In this week’s episode of Dexter, “Swim Deep” the story starts to take a turn for the conflictual. As it stands, Deb is still only marginally okay with what Dexter has decided is his life’s work. She’s happy that he’s killing the bad guys, but still has to balance it with her own sense of being a force for justice, as well as deciding exactly what “justice” really is.
We start off with Dexter feeling like he’s finally brought Deb into “his world” and that she is beginning to understand where he’s coming from. Deborah, however, still has several issues to work through when it comes to what her brother (and potential lover?) does for a hobby. When she ends up involved with LaGuerta’s discovery of the blood slide that Dexter left behind, she jumps at the chance to help with the investigation as to whether the Bay Harbor Butcher may indeed be still prowling about. In reality, of course, she’s just trying to protect her brother from something that may pin him down.
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Dexter, to his credit, asks Deb to stay out of the situation, seeking to protect her. This does little to dissuade her from playing the protector, of course. She readily lies to LaGuerta regarding what she knows and makes every attempt to cover up Dexter’s past indiscretions. This ends up biting her in the conscience as the episode goes on.
But the issue with Dexter being discovered is only half the problem. Isaac, being the smart muther-fkr that he is, is tracking our anti-hero and planning to eliminate him when the chance arises. Dexter once again proves himself a bad-ass and sets Isaac up by leading him into the lair of the Russian mob’s enemies, Columbian drug lords. But Isaac proves to be no slouch himself, managing to survive if not necessarily being able to cover his own tracks. In the end, the combined efforts of Dexter and the police put Isaac behind bars. But for how long?
In the background, Batista continues to doubt the probability that the person who supposedly killed Mike is actually responsible. Quinn is still dating his Russian stripper and ends up taking a huge bribe without actually asking for it, which can add up to some serious shit as the season moves forward. And Hannah, ex-g/f of the killer who threw himself in the way of a truck, seems to have a big crush on Dex, despite the fact that he figures out that she was more than just a bystander in her ex-b/f’s killing spree.
The one thing that made this episode stand out was the confrontations between Dexter and Isaac. As opposed to most other seasons, where Dexter is the hunter and the prey (usually a serial killer) is unaware that he’s coming for them, Isaac is a direct opponent of Dexter. The conversations they have spell out the rising tension between the two characters and promise an exciting resolution in the future. Isaac is, in my opinion, the best villain that the writers have brought to the table in all seven seasons. He’s not in it because he happens to be a bit crazy or a little too much like Dexter. He’s there for vengeance, pure and simple, and he happens to be smart enough (and vicious enough) to present a real threat.
The writing and editing this time around were extra amazing. Each scene conveyed exactly what it needed to without delving too deep into background elements. They managed to mix in the evolving relationship between Dexter and Deborah with the plot of the arc at the same time, making each second count. Once again I feel as if the old writers must have been fired and some sort of elite crew brought on to craft this so-far amazing season.
Five episodes in and I’m still not disappointed. I think this is some sort of record for me. I really hope they manage to keep it up through the entire season so that I may remember this soon-to-be-gone series with fondness.
Tune in again next week for another bastardy review of the latest season of Dexter.