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In previous seasons, Deb's waded around her brother's bloodbath many a time and not even realized it. How is she doing now that she's actively covering up Dexter's misdeeds? Harry may be right in that sooner or later it's going to be too much for her, but she sure is handling things well so far.
"We are in a storm of fuck."
With Deb, Dexter has two options. The first is to try to keep as much of the truth as he can from Deb in the hope that she'll turn a blind eye to what she knows about him. But doing so may put her in danger. The second option is to tell her the things she needs to know to keep her safe - like that he found and didn't report Viktor's finger print on the car left at the Mike Anderson scene, that he killed Viktor and that Isaak knows he killed Viktor. And that now Isaak may be targeting her and anyone else he thinks was working with Dexter to kill Viktor. See, that last part is the most crucial bit of information, but he couldn't just tell her that and not end up telling her everything leading up to it. Of course Deb is going to ask questions. After all, she's a cop.
We'll get to talking about Viktor in a little bit, but for now, the point is that Dexter is giving Deb a flood of answers - telling her things she doesn't want to know and contradicting past explanations in an effort to keep her safe. Going after Speltzer was one thing. He slipped through the legal cracks, but Dexter intentionally kept Miami Metro from tracking down Viktor so that he could kill him. There's a difference and Deb knows it.
Dexter's admission to all this had Deb reeling as she counted up the murders she's helped cover up since finding Dexter with Travis. The bodies certainly are stacking up and things have only gotten more complicated. Factor in Deb learning that LaGuerta's conducting a private investigation based on a blood slide she found at Travis' murder scene and things only get worse. When Masuka brought Deb in on this, fearing his job was in jeopardy, Deb confronted LaGuerta and immediately climbed on board the investigation, using the fact that she was Doakes' partner as excuse to want to help LaGuerta, and claiming she believed Doakes was a good man.
LaGuerta had a list of missing persons whose information lined up with the Bay Harbor Butcher victim profile. Deb took the list to Dexter and he pointed out three men he killed, one of whom was a wedding photographer named Barnes. Deb immediately worried that Dexter might have been caught on camera while stalking Barnes at the wedding and sure enough, he was.
As though to confirm that Barnes was a list-worthy bad guy, a trip to Barnes' family's house and an encounter with his son revealed that not only did the guy like to secretly kill out-of-towner wedding guests but he also beat his family. At the very least, that eliminated the sympathy factor for Deb. She didn't have to sit there staring at a kid who lost his father and feel guilty. That kid may as well have sang a song about his father's absence.
The point of the visit was the wedding photos and it only took Deb a few seconds to spot her brother in one of them. There was Dexter standing about an inch away from the bride (really stealthy, Dexter. Did you help cut the cake too?) and later showed it to Dexter to point out that she covered for him, and maybe for a little I told you so.
All of the emphasis on Deb and Dexter reminiscing about their fun-in-the-sun days growing up seems to suggest that Deb's thinking about the bond they share and the history they have. Maybe those conversations are just a reminder to us of why she's going out of her way to help him now because other than the comments about the way he looked out for her when they were growing up, she seems pretty unraveled by her participation in covering up Dexter's crimes. And we can also add awkward quasi-sexual tension on Deb's end as she glanced awkwardly at a shirtless Dexter while he climbed into the motel bed next to hers.
One brutally efficient killer.
Getting back to Isaak, we knew he and Dexter's paths were close to crossing. Dexter managed to get a half-step ahead of Isaak at the start of tonight's episode when he was doing a routine cleaning on his boat and came across some blood, which led to the discovery that someone was killed there. That brought Dexter to the revelation that Louis had been murdered on his boat. But who killed Louis? The answer to that question was practically dropped in his lap as Isaak broke into Dexter's apartment and waited for him there. Of course, Dexter caught wind of the burglary before entering his apartment and turned the tables on Isaak, luring him out to the public so the two could chat.
