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Oh, Dexter.  Showtime’s programming crown jewel has just begun its eighth and final season, in which the cable network will finally allow the show to begin the endgame that should have resolved the series back in seasons three or four, instead of being unnecessarily stretched out for four more, increasingly terrible and poorly-written seasons.  But hey, ratings!  Dexter has always been a magnet for huge numbers, and so the show carried on and on and on.

And the season premiere of Dexter’s eighth season was no exception, with “A Beautiful Day” breaking records and becoming the highest-rated premiere in Dexter history, drawing in 2.5 million viewers at its 9 PM slot (last year’s premiere scored 2.4 million).  And, according to Coming Soon, “A Beautiful Day” drew in 3.2 million viewers total for the entire night, over last year’s 3.04 million.

So yeah, that’s a lot of people wanting to find out what finally happens to Dexter Morgan, the Miami serial killer who is trained to only kill other bad guys and moonlights for the Miami Police Department in the once-promising TV series.  And now that the show is actually allowed to have stakes and consequences again (since it’s not going to be unnecessarily stretched out for season after season), maybe, just maybe, it will actually be compelling television again.

But hey, why not see for yourself—Showtime has made the first episode of season eight available for free on YouTube, so check it out:

What do you think of “A Beautiful Day”?