'Dexter' Season 8 premiere: The psychopath whisperer is on to Dexter

dexter-season-8-premiere-charlotte-rampling.jpg "Dexter" is back for its final season on Showtime, featuring two storylines we are immensely intrigued by, one of which we definitely did not see coming.

It's six months later from where Season 7 left off. Batista is the new lieutenant because Deb left the force, which only makes sense after she killed LaGuerta to keep Dexter's secret.

At first, it seems as though Deb is spiraling way out of control, doing drugs and cavorting with a criminal, which turns out to be a double fake out. We find out she's working for a private security company tracking down bail-jumpers, so initially, it does not seem like she has actually gone over to such a dark place.

However, when Dexter shows up to "save" Deb and stabs Briggs, her jewelry thief boyfriend, Deb is actually upset about. She wasn't so much "undercover" as she was moving on into "the s***ty hell that she deserves."

It's incredibly sad to watch the once kick-butt crime solver Deb turned into this shell of her former self, yet it only makes sense in the wake of last season's events. Also, it's giving Jennifer Carpenter some really meaty material and she's absolutely killing it.

Meanwhile, Dexter is actually the one who is lost without the stability of Deb in his life. He's snapping at Harrison, choking a guy out on the freeway and just generally being pretty sad himself.

Which makes it all the more interesting when Dr. Evelyn Vogel comes into his life. More on that in a minute.

In other news, Quinn and Jamie are hooking up, which actually makes a lot of sense. We all knew horndog Quinn would eventually get around to Batista's very pretty sister, right? And Angel pretty much knows and it speaks volumes about his relationship with Quinn that he kind of doesn't care.

The Killer of the Season is the brain surgeon, who leaves his victims missing their anterior insular cortex, the part of the brain that processes empathy -- the lack of empathy is the mark of a psychopath.

This brings Dr. Evelyn "The Psychopath Whisperer" Vogel into town, seemingly wanting to help out on this latest case. However, she's not what she first appears to be.

Oh, and as an aside -- it may be our many years of watching "Dexter" getting the better of us, but we don't trust Deb's new boss Elway ( Sean Patrick Flanery) one little bit.

Spoiler warning -- we're about to discuss something about Vogel's character that is already out there in interviews with Charlotte Rampling but has not ye aired on "Dexter." It comes about right away in episode 2, so don't keep reading if you'd prefer to remain unspoiled.

Vogel is a great misdirect by the writers. She's not there to catch Dexter, she's there to help him. She is the person Harry turned to when he decided he could help Dexter be a good little psychopath with a code. She's ostensibly Dexter's mother.

This sets up a really interesting way to go for the final season. Can Dexter recapture some semblance of a family unit? Is there any getting Deb back, or is she lost forever?

How do you feel about Vogel in this role? Is it a cheat? Is it a huge ret-con, suddenly adding someone in Dexter's past who knew all about him and worked with Harry, whom we have never before heard anything about?

We actually don't feel cheated because we're so intrigued to watch it play out, but we understand if you feel a little cheated.

What did you think of the Season 8 premiere of "Dexter"?
Photo/Video credit: Showtime