Dexter season 7 episode 7 review: Chemistry

Review Billy Grifter
13 Nov 2012 - 11:48

The problems are starting to pile up for Dexter in season seven. Here's Billy's review of Chemistry...

This review contains spoilers.

7.7 Chemistry

We've crossed the halfway point of season seven and it's obvious that the writers are starting to assemble a veritable perfect storm for Dexter. There's the threat he's aware of, Isaac. There's the one he's aware of but not really appreciating yet, in respect of LaGuerta, and there's the complete chaos that Hannah has brought along with her. And, milling around the edges of those scenarios we have Joey Quinn's uncomfortable position and Angel's attempt to leave law enforcement for a less dangerous line of work.

But at the very epicentre of this story is the Chemistry between Dexter and Hannah, and it's electric. When I heard she was joining the show I was very interested in what Yvonne Strahovski would bring to it, and she's delivering much more than just looking great. Her performance in the interview scene was quite superb, where she effectively told the truth but put an emotional spin on it that was pure fabrication.

What's great about Hannah is that they've created the perfect fantasy women for Dexter. She's got elements of all his previous partners, but accepts him for what he is. Is that going to be the ultimate tragedy, that he's found the perfect person to be with, but it isn't a realistic scenario? Dexter often borders on Greek tragedy, and that's exactly from where this narrative draws inspiration.

In ancient dramas death by poison was a common theme, and predictably Sal Price got a little too close to Hannah and chewed his last pen. What I didn't follow was the logic of digging up the corpse of her late husband without actually checking if he'd been embalmed first? Another special Debra moment, possibly.

Also, considering that Sal is an experienced crime writer, you'd think he'd have more sense than to come at someone he suspects of being a serial killer so head-on. I can't say I ever much warmed to Sal as a character, so wasn't overly upset when his heart stopped and he gave Dexter's coffee table a passing nod. In narrative terms, his purpose was to connect the dots of Dexter, Hannah and Debra, and having achieved that he was ultimately disposable.

Dexter however really dropped the ball deleting the files from Sal's Apple Mac. Has he never heard of Time Machine? This could create incriminating evidence, if anyone at Miami Metro was smart enough to analyse it. 

As has happened so many times before, Dexter boils down to some critical exchanges of which that was just one. Another notable interaction was the short conversation between Isaac and Dexter, where they try to out-creep each other. Dexter wins that competition easily, but Isaac isn't going to be easily dispatched, is he? That's a showdown that I'm genuiningly looking forward to.

The Joey Quinn scenario looks like it could offer something more subtle than the label: good/bad cop falls for hooker. There is a whiff in here of Joey doing the right thing, for once, and it subsequently getting him killed, but I'd like there to be more to it than that. An interesting twist would be for Nadia to be part of the Koshka Brotherhood, and not just a stripper. One can dream, can't one?

But what's really made me keen to see the next episode is that in the trailer Debra finds out that Dex and Hannah are an item, after she's told him to kill her! That's the final link in the chain of discord. Because Dexter isn't doing what Debra wants, and neither is LaGuerta, and Hannah is a force of nature who's under no control whatsoever. As it stands I can't see all three of these women making it to season eight, and it might only be one of them. When you add Joey to that bucket list, the survivability of so many main characters in the show has never been so questionable. It seems certain now that one or more will be killed in the final five stories of season seven.

Hang on to your hats, because Dexter neatly sidestepped the typical mid-season mire, and I can feel it is about to get utterly out of control.

Read Billy's review of the previous episode, Do The Wrong Thing, here.

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