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.