Dexter Review: "Helter Skelter" (Episode 7.09)
“There are no two stronger human emotions than fear and love. In many ways they’re not so different; both can make you do crazy things.”
While fear and love are emotions that Dexter has camouflaged throughout the show’s existence, both Hannah McKay and Isaak Sirko have slowly stripped him of this protective layer. Each week, we see a more human Dexter Morgan, with the episode “Helter Skelter” exposing him like never before. While many viewers are disappointed to see Sirko killed, his influence on Dexter was valuable and cannot be forgotten.
When we were first introduced to Isaak Sirko, he was a powerful Ukrainian mob boss. But with the death of Viktor Baskov, Sirko became hyper-focused on finding the man that murdered his lover. Each episode of season seven revealed a bit more about Isaak, while the most important realization was that he was broken by the death of his lover—and revenge was his primary fuel. When the Koshkas pieced together that his motivations were putting the brotherhood in jeopardy, they put out a hit on him.
When Sirko finds out that there are two contracted killers after him, he quickly comes up with a plan to kidnap Hannah and employ Dexter. It didn’t take long for Dex to accept the ultimatum and to aid in the murder of both men. The collaboration between Isaak and Dex was fun to watch, but I knew it couldn’t last long. As soon as George Novikov pieced together Dexter’s arrangement to lure the hired killer to a specific location, George made a trip down to the dock to derail their plan and shoot Isaak. With Isaak shot and dying, the final moments between Dex and Isaak were sure to be memorable.
Lying in agony, Isaak asks Dexter for one last thing: To toss his body to bottom of the ocean where he placed Baskov. The thought of them being together was the romantic ending that allows Isaak to die happily. A large part of me was irritated that Isaak was shot and killed, but if you think about it, the mobster served his purpose. He opened Dexter up to emotions that he had previously smothered and ignored. Despite what his father Harry Morgan claimed, Dex is more than just a killer—he is a man capable of love. But with love comes the fear of being vulnerable and completely exposed to the elements. It’s the fear of losing control that prevents him from giving in to how he really feels about Hannah. I can’t help but think that humanizing Dexter is the first step towards how the writers plan on wrapping up the show next season. Before we get too invested into the future of the show, another important thing happened this week.
As we transition from one antagonist to another, the episode “Helter Skelter” introduces a new serial killer. This “Phantom Arsonist” sets fire to his victims and leaves “Bobby” written on the wall nearby. Not much is known about this killer, other than he watches the victims burn to death up close while wearing some protective suit. I hope this new storyline is capable of making up for the death of such an important character like Isaak Sirko.
An additional observation:
-Since Tom Matthews and Harry Morgan were such close friends, does he know the truth about Dexter?