Review

Review

TV Recap: 'Dexter' Episode 701 - 'Are You...?'

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Dexter Episode 701
“Are You...?”
Written By: Scott Buck
Directed By: John Dahl
Original Airdate: 30 September 2012

In This Episode...

Rather than opening on the scene we left off on in season six, we open with Dexter heading to the airport. This is a mere misdirect; something that happens later in the episode and is supposed to make you think that Dexter is fleeing. He is not. I will get to that.

But let’s start where the true start of the episode should have been: precisely where season six ended. Deb finds Dexter stabbing Travis in the heart with a sword. She draws her gun, Dexter puts his hands up, and a confused stand-off ensues.  Deb wants to call it in; Dex convinces her that even if it was self-defense, or temporary insanity, it would have major complications for Dexter. The idea that this could affect Harrison is what calms Deb down long enough to go along with Dexter’s plan to set the church on fire and pretend that this was Travis’s final, flaming tableau. Debra goes out for a few gallons of gasoline while Dexter cleans up the plastic, and packs up his personal tools. In his haste, his blood slide slips into a grate on the floor. With the church set alight, the siblings go to the beach and sit contemplatively until the call comes in. They head back to the church to process this new - and final - tableau. Laguerta pops her head in to make sure the investigation is going properly... and sees Dexter’s blood slide in the grate. She files it as evidence.

That night, Deb is trying to wrap her head around the events of the day. Mike calls and voices his concerns that Travis’s death may not have been suicide. This gets Deb thinking, and first thing in the morning, she shows up at Dexter’s apartment, curious a to why he showed up “so perfectly prepared” to kill Travis, complete with plastic wrap and a change of clothes. Dexter explains that this is part of his work kit. Before Deb has a chance to deconstruct this explanation, they both get called in. After Mike got off the phone with Deb, he stopped to help a stranded motorist change a tire. He popped the guy’s trunk and discovers a dead stripper. The guy, Viktor, wastes no time in shooting Mike dead and escaping in his car. So Deb is a little too distracted by Mike’s death to worry about Dexter’s activities at the moment. The stripper is Kaja, and they trace her back to a club called the Fox Hole. Batista and Quinn head off to raid the club (we will discuss the rest of this storyline in a moment - let’s get back to Deb and Dex.) Deb has flashbacks to her time on the Ice Truck Killer’s table, which just raises even more questions in her mind. Dexter killed in the same manner that Rudy/Brian did, yet in that instance, he saved Deb.

Another confrontation, this time Dexter’s lab. He claims the similarities were because he was there. Deb is just desperate to make sense of everything. She leaves his lab and Dexter gets a hit on the single fingerprint he was able to pull that linked Viktor to Kaja’s murder. He is pleased and leaves work immediately in order to restore balance to his suddenly topsy-turvy life. Deb is suspicious when she sees her brother leave.

Dexter does a quick evidentiary sweep of Viktor’s apartment and discovers he booked a flight to Kiev in a rush. This is where the misdirect of Dexter “fleeing” for the airport comes in. (This still annoys me - I think it would have been so much more effective if left chronological.) Dex buys a ticket to Budapest, leaving out of the adjoining terminal as the Kiev flight (smarty-pants) and sedates Viktor while cornered in a bathroom. He dumps Viktor into a wheelchair and takes him into a lost baggage storage room for slaughter. He gets Viktor out of the building in a surfboard case, and takes him straight to the Slice of Life. He relaxes as he feels his control return, and acknowledges that his mistake was not killing Travis when he had the chance. (This revelation annoyed me because it was the same revelation that Dexter had when he realized that had he killed Trinity when he had the chance, he would not have killed Rita.)

Back to the boys. Quinn and Batista investigate the Fox Hole, run by a guy named George. When Quinn had been with narcotics, this club and several others under the same ownership, were thought to be fronts for a massive Ukrainian drug ring. They get no answers or evidence, but once the cops leave, George calls his European contact, Isaac, and alerts him to the problem. Isaac is none too happy.

Also: Laguerta asks Masuka about the blood slides, but he says his team never, ever takes slides at a crime scene. The only other time he has ever seen that is with the Bay Harbor Butcher. Sargent Doakes. Lewis is pissed off with Dexter, and decides to mess with him: he cancels all Dexter’s charge cards.

We are not done with Deb and Dex yet this episode. Deb is still suspicious, and Masuka tells Deb that he took the night shift if Dexter comes in early. However, when she calls Jamie, Deb discovers that Dexter frequently works crazy late hours. Deb tries to settle herself by flipping through the Ice Truck Killer files, but this just yields more flashbacks from her time as a victim. Debra visits her brother’s apartment, and tears the place apart, looking for something, anything that will answer her questions. She finds Dexter’s slides, his knife roll, and discovers that this leads to only one question, one she poses the moment Dexter walks in and sees his sister sitting there.

“Are you a serial killer?”

“Yes.”

Dig It or Bury It?

As of this writing, I have seen this episode twice (review copies) and am looking forward to watching it a third time on broadcast. This episode was so laden with tension I don’t think I breathed at all. I watched this episode twice before writing this recap and and even after multiple showings, it was very powerful.  This could shape up to be a phenomenally powerful season... or it could jump the shark. 

Flashback to the Future

Dexter thinks back to the first time he truly disappointed Debra. They were kids, and their mom was still alive. Harry and Dexter come home and find Deb playing with a puppy, one from a neighbor’s litter. Harry is furious and refuses to allow little Banjo to stay in the house. Even though Dexter assures Harry that he wouldn’t hurt the puppy, Harry is not taking any chances. Dexter feels horrible and tells a crying Deb that it was all his fault. Harry interrupts and tells Deb that Dexter is allergic. Taking him aside, Harry asks what Dexter would have told her - the truth?  Deb would be terrified. “But she loves me,” Dexter whimpers. “She loves who she thinks you are,” Harry informs him. “Someday, Deb will be all you have left.”

Prophecies?

So Dexter has chosen the policy of truth. How the hell is Deb going to handle this? Will she find out that it was because of this that she had to give away her beloved Banjo?

Check out the Dexter Wrap-Up Podcast.

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