‘Dexter’ season 7 premiere review: The perfect tableau

Let’s start off this look at Sunday night’s season premiere of “Dexter” with a series dose of honesty: season 6 was at times a very difficult pill to swallow. The storylines were often predictable, the villain a little too obsessed with religion, and there were just to many people (see Brother Sam) who never really amounted to very much of anything. We weren’t as annoyed with Deb being in loved with her adopted brother, but it was how it came out of left field that troubled us more than anything.

However, the reveal that Deb saw Dexter killing Travis Marshall at the end changed things … and significantly for the better. This immediately gave season 7 a newfound dose of tension, and for the first time perhaps in the show’s entire run, we had a premiere that felt action-packed straight out of the date. Dexter was on the run from his own demons and from Deb at the same time, but he made one key error in the process: he underestimated how good of a cop his own sister was. Once she got her foot in the door, it was only a matter of time before she kicked it in completely.

The fact that Deb now knows that Dexter is a full-fledged serial killer is beyond a game-changer; it’s a series-changer. Michael C. Hall’s character now has someone alive who knows the full extent of his secret, and it’s not someone that he can dispose of in the blink of an eye and who is not going to take off out of town like Lumen. The pacing here was well-done as she put the pieces together, and it was also a nice touch to see Deb slowly put the pieces together from some of the past cases that she has worked with him and seen things that didn’t quite fit right.

While this reveal was clearly the standout moment from this first episode, we would be silly not to mention two other key events that are going to pave the way for an interesting series:

1. LaGuerta discovering that the Bay Harbor Butcher is out there is trouble for Dexter … and trouble for Deb once she finds out that the Captain has seen a blood slide. She never thought that Doakes was really the one responsible, so she is going to stop at no end to figure this out.

2. Dexter avenging the death of Mike Anderson (who was disposed of before he was ever given anything to do) served as an asset to his urges, but at the same time it also created a massive problem in that he now has the leader of the Ukrainian mob in Isaac (Ray Stevenson) coming to town. He’s clearly a big bad, if not the big bad, and he means some serious trouble for the entire force.

Do you think that this premiere was a serious step up from season 6? Be sure to share your thoughts below, and you can see more of what Hall has to say about this season here.

Photo: Showtime

Love TV? Be sure to like Matt & Jess on Facebook for more updates!