Now he’s done it. Ol’ Dexter has gone and gotten himself into a real jam.
Dexter Season 7 Episode 1 aired last night on Showtime (if you didn’t see it, you still can). Titled “Are You…” the episode starts strong and never lets up. It looks like the show is back to form in a big way, laying the groundwork for a suspenseful season.
The episode opens with Dexter racing to the airport. He frantically pulls over to get gas but all of his credit cards are declined. He pulls some cash out of a getaway bag (giving us a good look at the passports and cell phones also stashed inside). Dexter, it appears, is getting the hell out of Dodge…
Which takes us to the cliffhanger from last season. Deb has just walked into the abandoned church and witnessed Dexter stab the Doomsday killer through the chest. “Oh, God,” Dexter says.
Deb pulls her gun on Dexter and demands an explanation. Dexter tells her that he “snapped.” He claims that he came to do a forensic sweep, Doomsday attacked him and after fending him off, Dexter got caught up in the anger over Rita’s murder several seasons ago and took it out on Doomsday. Or something like that.
Of course this doesn’t jibe with what Deb actually sees – Dexter in his kill outfit, the whole area wrapped in plastic, a spotlight conveniently placed directly over the body – but Dexter convinces Deb that he could lose everything, including his son. So Deb reluctantly helps him douse the crime scene in gasoline and they make the murder look like a suicide.
Next morning at the burned church, Dexter casually explains to the rest of Miami Metro how Doomsday offed himself and then set fire to the church. Everyone buys it, but Deb looks overcome with guilt, especially when she has to address the press. LaGuerta, meanwhile, finds Dexter’s blood slide, which he dropped the night before. Uh oh…
That night, Deb gets a call from Detective Anderson, who is also skeptical of the suicide story. He wants to know how Doomsday got to the church without his car. After Anderson hangs up, he stops to help a stranded, Ukrainian-accented motorist and discovers a dead hooker in the guy’s trunk. Really, how many times has the ol’ hooker-in-the-trunk gotten somebody in trouble in TV Land? Anyway, the Ukrainian dude shoots Anderson for his trouble and takes off.
Next morning, Deb confronts Dexter on the discrepancies in his story, but they are interrupted with the call about Anderson’s murder. At the scene, all of Miami Metro is out for blood because one of their own has fallen. The killer was a pro, but Dexter finds a single fingerprint and manages to identify the guy through Interpol. Meanwhile, Quinn and Batista question the seedy owner of the strip club where the hooker worked. The strip club owner later calls a mysterious fellow in Eastern Europe, promising mysteriously that the hit man is on his way.
During all of this, Dexter flashes back to his life as a boy, remembering the day that his mother gave his sister Deb a new puppy. Dexter’s father made Deb give the puppy away for fear that Dexter would kill it. Young Dexter feels terrible about this, but before he can tell Young Deb the truth, Dexter’s father admonishes Dexter to never tell Deb who he really is. He probably also tells him to floss and always respect his elders, but they skipped that part.
Meanwhile, LaGuerta asks Masuka if forensics ever collects blood slides at crime scenes. No, Masuka jokes. The only cop who ever did was Dokes, the Bay Harbor Butcher. This hits a nerve with LaGuerta and she slips away with the blood slide that she found at the burned-out church. UH OH…
Also meanwhile, Dexter’s nanny’s boyfriend Louis, who is an Ice Truck Killer fanboy, and who has drawn Dexter’s ire on more than one occasion for his weird obsession with serial killers, hacks Dexter’s computer and cancels Dexter’s credit cards. It’s unclear why he does this, except that it gives us a nifty moment in the opening scene where it appears as if Dexter is running from the law.
Anyway, because Deb walked in on Dexter in the middle of his kill, he was unable to properly dispose of Doomsday’s body according to his usual serial killer ritual. He’s lost his groove, and the only way to get his mojo back is to kill again. Dexter rips his getaway bag out of the wall, fearing that Deb may be getting too close to the full extent of his secret. Then he races to the airport to find the Ukrainian mobster and deal bloody justice, bringing us full circle to the opening scene.
Meanwhile, Deb does some digging on the Ice Truck Killer. She keeps flashing back to the night when Dexter saved her from the Ice Truck Killer. She remembers the plastic wrap used at the crime scene – the exact same setup that she caught Dexter using at the church. She finds out from Dexter’s nanny that Dexter is always out at all hours of the night doing God-knows-what. She puts two and two together and comes up with, “My brother is a few numbers short of an equation.”
At the airport, Dexter’s catches the Ukrainian mobster, knocks him out, rolls him into the abandoned lost baggage area and wraps him up in plastic. Now back to doing what he does best, Dexter puts a bag over the dude’s head, brains him with a fire extinguisher and then dumps his body over the side of his boat.
Fresh from a kill, Dexter is feeling pretty good about himself. But when he walks into his apartment, he finds Deb sitting in the corner surrounded by his serial killer paraphernalia. She tore his place apart and discovered his roll of knives, his blood slides, and probably also his porn collection. Though they didn’t show that part.
“Did you kill all of these people?” Deb asks.
“Yes,” Dexter answers.
“Are you a serial killer?” She asks.
Dexter sighs, closes his eyes and says, “Yes.”