Dexter: Helter Skelter Review (

By:Jarrett Kruse
Review Date: Tuesday, November 27, 2012


In the ninth episode of season 7, Dexter is forced to unwillingly form a reluctant partnership with Isaak Sirko, Ukrainian mob boss. If there is one thing that Dexter does not care for it is other people meddling in his business. Besides Deb and maybe some of his Miami Metro co-workers, Dex has very limited patience for anyone that messes with his strict regimen of work. And by work I mean both his regular gig as a blood splatter analyst and his second job as Miami’s most proficient serial killer. By kidnapping his now girlfriend Hannah, Isaak uses that as leverage to force Dexter to assist him in killing the Koshka assassins that are trying to off him because of his unsuccessful and myopic quest to find and kill those responsible for his dead love Victor’s life. It just so happens that it was Dexter himself who offed Victor but Isaak has come to grips with that and has shifted his focus to staying alive. Without Dexter’s help, staying alive is a daunting task for Isaak even with keeping Hannah prisoner against her will as a ploy to control Dex.
Last week we finally saw Deb professing her very icky love for her big brother and Dexter took it in as best as someone devoid of emotions can. As awkward as Deb’s confession was last week, this week was just a little more uncomfortable as the siblings flesh out their feelings. Dexter assures Deb that he understands how she feels about him but it is not exactly a conversation that she wants to have. In a rare pickle that he cannot slice his way out of, Dexter has to acquiesce to Isaak’s request to take out both Oleg and Caffrey--the professional hitmen sent to off the now fallen from grace boss. Since risking anything happening to Hannah is out of the question Dexter easily takes out the first killer at a gun range on the outskirts of Miami with his signature precision. It is a rare change to see Dexter killing for other than his own self-preservation. Now he is killing because he actually cares about someone that he wants to save.
Although Isaak is blackmailing him to do his dirty work, the Ukrainian is fascinated by Dexter and his ambitious need to kill. Dexter implores Deb to call off the police tracking Isaak for both his and Hannah’s sake; a tall order for his conflicted by the book little sis. But realizing that Dexter is in genuine danger, she calls off the dogs only to pay Hannah a hospital visit at the end of the episode after she escapes her captor. Like an animal marking her territory Deb lays down the proverbial law to Hannah assuring her that she will catch her when she slips up. The minute Hannah has a “killing relapse” Deb will be there with her cuffs to put her away for good.
Also in the episode, determined cop and constant pain in the ass LaGuerta is still stirring up the past trying to exonerate the long dead Sgt. Doakes as the “Bay Harbor Butcher.” She is sniffing close and like a vulture is starting to circle around Dexter and his extra-curricular activities. LaGuerta even enlists the help of dishonored Chief Matthews to aid in the dormant investigation. I have to think that LaGuerta is getting too close and once Dexter has room to breathe, the tenacious policewoman will become fish fodder. Quinn continues to upset the Miami contingent of the Ukrainians at the strip bar where they operate out of and it is difficult to see how he can make it through another season alive. The Quinn character has become tired and clichéd and although not worthy of a Dexter kill, it is time for him to go. The minutes he takes up can be devoted to other pressing matters that we genuinely care about.
While Isaak does not make it through the episode after maintaining a gunshot to the belly from Caffrey, Dexter if only for a moment had made a friend. Isaak extolled Dexter of the virtues of love and loss and the importance of having someone to care about. Although Deb does not think that Dexter can ever be safe while with Hannah one cannot help but think there is a twinge of jealousy in her rhetoric. While a new serial arsonist begins to capture the attention of Miami Metro, Dexter is just glad to have made it through this ordeal in one piece. He rejoices with Hannah and shows emotions that have rarely been brought to the surface in six-plus seasons. To tell you the truth I am not sure that this is a good thing because change is not something in Dexter’s arsenal.

Mania Grade: B+
Episode: Helter Skelter (Season 7, Episode 9)
Starring: Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, Desmond Harrington, C.S. Lee, Lauren VĂ©lez, David Zayas, James Remar
Written By: James Manos Jr. (developer), Jeff Lindsay (novel), Karen Campbell
Directed By: Seith Mann
Network: Showtime