Dexter Season 7 Review “Swim Deep”- I’m on a boat!

“From here on out I’ll face the depths by myself” – Dexter Morgan

Dexter continued it’s seventh season tonight with “Swim Deep”, yet another great installment in what is turning out to be a stellar season. Even though there are some parts of the show that still bug me, the sum of its parts are coming together in such a beautiful way that it’s hard not to be a happy Dexter fan now!

So tonight’s episode starts out with Dexter cleaning up his boat to get ready for Harrison’s return, and he happens upon Louis’ blood. It’s a bit strange that Dex never thought to keep tabs on Louis when he mysteriously disappeared without a trace after being fired by Miami Metro and dumped by Jamie. I’d actually forgotten that Dexter still doesn’t know that Louis is dead. Well, he quickly discovers that Louis tipped off Isaak about Dexter, and that means bad things for Miami Metro’s finest…

Speaking of which, we catch back up with Travis Marshall’s blood slide, as this story line had been dropped for the last few weeks. Doakes being pegged as the Bay Harbor Butcher has always been kind of a strange and funny quirk about Dexter history. Don’t these people ever say “Hey, remember when we found out that our good friend and colleague was a prolific serial killer? That was weird…” Well LaGuerta hasn’t forgotten, and after 5 seasons she’s decided to act on her suspicions that Doakes was framed, and she uses this recovered blood slide as an excuse to secretly start interviewing the family members of BHB victims. This brings her and Deb to the home of the old victims’ family, and Deb finds that one of them has a picture of Dexter right before he abducted his victim!

This leads me into the best thing about this season so far, and one of my favorite parts about this episode: Debra. Now don’t get me wrong; I love Dexter. I think that, despite the sub-par sixth season, this is one of the best dramas on TV. It’s tons of fun to watch, and seeing Dexter hunt down his prey is always exciting. BUT I absolutely love, love, LOVE seeing Deb finally call out Dexter on all of his bull crap. This show is great fun, and I’ve enjoyed this journey over the past six and a half seasons, but Dex has enjoyed a lot of very happy coincidences and lucky breaks that have kept his secret in tact over all these years. That’s why it’s so wonderful to see Deb poke holes in all of his smug reasoning and pious justification. You’ve been very successful up to this point, Dexter, in not being caught, but that doesn’t mean you’re perfect. Seeing him try to get Deb off of his back is starting to get frustrating. You can’t dictate what the lady chooses to do with your secret, dude! Anyway, Deb decides to hold onto this incriminating photo for now, but we’ll see what happens!

The other exciting story this season is Dexter’s developing relationship with Isaak. Ray Stevenson has done a stupendous job with this character, and he was at his absolute finest in tonight’s installment. Everything from sitting patiently in Dexter apartment with a silenced pistol, to coolly sipping from his coffee while talking about killing police, and finally the amazing scene at the end while talking to Dexter in prison. I can’t wait to see what happens next with Isaak being behind bars and away from Dexter’s table. At least Dexter was willing to leave Isaak to the Colombian cartel to do his dirty work for him, so maybe he isn’t adhering so strictly to his rules anymore! Also, how freaking awesome was Isaak’s scene in the bar?! Man, I love this guy.

Our other big guest star this season is the lovely Yvonne Strahovski’s Hannah McKay, and she had her most substantial episode to date. She returned to identify some of Wayne Randall’s trophies from his killing spree, and Dexter quickly notices that she’s being more nostalgic about them than regretful. Dex joins her on a quick trip to find two of the buried bodies, and he notices that Hannah actually killed one of them. Hannah having a secret of some kind has already been guessed by most Dexter fans, but it will be interesting to see where her character goes from here and what Dexter does about her secret. Her line about comparing first murders with first sexual experiences seemed right up Dexter’s alley, though.

Meanwhile, Deb and Dex get a motel room together, because that’s what we really want to see, right?! Dex with his shirt off, Deb in her pajamas, reminiscing about Dexter being her hero. Yeesh. Here’s the thing: I’m not completely against them having any scenes like this. I’m not a fan of this story line at all, and I still stand by the opinion that it’s creepy and came out of nowhere last season, but it was a major story line in season six. It needs to be resolved somehow. I’m just wishing at this point that Deb has a line of some sort where she admits her feelings, but then states that they have been stamped out after seeing her brother murder someone. Hopefully that’s what will happen.

Hey, it’s been about 900 words and we still haven’t mentioned the always infuriating Quinn! Let’s get to it, shall we? Good ol’ Quinn goes to the Foxhole to drop off his stripper girlfriend Nadia (Oh sorry, I meant “dancer”). We find out for sure that he was at one point taking bribes from George, and it looks like he took another one here. I’m not sure if he’ll keep the money or not, but all we can hope for is that Isaak will find a way to kill Quinn with a screwdriver through the eye socket.

Back in Miami Metro, Batista is still concerned about Alex the bartender’s death, and he’s still thinking it might have been a setup, but when he brings it up to Deb she strongly orders him to drop it. It’s so wonderfully ironic to see Debra as “The Man” now, as we’re so used to her going to Captain Matthews or Leuitenant LaGuerta in previous seasons with her crackpot theories (that were usually correct) and asking to re-open closed cases. It’s heartbreaking seeing Deb have to let down a close friend in Batista, but this leads us wonderfully into the final scene of the episode.

Deb is fed up with the lies and the cover-ups and the stealing, and she decides that she doesn’t want to be a part of Dexter’s extra curricular activities anymore. I’m not sure she’ll completely settle on this resolution, as she’s changed her mindset in just about every episode so far, but this seems right for her character. My biggest fear after last season’s finale would be that she would be swayed by her feelings for her brother to help him or to condone his killings. However, I think she’s making the right decision here, as she vows to just stay completely out of it. She’s not going to turn him in, but she’s not going to help him out either. We’ll see how this holds up in the rest of the season! I’m loving this so much, you guys! Dexter is back, baby!

Random Thoughts:

– Was Dexter even trying to stay hidden when he called Isaak? Why not just sit down with him at his table and have a conversation instead of just standing 30 yards away in plain sight?

– I’ve read reviews for Dexter on other websites, and a few people are under the impression that Isaak and Viktor were lovers. Is anybody else getting that vibe? I just assumed that they had either a father/son relationship or were just really close friends.

– Don’t those phones at the jail record what you’re saying? I was so concerned when both Isaak and Dexter started talking candidly about who they’ve killed!