'Dexter' Season 7 Autopsy



I loved this season of Dexter. I think that is pretty obvious. I know a lot of other people felt it jumped the shark, or otherwise became fed-up with the series. But I loved it, and here’s why.

Deb found out. It was inevitable that she discover Dexter’s secret, and some may say it took too long. But you don’t want to blow that wad too early in a series, and it was necessary for Deb to gain a high-ranking status in the department. She needed to have more power to manipulate the situation, and more to lose. The season six cliffhanger, with Deb walking in on Dexter, was exactly the right cliffhanger. You have to leave the season there because the anticipation that builds is insane.

Dexter became “human.” It is something that the show touched upon in season five, with Trinity and his family, but that was really Dexter trying to make his fake life look more real. It took another murderer, Hannah, for Dexter to feel human. Whether or not Dexter was/is truly in love with Hannah is still up for debate. He has been well-established as a sociopath, and from my understanding, true sociopaths simply cannot feel love. Dexter’s scenes with Hannah always felt like they could be love... or it could just be mind-blowing sex that has him all mixed up. But Hannah truly did open up Dexter’s humanity: she made him choose between her or Deb. And Dexter chose the lifelong bond with someone who has always been by his side over the mind-blowing sex.

Serial killers in love. Regardless of whether Hannah or Dexter can truly feel love, they were in love with each other. I can’t think of any other show or movie in which two murderers find each other well into their murder “career.” Usually it is a dominant partner who drags his or her partner into a crime spree that escalates (as in Hannah and her boyfriend, or like Natural Born Killers.) But here, Dexter and Hannah both had successful “careers” as murderers before finding each other. It was inevitable that it would end in heartbreak, because Dexter was right: two killers can’t trust each other.

Ray Stevenson. The Ukrainian ganger plot was dry. It was the same shit that played out in 65% of Law & Order episodes. Quinn makes (another) poor choice in the girlfriend department, and that storyline fizzles quickly (how many people forgot that Quinn second degree murdered George? I did.) But Ray Stevenson was a ray of light. He wasn’t just a gang boss; he was human. Even before he had his big emotional outpouring to Dexter at the bar, he was more than just a season “big bad.” The bar scene just solidified him as a human character, and perhaps the only true friend that Dexter could ever hope to have. It is such a pity they killed him.

There were many other details of this season I liked, but I think that these are the main arcs.

So what about season eight? There seems to be some question as to whether or not season eight will be the last. Showtime made the deal for seasons seven and eight at the same time, which generally means that they planned to end it after season eight, plus Michael C. Hall was asking for a ton of money. But now it seems that Showtime might not want to end the series. Showrunner Scott Buck said in an interview with Hollywood Reporter that they honestly don’t know if eight is the end.

Regardless of when Showtime decides to end Dexter’s run, it got me thinking about how to end the series. There are three possible outcomes for Dexter: he is caught; he is killed; or he escapes. I don’t like any of those options. I don’t think I would be satisfied with any of them.