Dexter Review: "Are You..." (Episode 7.01)

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<i>Dexter</i> Review: "Are You..." (Episode 7.01)

Here is a question I asked myself before delving into the season seven premiere of Dexter: How did I want Debra to react to seeing Dexter murder the Doomsday Killer? Part of me hoped for some twisted tag-team sibling serial plot, but honestly, I believe we understand Deb enough to know that’s not in her repertoire. Deb may be the one character in the show who always adheres to an exceptional moral code.

The scene between Deb and Dex in the church was much like watching Dexter slowly defuse a time bomb. It starts with Lieutenant Debra Morgan taking control with her gun intently aimed at Dex and ends with Dexter cleverly manipulating her with a calculated plan to destroy the evidence. If you watch Dexter’s facial expression when Deb asks if he’s hurt, you can see the turning point of when he firmly grasps control of the situation. How devious!

In the morning, the Miami Metro gets the call regarding the scorched church, and with it, the charred remains of the Doomsday Killer. The murder is meant to look as if this was Travis Marshall’s “last tableau,” and just about everything falls into place—all except for the blood slide clumsily left behind by Dexter. Captain LaGuerta (who reminds me of a crow—both intelligent and a scavenger) finds the slide and adds it to the evidence. She’ll eventually nab it back but that’s for a completely different reason (James Doakes), which I’m sure will play out later in the season. LaGuerta has certainly become a character you love to hate. As far as the rest of the Miami Metro, we see some interesting developments with other characters.

Mike Anderson was shot and killed by a man named Viktor Baskov, who apparently has a nasty habit of killing cops, stealing their cars and leaving dead strippers in his trunk. That’s bound to catch up to you, and it does when Dexter is able to retrieve his fingerprints from his turn signal, identifies him in the CIA database and interrupts his escape route to Ukraine. Dex then creates a killing area in the lost baggage room of the airport. Notice something extremely different about this kill? It was full of rage, humor, and he used a fire extinguisher in some sort of joyful piñata way. Killing has always been Dexter’s way of maintaining control, especially when his life spins out of his grasp.

Louis Greene (“the latest and greatest intern”) is seen canceling Dexter’s credit cards. His master plan hasn’t surfaced yet, but it seems like he’s bathing in either malice or admiration for Dexter. He’s not the only one with the crosshairs set firmly on Dex; Debra has been confronting Dexter with questions about the night at the church and clearly has not received an answer she is content with. Of course, until she turns Dex’s apartment upside down. Look at what Debra has found: his collection of blood slides, the Ice Truck Killer’s artificial arm, and the collection of killing knives. There’s absolutely no way he can talk himself out of this, right?

My hope is that the Deb dynamic will breathe some much needed fresh air into season seven. It’s no secret that the show often falls victim to a familiar formula, especially at the end of each season. Typically, the serial killer is stopped by Dexter and his life is tied into a neat little bow… and cue the finale music. After just one episode, it is clear that the world of Dexter can never be the same.

I found the last scene of the premiere not only tense (and possibly one of the best scenes to date), but couldn’t help feeling relieved that Dexter no longer needs to lie to Deb. If this first episode is any indication of the season as a whole, Dexter fans will be in for a wild ride. The lid is open, The Dark Passenger is out, “are you… ” sure this is what you wanted, Deb?

Things to keep an eye on:

- The development of a new serial killer—Ukrainian mob involvement?

- The newly rekindled bromance betwixt Quinn and Batista.

- Jamie Batista—who dresses like that to go bed?