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Information, please contact: Laura Lerman, lel@se-ltd.com or 203-313-3064 




Lead Actors from Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, Show Boat Lend Their Voices in Support of Arts Center Directed by Newtown Cultural Arts Commission


Newtown, CT,  August 6, 2013 -- The 2013 Newtown Arts Festival announces a special benefit concert, “Broadway Sings for Newtown,” to be held as part of the festival’s eight days of cultural programming on Thursday, September 19 at Walnut Hill Community Church, 156 Walnut Hill Road, in Bethel at 7 p.m. All tickets are $35 general admission and are available at NewtownArtsFestival.com.

A cast of Broadway stars will take to the stage and perform two acts of music with such favorites as Ring Them Bells, You’ll Never Walk Alone, and You Raise Me Up, among others. J. Mark McVey (Les Miserables, Tommy, Chess, Show Boat, Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Actor);  Jeri Sager (CATS, Fiddler on the Roof, Les Miserables, Evita); Danny Zolli (Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Candide, Sweeney Todd);  Gary Mauer (Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, Show Boat, Pirates of Penzance);  Elizabeth Southard (Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, Show Boat); and Kate Schindle (Miss America 1998, Legally Blonde, Jekyll & Hyde, Cabaret).  Local youth ensembles will round out the cast and will be announced in coming weeks.

Produced by Pati Buehler of PB Entertainment, the concert staff includes J.P. Schutz, host/MC; Jeremy Roberts, music director and pianist, Abe Saenz on bass and Roger Cohen on drums. Renee Chambers choreographs. Walnut Hill Community Church has donated the venue and technical staff. Proceeds go to the Healing Arts Foundation, an arts center for the Newtown community. To make a donation visit Healingnewtown.org.

For more information, or to purchase tickets to “Broadway Sings for Newtown,” please visit NewtownArtsFestival.com.


About the 2013 Newtown Arts Festival

The 2013 Newtown Arts Festival features a week of cultural programming leading up to the outdoor event to be held on Saturday and Sunday, September 21-22 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. at Trades Lane, Fairfield Hills.

 With two-full days of programming in the Music Tent, Dance Pavilion, Lecture Hall and Fiber Arts Tent, the festival will also feature over 80 artists in the Artists’ Market offering a variety of items including painting, jewelry, woodwork, glasswork, sculpture, and more.

In addition to the Broadway Sings for Newtown concert, events leading up to the outdoor festival include a Children’s Art Party at NYA Sports & Fitness on Sunday, September 15 from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.; a reading of the one act play “O Heavy Lightness” by Newtown resident Jan Neuberger at the Alexandria Room in Edmond Town Hall on Monday, September 16 at 7 p.m.; a screening of the new film, “Youth,” by Newtown High School student Max Galassi at Newtown Congregational Church on Tuesday, September 17 at 7 p.m.; a cello and violin recital by the Elaris Duo on Wednesday, September 18 at the Newtown Meeting House at 7 p.m.; and, the Rooster Ball, a dinner dance, on Friday, September 20 under the main tent at Fairfield Hills.

For more information, please visit http://newtownartsfestival.com.


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The show started right where last week’s ended—with Cassie’s murder and crime scene analysis.  Dexter should be focusing on the killer, but instead is thinking about Hannah.  Of course, he already knows who killed Cassie, doesn’t he?  And he wonders if Cassie would still be alive if he had focused more on Zack instead of Hannah.


Dexter seems very upset with himself that he once again has feelings for Hannah. He meets up with her and they discuss helping her make a clean getaway.  They also discuss how she cleaned up after herself so that no evidence of the murder can tie her to it.


Dexter checks the blood that was taken from under Cassie’s nails and it matches Zack’s.  But, he decides to keep the evidence to himself so that Zack doesn’t get caught.  On his way out of the office, Quinn stops him to show him victim pics from Cassie’s murder and that of Norma Rivera.  


He, too, notices that they look very similar.


Dr. Vogel is told of the murder and is upset that The Code doesn’t seem to be working for Zack.  She and Dexter discuss what to do about Zack.Photo: hitfix.com


Deb shows up at Dexter’s apartment. They wait for Jamie to leave and Deb brings up Hannah.  She wants to know if the woman is an immediate threat and why she is still around.  Dexter explains that she is in Miami because of her husband and that she approached Dexter about killing him. Dexter lets her know that he didn’t kill the man and that she only poisoned them to get his attention—not to kill them.


Deb is understandably upset and Dexter assures her that she will be gone forever once she gets a passport.  Deb leaves still upset and when Dexter goes outside, he finds Jamie standing in front of Cassie’s door.  She tells Dexter that she has moved in with Quinn and would prefer to spend more time there than at his place- which is so close to the crime scene.


Dexter once again meets up with Hannah to figure out the details of her passport. He has to go to the Keys for the night and asks if she would like to go with him. He doesn’t yet tell her why he’s going, but tells her that she would be safer with him.


Deb talks to Elway about Hannah and tells him that she thinks Hannah is back in Miami.  To try and prove her theory, she brings him to the marina to show him her yacht—which is now missing from its slip. She tells him the alias that Hannah is using as well as her dislike for the woman.


Jamie is upset that Quinn will be leaving her alone in the apartment.  Even though Harrison is with her, she doesn’t want to be without Quinn in the wake of her friend’s killer.  Quinn wants to go out and find Cassie’s killer, but tells her he will stay with her instead.


Deb goes back to her house and calls Dexter to check in and ask if he’s seen Hannah.  He lies and says he hasn’t seen her and is on his way to dinner. Deb offers to meet him, but he blows her off because Hannah is actually in the seat next to him.  Dexter and Hannah discuss what she has told the crew of her boat and then he tells her why he is on his way to the Keys.  He tells her he is in search of Zack, why he is looking for him, and about Dr. Vogel and The Code. She wants to know why he is trying to solve the problem with Zack, but never did the same with her. Deb is on the road and calls Elway, who tells him what she found out about the yacht and its location.  She tells him that she’s on her way to the Keys to look for Hannah and also speculates that she killed her MIA husband.



