The Dexter season 7 premiere kicks off the moment that fans have been waiting to see since the series began. Dexter’s (Michael C. Hall) secret is now known by Deb (Jennifer Carpenter), and there’s no turning back. The Dark Passenger must now account for his actions, willingly or not.
And that’s essentially what we get in the episode. To satisfy fans’ need to see Dexter answer to Deb for his actions, a good portion of the episode is dedicated solely to Deb questioning her brother about anything and everything that comes to her mind. Their initial conversation, standing near Travis Marshall’s (Colin Hanks) slayed body, is satisfying enough for the anticipation it created. There’s not enough time to fully delve into what Deb has just witnessed, but the scene does provide some satisfaction.
Fortunately, the episode doesn’t stop there, continuously returning to Deb looking further in her brother’s potential past, each time questioning Dexter even further about things that don’t make sense with the story he told her. Whatever logic questions that fans were waiting for Deb to ask Dexter – but was unable to initially – are appropriately touched upon in the episodes, leaving the major question, “Are you a serial killer?” to the final moments of the episode. A question which receives a surprisingly honest response.
Throughout the episode we see Dexter and Deb both deal with the repercussions of their chance meeting, often leading each character to step in new directions from their struggle, creating fresh and often intriguing situations for each of them to deal with. Instead of simply listening to Dexter’s side of the story, Deb continuously researches every moment of her brother’s life that didn’t make sense. There are surprisingly a lot – but she searches everywhere, even leading her back to events that occurred in season 1.
For many years audiences have been waiting to see what would happened when (if) Deb found out. Because we, as viewers, are so used to seeing Dexter deliver his justice, one always wondered how exactly that dynamic will impact the story, and where the series can go from here. Surprisingly, Deb’s revelation of Dexter came with its own twist to the telling of these familiar tales, leading audiences to see Dexter through the eyes of someone new.
As soon as Deb confronted Dexter, the entire shift of the character wonderfully turned. Instead of a calm killer following a set of rules for murders that viewers have philosophically agreed with, we see a manic, crazed, person attempting to cover their deadly secret. Dexter’s character is still interesting as ever, however his familiar craves of murder are now less appealing.
Almost allowing us to see Dexter’s actions through Deb’s eyes, a look back into Deb and Dexter’s past shows how Dexter’s “special circumstances” have impacted her throughout her life, even if slightly. To further drive home a new point of view on Dexter, the season’s first murder is as brazen and emotionless as his first response to Deb’s questioning. Though we’ve seen Dexter murder criminals in the past, this one felt odd in its execution, allowing viewers to feel some of the uncomfortable emotions that Deb is experiencing.
Even so, Dexter’s kill for this episode was the starting point for introducing the “Big Bad” (Ray Stevenson) of the season, so there should have been time given to his inclusion – if for no other reason than it would provide viewers a reason to understand why this person is so important to the “Big Bad,” and how worried we should be for Dexter. To give credit where its deserved, this episode does contain many stories, so it’s understandable that they’d have trouble appropriately dedicating enough time to everything.
With much of this season likely focusing on Deb and Dexter dealing with having an honest family relationship, the Dexter season 8 premiere kicks things off amazingly, allowing audiences to see a new side to the series’ familiar characters. If the rest of the season continues along this path, there’s surly some great stories awaiting fans. Let’s just hope the “Big Bad” storyline offers enough quality to accompany it.
Dexter airs Sundays @9pm on Showtime
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