Starting up where we left off last week, the latest episode of Dexter, ‘Do the Wrong Thing’ takes some time out to pause and develop the characters. Dexter has put a stop to Isaak, however temporary it may be; Deb has slowed down LaGuerta’s investigation, even at the cost of her faith in herself; and Quinn is threatening to turn to the dark side by taking bribes and helping out the very people that were responsible for Mike’s death. Add to that a strange and growing relationship between Dexter and Hannah and the episode begins with lots of potential for new things to happen.
Dexter has pledged not to interfere with Deb’s cases anymore, but he goes back on his promise pretty quick when he decides to hunt Hannah as his next victim, even to the point of hiding evidence that implicates her in various murders. But Dex’s hunt isn’t that simple. He tries to charm Hannah to get more evidence and she responds in turn, luring him in, albeit for different reasons. She finally opens up to Dexter, revealing a personality not unlike his own. By the end of the episode, this arc comes to a head and the result is something that will seriously affect the show as it continues through the rest of the season.
In the meanwhile, Isaak is working away from inside prison. He sends his cronies off to bribe Quinn and when that doesn’t work they threaten Nadya instead, finally bringing him into the fold. Deborah juggles her efforts to thwart LaGuerta, her own failing confidence and a new love interest in the form of Price – a writer investigating Hannah that has his own suspicions that she’s still a killer. Angel is thinking about retiring and starting a restaurant, though I’m quite sure where that one’s going.
All-in-all, this episode slowed the pace way down and concentrated almost solely on character development. Their motivations and relationships are explored in more detail. There’s not much in the way of action, killing and the like, but the tension came to a head last episode and is likely to build up again, nice and slow until everything just explodes in Dexter’s face. Also, the slow pacing helps to highlight the dramatic elements of the episode and the last five minutes really punctuates the whole affair. Without completely spoiling the ending, let me just say that Dexter’s darkest and most sadistic side comes out in the way he chooses to hunt Hannah. Between his interaction with Deb and his new affair with Hannah, the character is being looked at in a new light.
This is not the Dexter we’ve known for the last six seasons. The writers have really put in extra time and effort to expand the character beyond his former limitations. Sure, he’s still a serial killer, but he’s always been such a great force for justice in the past. By the time ‘Do the Wrong Thing’ ends, you begin to wonder if justice plays into Dexter’s motivations at all, other than as an excuse to kill. The focus on the anti-hero element of his personality has settled for a time on the “anti” as opposed to the “hero”.
I’m really looking forward to next week’s episode, when they will no doubt speed things up again and start on the sharp, tension-building climax that will culminate in the finale. Just crossing my fingers that they don’t start killing off the characters I want to see last into season eight.
Tune back in next week for another Dexter episode review, when I will no doubt be raving just as much as I have been about this amazing new season.