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Dexter and Hannah make it to the Keys and stop for some lunch on the beach.  They seem very comfortable with each other and Dexter seems very happy to be with her.  While they are eating, a cop car pulls up and the two get very worried. Luckily, the officers are there for lunch and they manage to leave without incident. They arrive at their destination and Dexter breaks into the room, which he finds (set up like one of his kill rooms) plastic sheeting and tarps everywhere and a set of very sharp knives on the bed.  It isn’t perfect, so Dexter fixes it in order to use it later when he finally tracks Zack down.


Quinn speaks with Cassie’s boyfriend and shows him a photo of Zack. He asks if he recognizes him, but the boyfriend can only say that he look familiar.


Back at the office, Quinn and Masuka are standing watching Nikki cleanse the office of bad juju.  While doing so, Matthews arrives and asks if they have any leads on their case.


Dexter and Hannah are in the hotel room when Zack arrives.  Dexter throws him against the wall and questions him about Cassie’s murder.  He swears that he didn’t do it, but a friend from high school, Shawn Decker, may have killed her.  He shows Dexter his picture and swears that he is there following him—which is part of The Code.  He found Shawn, and has already killed him.  Instead of sedating him, he hit him over the head to take him down—which unfortunately went too far.  He has the body in his car and Dexter explains how to do it right the next time and also how to dispose of the body and evidence so it can’t come back to Zack. He leaves Hannah to take care of the room while he and Zack leave to take care of things. He also learns that Zack cut himself on the car handle and wonders if that is how his blood may have gotten under Cassie’s nails.


After the boys leave, Deb shows up and threatens to arrest Hannah. Hannah tells her that she’ll give her up as an accessory to murder if she arrests her, which doesn’t seem to faze Deb at all.  Hannah tells her that she doesn’t enjoying killing, but uses it as a way to solve problems that she cannot otherwise solve.  She also admits that she still loves Dexter. Dexter comes back while they are still talking and Deb admits that she found them via a GPS that she placed in his car.  She leaves in a huff and soon Dexter, Hannah, and Zack are back on the road heading home.


Dexter brings Zack to Dr. Vogel’s house and tells him that the teen seems to be learning The Code very quickly.  Vogel sees Hannah in the car and asks that she come in with them for dinner.  Hannah and Dr. Vogel meet for the first time, enjoy the meal, and enjoy some conversation about their interests.


Vogel tells Dexter and Hannah that they make a good, yet bad couple and makes Zack a bit uncomfortable.  While they’re talking, Dexter becomes quiet and admits that he’s thinking about Cassie’s murder.  He shows everyone the pictures from the crime scene and Zack notices right away that it is very similar to Norma Rivera’s murder.  Dexter feels that perhaps Zack has been framed and someone intentionally made his car door handle sharp in order to get his blood to plant under Cassie’s nails.


Jamie brings Harrison to Batista’s house and asks if she can stay there for the night so she won’t be alone.  He agrees and Jamie seems to feel much better.


Deb heads back to the office and she tells Elway that she couldn’t find Hannah and that the woman has probably already fled the country.  It is very strange that Deb has given up so easily, but perhaps she knows deep down that Dexter truly loves Hannah and turning her in might not be the right thing to do after all.  She tells Elway that she isn’t sure if being a private investigator is right for her and that she wants her job to mean more than just a paycheck.  


Dexter brings Hannah to a hotel room to hide out and Dr. Vogel is left to take Zack home.  Dexter offers to be back early the next morning to get Hannah, but she declines the offer so she won’t have to say goodbye again. He instructs her what to do once she has left the country so that she can safely disappear. He leaves her with her passport and tells her that he will wait to one day hear from her again. She kisses him and what should be their last kiss ends up being a last romantic encounter.

Dexter finally leaves and goes back to his apartment. He finds the radio on and Zack dead in his desk chair with the back of his head taken off- possibly thanks to the Brain Surgeon.  He gets rid of the body, and it looks like Dr. Vogel has another macabre souvenir.


Just as Hannah is boarding the plane, Dexter shows up and begs her to stay, but considering Elway has let it be known that Hannah was in the area and had a new name, she should definitely leave.  

But will she?



Valerie Schirmer is a freelance writer/editor who has written about a wide variety of topics for newspapers, magazines, and websites. She currently resides in South Jersey with her husband, daughter, and a crazy dachshund.


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Photo: hitfix.com

 5 tips to make small space feel larger such as buying simple and space-saving furniture, investing in multifunctional furniture, using light colors... 

Living in a small space is the choice of many people, and whatever our reason for this choice is, we always think about how to make our small space look bigger. By applying the below simple tricks, you can make the interior design of your small room more harmonious and spacious. 


1.      Buy Simple and Space-saving Furniture 

  • Simple furniture is the best choice for small rooms. They exclude unnecessary details; floating shelves is one example; they are so cool because of their simple design. Another suggestion is wall to wall bookcases, where you can put all your books, decorative accents, and other small things. 



  • You should limit unnecessary details and volumes in furniture. They may be decorative, but they are not suitable for small rooms. Choose simple window drapes without oversized ruffles, armless chairs with exposed legs, and so on.

  • Take the advantage of the corners! You can buy shelves and other furniture that can be placed at the corners; a small corner shelf can store your small things without being the obstacle in your room. An alternative is to place normal rectangle furniture at the corner, and then you have additional empty space behind to store your stuffs! Find your ideal furniture with Home Depot.





2.      Invest in Multifunctional Furniture

Multifunctional furniture may be larger than normal furniture pieces, but since they can serve several purposes, you will need fewer pieces, and you will feel easier to tidy up the room. Therefore, you should buy some smart furniture instead of spreading tons of small pieces in your room. Sofa beds, expendable tables, and folding chairs are just some of many smart choices for you.





3.      Use Light Colors

  • Pain the walls with light colors: although dark colors look trendy and impressive, you should use light colors, including whites and pastel hues, as the major scheme of the room because they reflect light well and hence make the room look more airy.

