Dexter is headed into new territory this season. I suppose the same could be said for last season as he explored the topic of faith and religion, but with Deb in the loop, it's become even more difficult to predict how this anti-hero will move forward. Can Deb live with this secret now that she understands the full scope of it? Is there any chance for Dexter to turn it around? Once again, someone in his life knows what he is and wants to help him.
It was interesting to note that tonight's "Sunshine and Frosty Swirl" had numerous curbside moments. The episode began with Deb vomiting on the street after learning Dexter was a serial killer. A fitting reaction to such disturbing news. Later, after Dexter opted not to kill Louis, Dexter and Deb had a curbside heart-to-heart. And then, of course, there's the end of the episode, which had murderer Wayne Randall strolling in front of a truck to end his own life. Curbside moments. Maybe that's where Dexter is right now in its seventh season. Pulled over on the side of the road, taking a breath to analyze itself and its lead character before moving forward.
"I found a website: How to cure a serial killer in ten easy steps and this is the first step. This is the first step."
As mentioned, Deb's reaction to learning that Dexter didn't just kill Travis, but a whole host of other people, was to blow chunks on the side of the road. After her mind put the pieces together, including the Bay Harbor Butcher connection and learning about Harry's code, she went into panic mode and then decided that maybe Harry's approach was wrong. Maybe if he'd tried helping Dexter suppress his dark passenger, he could have been normal. I don't think any of us including Dexter believe that would have worked. Serious therapy and some medication might have been a workable solution, but the babysitting approach seems like an obvious coarse for failure. Sooner or later, Deb's going to have to leave Dexter alone, and then what?
Sure enough, it wasn't long into Deb's new-code approach that Dexter was drugging her steak and taking off to kill someone (we'll get into the Louis situation in a minute). The fact that Dexter backed out of the murder and called Deb suggests he's willing to try her approach. And once again, it forces us to question how in-control he is of his dark passenger. It's also interesting to consider Deb's take on this. Yes, her participation in covering up Travis' murder makes her an accomplice to the crime, which would not only cost her her job but possibly land her in jail, but I have a feeling her determination to get Dexter on the straight-and-narrow has less to do with fear for her own wellbeing as it is fear of the truth and the reality of this whole situation.
Deb's reaction when Dexter told her maybe she should just have him arrested sounded determined to the point of desperate. I don't know that it's just the fear that he'd be hauled off to prison at it is the full branding he'd receive for it. If he goes to jail for his crimes, he becomes a serial killer and that's always what he'll be. Sure, she knows he's a serial killer already, but I get the impression she needs to believe he can not-be a serial killer. As if stopping him and "curing" him could make the whole thing go away. That's just a theory based on how she tried to deal with him tonight and the tone in her voice when she was telling him that the fact that he called her proves he's in control. She sounded almost desperate when she said that, and I think she just needs to believe he can control this.
Watching Deb try to process this situation has been great so far. Sure, we're only two episodes in, but I really feel like the writers are doing a solid job of exploring this situation. It feels like a fair pay-off for those of us who've watched these two characters for six seasons.
"I can appreciate the mindset of a collector, but toys seems like a waste of a good obsession."
Moving on, there's Louis, the guy who almost got killed tonight. Dexter looked into the Ice Truck Killer hand that was among the things Deb found in his apartment. Louis had the hand sent to Dexter's apartment last season but I think Jamie or someone put the box up on the fridge and I don't think he ever discovered it. He knows it's there now, and after some nosing around and chatting with Masuka, made the connection with Louis. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm assuming this means Dexter knows Louis knows what he is and his connection with the Ice Truck Killer. Because he pretty much acted like a crazed killer with Louis tonight and then let him go, twice!
In addition to discovering that Louis shut off his credit cards, Dexter also found some weird videos on Louis' computer, one of which had him getting serviced by a hooker (based on the "hours almost up" comment) and another that had him raging about Dexter. He confronted Louis and learned that he was mad because Dexter didn't like his video game.
You would've thought Louis would have heeded Dexter's warning and stayed away from him, at least for a little while. Instead, he was casually hanging around Dexter's apartment with Jamie once again, basically baiting Dexter to come after him. Which is what Dexter did, but then after sedating Louis, he decided not to kill him and try to stick with Deb's plan. Something tells me Louis won't take the hint, even when he does wake up on a bench somewhere.
