Dexter, Season 7

Incest and Isaac and Donuts, Oh My!
Talking television.
Nov. 19 2012 2:54 PM

Dexter, Season 7


On Deb and donuts. 

C.S. Lee as Vince Masuka and Michael C. Hall as Dexter Morgan in 'Dexter.'
C.S. Lee as Vince Masuka and Michael C. Hall as Dexter Morgan in 'Dexter'

Photo by Randy Tepper/Showtime.

The consensus around the web seems to be that we should all forgive Dexter for reviving the incest side plot because, well, the show is getting so damn good. “This was the best episode of the season,” proclaimed Vulture. “A really strong episode... [with] the best scene of the season…Well done,” gushed Examiner.  In fact, the creators have done such a stellar job with the themes they’ve addressed so far that they may just be up to turning Deb’s guilty love for her stepbrother into compelling TV. Alex Moaba at Huffington Post has some advice for pulling that off: “I'll be impressed with the writers' gumption…if they steer the show into the genuinely bizarre territory that would result from Deb and Dexter actually sleeping together,” he says. “I don't think I can handle a will-they-or-won't-they storyline hanging over the show for its final season and a half. If they're going to go there, better to rip that dirty band-aid off quickly.”  

This assumes, of course, that Deb will survive all the psychopaths amassing like attractive, well-spoken storm clouds around her. Between Hannah McKay (who, as commenter David Harvey observes, “makes it a practice to kill people who are an inconvenience in her life”) and Isaac Sirko (who multiple viewers suspect will target Dexter’s loved ones to inflict maximum damage), Lt. Morgan may want to invest in her own security detail. Her codename could be fuck balls or the sweet fucking baby Jesus. At any rate, most reviewers agree that Jennifer Carpenter has treated us to deserving, evocative acting this season. The scene in which she comes clean to Dexter about her feelings could have been, in Richard Rys’ words, a “creepy train wreck,” but she redeemed it with her mastery of  “the hysterical rant that’s part sob, part laughter, part-I’m-so-freaked-out-I-might-puke.” It’s refreshing to see Deb get some love on the comment threads, too. Slate reader Jake B posted, “I think Jennifer Carpenter's performance as Deb is extraordinary. She's never mentioned among the really fine actresses on cable, but she should be.” (On the other hand, HthrAlxndr calls her “an extremely annoying character, played poorly by an irritating actress of very limited range and talent.” Oh well.)

Critics also praised the episode’s humanizing treatment of Isaac (“This has got to be the most gentlemanly mutual stalking with intent to murder ever”) and celebrated the return of the donuts! For newcomers to the show, Dexter frequently purveys both death and a delicious sugar rush in a box—but during season 7, you’d be forgiven for wondering whether all of Miami were suffering from a donut drought. Last night’s episode reintroduced the breakfast carbs, though a few jelly rolls died for the cause when Isaac opened fire through the pastry shop window. (Yummier flavors, such as the Boston Cremes Dexter bought to appease Deb, were spared.)

As for the difficulties Dexter faces now that his sister and his girlfriend both love him, and both want each other dead, Moaba probably said it best: “It's almost as weird as the Petraeus scandal.”

Katy Waldman is a Slate staff writer. 



Slate Plus Early Read: The Self-Made Man

The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada. Now, Journalists Can’t Even Say Her Name.

Mitt Romney May Be Weighing a 2016 Run. That Would Be a Big Mistake.

Amazing Photos From Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution

Transparent Is the Fall’s Only Great New Show

The XX Factor

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada

Now, journalists can't even say her name.


Lena Dunham, the Book

More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.

What a Juicy New Book About Diane Sawyer and Katie Couric Fails to Tell Us About the TV News Business

Does Your Child Have Sluggish Cognitive Tempo? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?

  News & Politics
Damned Spot
Sept. 30 2014 9:00 AM Now Stare. Don’t Stop. The perfect political wife’s loving gaze in campaign ads.
Sept. 29 2014 7:01 PM We May Never Know If Larry Ellison Flew a Fighter Jet Under the Golden Gate Bridge
Dear Prudence
Sept. 30 2014 6:00 AM Drive-By Bounty Prudie advises a woman whose boyfriend demands she flash truckers on the highway.
  Double X
Sept. 29 2014 11:43 PM Lena Dunham, the Book More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 29 2014 8:45 AM Slate Isn’t Too Liberal, but … What readers said about the magazine’s bias and balance.
Brow Beat
Sept. 29 2014 9:06 PM Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice Looks Like a Comic Masterpiece
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:36 AM Almost Humane What sci-fi can teach us about our treatment of prisoners of war.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 30 2014 7:30 AM What Lurks Beneath The Methane Lakes of Titan?
Sports Nut
Sept. 28 2014 8:30 PM NFL Players Die Young. Or Maybe They Live Long Lives. Why it’s so hard to pin down the effects of football on players’ lives.