Saturday, October 13, 2012

First Thoughts: Dexter - Season 7, Episode 2: Sunshine and Frosty Swirl

The second episode of the new Dexter season boasts one of those magnificent titles that just rolls off the tongue and offers a sort of microcosmic view of what the episode is really about. It’s a great title. And the episode itself is pretty good, too, as I’m not in the business of reviewing episode titles alone – let us get to the main review.

This one was the dealbreaker after the last one’s first foray into the new concept of Debra knowing Dexter’s identity as a killer – how does she react after he flat out admits that, yes, he has been murdering people? Well, she does not take it at all well. She shouts a lot, her voice trembling, and she punches him and then goes outside and vomits. It’s all incredibly awkward to watch, as it damn well should be.

But she does not arrest him – a cynical mind could say that this is because the show would not have anywhere to go if she did, but really it’s because she’s got something dark inside her too, something that’s willing to fight and tangle with Dexter’s own darkness, because he’s her brother and they’ve been through everything together. Remember that one scene from Season 5 where she talks to him about how the rapist-murderer villain crew from that season deserves to die, and says that whoever is picking them off is in the right? That’s where I see this plot thread going as the season continues. She won’t turn Dexter in because she can relate – even if only a little bit.

From there Deb demands that Dexter move in with her so she can watch him and make sure he doesn’t kill again. She is sure she can ‘cure’ his serial killer tendencies. We get a really great scene at the dinner table where she asks him what it feels like to have the urge to kill, and he gives this amazing little speech about how he ‘sees red,’ and the urge just devours him until he can’t stop himself. And to top it all off they’re eating spaghetti with very suspiciously red sauce layered over it…this is a classic Dexter scene with a great mix of dark humor and some profound character development. It’s a lot of fun to watch.

Everything else that happened in this episode, from further developments with the mysterious Louis and the smooth-talking new villain played by Ray Stevenson, is not well developed enough yet to really talk about in full, as they can go either way from this point. The episode also has this subplot about a convicted killer who mirrors Dexter’s own situation as he ‘confesses’ his kills by supposedly helping police find these bodies he buried years ago…it’s a traditional Dexter thing where they take some other poor soul and show how Dexter himself could end up if he plays his cards wrong.

So, yeah, good episode, keeping up the quality as usual…with this series it’s pretty much the norm to get this level of high quality. Really not much else to say but bring on more new episodes.

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