  • The floor and the major furniture in the room should be in the same color family with the walls. This makes the whole room looks more harmonious.




4.      Add glasses

  • See-through furniture such as glass tables, glass chairs, and glass shelves, though still consumes some space, can fool the eyes and make the room looks more airy. They allow you to see the floor and the stuffs behind and under them; they can also reflect light. Most of all, glass furniture is elegant and sophisticated, and that is suitable for a modern living space.



  • Mirror is one of the must-haves for a small room. Again, the lighter, the wider! You can install an oversized mirror for the living room and a smaller designer mirror for the bedroom. If you want to buy on a budget, use coupon codes to get extra discounts.


5.      Add and Utilize Natural Elements

  • A vase of flowers or a bonsai is space-saving but can bring to the room a more comfortable and breathable feeling. Your room will feel wide enough to appreciate the natural beauty besides containing functional furniture.



  • Make a big window so that the interior space can fall in line with natural view outside, and then your narrow room will look brighter and more open. 

You have had in your hand the key rules to furnish a small room. Why not start a home improvement plan now? 


Tiffany Faming has passion for home decorating and writing. She wants to share her experiences to those who want to improve home effectively. Read her posts about frugal shopping schemes, home improvement tips and great coupons on home furnitures. 

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“Dress Code” starts with Dexter being awakened with a phone call, but he’s on the ground instead of at home.  It’s Dr. Vogel, wondering where he’s been and to let him know that Zack Hamilton called her.  He’s still reeling from seeing Hannah and calls Deb to come and get him—because apparently Hannah also drugged him and left him stranded in the middle of nowhere. They discuss what to do about Hannah and decide to try to find her via the traffic cameras in the area.


Later, Dexter is at home getting ready to put in a request for the traffic footage when Zack Hamilton shows up at his door (because Dexter missed an early meeting with the boy).  He is worried that he may have been followed to his home since he’s being watched.  They speak for a few minutes about how Zack should be acting and how he will help him, and then Dexter sends him on his way.Photo: Showtime


Deb is looking Hannah up online when Elway comes in and asks about what she’s doing—and also to ask if she wants lunch. Deb feels he is a little too close and flirts too much.  Elway backs off, but reminds her that she should be nicer to him because he did a lot to help her get the job.


While watching the camera footage, Dexter finds Hannah and gets the license plate number of her rental. He calls the rental agency and pretends to be a cop in order to get some information about Hannah. She gives him the name that Hannah is using, along with her address and phone number.


Quinn is helping Jamie find an apartment because she’s ready to move out of her brother’s home.  She broaches the subject about them eventually moving in together and he agrees to think about it.


Masuka’s daughter apologizes for freaking out about the money he tried to give her.  He asks if she wants to meet up, but she has to work.


Dexter watches Hannah and finds that she seems to be living the high life with a new man.  She gets into a limo and he follows her as she and her mystery man arrive at a member’s only club.  Dexter tries to get in, but is denied.  He calls Zack and asks if his father is a member of the club and asks him to help him get in.  Zack arrives, the two enter the club, and they look for Hannah. Dexter approaches Hannah and leaves Zack to watch out for the mystery man.  She tells him that her name is now Maggie, yet doesn’t want to surrender much more info other than that the man is her husband.  Her husband, Miles, arrives and she introduces the two.  Miles already knows about Dexter, but only what he has heard from Maggie. Zack asks Dexter what is going on, but Dexter tells him he will tell him about it later.


Dexter looks Miles up online and finds that he is rich and powerful enough to have helped Hannah change her identity.  Deb arrives and Dexter tells her that he found Hannah and that she’s married and with a new name.  He tells her he is working on a plan, but she is afraid that he might still be too enamored with her to think clearly.


Masuka heads to the sports bar where his daughter claims to be employed and finds her—as a topless waitress!  


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Dr. Vogel speaks to Deb about Hannah’s return.  Deb wants nothing more than to turn her in, but she can’t because Hannah knows too much.  For now, she needs to rely on Dexter and his plan.


Masuka goes to Dexter to ask if they could get someone to help with all of their paperwork. After he leaves, Zack Hamilton walks into the office and requests the police back off of him. Quinn objects, but Matthews assures him that they will leave him alone. As Quinn is leaving the office—very pissed off—he tells Batista that he and Jamie are moving in together.


Dexter is waiting for Zack when he leaves. They discuss a little of The Code. He tells Zack that he has to be more patient and careful as well as show more control.


Miles approaches Dexter at the gas station and threatens to call in some “favors” if Dexter doesn’t back off of his wife.  He texts Hannah to find out where she is and she tells him to meet her at the Greenhouse. He meets her there and he lets her know about his confrontation with Miles.  She tells him that he’s not a violent type of threat, but definitely someone who can ruin his life with just a few phone calls.  She also explains how she and Miles met and how he helped her reinvent herself after her prison escape.  Dexter asks why she came back and drugged him and Deb.  She had hoped it would lead him to her and that he would help her kill Miles, who apparently is smothering her.  Not only that, she reveals that she is still in love with Dexter.  He feels the same way about her, but she runs off before anything can happen.


Deb visits Elway’s office and he is still mad at how she acted earlier.  She tells him that she knows that he is interested in her, but that he shouldn’t pursue her. She leaves to visit Dexter and runs into Cassie. The two discuss Dexter and Cassie seems to still be interested in her neighbor.


Masuka meets up with his daughter after her shift and offers her a job with him.  She doesn’t seem too interested, but promises to think about it.


Dr. Vogel speaks with Dexter about Zack.  She tells him that he must take his job as Zack’s mentor seriously.  


Dexter is grabbed by three men and beaten up.  A warning from Miles??  Probably! It makes him worried for Hannah that Miles might hurt her, too.


Deb apologizes to Elway and also thanks him for helping her through the past year.


Zack once again visits Dexter’s apartment, but he isn’t home.  Cassie comes out to let him know that Dexter isn’t home and asks if she can give him a message.  Zack leaves very angry.


