SPOILERS COMING (as always).Dexter is having a massive resurgence in quality. Now a quarter way through its’ seventh season, the show feels completely reborn and refreshed after two stale and unsatisfying seasons. Introducing a complication that Dexter can’t simply slip away from unscathed has provided plenty of room for the writers to play with. Debra discovering Dexter’s “Dark Passenger,” not only introduces fresh and exciting angles for these character’s advancements, but also allows leads Michael C. Hall and Jennifer Carpenter a chance to fully showcase their acting chops. Rarely do shows this late in their run regain footing after lackluster seasons, but Dexter seems to be moving confidently and quickly, with ease and newfound vivacity. Episode four, entitled “Run,” finds Debra still uneasy with Dexter. After succumbing to Dexter’s insistence that he is a slave to his “Dark Passenger” and allowing Dexter to move out, Debra finds herself wondering about Rita’s (Dexter’s late wife) death. After falling asleep in the tub, Debra dreams she is sitting in a tub of blood, exactly the way Rita’s body was found, when Dexter appears in the doorway and asks Debra, “Will you be mine?” Obviously Deb has mixed emotions about Dexter. At the end of last season, before the revelation about Dexter’s “hobby,” Deb was developing romantic feelings for her non-blood brother. Now Deb is questioning everything she knows about Dexter. Dexter insists nothing has changed, protesting that, “Now you just know more about me,” Deb only states that it makes Dexter, “a completely different person.” The show sets out to ask, does the more you know about someone change who they are and what they mean to you? In the scenes involving their characters trying to understand each other and rebuild their relationship, Hall and Carpenter are masterful. Both actors are hitting new heights in with their characters. Hall uses his eyes to plead for understanding while Carpenter straddles the line of confusion, anger, and love all with the quiver in her voice. In addition to seeking Deb’s acceptance this week Dexter is stalking last episode’s serial killer of the week, Ray Speltzer. After Speltzer is detained but released due to a poor reading of his Miranda Rights, Dexter hunts Speltzer down, but is caught searching through Speltzer’s RV. It’s another example of Dexter’s recent run of sloppy behavior, and he wakes from another torture-porn film inspired maze, this time on a larger scale, being hunted by Speltzer. After marginally escaping, Dexter sends Harrison down to Orlando to be with his grandparents. Dexter is worried for his safety now that Speltzer has seen his face, but after Speltzer shows up at his victim’s funeral to taunt and enrage Deb, Dexter knows he has to go back into predator mode and capitalize on the chance to make Speltzer a lesson of acceptance for Deb. Dexter makes quick work of Speltzer, cremating his body along with his slide collection, an aspect of his killing that Deb finds hard to swallow. Dexter has decided to part with the slides, concluding that it is time to grow up and move on. Afterwards, Dexter meets with Deb to alert her that Speltzer is no more. Deb cries with relief and perplexity, one step closer to understanding and accepting Dexter for the monster that he is. Meanwhile, Ray Stevenson’s Isaac is tired of Miami Metro’s search for Mike’s killer. Using his posh charm, powerful silent persuasion and a family as leverage, Isaac persuades a bartender at the strip club to write a confession and then commit suicide. Stevenson seems to be having a blast playing the commanding and elegant Isaac, dealing out threats with the cool composure of a British Gentleman. Upon finding the body and confession, Miami Metros Detectives Quinn and Batista have a disagreement regarding the veracity of the confession. For once the writers give one of Miami Metro’s buddy cops a clue, with Batista not believing that the pieces match up. Maybe Dexter will have more trouble than Deb and Isaac to worry about, with Batista searching for the real cop killer that Dex has already exposed of. So far, Season Seven has been moving at quite a clip. Small, loose ends that are the more bothersome aspects of the show, like Louis and Speltzer, are being tied up while providing kinks and variations in the bigger picture. Deb and Dexter’s relationship has been acting as a catalyst for the show, allowing the writers to create new levels to Dexter as we see him submerged in a problem he can’t just make go away. Watching their relationship heal is sure to be an emotional and bumpy ride. There’s still plenty left to uncover too, with Laguerta wanting to re-open the Bay Harbor Butcher case, and the mysterious Hannah McKay hanging around the Miami Metro offices. Dexter needs to stop making errors and enemies and find a way to feed his inner beast while nurturing his wounded family. All sides are closing in and Dexter can’t just “run” forever. The Best of the Rest: · We get a mention of Astor and Cody this week, who had pretty much disappeared and been forgotten.· There’s a new African-American Female Detective in the Miami Metro ranks who isn’t introduced, but is randomly given lines this week.· Quinn’s shady past is glimpsed at, with the strip club manager trying to pay Quinn off with money and drugs, “like the old days.”· Michael C. Hall shows the softer side of Dexter, expressing sentimentality for the toys Harrison has outgrown. These scenes where we see Dexter in father mode really allow the viewer to cling to empathy for the ruthless vigilante.· More talk of “lizard brains” and an explosive kill room scene with Hall bellowing out a certain four-letter curse word like a man possessed.· More Minotaur helmet. Who in design thought that’d be cool?· Isaac promises vengeance while looking at a picture of Victor. My question to you is, who is Victor to Isaac, son or lover?