In this week's episode of Dexter, "The Dark… Whatever", an unannounced visit from Hannah's father, Clint McKay (Jim Beaver), forces Dexter to confront the origins of his Dark Passenger, transforming him into the most dangerous killer of all: one without rules. But will a lawless Dexter soon find all eyes on him, behind bars?
As the Phantom Arsonist continues to leave dead bodies in his path, Dexter makes a promise to Debra to keep his Dark Passenger at bay, allowing the law to take care of things. However, after Clint decides to drop in on his daughter, Hannah, their poisonous relationship causes Dexter to seek out the source of his Dark Passenger, bringing him face-to-face with the Phantom Arsonist. But as the Phantom Arsonist reveals the cause of his need to burn, Dexter makes a revelation about himself, forever killing-off his Dark Passenger and putting Hannah's father in the crosshairs. Meanwhile, Quinn takes care of Isaak Sirko's murderer (in the name of love), while LaGuerta continues to investigate Dexter.
Although we've seen Dexter in relationships in the past, both healthy and unhealthy, his relationship with Hannah (Yvonne Strahovski) - though macabre in its own right - has allowed him to explore aspects about himself that were, as audiences thought, previously inaccessible. Over the past 7 years, Dexter has, much like those watching, simply followed the "rules" of Harry, all while accepting that this "thing" called the Dark Passenger was at the heart of it all, fueling his need to kill. Without ever having an equal to help question what drives his dark urges, Dexter had, essentially, become a passenger to his own dark urges.
But now that Hannah has, through her own murderous means, created a setting in which Dexter can further explore his urges to kill, audiences are able to see Dexter truly evolve for the first time and recognize that the labels he uses to justify his actions were of his own creation. For audiences, it allowed us to view a true sense of evolution, in which Dexter evolves as a whole, not just his skills to kill or avoid capture. However, could this truly be Dexter's downfall?
While Harry's rules did put limitations on who Dexter would allow himself to kill, it also provided him with the protection needed to get away with continuous murder. Now, without those rules, the only thing that stands in the way of Dexter's urges is Debra. But as Debra can truly only prevent her brother from committing crimes that she's aware of, her ability to control her brother will lessen, and Dexter's evolution will be forced to continue, if only for his own protection.
As LaGuerta continues to investigate Dexter's involvement in the Bay Harbor Butcher case, she will began to take an even closer look at all of Dexter's activities. Fortunately, many of Dexter's decisions were fueled by his Dark Passenger, and subsequently Harry's rules, providing him with the protection that he needs. But as Dexter and his happiness continues to evolve, he will continue to make himself available from attacks on all fronts. In the end, it all returns to a single question: Can a killer ever be happy?
Dexter returns next Sunday with "Do You See What I See?" @9pm on Showtime. You can check out a preview of next week's episode below:
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