Hannah returns to her yacht after a shopping trip and Miles lets her know that he knows she and Dexter met at the greenhouse.  He tells her that their meeting has consequences for Dexter and also gets too rough with her.  While this is happening, Dexter is lurking nearby and eventually finds his way onto the yacht.  He walks in to find Miles dead on the floor and Hannah sitting next to the body.  He will help her out and gives her a list of supplies to get so he can do so.  Dexter dumps Miles’ body into the water as he usually does, this time taking Hannah with him. Deb is watching as the two leave his boat.  She tells Dexter that she doesn’t intend to kill him and gives him a little info about her future plans.  While they’re talking Dexter receives a text about a crime scene—at his apartment building!  He leaves Hannah behind and Deb still watches.


Dexter enters the crime scene, which is apartment almost identical to his—and finds Cassie dead on the floor.  She’s been bludgeoned to death, and he remembers that Norma Rivera was also killed in a similar way.  


Did Zack kill her??


  Valerie Schirmer is a freelance writer/editor who has written about a wide variety of topics for newspapers, magazines, and websites. She currently resides in South Jersey with her husband, daughter, and a crazy dachshund.


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Photo/Video credit: Randy Tepper/Showtime

Sex and the City and Girls are two of the most popular shows targeted towards a female audience in the last two decades.


None will forget the opening montage of Sex and the City with Sarah Jessica Parker in her nude, barely there nightie running aimlessly through the streets of NYC, and Lena Dunham became a household name virtually overnight at the broadcast of the first Girls episode.Cynthia Nixon,Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, and Kristin Davis from "Sex in the City 2."


In SATC, Parker’s gaggle of gals became the staple of every girl group across America because of their “fearless” sexual conversations on a scripted show about “career” women....and Girls has become arguably the most controversial comedy since it hit the airwaves two seasons ago. At the onset of their debuts, both female-driven shows became both adored and abhorred by loyal viewers whether in spite (or despite) of the characters’ flaws and strengths.


But what have SATC and Girls really done for the modern day feminist movement to date?  In SATC, women marveled at the outlandish fashion and the characters’ conversations about their sexual encounters, however the characters never (with the exception of Samantha) defied the glass ceilings that exist for many women in their positions.  At one point in the series, Carrie had relationship problems because her career was much more successful at the time than her men.


Despite the commitment to their careers, their lives still revolved around men. They were women living in a man's world, and doing well, but they never made it a “woman’s world.” Perhaps they saw a man’s world through a woman’s eyes, but their lives and happiness were still run by men (i.e. Mr. Big, Aiden, etc.).  For the better part of the show, Carrie spent her time pining over Mr. Big, a man who continually let her down, cheated on her, and demeaned her.  


Perhaps SATC was exhilarating at first.  For the first time in television history, women didn’t just have an opinion on sex, they owned their sexuality as well. They dressed sexy to prove a point, not necessarily because they were proactively chasing sex.  But the end of the day, despite their lavish lifestyles, were still insecure about their role as single women in modern society. They were women who felt self-conscious in their 30s as “single.”  That doesn’t exactly scream, “I am woman, hear me roar,” like Shoshanna in last season’s Girls.Girls photo: diaryyummymummy.blogspot.com


So what did they do to advance the women’s movement? Nothing, really.  As a young woman in her twenties, I don’t see the characters of SATC or Girls as any role models at all.  In fact, they seem just as vulnerable and scared as any 19-year old woman in college, or young female professional like the characters in Girls, and perhaps that is why so many of us at that age loved the show, and now brush it off as a “guilty pleasure” in our late 20s and early 30s.


As for Girls, it is merely a prequel to Sex and the City.  It doesn’t make young females look strong or intelligent.  It makes them look silly and emotional. How can one forget the scene in the latest Girls season where Marni lost her cool over her ex-boyfriend and does a cringe-worthy rendition of Kanye West’s “Stronger.”


Mostly, “Girls” is a reminder of how naive young women are in their 20s, and the bad choices that can result from such naivete.  But it does so in such an aggressive and sloppy manner that it’s off-putting to this generation of young women.


The modern day feminist movement exists, but hopefully women don’t look to Sex and the City or Girls for inspiration.


Contact Alyssa Bonk at abonk08@gmail.com

Find Alyssa on Google Plus here

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Check out more of Alyssa's work at Blocktalkradio.com/backroompolitics, Luckandhustle.blogspot.com and Smart Girl Politics

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SATC photo: Warner Bros

Girls photo: diaryyummymummy.blogspot.com 

“A Little Reflection” begins with an accident.  Zack Hamilton is on the scene.  Dexter watches while Hamilton takes pictures and also ponders whether or not he killed Norma Rivera.


Dexter follows Hamilton and finds him at Dr. Vogel’s.  He asks why she is seeing Hamilton as a patient and also lets her know his suspicions.  She doesn’t offer him any details, but asks that Dexter see her first if he finds any proof that Hamilton is guilty.


Masuka reads over the report that Deb provides him about his daughter and finds that she is in financial trouble, which leads him to further wonder if money is the true reason for her sudden appearance.Photo/Video credit: Randy Tepper/Showtime


Deb’s boss asks her to take a new case—but it’s personal because he wants her to check on his sister’s boyfriend and see if he’s cheating!  She feels a little uncomfortable taking a case involving her boss, but agrees to do it.


Jamie and Dexter discuss Cassie and his possible new relationship with her.  While they’re talking, he gets a text about a new homicide and has to leave. On the scene he finds a murdered woman whose boyfriend may be the killer.  He also once again finds Zack Hamilton there taking pictures.  Dexter approaches Hamilton and asks if he’s ever been on “the other side of the tape.”  He invites Hamilton to get a closer look at the body and tells him some of what they found at the scene.  Hamilton seems to enjoy what he’s hearing and also seems to think of it as a tutorial as to what to do and what not to do when killing someone.


Dexter finally meets up with Cassie and they grab a bite to eat and chat.  They seem to be getting along just fine, although it is also a bit awkward since Dexter has to watch what he tells her.


