he doesn’t survive very long. The side plots, such as Jaime’s relationship with Quinn and Masuka’s relationship with his daughter, were thankfully underplayed in this episode.
The Brain Surgeon still being on the loose is a nice touch. It all seemed far too easy when they “found” him, so this is a welcome discovery. Zach’s death is a definite disappointment, but with the re-introduction of the Brain Surgeon there may be a good storyline to replace his. All in all, it’s good to see “Dexter” finally getting back on track.