Stars: Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, Desmond Harrington, Lauren Velez, C.S. Lee, David Zayas, James Remar, Aimee Garcia, Ray Stevenson, Yvonne Strahovski, Jason Gedrick, Katia Winter, Santiago Cabrera
Writer: Lauren Gussis, series developed for television by James Manos, based on the books by Jeff Lindsay
Director: Alik Sakharov
Network: Showtime, Sundays @ 9 PM
Original Airdate: November 4, 2012
We’ve seen the title character in DEXTER (Michael C. Hall) do all kinds of things over the show’s seven seasons, but in “Do the Wrong Thing,” he goes where he hasn’t gone before. In the episode’s final moments, he cuts a killer loose from his table, then rips his clothes off – she’s already naked – and the screen goes black.
Until the moment that the knife comes down into the tape binding down Hanna (Yvonne Strahovski) rather than into her chest, we don’t know how this scene is going to play out. Dexter spends much of “Do the Wrong Thing” investigating his suspicions that Hanna not only was an active killer in her juvenile days, but that she has not stopped killing. Dexter’s research shows that Hanna almost certainly poisoned her late husband and the previous owner of Hanna’s current business, among others. He and Hanna wind up stalking each other, with an erotic/romantic component, and Hanna at last agrees to go out with Dexter. He takes her to a closed-for-the-season Santa’s Village, where she always wanted to go, turns on the snow for her – and then injects her in the neck. When Hanna comes to in Dexter’s kill room (set up within the Santa’s Village), she tells him calmly to do what he has to do, but it seems Dexter needs sexual communion with another killer more than he needs to actually kill right now.
This may be partially sparked by Deb (Jennifer Carpenter) asking Dexter about his time with Lumen back in Season 5, now that LaGuerta (Lauren Velez) thinks the killings Dexter and Lumen did together may be the work of the Bay Harbor Butcher. Deb, meanwhile, embarks on a little romance of her own with best-selling true crime author Sal Price (Santiago Cabrera), who is now researching Hanna as the subject of his next book. Sal believes Hanna is a serial killer, which prompts Dexter to steal a look at Sal’s research, leading to Dexter proposing to take Hanna out (a double entendre).
On the prison yard, Isaak (Ray Stevenson) uses violence and a numerical threat – his gang is bigger than theirs – to convince the Colombians to leave him along. Isaak demands that his lawyer find a way to get him out very soon, not because the Ukrainian crime boss fears for his life, but because he’s worried he’ll get so irritated that he’ll kill someone else and then be stuck in prison for ages.
Batista (David Zayas) contemplates retiring and buying a restaurant. Quinn contemplates accepting a bribe from the Ukrainians for helping tweak some evidence that will result in Isaak’s freedom. When Quinn tries to refuse the bribe, the mobsters threaten Quinn’s girlfriend Katia (Kalia Winter).
All of the scenes leading up to the climax are good, but Dexter cutting Hanna loose from his killing table and the two of them falling into each other’s arms (and other bodily regions) is so different from Dexter’s normal behavior that it’s shocking, in a good way. On the one hand, the build-up to this has also been different – Dexter certainly has never romanced anyone onto his slab previously – but on the other, Hanna fits Dexter’s criteria of being an unrepentant and still active multiple murderer. This has the makings of a Trinity-sized mistake, but with a sexual component. We certainly can’t wait to find out where this is going.
It’s wonderful that, in its seventh season, DEXTER can still sail us into uncharted waters. The ride remains turbulent and thrilling.
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