Stars: Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, Lauren Velez, Desmond Harrington, C.S. Lee, David Zayas, James Remar, Aimee Garcia, Josh Cooke, Ray Stevenson, Enver Gjokaj
Writer:
Scott Buck, series based on the books by Jeff Lindsay
Director:
John Dahl
Network:
Showtime, Sundays @ 9 PM
Original Airdate:
September 30, 2012

Speaking as a great fan of DEXTER overall, this reviewer had a number of problems with the sixth season. However, the season finale ended on such a note of “Holy !!!!” that it almost didn’t matter what preceded it.

Given this preamble, Season 7 hits the ground running with “Are You …?” The episode opens with a tease that suggests that Dexter (Michael C. Hall) is fleeing the country after being caught in the act of killing someone by his adopted sister, Miami Metro Police Lieutenant Debra Morgan (Jennifer Carpenter), much to their mutual horror.

It turns out that Dexter is simply going to a little more trouble than usual to take out a killer, Viktor (Enver Gjokaj), who has just murdered Metro detective Anderson (Billy Brown). Viktor has ties to the Eastern European mob, something that will doubtless factor in to the rest of the season.

However, most of “Are You …?” deals with Dexter trying to figure out how to placate Deb, and Deb trying to make sense of what she has seen. Dexter spends much of the episode trying to convince Deb that his killing of Travis (Colin Hanks) was a one-time act, sparked by fury that Travis had tried to kill Dexter’s toddler son Harrison. Deb wants to believe this and winds up helping Dexter conceal/destroy evidence. However, the more Deb digs, and simply reasons (how is it that Dexter is so adept at cleaning up a murder site?), the more she suspects. Finally, she confronts Dexter with the box of blood slides he keeps as souvenirs of his kills. Deb asks, “Are you a serial killer?” and Dexter finally acknowledges, “Yes.”

There are other elements to the episode, including a ramp-up of the threat posed by Dexter’s unstable admirer Louis (Josh Cooke), and Batista (David Zayas) and Quinn (Desmond Harrington) continuing to wrestle with how to handle Quinn’s alcoholism. The introduction of Ray Stevenson as a villain also suggests something new, as it looks like we may get Dexter vs. the Russian mob. However, the main thrust of the episode is Dexter and Deb wrestling hugely with the conflict between their instincts and their loyalty to one another.

There is a lot of good character logic in “Are You …?”, with Deb recalling what seemed at the time an incomprehensible between Dexter and the Ice Truck Killer (also Dexter’s biological brother, also Debra’s boyfriend) and Dexter flashing back to Harry’s (James Remar) concerns about Debra ever guessing Dexter’s true nature. It helps that by the time Deb realizes that Dexter’s killing Travis wasn’t a one-off crime of passion, but rather simply the latest piece in a long pattern, Deb has so compromised herself in destroying evidence that she can’t come forward without losing her job and her freedom. It’s no longer simply family vs. duty, but family plus self-interest tilting the scales.

Despite some dream sequences and promos, it’s hard to imagine Dexter would intentionally harm Debra. Not only is she the person closest to him, but it’s also against Harry’s code (to say nothing of the fact that she’s Harry’s biological daughter and Dexter’s adoptive sibling). Dexter seems wholly comfortable with the code right now – he deviated from it in trying to save Travis, got a bad result, and has therefore proven to himself that the code is correct. Anxiety about Deb aside, Dexter is actually in a good place, so much as a driven serial killer can ever be said to be thus.

How this is all going to play out, including whether all the plot strands – Deb knowing the secret, angry mobsters, Louis scheming away – will weave together or unfurl separately remains to be seen, but DEXTER’s seventh season is off to a strong, engrossing start.

Related: TV Review – DEXTER – Season 7  – “Do the Wrong Thing”

Related: TV Review – DEXTER – Season 7  – “Swim Deep”

Related: TV Review – DEXTER – Season 7  – “Do the Wrong Thing”

Related: TV Review – DEXTER – Season 7  – “Run”

Related: TV Review – DEXTER – Season 7  – “Buck the System”

Related: TV Review – DEXTER – Season 7  – “Sunshine and Frosty Swirl”

Related: TV Review – DEXTER – Season 7  – “Are You … ?” – Season Premiere

Related: Showtime leaves door open for more DEXTER after its anticipated final two seasons

Related: Exclusive Interview with Manny Coto on DEXTER Season 7 news and more

AGREE? DISAGREE? LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK – COMMENT BELOW!

Related: TV Review – DEXTER – Season 6  – “This is the Way The World Ends” – Season Finale

Click on Link: TV Review – DEXTER – Season 6  – “Talk to the Hand”

Click on Link: TV Review – DEXTER – Season 6  – “Ricochet Rabbit”

Click on Link: TV Review – DEXTER – Season 6  – “Get Gellar”

Click On Link: TV Review – DEXTER – Season 6  – “Sins of Omission”

Click on Link: TV Review – DEXTER – Season 6  – “Nebraska”

Click on Link: TV Review – DEXTER – Season 6  – “Just Let Go”

Click on Link: TV Review – DEXTER – Season 6  – “The Angel of Death”

Click on Link: TV Review – DEXTER – Season 6  – “A Horse of a Different Color”

Click on Link: TV Review – DEXTER – Season 6  – “Smokey and the Bandit”

Click on Link: TV Review – DEXTER – Season 6  – “Once Upon A Time …”

Click on Link: TV Review – DEXTER – Season 6 premiere – “Those Kinds of Things”

Click on Link: Reviews of the complete DEXTER – Season 5 and other exclusive interviews

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Article: TV Review – DEXTER – Season 7  – “Are You … ?” – Season Premiere

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Comments:

  1. Yes Women killing their kids is rare, especially if they aren’t diagnosed with a mental disorder. You keep giving a great example, but this sort of thing does happen. I mean we don’t necessarily hear about people killing their kids for the most part is because the news is depressing. It happens but we only hear the most extremes like the woman with Schizophrenia in San Antonio. Plus, Dexter wouldn’t have targeted someone who he thought was crazy because that person doesn’t fit into the code at all. I’m sure he would have came to reason and understood why they killed their family and turned them over to the proper authorities. Another thing, almost every Dexter kill has a reason especially to bring him closer to his human side and away from the Dark Passenger. There are a few that are there but they serve a purpose, last episode’s kill was more out there for every one to notice.

    Reniel
  2. Yes, people handle their difficult lives in different ways. Zoey’s way was just a different take. It’s not the right one but she saw an opportunity with framing the guy and she took it. She had to act fast, maybe too fast to stop and think about it. Either that or she hated having baggage that she thought was holding her back and keeping her from controlling the world around her. Come to think of it, I didn’t notice the mug right away but now with you holding my eye lids open, I see. I have to say getting the review out was very quick, I just really wanted to discuss the last episode because of the cliff hanger ending. I wanted to know what you guys thought, obviously know now from the video review, and I hope tonight’s episode does have to many drastic changes, like a death.

    Jana

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