As a series, audiences were encouraged to view a type of Harry Morgan (James Remar) that was pure fantasy—a creation within the mind of Dexter. Upon the introduction of Dr. Vogel, we finally see actual recordings of Harry, who is a man that doesn’t have all the answers and who questions the experimental code he gives to the protagonist. In this episode, we actually learn that he decided to commit suicide after seeing his creation in action. Perhaps the most pivotal point of “Scar Tissue” is that Deb also learned this vital piece of information.
Skipping a small time gap between episode three and four where Dr. Vogel began to treat Deb, “Scar Tissue” begins with Deb already caught up on the relationship between Dr. Vogel and Dexter. Seeing Deb finally stop spiraling out of control—if only for an instant—was a refreshing view for audiences, even though it was only temporary. In fact, despite that she continued on a path to hit rock bottom, because she seemingly did it with a clear mind made it even more prevailing on screen.
Surrounding the Dexter, Deb and doctor timelines, new characters were introduced that could play strong parts in future episodes. With minimal screen time, “Cassie from 4B” (Bethany Joy Lenz) borrowed some laundry detergent and left a smile for Dexter. Jamie revealed the new character in Dexter’s kitchen to be single. At the office, Masuka hits a young twenty-something student before she reveals that she may his daughter. Shocked, the two exchange an awkward Masuka-laugh and open up a relationship that may help womanizer open up in a real relationship.
After learning about her father’s suicide, Deb’s demeanor finally leveled off and gave off the appearance of a calm, rational individual—something she’s never really been. Showing up at Miami Metro surprised Quinn and gave viewers hope at a new beginning for the female Morgan. “I want you happy,” she told Quinn as she gave him a hug and encouraged him to work things out with his girlfriend. Next, she asked Dexter if they could go for a drive and talk.
Deb’s goodbye to Quinn and the fact that Dexter was using a company car may have signaled some viewers to a glimpse of how the episode might end. After confirming Harry’s suicide, Deb revealed that killing himself was not the answer. While Dexter is venting to his sister for the first time about his guilt for Harry’s death, Deb grabs the wheel and jerks the car off the road and into a small pond. Her plan to kill them both was foiled when a nearby fisherman jumped in to save her. Waking up as the car went under, she swam to the bottom to save her brother.
The instant decision to save Dexter is much more telling about Deb’s true relationship with her brother. Despite having plotted to kill him, she could not resist risking her life to save him—showing her true emotions, that are deeper engrained than rational thought reinforced by society. An attempt at dual suicide this early in the season makes audiences wonder about the true ending to the Dexter franchise.
Dr. Vogel’s ever-expanding list of unsuccessful patient verdicts continues to baffle audiences. Her intentions of helping Deb nearly killed both Morgan children and her list of past patients include cannibals, serial killers, and the mysterious Yates, who appears to be The Brain Surgeon (this fact possibly proven true by Dexter because of his interests and diagrams about the mind hidden in his cellar).
Whether or not Yates is truly this season’s killer antagonist is questionable, but his actions provided more truth to the fact that Dexter is more than just a killer. After tricking Yates to come to the bedside of his father, Dexter trapped him in the room to expose himself in a face-to-face scenario. Rather than fight, Yates quickly unhinged his dying father’s oxygen mask, risking his father’s life but alerting the nurses to rush into the room so he could climb out the window to freedom. This action proved that Yates only cares for himself and is something that Dexter would never do if put in the same situation with a family member.
Yates having access to Dr. Vogel’s current records gives more information on her than on him. When Dexter finds that she is keeping a current record on him, he seems to disown her in a single instant. Feeling once again like a monster, as she diagnosed him with false affections for Deb, he is left to question his life once again. His relationships are proving more detrimental and his love for his sister will more than likely lead to his demise.
Dr. Vogel is still one of the more mysterious characters within the show. She is concerned for her life and cold in thought after a life of staring into the minds of killers, but she still seems to care for Deb’s well being, even if it’s only to get closer to Dexter. In her attempt to save the Morgans, she reminded Deb that she made the “best of an impossible situation,” referring to the shootout where she took LaGuerta’s life rather than the life of her brother. Trying to lead Deb to freedom from guilt, she reminded her, “You’ve forgotten the life you saved.”