Tonight's episode of Dexter offered a couple of interesting twists and developments. It's hard to really feel the momentum of the season building just yet, but the potential is definitely there as certain pieces slide into place. This includes the Ukranian criminals, and also Dexter's messy relationship with Deb, which may have turned a corner tonight.
Everything I do is in my control.
It was obvious last week that the Speltzer situation was Dexter's attempt to get Deb to see the benefits of his dark passenger. Not only was Speltzer not charged with past crimes involving battered and murdered women, but even after last week's episode, which nearly saw Deb killed at Speltzer's hands, the man slipped through the legal cracks, thanks to a combination of factors (lack of DNA, his mask and some overzealous arresting officers.)
Dexter continued his solo pursuit, and they faced off a number of times, including a rumble in Speltzer's camper, which led to Dexter being set up in one of Speltzer's mazes. Dexter escaped by the skin of his teeth and next time around, got the jump on Speltzer, hitting him with a shovel at the cemetery at night and then setting him up in a mortuary kill-room, where he promptly staked him and incinerated him - after he did a bit of monologuing about how he was doing all this for his sister, who really wanted to catch him.
Dexter used Speltzer's murder to make a major change in his life. He burned his slides! The gesture came after conversations with Deb about whether or not he's fit to raise Harrison.. Deb had a nightmare in a bathtub and woke up with the connection between Dexter, Trinity and Rita's death formed in her mind. She confronted Dexter about Rita and Trinity and he admitted the truth - that he had the opportunity to kill Trinity but didn't and it cost Rita her life. He told her that he did eventually kill Trinity, but obviously he didn't go into the details there. That was a big admission though, and I'm glad it was addressed. With everything that's been going on, it's not a huge surprise that Deb didn't make the Trinity connection sooner, but given what a huge deal that was, it needed to be addressed. Now it's one less discovery she has to make about her brother.
Once again, the episode ended with Deb and Dexter in a strange place. Dexter showed Deb the smoke from Speltzer's body in the incinerator and got her to admit that she's glad he's dead. It didn't hurt that Speltzer went out of his way to antagonize Deb, showing up at his last victim's funeral to grin at Deb from the curb. That made the whole thing a bit more personal. Maybe too personal from a viewer's perspective, as this whole situation felt especially staged to get Deb on board with Dexter's lifestyle. But I suppose it's all sort of necessary. The alternative would be either to have Deb turn Dexter in, or have Deb spend the whole season protesting Dexter's dark side but not doing anything about it, which would just be silly, considering she's a cop and all. The writers need to keep this thing with Deb and Dexter moving until it's ready to settle one way or the other.