Dexter: “Easy as Pie” (Episode 7)

TV Reviews

In our haste to dig into this season’s often listless narrative arcs, we’ve ignored some well-drawn work that has edged its way in. Margo Martindale (pictured) makes what will likely be her final appearance on the show this week as Camilla, the file clerk and old family friend who helped Dexter delve into his past in the first season. We learned she was terminal last week, and even if Dexter’s quest to find her the perfect key-lime pie was a pretty transparent ruse, her final hours (and Dexter’s unlikely part in them) were an ingenious way to explore mortality without the winking black humor that has become the show’s signature. Dexter’s final moments with her at the end of the episode are some of the season’s best.

Deb’s obvious crush on her informant was also consummated this week, and though the scene is hard to resist, it’s even harder to shake the sense that this is just another dead-end romantic subplot to keep her character busy. The only time she had a viable love interest in the past (the guy at the gym), the character was almost instantly written off; instead she’s stuck with the serial killers, the twilight FBI agents, the doomed police informants. The show’s writers seem to make a conscious effort to make Deb the clear No. 2, but too much of the time she feels like a place-holder rather than an indispensable character.

Dexter, meanwhile, continues to dominate the show’s real narrative force, now with his quickly evolving relationship with Miguel. Their fight this week served to underscore how little Miguel actually understands about Dexter’s drive to kill, and Dexter is haunted (literally, at one point this week) by the prospect of him finding out. The show is clearly headed in that direction; the dream sequence where Miguel pops in on Dexter while he’s with a body seems not too far off in reality. We’ve already shopped around a few ideas only to have them shot down in subsequent episodes, but what about Miguel as the Skinner, the murders an effort to shut down the investigation into Freebo? Deb’s lead this week about the manicured trees points in another direction, but if the killer turns out to be a character, we’re not sure what other real possibility there is.

Maybe we put too much stock into Miguel’s character. His wife’s suspicion that he has a lover and the increasing friction between them don’t seem especially relevant now, but since they occupy so much time as the season moves into its final episodes, they will clearly play a role. Dexter has always thrived on big reveals, and we expect one soon.

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