A phone conversation between the two men gave Dexter all the answers he needed, including that Isaak was not only out for revenge for what happened to Viktor, but looking to settle the score with Deb and whoever else at Miami Metro might be involved. Dexter managed to get ahead of Isaak again when he lured him into the bar of a rivaling heroin dealer. He assumed that would get Isaak killed, but instead it got the few guys hanging around the place killed by Isaak, who was later caught and arrested for the crime.
All it would take is one conversation between Isaak and the police to have Dexter under investigation for Viktor's murder and anything else they could dig up on him. I suppose the only thing keeping Isaak from doing that is his determination to see Dexter brought to justice - the eye for an eye (for an eye) kind. The two had words with one another when Isaak was in jail. Isaak told a story about his grandfather being exiled to Siberia, which amounted to basically saying he loves revenge. I was less impressed by the tale as I was by the way Dexter's eye lined up with Isaak's in the reflection through the glass. Either way, the book is very not-closed here.
Finally, we have Hannah, who agreed to help the police continue digging up bodies to close Wayne's murder cases. She identified some of Wayne's trophies, during which Dexter detected a note of nostalgia in her as she played with a little wooden giraffe toy. And later, after she showed the police where two cruise-travelers' bodies were buried, Dexter noted inconsistencies with Hannah's story that suggested she was more actively involved in the murders than she let on. Hannah semi-confirmed this when Dexter called her out on it. She didn't outright admit she was the one to stab the female victim, but her coy responses seemed to suggest she did it.
And earlier, she joked that chatting with Dexter about their first bodies (his first murder investigation and her first murder-witnessing) was like exchanging first-time sexual encounters. Just the fact that she would make that connection makes me wonder what this woman has been up to since Wayne was arrested. Not only does it seem clear that she took pleasure in whatever involvement she had with Wayne's crimes, but she doesn't seem to have any remorse over it, and her back has been well covered. Though she did say that her immunity applies to any crimes committed with Wayne. That has me wondering if maybe her crime spree isn't over. Either she has committed murders since Wayne, or she's going to have some soon if and when she and Dexter get closer.
Other things worth noting.
Batista is convinced that the bartender who supposedly killed Viktor isn't the guy. He brought this to Deb who basically told him to back off and let the investigation rest. Poor Batista is on his own on this. I felt bad for him when Deb got all serious and authoritative. He's such a good guy and his instincts are correct, but he's being told to let it go. Is he going to drop it? A cop is dead. He might not be able to let this go if he thinks the real killer is still out there.
Quinn found a cash bribe in his car waiting for him, which is supposed to be back-off money from the Koshka guys. He took it and drove off, though he didn't seem happy about it. This can't be going anywhere good.
I'm having a hard time getting a read on LaGuerta. Of everyone in the show, her character is probably the least consistent season to season. One season she's painted as a good cop, the next, she's clawing her way to the top and blackmailing people get there. Now she's back to doing the right thing in pursuing the blood slide investigation. I don't think her investigation of the Bay Harbor Butcher or her loyalty to Doakes contradicts the LaGuerta we've seen in previous seasons. I just never know how I'm supposed to feel about her as a viewer. Maybe we're just supposed to accept that she's the kind of person who serves her own interests first, and since she and Doakes were close, she's taking this investigation personally.
And finally, did anyone else have a Boondock Saints flashback when Dexter was analyzing the blood to determine how Isaak killed the guys in the bar? The cuts between Dexter pointing to evidence and the clips of what actually happened reminded me of Willem Dafoe's analysis of Il Duce's murders. ("There was a firefight!"). Love that scene. DaFoe's Paul Smecker may have mistook one man for six, which takes a point off his determination, but Dexter had the added advantage of knowing exactly who was in the bar when the murders went down. In the end, if we're comparing investigations, I have to give it to DaFoe here for his much more dramatic telling of the events that transpired. Dexter should try that with a cigarette and a bit more gusto next time.