Dexter Review: "The Dark...Whatever" (Episode 7.10)
“The Dark Passenger has been with me ever since I can remember, pulling the strings, running the show. But as it turns out, I’m no puppet.”
With just two weeks left of season seven, the main focus heading into the season finale circles around the dangerous relationship between Hannah and Dexter. With the recent discovery of Arlene Shram—a witness to a Hannah McKay murder—Deb may finally have the lead that could land McKay in prison.
With the introduction of Clint McKay, Hannah’s childhood is exposed as a wound that’s never managed to heal. After her father’s recent release from prison, he’s claimed to be a changed man. Clint shows up at her doorstep intent on taking responsibility for being such a monstrous father. When the reconciliation becomes a plea for money, his true colors are exposed and it leaves his daughter feeling helpless to his requests. Dexter takes matters into his own hands in an effort to derail the plan of turning Hannah into the Miami Metro. What we didn’t see coming is that Clint was planning on turning in his daughter regardless. It turns out that her father was the man giving author Sal Price all the information for his book, and he had just one more piece that was to be his major payday. Before we get too wrapped up in looking to next week’s episode, let’s go over a few things from this week.
The episode “The Dark…Whatever” spends some time introducing the identity and motivations of the Phantom Arsonist. The only problem with this story is that it doesn’t adequately replace the gaping hole left by the death of Ukrainian mobster Isaak Sirko. It takes just one episode to realize how strong of a character he was and how he helped break the mold of those inferior attempts of what I’ll refer to as season five and six. If we are to search and find a positive to the Phantom Arsonist, it’s that he aids in Dexter’s Dark Passenger realization: He is not helpless to the urges to kill; he does it because he wants to and enjoys it. The very example of not killing the Phantom Arsonist and turning him into the Miami Metro shows that he has more control than he’s ever admitted to.
Speaking of the Miami Metro, Captain LaGuerta is still tracking down the evidence regarding the Bay Harbor Butcher. When she is told by Thomas Matthews that Dexter’s brother was the Ice Truck Killer, and that he and his brother witnessed the murder of their mother at a young age, LaGuerta believes all the evidence points to Dex. This storyline should finally reach fruition by season’s end. Hopefully!
As a whole, season seven has rebounded in a big way. Average episodes are rare this year, but this week worked as a way to set up the next two episodes. With no villain in sight, the risks in the world of Dexter are more in terms of criminal exposure. With Deb working to expose Hannah as a killer, and LaGuerta working to uncover the mystery of Dexter, the intense relationship between Hannah and Dexter may finally diverge. As Debra and Dexter’s relationship further fragments, one thing cannot be ignored: Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.
A few questions that should stimulate conversation:
-Matthews insists on speaking with Dexter. Why is that?
-Why does Batista give in to Quinn’s requests to cover up the murder of George Novikov?