Deb and his boss begin their new case and discuss family, all the while staking out the boyfriend.


Dexter visits Hamilton in what appears to be his photo studio.  The walls are covered in crime scene photos and Hamilton seems to be very proud of his work.  Hamilton says something a little strange about feeling as if the woman he photographed earlier spilled all of her blood for him.  Does that make him a murderer, or simply a sadistic voyeur?  While they are talking Hamilton gets an odd phone call and abruptly cuts their meeting short.


Matthews and Batista discuss the promotion again and Batista still seems on the fence as to who should get the job.  He knows that Miller scored higher, but is having a hard time choosing her over Quinn.


Deb and Dexter have dinner at his apartment just like they used to do.  It looks as if things are less awkward between the siblings and they chat while they eat.  They discuss Vogel, and while they are doing that, Jamie comes in with the missing remote.  Harrison had said he hadn’t taken it, but she found it under his bed, which makes Dexter wonder if he should be worried that his son is lying.


Batista finally makes a decision and tells Quinn that Miller is the more qualified candidate.  Quinn is obviously unhappy about the decision and asks if it was based on the fact that the Norma Rivera case has yet to be solved.  He leaves Batista’s office and asks Dexter if he has anything on Hamilton.  Dexter tells him he doesn’t, which prompts Quinn to decide to watch Hamilton.  Dexter knows that if Quinn is watching Hamilton he can’t, too, so he offers to tag along.  While on their watch, they discuss Deb.  Dexter also notices that Hamilton seems to be keeping his eye on one woman in particular, who also happens to be the subject of a photo he found in Hamilton’s studio.


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Deb and her boss continue their stakeout of the possible cheater.  She goes in as bait to see if the suspect hits on her.  She also goes in wired so her boss can get it all on tape.  He totally takes the bait, which proves that he is definitely cheating.  Elway confronts the man and tells him to break up with her sister. He also seems a little too protective of Deb.  Could he like her as more than just a boss?


Dexter does a search to find out who Hamilton’s mystery woman is—Sophia Fuentes.  He wonders if she might possibly be Hamilton’s next victim and heads to his studio to see if he can find any evidence that proves he’s a murderer.  He finds a flash drive hidden in a camera and on it are pictures of Norma Rivera just minutes after she’s murdered.  Also in the pics are Zack Hamilton holding the murder weapon.


Dexter visits Vogel with his findings and she admits that she already knew that Zack Hamilton murdered Norma Rivera.  He tells her that Hamilton killed an innocent woman and plans on killing another, so he needs to die.


Dexter and Harrison go to Jamie’s birthday party.  Masuka is there with his daughter. He gives her $5,000 and also tells her that he checked into her background.  She seems offended that he would think that she was there for only money and gives the money back to him before walking off.  Jamie finds out that Quinn didn’t get the promotion and also walks off angry. Cassie is also there—and she has a date (??) with her, which bothers Dexter.


Deb and Elway discuss the outcome of their case and how it affected his sister.  Her cheating boyfriend broke up with her, although it doesn’t make her boss feel much better. Dexter talks to Harrison about the broken remote and he tells his son that he shouldn’t lie.  But Harrison tells his father that he lies and shows him the blood stained stuffed toy that Dexter thought he threw away.  Harrison rescued him from the trash and wants to know if he can still keep the DNA stained dog.  Dexter lets him keep it.


Dexter once again visits Hamilton’s studio.  When he knocks and there is no answer, he lets himself in.  Hamilton is nowhere to be found, but Dexter finds a receipt for a new car.  He realizes that Hamilton knew better than to use his own car again and that he is going to be killing Sophia Fuentes that night.  He finds out if Fuentes is working, goes to her job, and sees Hamilton watching Fuentes and Quinn watching Hamilton.  To get Quinn to leave the scene, he calls Jamie and gets her to call Quinn so he will leave to go to her.  It works, and he doesn’t haven’t to worry about Quinn seeing what may happen shortly.Photo/Video credit: Randy Tepper/Showtime


Fuentes shows up and she is with Zack’s father.  Just like Norma, she is another of Mr. Hamilton’s mistresses!  Zack is on the move, but it looks like his father might just be his intended victim this time!  Before he can get to his father, Dexter gets to him.  While he is trying to move Zack, Quinn shows up and Dexter thinks he’s caught, but Quinn only says that he knows Dexter is there to keep an eye on Zack and drives away.


Dexter gets Zack safely to the kill room and Zack lets him know that his motives for murder are protecting his mother.  That his father’s infidelities are slowly killing her and he wants to make sure she isn’t hurt anymore.  While it may be true, Dexter also knows that Zack enjoys the murders too much.  Zack agrees that he enjoys killing, can’t help what he is, and that he will do it again if Dexter lets him go.  Dexter considers going through with the murder, but decides that he could be the person to help Zack as his father helped him. He lets him go and will mentor him.


Dexter talks to Deb and lets her know that he will be taking Zack under his wing.  While they are talking, Deb begins feeling woozy and passes out.  Dexter rushes to her side to see what is wrong.  He looks up and finds none other than Hannah McKay in her doorway.  


She’s back!  But, why?


Valerie Schirmer is a freelance writer/editor who has written about a wide variety of topics for newspapers, magazines, and websites. She currently resides in South Jersey with her husband, daughter, and a crazy dachshund.


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Photo/Video credit: Randy Tepper/Showtime

Recently, my almost Kindergartener was on a mission with her friend, sharing an electronic tablet that played Katy Perry videos on YouTube. The song “Wide Awake” is catchy. I heard it over and over, while the girls peered over the screen, in awe, examining what would happen next in the video’s mysterious and captivating scenes within a fairy-tale plot. A role model was born.

