Dexter Season 8, Episode 2 Recap: “Every Silver Lining…”
Dexter is meeting his maker. Literally.
As Episode 2 starts, he's at Dr. Evelyn Vogel's house, watching a video of a therapy session between his father and Vogel. In the recording, the late cop talks about a then-10-year-old Dexter, whom he just allowed to see a homicide scene, hoping that it would scare Dex's darkness away.
"I remember that day. It was like a painting, and I wanted to be the artist," Dex says in voiceover.
Harry says that Dex even stole a bloody shard of glass, apparently, the first of what will be countless "trophies."
Harry is perturbed, but Vogel is unfazed. "There is a place in this world for your son," she says.
"I helped create you." she tells Dex as she positions herself as a mother figure. "It was me who convinced Harry that your urges couldn't be stopped, but they could be focused."
That's when Dex realizes that Vogel came up with the code. "You experimented on me? That's what mothers do?"
"I developed a framework for your survival," she rebuts. "That's what mothers do."
She tells Dex that she now needs his help. She shows him a portion of human brain in a jar — an anterior insular cortex — which was left on her doorstep as a warning, she believes, by the murderer Miami Metro is hunting. She thinks the person is a former patient, and she can't enlist the cops' help since her therapy methods are unorthodox and perhaps illegal. "I want you to find him, Dexter," she says, "and I want you to do what Harry and I taught you to do."
In a cutaway, we see some guy asphyxiate another guy. Oddly, however, the killer apologizes to the victim.
Back at his apartment, Dexter watches Vogel's other therapy video, in which Harry reveals that a teenage Dexter made another kill. He killed a drug dealer, and it was the first time Dex made his subject look at photos of his victims. Dead Harry appears to Dexter in the present and advises Dex to keep Vogel close.
Meanwhile, Deb debriefs with her boss, Elway, about Andrew Briggs's death. He's not happy that she went undercover, but she assuages him by revealing that she has the keys to Briggs' storage unit, which is likely where the jewels are stashed.
The Miami Metro team finds the asphyxiation victim we saw die, but he's in a different place and without that same anterior insular cortex. Dex finds the plastic bag the killer used.
Vogel shows up at the scene and tells Dex she received another brain chunk, and Dex agrees to help her — but first has her tell him the evolution of her trusting relationship with Harry.
Deb and Elway break into Briggs's house and snoop through his stuff as Elway needles Deb about LaGuerta. She defends her former boss/murder victim. They find a bill for Briggs' storage facility and thus the facility's address. Only we see, however, that El Sapo is still tracking Deb.
Deb hosts Vogel in the lab as he scans the plastic bag for prints. He asks why he doesn't remember her from his childhood, and she tells him that Harry forbid their meeting because Harry never wanted Dex to think he was sick. He reveals that he could have used someone to talk to after Harry died, and she is surprised that he's so emotional for a psychopath.
The prints on the bag belong to Lyle Sussman, a name Vogel doesn't recognize. Masuka awkwardly interrupts their tête-à-tête to say that he found fingerprints at the scene, too, so the race is on!
Dex breaks into Sussman's apartment and snoops around, finding a photo of a secluded hunting cabin at Lake Nona.
Meanwhile, Deb searches Briggs's storage unit until she finds the jewels. Just then, however, El Sapo corners her, and they duke it out. He gets the upper hand and takes her gun before fleeing with the jewels.
The next day, Batista and Quinn go to the house of Sussman's mom. Batista pressures Quinn to take the sergeant's test, especially if Quinn wants to date Jamie. (That's right, Batista knew about Quinn boinking his sister — because he's a boss.) The mom tells the two about Sussman's hunting cabin before showing off a crazy woodland-creature quilt he made her. "It's like a nightmare in fur," Batista says.
The Miami Metro team respond to another crime scene and find El Sapo's body in his car — he was shot to death. A spooked Dexter thinks that if El Sapo is dead, Deb might be in danger again, too. He finds a shard of glass with the killer's blood, and he pockets it.
Dex calls Vogel to tell her that he's checking in on Deb instead of going to Sussman's cabin, and Vogel then realizes that it's Deb that's been eating away at him.
Dex finds Deb passed out on her couch, but Deb eventually rouses and finds her least-favorite houseguest ever. Dex tells her about El Sapo's death, and she seems happy El Sapo is dead. He notices her bruises, and she tells him about the fight.
"Will you not do this, please?" she whines. "Give a s—t? … I didn't want to hate you. I wanted the opposite. It didn't work out that way, and I can't change the way I feel. So will you go, please?"
Dex goes to Sussman's cabin only to find his hanged body. Talking to Vogel later, he says that he thinks that Sussman was killed by an accomplice; Vogel suggests that Sussman was an innocent victim. They start talking about psychopaths like Dex.
"You keep talking to me like I'm some kind of alternate species. Like I'm less-than-human," Dex says.
"On the contrary," Vogel objects. "Psychopaths are not a mistake of nature. They're a gift. They're alpha wolves who help the human race survive long enough to become civilized. An indispensable demographic."
Elsewhere, Quinn picks Jamie up for a date but is too preoccupied with Deb, his ex-fiancée, to pay her any mind. He reveals that he's reluctant to take the sergeant's test, and Jamie is pissed with him for being stuck in the past and pissed at Batista for butting in.
Then comes the shocker: Dex runs the blood on the shard of glass from El Sapo's window; it's Deb's blood.
Coincidentally, she drops in on Miami Metro at that moment. She has somewhat-warm reunions with Masuka, Batista, and Quinn before shooting an icy look in Dex's direction.
Dex spies on her as Quinn asks her about Briggs and El Sapo. She tells Quinn the same lie she told the other cops. "Is she lying to protect me or to protect herself?" Dexter muses.
Presented with photos of El Sapo's body, Deb flashes back to her second homicidal crime. Dex interrupts and excuses himself and Deb, who looks almost relieved to see him. They go to the alley, where Dex tells her he knows she killed El Sapo.
"F—k," says Deb.
She tells him that she shot El Sapo in a blind rage. Dex tells her that they found a gun in the car's glovebox; Deb tells him it might be hers and that he should switch it out.
"What if I weren't here to cover your ass?" Dex says, snarkily.
"You really want to play the 'what if' game?" Deb seethes. "What if you weren't a serial killer? What if Harry had left you in that f—king shipping container? … You know what? El Sapo's not the the first person I f—king shot, Dexter, and he may not be the f—king last … Anything can happen in this hellhole that is now my life. Your gift to me, Dexter." (That's a burn, folks.)
Duly shamed, Dex switches out the guns in the evidence locker.
That night, while the team has drinks, Quinn tells Batista that he's going to take the sergeant test. Deb contemplates joining the party but speeds off when Quinn spots her mid-decision.
That night, Dexter hurries to Vogel's house she finds her front door open. The house is clear, but there's a disc on her desk. The video contained therein shows Sussman strangling the second victim at gunpoint: Sussman was coerced.
Dex beats himself up for not realizing that Sussman was innocent, but Vogel reassures him: "You're exactly what you need to be. You're perfect."
She hugs him and he hugs back, looking uncharacteristically vulnerable in the embrace of this newfound emotional support system.