The episode had the cops working with a convicted murderer named Wayne Randall, who went on a killing spree and has now decided to tell the police where some of the bodies were. Dexter had more than a few chats with the convict while the diggers were busy digging holes, and it seemed like the two formed a brief connection. Randall told Dexter about how he finally let go of his anger and surrendered, developing a conscience during his imprisonment. It gave Dexter something to chew on as he pondered his situation with Deb. And then, after a couple days of sunshine and frosty swirls, Wayne's true motivation was revealed when he announced quietly to Dexter that he had one more person to kill - himself. Only he didn't say himself. He let his body do the talking there as he stepped out into the street and let a truck smear him across the road.
So, there you go, Dexter. Maybe some day you too will be negotiating some outdoor time in anticipation of your own self-inflicted demise. Or maybe this is just one more scenario for Dexter to explore, as he's constantly finding himself staring at his own reflection through other people. Interestingly enough, Wayne seemed to pick up on the sparks between Deb and Dexter, and he interpreted it as sexual tension, even after Dexter told him that she was his sister. So that's still hanging out there in the wind. Great.
Wayne also mentioned his girlfriend Hannah, who was the Robin to his Batman. (Spoiler alert: We'll meet her (in the form of Yvonne Strahovski) next week!)
While the focus seems to be leaning heavily on Deb and Dexter, there's a big case heating up as the cops continue to try to investigate Mike Anderson's murder. They're connecting some of the dots Dexter already connected, like the stripper Cassia (her body was in the murderer's car) and her connection with Viktor, the guy Dexter killed at the airport last week. Meanwhile, on the crime-side of it, we have Isaac, who's some kind of organized-crime leader looking into the situation and in one case, killing a guy by stabbing him in the eye with a screwdriver. Gross.
While all of this is going on, Batista and Quinn have repeatedly busted in on this strip club, which involves turning on the lights. Sure, flipping the lights on is an attention getter, but I find it to be an oddly disturbing sight whenever the music stops playing and the lights come up and we're left with the sight of a bunch of half-naked women and men in suits looking uncomfortable. More to the point of the show, Quinn's participation in the investigation has brought him into contact with a pretty stripper named Nadia. His next love interest? Or nothing but trouble? I'm betting on both. This would also be the second time in recent years that he got involved with a woman involved in an investigation, so he's probably better off keeping it all business with this woman.
And in other interesting news, LaGuerta is looking into the blood slide she found at the Travis crime scene. She confirmed that it was Travis' blood, and it appears she's made the connection between the slide and the Bay Harbor Butcher. The box she got from evidence not only had a photo of Doakes (to remind us who the murders were pinned on), but Dexter's old slide box. (I'm sure he'd love to get that back.) I know this situation puts Dexter in jeopardy, but I'm so glad that the Bay Harbor Butcher story has resurfaced and that Doakes' name might be cleared.
Now, don't get me wrong, Doakes was a jerk, and LaGuerta's character has been called to question in recent seasons. But Doakes wasn't a murderer, and LaGuerta was right to refuse to believe he was, despite the evidence. The slide sparking her memory of the case suggests that she never put it out of her mind. This goes all the way back to Season 2 when Doakes found out that Dexter was the Bay Harbor Butcher. Lila killed him to protect Dexter and the FBI determined that Doakes was the BHB. That never sat well with me. Sure, it cleared Dexter from the situation, but I never thought it was fair that Doakes was believed to be a serial killer. He may not have been a nice guy, but he had good instincts (he was the only one to really see Dexter for who he was) and he wasn't a killer. He was a detective trying to get to the bottom of something and it got him killed. So I'd sort of like to see his name cleared. And if that can happen without LaGuerta figuring out that it's Dexter, all the better. There's also the chance that LaGuerta sniffing around the situation might result in her earning the same fate as Doakes. We'll have to see where this goes!
Finally, Dexter spent a little time with Harrison. That kid is as adorable as ever… and it's nice to be reminded that he has a son. WIth everything else that's going on, it seems like Harrison's been set to the side. But as long as he's safe and smiling, I suppose that's all that matters.