Dexter season 7 episode 1 review: Are You...?

Review Billy Grifter 1 Oct 2012 - 18:18

It's time to get out the plastic wrapping again, as Dexter returns for a spoiler-heavy season seven opener...

This review contains major spoilers.

7.1 Are You...?

In a word: wow. For six seasons the story has flirted with the whole idea of Dexter being revealed to others, and by that I mean people who are alive, not just pre-imminent death.

But we don't start there, instead it appears that Dexter is on the run, heading to the airport. That's the rather simple narrative puzzle, is he really running and what happened to cause him to do that?

We then return to the critical point at the end of season six where Debra walks in on the demise of Travis Marshal, as if the series never actually paused for nine months. Their conversation is a difficult one, where Dexter lies very poorly, and Debra is pretty much willing to accept whatever he says, initially.

But the real crossing point is where she goes to get the petrol, linking her to the death of Travis, and leaving a clue for someone else to find later. Before we've got much time to take in the enormity of what just happened, poor Mike crosses paths with a Ukrainian killer and ends up in a body bag for his troubles. As a character Mike was fine, if lacking much of a back-story or many alternative interests away from police work, but he didn't deserve to die did he?

He's killed by the excellent Enver Gjokaj, who was one of the few good things about Dollhouse, in which, incidentally he also played a character called 'Victor'. He only really gets one proper scene which is the one where Dexter catches up with him, which is a shame because he's a good actor that deserves a part that lasts more than one episode.

If I've got a real complaint, and it's a mild one, it's the scene where Dexter finds himself at Miami International Airport. The idea that you can buy a ticket, enter international departure and then not get on the aircraft or cause a security scare is a stretch, as is then getting out of there with a body and somehow back into arrivals. But then we've just swallowed that Debra believed any of the BS Dexter gave her to explain the frighteningly efficient killing equipment he just had handy. Except she didn't really buy it, and we knew as much by her reaction.

The other minor characters get to chew the fat about their lives in the episode. LaGuerta gets a blood slide clue to follow, and Louis seems intent on making Dexter's life even more problematic than it already is as a means to shorten his life expectancy.

But most of this is small talk and a prelude to the main course, the reveal for which the death of Travis was something of a dry run. Dexter comes home from a relaxing evening with Victor on the boat, Slice of Life, and finds Debra will all his slides, killing equipment and the whole sorry truth laid out.

Debra: "Did you kill all these people?"
Dexter: "I did"
Debra: "Are you a serial killer?"
Dexter: "Yes"

Umm... Dexter scores heavily for truth, and yet very poorly for ongoing family relationships there. The genie in this show is really out of the bottle now, and whatever rules applied before have just been completely scrapped.

Where the opening scenes in the Church lead us to think that maybe Dexter would get off the truth hook, the final scene puts him squarely on it, with all the implications that revelation suggests. Would Dexter kill Debra? It's not something we've been asked to consider, but it is a question that might get seriously asked at some point.

As much as I generally liked this story, it was remarkably short on laughs. A good giggle is an absolute necessity for Dexter, and almost without exception it was deadly serious throughout. But in all other respects this is the best start one might reasonably expect. Season six didn't really take-off in the way it looked like doing at one point, and season four is still the high-water mark of the show. They've now played the major trump card they've been holding for six years, betting heavily that they can top the drama of season four with what they've got planned. We've been told that the show ends in season eight, so this is the first step in a narrative to take Dexter where we'll leave him in 23 more episodes.

I love this show, and the ending of this one made me scream for the next, which is exactly the way it should be.

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Disqus - noscript

Cracking episode that almost blotted out the piss poor previous 24 installments. This was proper Dexter - thinking on his feet cold hearted murdering psycho that we love so much. Some great twists and the last scene came far too soon. Gonna enjoy this season!

Well I would agree about piss pour previous 12 installments.
I loved season 5, but 6 was gad damn awful in almost every aspect.

That's all past now however, 7 started with a bang. Incredible opener for Dexter this year. Lets just hope they can keep up the pace throughout whole season.

I can't believe Debra found my tools and slides! How could she get in there? I thought I locked it all up good and hid it well.

Dexter. Is. Back.

Thats a dream dude...

The black dude died 20 minutes in for no f'n reason!!!

I didn't mind the last series, but I am worried about this one. There is just a bit too much going on, and I can't see Debs not dobbing him in. The airport scene was also a little "wtf?" for the reasons given above. My wife and I are considering not watching it (and we have watched every ep so far). If its gonna go rubbish I'd rather remember it being good.

I doubt that was a dream, although difficult to rule out until next ep.
It's a very cheap tactic for a cliffhanger ending if it was.
For such a great episode, this would really spoil it if they ended it with a dream like this.

Dexter is kinda backed into a corner, which is where the series works best. I still regard seasons 2 as the best and most tense season, and now he's pretty much, with litterally no place to run.

With that said, I'm not sure the writers will be able to come out with a convincing way to make everything work out. Now that the cat is out of the bag, i doubt it could be possible for "good cop" deb to ignore his brother's crimes, let alone leave him to work at homicide while he uses every excuse he can to steal evidence and kill people for his twisted pleasure .Heck, he's the cause of 98% of the failures of Miami Metro, and pretty much everytime he finds evidence, he keeps it to himself and goes on a personal vendetta instead of sharing it with his team and catching the culprit. Keeping this guy on the job is not a good idea.

Even if Deb can forgive his brother for being a sociopath (which honestly I doubt the writers will be able to pull off convincingly, would she allow him to continue killing whoever he sees fit ? Just cause he's his bro and he likes him ...

use she instead of he debra is a girl

Is there anyone left in Miami for him to kill by this stage?

I got bored with the death-of-the-week and close-miss-of-the-week after season two, and it doesn't sound like S06 was any better. It feels like this is just still going because people watch it, rather than for any creative force.

what is the name of the song on ending? played after that girl say that find dexter on google?

how did the cellophane left on the toe not melt in a huge fire? considering the body was charred, i find it hard to believe that a small piece of plastic would survive the flames! And as for the dropped blood slide, when did Dexter become so careless?!

I'm sorry but are we watching the same show here?

3 MAJOR issues for me here:

The cheap bait and switch at the start which made us think the season would be about Dexter fleeing rather than the tried and tested formula of him chasing a big bad while avoiding being caught; implying the writers know what fans want to see something different, but are happy to trick us instead.

The fact he needed to immediately kill someone despite Deb totally starting to piece things together. Surely the serial killers compulsion to get away tends to outweigh the compulsion to kill, especially when he only murdered the night before. 

The fact he managed to convince airport security that several syringes full of pharmaceutical grade sedatives were actually diabetes medication, then attack and abduct another passenger by taking him back through the AIRSIDE of said airport. Not only that, but a post 9/11 major American city airport no less.

It's never been a show that prided itself on plot integrity but man, they aren't even trying anymore.

3 major issues for me:

The cheap bait and switch at the start which made us think the season would be about Dexter fleeing rather than the tried and tested formula of him chasing a big bad while avoiding being caught; implying the writers know what fans want to see something different, but are happy to trick us instead.

The fact he needed to immediately kill someone despite Deb totally starting to piece things together. Surely the serial killers compulsion to get away tends to outweigh the compulsion to kill, especially when he only murdered the night before. 

The fact he managed to convince airport security that several syringes full of pharmaceutical grade sedatives were actually diabetes medication, then attack and abduct another passenger by taking him back through the AIRSIDE of said airport. Not only that, but a post 9/11 major American city airport no less.

It's never been a show that prided itself on plot integrity but man, they aren't even trying anymore.

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