Dexter: 7.01 – “Are You…?” Premiere Review

The long-awaited Season 7 premiere of Dexter was last night, and though I had very low expectations following the disappointing season 6, I was pleasantly surprised. The premiere began right where season 6 ended; Dexter was caught sticking a knife into Travis Marshall by Deb. As she stood there, eyes wide and jaw dropped, the season ended and we were left to speculate what might happen next.

Well as it turned out, the Morgans decide to set the church on fire to get rid of any evidence that Dex may have left behind as Deb decides to help out her brother. However, throughout the episode Deborah begins to put together all of the other elements in Dexter’s life, during which he has acted extremely shady. The plastic wrap, the clothes the knives, Travis not having a car – things just weren’t adding up. The scales tipped when she called Jamie the nanny to speak with Dexter, and was informed that Dexter was working very late – a truth Deb knew to be false.

Perplexed by the situation he has put his sister in, Dexter has several flashbacks to his childhood when the presence of his dark passenger created other problems in Deb’s life. Namely her having to give up her puppy due to what Harry feared what Dexter might do to it – a lifetime of doglessness for Deb.

While this is all happening, in what is the sloppiest part of the show, they kill off Mike, the show’s newest Detective from Chicago, and Deb’s first hire. This is them cleaning out characters they don’t want to take the time to develop, especially since Mike likely was a threat to Dex. The whole thing gets glossed over pretty quick without much more than a raised glass from Quinn and Batista – and even then, it’s done in a scene that’s true purpose is to smooth over the troubles that the partners had last season – again lazily cleaning up a mess that they spent a whole season creating. [Editor’s Note – It’s kind of like James Cameron spending a whole movie saving a little girl only to have David Fincher kill her off in the opening credits of the sequel…]

So after 30 or so minutes of Deb tip toeing around the situation, she decides it’s time to snoop around Dexter’s apartment and when he walks in, she has an array of serial killer paraphernalia spread out in front of him…

Boom.

Now, despite some other unfavorable reviews I’ve seen, let me be clear about my opinion; this was a brilliant beginning to the end. As we know, Dexter only has seasons 7 and 8 left to continue the story. If he is going to get caught or be revealed, it should sure as shit be by his loyal, adoring sister Deborah Morgan: Homicide Lieutenant for the Miami Metro. Deb is not comfortable lying to the members of her police station, her boss, the reporters, or anyone else for that matter. She is clearly uneasy explaining when discussing the matter of Travis’ death. If you recall, she expressed her love (not brother-sister love, but throbbing loins love) for her adopted brother in season 6 to her therapist. With her devastating track record when it comes to picking men, this one might set her over the edge.

Speculations:

Will Deborah see her past with men as an indication that she may have her own darkness?  Will she turn him in? If she turns him in, she would no doubt be blamed for not turning him in when she found out, losing her job and possibly facing criminal charges. I’m not a cop, but… accessory to murder or something like that? (Thank you, Law and Order!) If Deb knows her brother is a serial killer, how would she not continuously follow him around to make sure he is not murdering anyone? If she does that, will she lose her mind and just go a little bit crazy? Will Deb be back in therapy blaming herself for this, making her fall into a put of depression? Will Deb accidentally spill some information, and have to decide between covering her lies and protecting her brother, or letting the secret get out and possibly sparing a life? Will Deb become Dexter’s new partner?

So many characters have known Dexter’s secret… Doakes, Lumen, Miguel, Ms. Pardon My Tits… but they have all died. This is Dexter’s sister, his only family, and his boss. This is someone he cannot just cut into pieces and dump out in Hefty bags. Deb will no doubt try to see the best in Dexter. The question seems to be, though, how much good is left in Dexter? How far will he go to protect his secret?

4/5

I will be back next week to give you another piece of Dexter perspective.

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