There’s clearly no shortage of available role models for young people today, from singers and musicians to actors and athletes. I like that my children enjoy popular culture because I’m a bit of a pop culture junkie myself. Hey, what mom doesn’t like to leaf through the latest issue of People while in the grocery check-out line or doctor’s office waiting room? Maybe knowing the names of all the boys in One Direction will help keep me young, relevant and accessible to my girls as they navigate the dreaded “tween” years in the future. We even saw Taylor Swift’s sell-out concert last weekend, and we love watching teen-inspired Disney movies with well-known celebs Selena Gomez, Bridgit Mendler and Demi Lovato.Photo: www.kgkl.net

So fast forward on the same day as the girls’ YouTube viewing marathon, July 12th, as I watched footage from a speech given to the United Nations by Malala Yousafzai, the 16-year-old Pakistani girl who was shot in the head by the Taliban last year and miraculously survived. Her perceived crime of seeking educational equality for girls made her a Taliban target. I’m sure most adults know her story, but this is when it dawned on me that my kids likely never heard of Malala. Shouldn’t she be a role model, one who my children can be inspired by?

My older daughter was nearby, so I called her over to watch the broadcast, and I briefly explained Malala’s story. This brave girl has been on a mission to fight the Taliban’s tyranny over young girls’ trying to attain any sort of education, sometimes referred to as gender apartheid. My daughter was shocked that girls in some places of the world are simply not allowed to have an education, a privilege the females in our household, including myself, have taken for granted.

In no way do I want to diminish our American culture’s love of things trendy and cool, but I also want to make sure my children have a broader world perspective and understanding of what truly effects change and impacts people. I’ll quote from Malala’s speech because it was incredibly moving and inspirational to me, especially as someone raising two little girls.

“They thought the bullets would silence us, but they failed. And then, out of that silence came thousands of voices. The terrorists thought that they would change our aims and stop our ambitions but nothing changed in my life except this: Weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength, power and courage was born.” (Malala Yosafzai, in a July 12 speech to the Youth Assembly at the U.N. in New York.)

When girls her age are often consumed with the right outfit to choose for their ‘sweet 16,’ Malala Yousafzai celebrated her 16th birthday addressing the world about the plight of children who’ve raised their voices for equal rights, emphasizing that education is the only solution.

I often write about my perspective as a mother of two girls, but finding significant roles models isn’t just a challenge for young girls who are often focused on ephemeral things like clothing, jewelry or hairstyles. Boys too, are in awe of professional athletes. Many of whom are, sadly, in trouble with the law or clouded in scandal from unfaithful relationships, doping or even murder convictions such as former Patriot Aaron Hernandez. Fifty plus years ago, little boys could still be inspired by Charles Lindbergh, Martin Luther King Jr., and Army General Douglas MacArthur.

As parents, we should remind our children ever so often that heroes aren’t always the ones performing on a larger-than-life stage that pumps confetti or on a football field. Teach them history, read to them about the great innovations of our century and point out social injustices. They may just learn to look deeper into the world for meaningful ways to make a difference. Being a great singer or athlete are fine aspirations, but don’t let them forget about the trailblazers of our past and present who move forward bravely to help others succeed or simply to enjoy lives filled with equality that are free from suffering.

Julia Sherwin is a freelance writer and mother of three who lives in Chester County. She is a former college journalism instructor who enjoys running, biking, swimming, traveling and cooking.

 Email her at jsherwin73@gmail.com  or follow her other parenting articles at juliasherwin.wordpress.com.

Photo: www.kgkl.net 

After last week’s previews, this “This Little Piggy” looked as if it would be an awesome episode.  And it definitely didn’t disappoint!


The fifth episode of Dexter’s final season began with Dexter and Deb, fine after the accident, facing Dr. Vogel in a family therapy session.  Deb seems apologetic for her actions, but Dexter is definitely mad.  Dr. Vogel tries to reason with Dexter and explain why Deb tried to kill them both—that it was her way of recovering from the bad place she was in and moving forward.  It seems the tables are turned and now Dexter is the one who doesn’t care or want to be around his sibling.Photo/Video credit: Randy Tepper/Showtime


Dexter heads to the office where Masuka lets his co-workers know that he has just found out that he’s a father.  They’re obviously surprised and Quinn voices his opinion that family showing up out of the blue usually just want something.  They move on and eventually begin discussing the case of the dead woman—Norma Rivera--discovered last week.  Matthews speaks to Quinn about the case and asks that he look only to solve the murder, not smear the name of a friend—Mr. Hamilton--who may or may not be involved in the case.


Batista still hasn’t made a decision as to who will be promoted, although he is approached by Detective Miller in hopes to sway his decision.  Hamilton is visited and admits to having an affair with Rivera and also sleeping with her before her death. Dexter is suspicious of the man, especially after seeing the way he treats his son.  Hamilton’s son strikes up a conversation with Dexter and asks about the murder scene.  He also tells Dexter that his father didn’t commit the crime and that the force should be looking elsewhere for a suspect.


Yates breaks into Dr. Vogel’s home and threatens to kill her.  While this is happening, Deb tries to contact her.  When she doesn’t get her on the phone, Deb goes to Dr. Vogel’s home and finds the mess. Dexter and his co-workers visit a crime scene in which bodies are found with broken toes and buried under rose bushes.  Each corpse is found wearing a left shoe and with their IDs buried with them.  Deb shows up and lets Dexter know that Vogel has been taken.  He knows it’s Yates, and Deb offers to help him find Vogel.  They seem to make up, at least for now, and begin to work together.


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Meanwhile, Yates has Vogel and questions her about Dexter.  He is unhappy that Dexter was in his house and wants to know who he is. They talk about his brain surgery. Vogel tries to tell him that she did what was best for him, yet it doesn’t make Yates any less angry.


Quinn and Miller talk to a street vendor and find that Hamilton’s son was seen during the time that the murder took place.  She also lets him know that they should both remain friends regardless of who is chosen for the promotion.


Masuka meets with his daughter and they talk about their lives to get to know each other a little better.  Between her questions and her massive lunch order, it seems like maybe Quinn was right and she has shown up just to get to her new father’s money.


Dexter is still looking for Yates and is hoping that Batista can tell him something about his bank trail.  They find that he’s used the same ATM twice recently and may know the area where he’s hiding.


Quinn goes to Matthews with his findings about Hamilton’s son, but he’s told that what he has found doesn’t mean anything and that he needs to keep looking for something that they can use to find the killer.


Deb is back at work and while she’s speaking with her boss, Masuka shows up to visit her.  But he isn’t there to hang out- he’s there to hire her to do a background check on his daughter.  He wants to know if she has shown up for something or really just wants to get to know her biological father.


Dexter returns home to find Jamie, Quinn, and Jamie’s friend Cassie in his apartment.  He has forgotten that he agreed to have dinner with them and wants to reschedule, but Jamie won’t let him out of their plans.  He has a hard time focusing on the night, especially when Deb calls him with some info. He makes an excuse to leave and Cassie is very understanding.  She even goes so far as to make an excuse to leave so Dexter isn’t the one breaking the date.  Dexter is finally able to leave and begins his hunt for Yates and Vogel.


Speaking of Vogel, she continues to try and reason with Yates. It looks as if it’s working and he even gives a clue as to why he takes women’s shoes. But, he threatens to cut off one of her toes.  She tries a different tactic and speaks to him as his mother once did—she even smacks him around!  Oddly enough, it works, and her feet remain intact.  Yates leaves the room long enough for Vogel to get to a phone and dial Dexter.  Deb calls her boss to help trace the number and the two listen to Vogel and Yates while they wait for him to call back with the address.  When he does, they race over to save Vogel, all the while still listening to the Vogel trying to reason with Yates.


Just when it seems as if it’s working, Yates notices that the phone is turned on and that Dexter has been listening all along.  When Dexter and Deb finally arrive, they think that the house is empty.  But, they find Vogel in an upstairs closet and notice that Yates is hiding under the bed.  


Dexter kills him and things may finally be over. Dexter then takes his boat out and dumps Yates’ body in the water as he usually does with his victims. But, instead of going alone, he brings Deb and Vogel with them because he wants to be with family.  


Could everything be good again?



Valerie Schirmer is a freelance writer/editor who has written about a wide variety of topics for newspapers, magazines, and websites. She currently resides in South Jersey with her husband, daughter, and a crazy dachshund.


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Photo/Video credit: Randy Tepper/Showtime


“Scar Tissue”  begins with Deb having a flashback about killing the event in the shipping container that changed her life.  But, instead of killing LaGuerta, she sees herself killing Dexter.   


The reason for the flashback?  A talk with Dr. Vogel who is trying to talk to her about what is really going on and how everyone can move on.


Dexter and his squad visit a crime scene and while he checks out the body, Batista lets Quinn know that he aced his test.  Dexter is asked about Deb, but he still doesn’t know much about her since they are in limited contact.Photo/Video credit: Randy Tepper/Showtime


Dexter speaks with Vogel, who informs him that Deb may never be a part of his life again.  He is obviously upset and Vogel steers the conversation to the Brain Surgeon and possible new suspects.


He does have a new subject—Yates—and goes to check him out to see if he could be the man that they are looking for.  He sees a scar on the back of his head, wonders how he got it and if one of Vogel’s methods may have put it there.


Vogel continues to help Deb heal and won’t allow her to continue using drugs or alcohol.  To help her cope, she shows Deb a video of their father speaking to her about Dexter and his concerns. She tried to explain that Deb and her father both want to protect and save Dexter and that they aren’t bad for doing so.  While this is happening, Dexter visits to ask about Yates and his scar. She tells him that Yates had a lesion and it had to be removed in order to help him.  


The conversation once again moves to Deb and how Dexter needs her in his life again. Vogel tells him that he wants her back, only to make himself feel better and could let go if he comes to realize that her validation isn’t needed to make him feel OK.


Dexter visits Yates’ home and finds a lot of womens shoes in his closet.  But what he doesn’t know is that Yates is watching him and is coming to get him. He calls Vogel to ask about the shoes. Yates hears her voice, and instead of taking Dexter down, returns to the sanctum in his home and watches him leave- all the while with a woman chained behind him!


Quinn and Jamie are in a bar and they overhear some officers speaking ill of Deb. Quinn confronts them and asks them to stop talking about her.  A fight ensues when they don’t and Batista breaks it up.  Jamie isn’t too happy about Quinn once again defending Deb, but they go home and make up and all is well.


Dexter meets one of Jamie’s friends and she seems to take a liking to him.  When Jamie tells him, he doesn’t seem too interested.


Deb and Vogel visit the shipping container where La Guerta was killed and the Dr. shuts them in so they can figure out why the night’s events went down as they did.  She tells Deb that if the night happened again that she’d always choose to save Dexter and that it is ok.  She can either choose to dwell on what happened or move forward.

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Matthews lets Batista know that another officer scored slightly hirer than Quinn during the testing and that he must decide to promote her or Quinn.  He is unhappy about the decision and realizes that maybe Quinn isn’t the right choice because of the bar fight.  If Quinn can help solve their current case, then maybe he’ll be the one.


Masuka thinks that a woman interested in him is coming to visit for a date, but instead she is seeking her biological father—who actually might be Masuka because he had once been a sperm donor.


Deb is back at work, even though she is supposed to be taking some time off.  Her boss offers to help with what she’s working on and seems happy that she is back.  They order some food and discuss family.


Dexter visits Yates’ house again and finds that the man has gone in a hurry.  Or has he?  Dexter finds that he has a secret space in the walls and investigates.  He finds his monitor system and knows he was being watched during his first visit.  He finds a woman stabbed and stuffed in a tool cart.  He brings her to a hospital and returns to the house with Vogel.  They look through his computer and find her patient files—notes on Dexter that aren’t too positive.  He feels that he is a lab rat that she’s experimenting on and is very unhappy with the Dr., whom he vows to cut her out of his life once the Brain Surgeon is found.


Deb searches Dr. Vogel’s office for more videos and watches one of her father describing a kill that he walked in on.  She sees that his father had a hard time with The Code that he and Vogel came up with and she thinks that if he had a hard time accepting it, then why should she.

