‘Dexter’ season 7, episode 10 review: Rewriting the code

Yvonne Strahovski“Dexter” season 7 has evolved into quite the curious beast, hasn’t it? When we look at Sunday night’s new episode “The Dark … Whatever,” it almost felt like we were watching two different shows. On one side of the coin, there was an excellent story all about Dexter Morgan finally coming to grips with the fact that the Dark Passenger is more or less just his version of the Easter Bunny; sadly, it took a great deal of soapy scenes with Hannah McKay and her father in order to get to the realization that Dexter can kill because he wants to, and not because he has to.

Hannah has been written in a rather interesting way, and in some ways there is a disconnect. The writers want her to be a nurturing sort of character like we had with Rita, while at the same time with the edge that both Lila and Lumen had. The problem is just that it doesn’t quite work completely, and we sometimes have a hard time seeing that the Hannah that tells Dexter, a man who nearly killed her, that she loves him is the same Hannah that also poisons people to death who get too close to figuring out just who really is. It’s still something that is tricky to overcome, which is probably why Lumen is still at the top of our list of favorite “Dexter” love interests.

Hannah’s story was interesting, even in spite of the daddy issues, in bringing forward one story that could end up tearing her and Dexter apart: there is one woman out there who still knows that she is a killer, and who even witnessed her poisoning someone in a halfway house. If Deb interviews her, it’s the undoing of Yvonne Strahovski in the fictional world. Unfortunately for Dexter, it does not appear as though she has any intention of keeping this information (which her father called in before Dexter dumped him in the ocean) quiet.

The evolution of Deb here is also rather interesting, since it is showing off one Dexter’s biggest character flaws: his own arrogance. He feels as though he can push his sister around, and now, it’s not so much the case. It is almost as though she feels that now that the confession about her feelings is over, the albatross has been lifted. She’s going after Hannah regardless of how it makes her brother feel, and this is setting up to be one exciting story next week. (Just wait until our promo analysis later in the week before more.)

Of course, this is not going to be the only story that has evolved: there is also a little issue known as the Bay Harbor Butcher. After putting together the pieces (and finally realizing that Dexter and the Ice Truck Killer are brothers, which is shocking that she did not know previously), LaGuerta is now firmly convinced that Doakes may have very well been set up by someone with a major motivation for killing. Matthews is now trying to convince her out of it, but at this point she may be so hell-bent on revenge that she does not listen to a single work she says.

In between all of this and Batista conveniently letting Quinn off the hook for shooting George (probably the most anticlimactic scene of the night), this is the issue that we have with “Dexter” season 7 at this point: the acting is great and the story is exciting, but there are just so many little plot problems that make it hard to suspend belief, even for a show about serial killers. After all, we have to ask the inevitable question here: how in the world is the Phantom Arsonist not going to say that a man nearly killed him on a table? The show should not make us ask as many questions as we do about realism and behavior, and Dexter trying to give Deb a “win” and its impact does not wipe away the blemishes.

Overall, do you think “The Dark … Whatever” sunk, or swam? Be sure to share below, and you can check out some early scoop on the December 16 finale here.

Photo: Showtime

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