Monday, October 1, 2012

Dexter Season 7 Premiere "Are You...?"

Written By: Amanda Lowery


She knows. On the cusp of spilling her gooey and incestuous sentiments to her adopted brother Dexter, Debra Morgan catches him in the act of another serial murder. I mean, the guy(s) had it coming; Colin Hanks delivered a super creepy religious zealot reenacting Doomsday scenes with live victims as Travis Marshall who finally met his end in the season finale. Season 6 was definitely a roller coaster of disturbing revelations, and Season 7 looks to expand upon that to the ultimate extreme with Dexter’s dark passenger revealed to the one person Dexter was determined to keep himself hidden from – his sister.

The episode began in media res; Dexter in a sweaty rush to leave the country, slipping credit cards into gas machines to find they’ve all been cancelled. He reaches into to his getaway quick bag and we find that Dexter is prepared to leave the country, and we follow this intent all the way to the airport where he buys a ticket to Kiev. Kiev? Yup.

Then we’re back in the love chapel of murder, where Deb went to spill her heart and Dexter went to satisfy a twisted psychological urge – and the two collide. Dexter was messing up all over the place, but still desperately trying to maintain control of the situation. He loses his blood slide souvenir, indicates to Deb he has done this before, and jars loose a memory in his sister’s mind of a similar kill room staged by his brother in which she was the one on the table. Dexter convinces Deb that they should cover up the murder, and while she struggles with this idea considering it is her job to reveal the nasty underbelly of these types of scenes, Deb goes along with Dexter’s plan. Does she do this for love? We assume, but what kind of love is influencing her decisions now that she has seen what she has? The emotional explosion happening inside Deb is fascinating to watch as a viewer, we know so much more than each of the characters do about their feelings and their truths, and as she grapples with what is unfolding before her and what she is wrapped up inside of we get a great performance.

The next day at the scene of the crime and the cover up the usual suspects gather round to discuss what happened to the man they were hunting. Dexter gives his crime scene analysis and we are subjected to the first of MANY long gazes between him and his sister in this episode. It’s clear that these stares are stares of scrutiny, speculation, and incredulity mostly kicked into motion by Dexter’s masterful manipulation of the facts of the crime scene to fit his own intents and purposes. I was glad for this – if Deb had simply turned a blind eye she would not be the character that she is; obsessive, passionate and insanely cued into details. LaGuerta’s there to conveniently find Dexter’s broken blood slide in a grate and has it logged in as evidence.

Sergeant Mike Anderson bites the dust when an Ukranian mobster shoots him on the side of the road after he discovers a dead stripper’s body in his trunk. No worries Miami, Dexter Morgan is on the case and he finds the rush for his hunting routine is only stimulated by the pressure filled situation with his sister. He is hankering for inner control since so much of his outer world is crumbling down around him. This is where we join the scene that started the episode, and we find out that Dexter is hunting his prey and not leaving the country. I love how easily he got through airport security with a handful of syringes! Oh, and his decision to murder his victim in the airport – say what? A lost luggage room. Oh, okay, wait – what? Yeah. It feels like that is something very desperate and unnecessarily risky for Dexter to do, and maybe it’s because he’s thrown off his game, or maybe it’s poor writing.

Meanwhile, back in the real world – Deb is connecting the dots. She pulls the ice truck killer files, dallies in flashbacks, and notices Dexter’s excited departure from the office as he went off to kill someone. And it only took six seasons for someone to notice that Dexter is NEVER home! Deb confers with Dexter’s baby sitter and the office and uncovers a massive lie of time management proportions.

Dexter returns from his late night murderous rendezvous and finds every secret he has buried in his apartment has been dug up by his sister. This is the most exciting confrontation I can think of in recent television history. “Are you a serial killer?” she asks, her face hardened into an unknowable emotion mastered through years of detective work. Dexter drops his bag and sighs (relief?), “Yes.”

Some other stuff that happened in the course of the show includes Louis’ snooping around Dexter’s apartment, hacking his computer and cancelling his credit cards (ah ha the culprit!). LaGuerta stealing the evidence she recovered from the crime scene and the convenient conversation about Dokes as the Bay Harbor Butcher. Why does she take it? Remains to be seen, but it would mean political backlash for her if evidence from a closed mass murder case resurfaces at an unrelated murder scene. This is bound to come back into play. 


todd said...

I enjoyed the season opener a lot. Outside of the obvious main story, there seems to be a lot of potentially interesting things going on. I am glad, last season was a letdown, it seemed unfocused and Colin Hanks seemed forced in his role. I am excited for what looks to be an awesome season.

Amanda Lowery said...

Todd, I agree about last season, it lacked the tension of previous seasons, but there will be no lack of it in season 7 from the looks of it! I'm definitely interested in finding out what Louis has up his sleeve, and what is going on with LaGuerta, and how Dexter and Deb are going to deal with this revelation. I'll be talking about it here every week, and am excited to see how it all unfolds.

Brennan Jones said...

Great write up Amanda. My hopes for the season is that there is more of an internal struggle for Deb unlike in the books. One of the biggest questions I had about last season was def Louis and his infactuation over Dex. Two excellent small scenes of this past episode was the look Dex had at the picture of him and Harrison and the look Deb had at the PC with her Dex and Harrison

Amanda Lowery said...

Hey Brennan, yeah, I haven't read the books but from the show perspective that just HAVE to stay true to the characters or viewers will start abandoning ship. I am very interested in finding out how this all will play out.

Unknown said...

This is a great review! I can’t believe how much unfolded in this first episode alone, so I can only wonder what is in store for the rest of the season. I’ve been cooking up theories with my officemate at DISH since last week’s episode, and we think that Deb might have a dark secret all of her own. What do you think? I can’t wait to find out! The only problem is that Dexter airs at the same time as Revenge and The Good Wife, two other must-see shows. I’m a mystery/drama TV show addict, if you didn’t notice. LOL! At least my Hopper DVR can record up to six things, so I can keep up with them all. I definitely plan to watch Dexter first!