SPOILER ALERT: The recap for the "Make Your Own Kind of Music" episode of "Dexter" contains storyline and character spoilers.
In a reveal that surprised absolutely no one, Dexter and Dr. Vogel figured out the identity of The Brain Surgeon, the noggin'-dissecting serial killer who has been cuttin' up — ha! — all season long, and sending trophies of his handiwork to Vogel.
Turns out, the killer has mommy issues. And his mommy is… Dr. Vogel. Who is he? Well, given this season's newest players, it had to be either Jacob Elway, electrolyte-pushing new boss of Deb, or Oliver Saxon, that sorta creepy guy who's dating — er, was dating — Cassie, before she was murdered.
And the winner is: Saxon, who isn't really Oliver Saxon.
Portrait of the Killer as a Young Man
The missing backstory for Vogel is this: She was married and had two sons. Daniel is the older one, and Richard was the youngest one. Daniel murdered his brother, because he's a psychopath (and the inspiration for Vogel's "Psychopath Whisperer" career), and, Vogel tells Dex, she and her hubs covered up the murder and had Daniel committed to an institution when he was 14.
[Related: Check Out Our Recap of Last Week's 'Dexter']
When he was 17, she says, he was killed in a fire at the institution.
Dexter asks Vogel if she actually saw the body. No, but her husband did. Hmmm…
Is there any connection between Daniel and brain cores?, Dexter asks. Why, yes, he was devoid of empathy, and he was aware of that fact, and how his mother felt about it, she says. "It's possible he boxed some up and left it at my door," Vogel says, with a straight face.
After running a DNA test on some blood and hair samples he found at Zach Hamilton's photo studio, Dex determines it's a match to Vogel. When he uses software to age a photo of a young Daniel Vogel to see what he might look like now, the result looks a lot like Oliver Saxon.
Dexter: "Is it possible this is Vogel's son?" Uh, was it ever really possible it wasn't?
The Brain Surgeon Makes His Own Kind of Music
Now that Vogel and Dexter agree that the murderer of Zach and Cassie is The Brain Surgeon, and that the presumed-dead Daniel Vogel is The Brain Surgeon… what to do, what to do?
Dexter, of course, wants to put him on his table. Vogel wants to send him back to an institution. Dexter plans to get his way, though, by encouraging Vogel to lure Daniel/Oliver to a meeting at a café, where — she thinks — Dexter will drug him, and they'll take him to another institution. Dexter has other plans, though, when he drugs Vogel and goes to the café to nab Daniel and put him on his table.
But when Daniel realizes his mama isn't gonna show (after he plays their song, "Make Your Own Kind of Music," several times, and provides another anticlimactic bit of backstory for this season), he flees quickly, and Dexter misses him. He rushes to Vogel's house to make sure she's safe, and she coldly tells him she no longer trusts him, nor does she need his help with this "family matter."
Dexter slinks away, and Vogel returns to her dining room, where she asks Daniel if he'd like some breakfast.
Killers: A Love Story
Dexter and Hannah have declared their love for each other, and after she determines she can't start a new life in Miami, she asks Dexter to pack up Harrison and move with her to Argentina. He thinks about it for less than a minute and agrees.
And while everything about this final season of a once-great drama has been, disappointingly, by the book, we have to believe there's a warning to be heeded in Dr. Vogel's reaction to Dexter's relocation news: "Don't you know that won't end well?" she asks Dexter.
And speaking of the end, there are just two more episodes before the September 22 series finale, "Remember the Monsters?"
"Dexter" Short Cuts:
- Deb seemed destined to make her own kind of music with private eye boss Elway, but considering that ex-fiancé Joey Quinn kissed her tonight — and she did not seem to mind at all — we're guessing that's off the table. But if she does reunite with Joey, and thus breaks the heart of Angel's sister Jamie, will Angel still want her to return to the Miami PD staff?
- Oh, yeah, Angel officially offered Deb her badge back. She told him she has to think about it. Guessing her decision might somehow be tied to whether or not the rumored Deb-centric "Dexter" spinoff happens. If not, maybe everyone packs up and moves to Argentina with Dexter and Harrison and Hannah? Kidding, of course. We hope.
- When Dexter finds the hunk of blood and hair under a tabletop at Zach's studio, he says he thinks his deceased protégé probably put them there on purpose during his murder, knowing Dexter would find them. OK, so we're to believe that this kid, who, just last week, didn't even think to wear gloves when he murdered someone and stuffed the dude in his trunk, had the foresight days later to, during a fatal attack, pull hair and blood out of his own head and stick them under a table, knowing his serial-killer mentor would find them?
- Always happy to see "The Shield" alum Kenny Johnson, and though his role as Hannah-tracking U.S. Marshall Clayton is coming too late in the season for him to have a chance to develop the character, he did have the episode's best line. After questioning Dexter about Hannah, Clayton later runs into Dexter at the house of Arlene, Hannah's BFF who's been stashing her cash for her. Clayton asks why Dexter is there, so to cover up the fact that he drove Hannah there (and that she's in the other room), Dex pretends to be dating Arlene. "You sure know how to pick 'em," says a surprised, head-shaking Clayton.
- That was actually the second best line of the episode. The first was this, from Deb to Dexter: "What was Zach doing with you and Hannah in the Keys? Serial killer convention?"
- With no safe place for Hannah to hide before they leave for Argentina, Dex asks Deb to house her. "You'll be OK here," he tells Hannah. "Sure, we'll just hang," she says of the woman who hates her, especially since Hannah poisoned Deb just days earlier. Making it completely understandable when Deb hesitates to eat the salad her unwanted house guest prepared.
- After seeing Hannah on TV, Harrison asked Dexter if he will see her, and then tells his dad he wishes she could be his mom. Just make sure you eat all your veggies, Harrison. You do not want to make Hannah angry. You will not like her when she is angry.
"Dexter" airs Sundays at 9 PM on Showtime.