Dexter’s sixth season was a mild disappointment. But I think almost everyone who has stuck around with the series was both shocked, but also pleased at the big season finale reveal. After all these years of keeping secrets, this one was out of the bag.
A lot of questions were thrown around, and I’m sure many people were wondering where this series would go. Interest in the friendly neighborhood serial killer has been waning over the years, and it really seemed like the producers would have to hit a homerun to keep us interested.
My favorite season, so far, has been the one that introduced John Lithgow as the Trinity Killer. He provided such gravitas to his part that it provided me with genuine chills.
But seasons five and six were lackluster, as Dexter’s double life routine had become a little trite and forced. There was a moment when Deb almost found Dexter out (at the end of season 5) and I remember thinking how exciting that would have been had they ever explored that.
Enter Season 7, Episode 1, entitled “Are You…?”
When I saw the title come up on the screen, I thought of a couple ways to finish that sentence. It’s as if the showrunners were asking their audience: Are you still there? Are you bored? Are you giving us another chance?
And thankfully, it seems like they may be on to something this time.
Episode 1 began with a flash-forward scene of Dexter rushing to the airport.
Oh great. Here we go. We won’t find out what’s actually happening until the season is almost done. Yawn…
Not only was I wrong (the scene was recreated later in the episode), but we were then transported to the very (exciting) scene that ended season 6.
And then, it only kept getting better. Deb’s insistant questioning and constant reflexion on the scene she had just witnessed did not let up. She actually seemed to take the role of a bonafide detective. But how far would the show take us? Would they still keep a curtain between Deb and her brother’s darkest secret?
See, Dexter came up with a scrambling excuse as to what had happened that night at the church (see my previous Dexter article for commentary on Season 6 and its finale), and it seemed like maybe Deb would unbelievably believe him…
But she doesn’t.
And that’s great! This is what the show has been missing. A sense of instability. Dexter is no longer in control, and Deb is portrayed as intelligent, yet fragile.
A lot transpires in the episode, including what seems to be a reference to some international crisis that may be brought on by Dexter’s latest kill target, a Ukrainian cop killer. LaGuerta happens upon the blood sample that Dexter lost at the church, and Louis (Sonya’s boyfriend—Dexter’s babysitter) starts hacking Dexter’s credit cards.
But the meat of the episode is in what happens at the end, with Dexter’s apartment in shambles and Deb sitting in front of the slides.
Many critics have grown irritated with the show because Dexter, our once careful and meticulous serial killer, is now very sloppy and seemingly out of control. He has many contradictions. He’s supposed to be remorseless, with dry or inexistant emotions. Yet, he has some sort of moral compass, and there are times that he seems like a big softy.
The show is not what it once was, and even though I also long for those days of the early seasons, I think it’s also unrealistic to think that the show could carry on that sort of mystique for seven seasons. In that sense, I welcome the instability. I prefer to have something new explored. Sometimes it may work, and sometimes it won’t. But I sense that this season has the capability to reach new heights. I hope so, at least.
Either way, if you were to ask me: Are you ready for Dexter, Season 7?
Well, yes. Yes I am.