TV REVIEW: Dexter Season 7, Eps 2 and 3 – “Sunshine and Frosty Swirl” and “Buck the System”

Back from holiday, with two episodes to catch up on!

Episode 1 saw Dexter’s worst nightmare come true – Debra found out his deepest, darkest secret. Now that she knows about his dark passenger, will she go by the book and turn Dexter in, or will her love for her brother make her look the other way?

Go behind the cut to find out…

Episode 2: “Sunshine and Frosty Swirl”

The opening minutes of Episode 2 show Debra finally putting together all the pieces and figuring out that her beloved brother is the real Bay Harbor Butcher. Despite Dexter’s efforts to explain, Debra seems hard pressed to cut him any slack, telling him that she should arrest him before punching him and storming out of the apartment. She doesn’t arrest him at work the next day, but she does tell him that he has to move in with her so that she can keep an eye on him. Out of options, Dexter agrees.

At Homicide, the department is split between two cases: finding Detective Anderson’s killer and digging up the long-buried victims of an inmate who has suddenly decided to come clean about their murders. Working on the latter case, Dexter finds himself wondering how a murderer can suddenly develop a conscience after years of hiding. He appears hopeful that maybe he too can change, but when the inmate uses one of the digging expeditions to commit suicide, Dexter realizes that all he wanted was what the episode title suggests – some sunshine and a yummy frosty swirl.

The homicide detectives aren’t the only ones interested in the Anderson case – it appears the Ukrainian mob is very keen to find out what happened to Anderson’s killer, since he is (was) one of them. It looks like Dexter may soon have a price on his head, on top of having to deal with Matsuka’s rogue assistant Louis, who seems hell-bent on making our favorite spatter analyst’s life a living hell.

In the background, LaGuerta is still investigating the blood slide on her own, using an independent lab to confirm that the blood belonged to DDK. With that discovery, she sends for the FBI evidence from the Butcher case, determined to clear her late friend’s name.

I’ve really been enjoying the dynamic between Dexter and Debra so far this season. Throughout the course of the show, Debra has time and time again shown a determination to follow the rules, even going so far as to openly criticize her superiors for gaming the system or protecting colleagues. Now that she finds herself on the other side of the equation, she chooses to protect Dexter because she cannot bear to see him behind bars or worse.

Debra isn’t one to be too vocal about her feelings (aside from a lot of swearing), but she is openly emotional when she tells Dexter that she loves him and believes that there is good inside of him, despite his unusual extracurricular activities. This isn’t the first time we’ve heard someone acknowledge the good in Dexter –  and now it’s Debra turn to be there for him, as he’s done for her so many times. I, personally, am glad that Debra’s chosen the way she has – for someone who has always felt so deeply about a lot of things, we’re finally seeing her come out of her brusque exterior.

The LaGuerta and Louis sub-plots will surely add some entertaining tension as the season goes on; however, I am reserving judgment on the Ukrainians. So far, it feels a bit contrived that Dexter has stumbled into the cross hairs of yet another outside party. The mob is always a predictably easy choice, but I will give the writers the benefit of the doubt, as I’ve rarely been disappointed in the past.

Episode 2 Rating: 3.5/5

 

 

Episode 3: Bucking the System

Dexter is really starting to feel the strain of being watched constantly; he warns Debra that is she doesn’t back off, something bad will happen. Debra reluctantly agrees, which leaves Dexter free to start researching his next victim. Trying to maintain his promise to her, he tells Debra about his research and the target he’s picked. Hoping to bring her on board, he tells her that he believes his mark is getting ready to kill again. Debra isn’t so easy to convince, and she asks him for evidence.

This episode marks the debut of guest star Yvonne Strahovski as Hannah McKay, the former girlfriend of the convict who committed suicide in Episode 2. In the continued effort to find the victims’ bodies, Batista and Dexter go to pay Miss McKay a visit, and there appears to be a bit of a spark between her and Dexter.

Thanks to some hi-tech spying, the Ukrainians figure out that their comrade is dead. Their investigation leads them to Dexter’s boat, where they find Louis trying to sink it in retaliation for Dexter getting him fired and breaking up his relationship. Needless to say, he doesn’t make it through the encounter. The Ukrainians make sure to get Dexter’s name before they kill him, though.

Unable to shake Dexter’s warning about his next mark, Debra goes to his house and finds that he’s already got his next victim. She is too late to stop him killing her, and almost gets killed herself, but Dexter saves her, letting the mark escape. Later on, Debra finally acknowledges that had she listened to Dexter, the latest girl would still be alive. She tells him that she hates what he does, but she finally understands it. She asks Dexter to move back into his own apartment, warning him that things between them may never be the same.

This was a decent episode, though by far the weakest of the first 3. Chuck‘s Yvonne Strahovski makes her highly anticipated debut – there’s definitely a connection between her and Dexter due to her checkered past, so it will be interesting to see how this plays out. Especially since Dexter doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to relationships.

Jennifer Carpenter is once again great as Debra, whose life is completely crumbling around her and being remade into something entirely different. She’s constant having to question everything she’s believed up to this point, and Carpenter pulls off that confusion and pain surprisingly well.

While it felt a bit like a filler episode, it was enjoyable nonetheless, and nicely set up what’s bound to be an interesting next few weeks.

 

Episode 3 Rating: 3/5
Reviewer: Mirjana

More from the world of Geek Syndicate

%d bloggers like this: