Dexter, Season 7
The wholly messed-up relationship edition.
James Remar as Harry Morgan and Michael C. Hall as Dexter Morgan
Photo by Randy Tepper/Showtime.
Sometimes the last few minutes of a show are so astonishing that they completely bury the rest of the episode—not unlike, say, an enchanted blizzard at an abandoned theme park in which two serial killers find themselves getting it on. A lot of commenters were relieved: Dexter hasn’t gotten much action since Lumen left. And perhaps his release from sexual frustration will make him more cool-headed as he deals with all the plot points that he, unlike us, doesn’t have the luxury of forgetting about. Those include LaGuerta beginning to connect the Bay Harbor Butcher to the Barrel Girls case; Isaak plotting all sorts of revenge from prison; True Crime writer Sal Price zeroing in on the fudged blood report from the Wayne Randall killings; and—perhaps most terrifying of all—Debra entering the dating circuit.
Of course, if Hannah McKay plans on murdering Dexter after she sleeps with him, that could complicate his life significantly too.
So the question lingering in this episode’s wake glances back at the title, “Do the Wrong Thing.” Was Dexter wrong to exchange his usual killing ritual for a night of carnival sex with a hot murderess? As Alex Moaba at Huffpost points out, Hannah fits every aspect of the code. And yet she seems to know exactly how to disarm his Dark Passenger: by whispering double entendres about “getting dirty,” bringing him flowers with blood spatter markings, and acting strangely turned on by the knife he presses to her neck. Cassandra Berube at the Baltimore Sun thinks Dex should watch his back around Miami’s own Poison Ivy: “Maybe it’s time that a woman gets the upper hand… It would be difficult never to eat or drink anything Hannah makes if they are dating.” On Vulture, though, Richard Rys wonders whether “the cure for Dexter’s compulsions is kinky naked time with a hot blonde who has a few skeletons in her closet (and one in a hole).”
Slate Commenter Josh Miller has another theory. “I don't think Hannah is a predatory killer,” he writes. “Other than the woman she killed with Wayne, she has killed in response to bad things that happened to her: abusive juvenile hall counselor and a (potentially) abusive husband. The owner of the flower shop may have even coached Hannah on killing her husband, using a plant that grows in the flower shop yard. The killing of the flower shop owner may have been a mercy killing. According to the handyman's account, the owner sounded like she had a long term illness and Hannah was helping her.”
Rys also makes the excellent point that both Morgan siblings reveal their true selves through their dating lives. Dexter’s romantic night out involves breaking and entering, tranquillizers, erotically shredded wisps of plastic wrap and a damaged but dangerous blonde. Deb, meanwhile, talks dirty over drinks with a handsome crime fanatic who has concocted far-fetched theories about closed murder cases. These are clearly matches made in…somewhere. And speaking of fraught pairings, Rys continues his sharp relationship analysis with a warning to Joey Quinn:
Note that Nadia is the voice of reason in their relationship. “What good is money if you are dead?” she tells him when he’s thinking of keeping the Kaska payoff. When you’re a cop and your Ukie stripper booty call is your moral compass, you’ve got problems.
Meanwhile, over at Zap2It, Drusilla Moorhouse seems to be the only one who is particularly worried about the welfare of Sal Price. After praising Dexter’s funny impersonation of a star struck fan, she advises the writer: “Back away slowly, dude. Hannah and Dexter are both killers, and Deb is the kiss of death.” Her and every other character on the show.
Katy Waldman is a Slate assistant editor.