Dexter summons Yates on the pretense that Yates’ father is in the hospital.  When he confronts him, Yates is willing to kill his father to risk his own life. When he returns to the office, Batista gives Dexter clothes to examine—those that were on the woman he found in Yates’ house.


Deb goes to the station to visit Dexter and on her way encounters Quinn.  She apologizes for her previous behavior and also tells him that she wants him to make things work with Jamie and be happy.  When she and Dexter finally do see each other, she tells him that they should talk.  They go for a ride and the two seem to bond over their mutual dislike for Vogel and her methods.  She tells him about the video she found and saw, and then asks if their father had killed himself and if it was because of him.  Just when you think they are going to make up, Deb grabs the wheel and aims the car over a hill and into water. A good Samaritan saves Deb, who then seemingly regrets what she did and dives in to save Dexter.  


But, did she manage to get to him in time?  According to the previews for next week’s show she did, but it looks as if the event changes Dexer—possibly for the worst.


 Valerie Schirmer is a freelance writer/editor who has written about a wide variety of topics for newspapers, magazines, and websites. She currently resides in South Jersey with her husband, daughter, and a crazy dachshund.

Register NOW with Philly2Philly!    And don't forget to "like" Philly2Philly on our Facebook page!

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Any ideas or submissions? Just send them to info@philly2philly.com

Photo/Video credit: Randy Tepper/Showtime


“What’s Eating Dexter Morgan?” starts with Dexter getting a little shock from his son, who wakes him up in the middle of the night.  He thinks something has happened to him, but finds that he’s just a little sick from eating too many popsicles in the middle of the night.  He finds it easy to help his son feel better, which makes him realize just how hard it will be to fix his sister.Photo/Video credit: Showtime


Speaking of Deb, she is found by a cop drunk in her car.  When she is realizes that she’s in trouble for damaging property, instead of calling her brother she calls Quinn, who rushes to her aid.


Dexter is called to the scene of a crime—Sussman’s cabin. He finds him dead on the floor inside, but since he had been there previously he knows that is not where the body had originally been.  The cops think that they have found the Brain Surgeon, but Dexter knows that Sussman isn’t their guy.  Quinn isn’t on the scene because he’s still helping Deb clean up her drunken mess and trying to figure out what is wrong with her and if he can help.


Dr. Vogel receives a text telling her to look outside.  On her porch she finds two boxes marked His and Hers- each containing a piece of a brain.  She contacts Dexter and they think the message is meant to tell her that the Brain Surgeon knows that she’s working with Dexter and that he’s watching them. Quinn finally shows up at the cabin and lets Dexter know about Deb and her DUI problems.  He also gets in trouble for showing up late.


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Deb is back at work and his boss knows that she’s hungover.  Her boss is understanding and even gives her a special drink to help her feel better.  While the two are talking Dexter shows up to let his sister know that Quinn talked to him.  He wants to help, but she once again tries to push him away.  Dexter won’t back off and gets Deb to agree to meet him for dinner. Dexter heads back to the office and learns that his colleagues have ruled Sussman’s death as a homicide and have closed the Brain Surgeon case.  


Meanwhile, Deb and his boss are on a case, trying to learn if a client’s husband is cheating.  He asks about who dropped her off that morning and seems a little too interested in her personal life. Dexter checks out the person he feels might actually be the Brain Surgeon, Ron Galuzzo.  Galuzzo works at the mall selling gym equipment, so Dexter pretends to be interested in what he has to sell in order to question him and feel him out.  He meets with Vogel to let her know what he did and somehow the conversation moves to Deb.  She wants to know why Dexter didn’t kill Deb after she found out about what he is and what he does.  She suggests that he didn’t because he’s selfish, yet also wants him to “revel” in what he is because she finds him to be the “perfect” psychopath.


Batista helps Quinn work towards his promotion and gets frustrating when he doesn’t do as well as he wants him to.  Jaime tells his brother to back off because Quinn is tired from being called out on a case in the middle of the night, yet learns that it wasn’t a case, but that he left to help Deb. Dexter and Deb meet for dinner.  He points out a man in the restaurant and reminds Deb that he was someone she once saved and makes the case that she once did a lot of good and could be good again if she tried.


Dexter continues to watch Galuzzo and visits the man’s home to do a little recon.  He finds something cooking in a crock-pot and finds a finger in it.  After a little more investigation he finds more human body parts in the fridge and realizes that Galuzzo is a killer, but may not be the Brain Surgeon because he seems to enjoy eating the remains and probably wouldn’t want to waste any by sending parts to Vogel.


Deb drinks way too much, gets insanely drunk, and heads to the police station to make a confession.  She speaks to Quinn and tells him that she killed La Guerta.  Rather than let her get in trouble he takes her to an interview room and disables the listening devices so that he can get the full story.  She tells him everything about the night it all happened, but he doesn’t believe her and tries to explain to her how it was Estrada who actually did the deed.  He tells her that Dexter walked them through the whole scene and she goes crazy, so he asks her to write down everything she remembers from that night.


Quinn calls Dexter and tells him to hurry to the station because Deb is there to confess.  He rushes there with Vogel, who he was with when he got the call, and asks the Dr. to help him deal with his sister.  Vogel goes in to speak with Deb, but Deb goes crazy. To calm her down enough to take her home, Dexter injects her with something that knocks her out and he and Vogel take her home.  Vogel tells Dexter that she can help Deb and sends him on his way so that she can work her magic.  But, before he leaves, he handcuffs Deb to the couch so that she doesn’t hurt anyone when she comes to. After leaving, he sets his sites on Galuzzo and makes him his next victim.


As good as the episode was, it was a little disappointing that it ended earlier than usual.  But, to sort of make up for it, we were treated to a little Q&A with the actors and writer about what happened in the episode.

 Valerie Schirmer is a freelance writer/editor who has written about a wide variety of topics for newspapers, magazines, and websites. She currently resides in South Jersey with her husband, daughter, and a crazy dachshund.

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Photo/Video credit: Showtime


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