Dexter — Are You…? (S7E01)
Everything that happened in this season premiere of Dexter could have been spread out over a couple of episodes, but the writers decided to cram it all into one episode to add even more suspense. I’m usually not a fan of when writers put too much in one episode (See Castle. After the Storm), but I was actually very pleased with the set-up of this episode. Even with everything that happened, it kept me wanting more.
The episode begins with what appears to be Dexter fleeing the country with Debra after him. Dexter is driving like a maniac, swerving in and out of lanes, to get to a gas station. His cards are declined (Which we are left to assume was Deb’s doing). He jets off to the airport to take a random flight to Budapest. What are we supposed to believe other than that he is trying to flee? Luckily for us, this isn’t the case. This was actually a bit in the future while Dexter was chasing a new victim to kill.
Deb would never turn in her beloved brother if she thought it would bring him real harm. When she realizes that Dexter was the one who was standing above the altar, she dropped her gun but was shaking violently. She couldn’t comprehend that her perfect, sweet, innocent brother would kill someone. She asks him about a dozen questions about why he killed Travis and how it happened, but Dexter seems to have an answer to every one of her questions. He has probably thought about how he would explain this before, but prayed would never have to be done. Deb, not knowing what else to do, tries to call the station. Dexter insists that he’ll be imprisoned, or at the very least thrown into an insane asylum and lose both his job and Harrison. This is enough to stop Deb from calling. All she can say is that the whole situation is “pretty fucking weird,” but has no real ideas to offer up. But Dexter, as always, is prepared with an answer. He decides to make it appear as a suicide, Travis was devastated when the world didn’t end like he predicted. But that’s not enough, he turns it into one final tableau.
When the fire department extinguishes the church, Dexter goes straight to the center of the fire, the altar. He examines Travis’s body nonchalantly and announces everything he knows without doubting himself in the slightest. Deb seems to be freaking out. Not only did Dexter kill somebody, but it doesn’t appear to have fazed him in the slightest. He should at least appear to be a little worried, for Deb’s sake. She tries to get out of press duty, because she knows she can’t keep her cool, but it was her “win.” She was very nervous on camera and definitely didn’t seem like herself. The only thing Dexter has going for him is the fact that he didn’t tell Debra the whole truth. All she knows is that he killed Travis, she knows nothing about the others.
When he gets home, he has to deal with Louis yet again, he was looking through his computer. Though he says he was just checking the scores of the game, he was clearly up to something more mischievous. It turns out that he was actually the one who closed out all of Dexter’s credit cards. I don’t know how much Louis knows, but he clearly suspects something about Dexter. When he tries to convince Jamie that Dexter is a jerk, she resists him and says “The more I get to know you, the weirder and weirder you get.” But this isn’t the good kind of weird. Why can’t Jamie realize how much of a creep Louis is? (I am aware of the irony that I am discussing a normal person’s flaws while praising a serial killer).
In what I think is one of the awesomest coincidences in recent television, Enver Gjokaj plays a character named Viktor. For those of you that don’t understand my excitement: Gjokaj played a character named Victor on a fantastic show called Dollhouse. Anyways, when Viktor’s car got a flat tire, Mike (one of the detectives) noticed and stopped to help. He should have taken Viktor’s advice not to help him, because when Mike popped the trunk of the car, he found a woman’s body. Viktor wasn’t planning on being sent to prison, so he killed Mike. With the AFIS Mobile application (Seriously? There is absolutely no way that this is a real thing, especially at the speed that it ran), they discovered that the victim’s name was Kaja Soroka, a Russian stripper.
While the detectives investigate Kaja’s death by heading to a Russian strip club, Dexter takes matters into his own hands. He knows that now is the worst time for him to be making a kill, but to be in control of his mind, he needs to be in control of his needs. Dexter tracks Viktor to the airport (what we saw at the start of the episode) to make the kill. He doesn’t do so in his usual way with plastic wrap and a slice and dice; rather he clubs him with a fire extinguisher and dumps his body whole.
The manager of the strip club tells the detectives that he had nothing to do with Kaja or Mike’s deaths. But we see him discussing with a friend in Kiev that Viktor is on his way to him and that he’ll deal with the dead cop situation. This, along with LaGuerta trying to discover who the Bay Harbor Butcher really is, appears to be the main storyline of the season. Hopefully this means that there will be a heavy plot buildup around previous seasons!
Everything seemed so clean for Dexter, Deb believed his story and wasn’t going to call it in, they torched the body and it seemed like there was no trace that would lead back to Dexter. But the one thing that Dexter missed was his blood slide. LaGuerta notices the blood slide while they are investigating the scene of Travis’s “suicide” and she starts to dig around it. There’s a good chance that she will start to believe that the Bay Harbor Butcher is still alive. She has always been played off as pretty clueless, though, so maybe she won’t get too close to figuring it out. Somehow, Deb’s policing has grown significantly, though. After bombarding Dexter with countless questions about why he did it, how he did it, how he was so prepared, etc. (which is totally reasonable), she still isn’t pleased with his near-perfect explanations. She recalls the similarities between Dexter’s murder and The Ice Truck Killer’s MOs. But let’s be honest, if Brian hadn’t tied her up, she never would have figured it out based on the similarities alone. Then when she called Dexter’s home, she uncovers that Jamie is often working long hours, therefore Dexter is working long hours. But she knows that he isn’t. Hmm… Then Deb begins to recall her time on Brian’s table. She remembers Dexter being there and telling Brian that he was ready to join him (just not by killing Deb). And then it all clicked for her. This wasn’t Dexter’s first murder.
When Dexter arrives home after his kill, he notices Deb sitting with a stone face on his couch. In front of her is his killing equipment, all of his knives and the blood slides. She looks like she’s going to puke when she asks Dexter if he killed all of these people. When he responds with the truth, she asks him the most important question of all “Are you a serial killer?” All he can do now is tell the truth.
If the underlining didn’t clue you in as to why the title of this episode is brilliant, I’ll elaborate. When I saw this title on my TV guide, it sent plenty of ideas racing through my head. I couldn’t help but wonder if it pertained to the question that could very well end Dexter’s life. But it could be about a dozen others things.
Throughout the episode, Dexter has flashbacks to his youth. Deb got a new puppy from the neighbors, but Harry won’t allow the dog to stay, He knows that Dex won’t be able to restrain himself and end up killing the dog. Dexter tells Deb that it’s his fault that Banjo was taken away, but Harry stops him from telling the truth. He can never tell Deb the truth. she won’t love him if she knew the truth. I don’t think that these flashbacks actually added anything to the story, the message that they sent was already pretty clear. The viewers already know that Dexter can never tell Deb the truth, and we know that Harry would have told that to him as a kid. I hope that this will spark more visions of Harry throughout the season, though. Dexter’s conscious, played through his father, is much more revealing than his voiceovers.
Dexter is definitely back to its roots when it comes to suspense and intrigue. I hope it keeps up for the rest of the season!
Posted on October 1, 2012, in Dexter, Drama and tagged angel, are you, banjo, batista, blood, deb, debra, dexter, enver gjokaj, laguerta, michael c hall, mike. murder, morgan, quinn, serial killer, showtime, sword, travis, victor, viktor. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.