TV REVIEW: Dexter Season 7, Episode 1 – “Are You…?”

The last time we saw our favorite serial killer, he was finishing off the Doomsday killer in front of a surprising and unwelcome audience. How does Deb react to finally seeing her beloved stepbrother for who he really is?

Go behind the jump to find out…

Coming off what many say was Dexter‘s weakest season (I vehemently disagree), the writers had their work cut out for them in Season 7’s first episode.

Personally, I loved the sixth season – Colin Hanks was brilliant as the Doomsday killer (DDK). A lot of people didn’t like the religious undertones, I gather, but I thought the Revelations-based murders were very well done, and a lot more interesting than Dexter running around trying to avenge Julia Stiles all season. But I digress. The season ended on quite a cliffhanger: Deb finding Dexter at the exact moment he kills DDK. As the Season 7 tagline so aptly puts it, now it’s all on the table…

Beware: there be spoilers ahead.

The episode starts with Dexter fleeing to the airport with his escape bag in tow, but all is not as it seems…

After Deb catches Dex red-handed (ha) in the middle of his ritual, he pleads insanity/self-defense, saying that he returned to the church to do a final sweep for evidence when he was attacked by DDK.  She appears to want to give Dex the benefit of the doubt, so she helps him make it look like DDK killed himself and then torched the church. They nearly get away with it, except that eagle-eyes LaGuerta finds Dexter’s blood slide.

No one appears heartbroken over DDK’s death, and they are soon distracted by a double homicide: a dead call girl and Detective Anderson, shot by the perp when he discovered the girl’s body. Instead of lying low and, I don’t know, pretending he’s not actually a serial killer, Dexter decides that he needs to regain some semblance of control by going after Anderson’s killer. As usual, he beats the other cops to the target – it turns out that Dexter was racing to the airport to catch the killer, and he spends a lot of his getaway cash buying a ticket so he can tail the guy past security. He kills him right there at the airport; again, not so good with the inconspicuous.

While everyone else is focused on catching Anderson’s killer, LaGuerta asks Matsuka if anyone collected a blood slide at the DDK scene. Matsuka says no, pointing out that only one homicide detective ever collected blood slides – the late James Doakes, the Bay Harbor Butcher, who took the fall for Dexter’s kills back in Season 2. LaGuerta is visibly disturbed, and she sneaks off with the slide before it can be processed. Whether she wants to do some investigating of her own, or whether she simply doesn’t want to open that can of worms again, is unclear.

Deb, meanwhile, is making some disturbing discoveries of her own. She refuses to let it go, approaching Dexter multiple times only to be brushed off. She continues connecting the dots on her own, and the episode ends with Dexter coming home to a ransacked apartment, Deb sitting amongst his knives and collection of blood slides. She asks him if he’s a serial killer, and he finally admits that he is…

I enjoyed last season’s cliffhanger so much that I was worried I’d be disappointed by this first episode. Thankfully, my fears were groundless. This was a great first episode. It’s got everyone doing what they do best – Dexter killing bad people, Deb not knowing when to give up, LaGuerta playing fast and loose with the rules as it suits her. And while Deb spends most of the episode doing her detective work, in the middle of it all you relax a bit, thinking maybe things will work out. And then they really bring up the stress levels by having her discover his deepest, darkest secret.

It’s hard not to feel bad for Deb. Her life has been full of terrible relationships with men – her father didn’t pay attention to her, she almost married a serial killer, she fell in love with a man twice her age who was then shot right in front of her, the list goes on and on. And through it all, her once constant was Dexter, and now he’s also a serial killer. It says a lot about the strength of her character that she’s even still standing at this point. I am looking forward to seeing how she deals with this latest blow, in her special Deb kind of way. I expect there will be a lot of swearing involved.

Questionable lying low strategy aside, Dexter didn’t seem all that shaken by what happened. There was almost a sense of relief about the whole thing, that Deb might finally know who he is. It certainly came across as relief when he finally admitted it at the end.  How long he’ll feel that way as events play out is another question entirely.

It looks like it’s going to be a great season chock full of guest stars like Yvonne Strahovski, Jason Gedrick and Merlin‘s Santiago Cabrera. I, for one, can’t wait for more!


Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Mirjana

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