Dexter: The Dark Whatever Review (Mania.com)
Review Date: Tuesday, December 04, 2012
As much as I dug last week’s episode, this week’s episode just completely kicked ass. It was like I was watching DEXTER for the first time with wide-eyed amusement. It amazes me how a show like this can still pack such a wallop in an hour long drama that teases us with multiple storylines and leaves us hanging with just two episodes left. Whatever missteps the show has taken this season are forgiven now that I am looking at the big picture as we await the payoff in the finale. “The Phantom Arsonist” is still on the loose and at first all eyes of Miami Metro are fixed on arson investigator Phil Bosso (Brett Rickaby). Leaving the note saying “it’s Bobby” at all of the fire sites leaves Miami Metro with barely any trail at who can be setting these gruesome fires with such efficiency. Deb is still swarming over her brother’s relationship with Hannah McKay while LaGuerta and the dishonored Matthews are having clandestine meetings to discuss who the Bay Harbor Butcher really was. Added to this week’s load is a visit from Hannah’s jailbird Dad Clint played with good old boy delight by Jim Beaver. Stack that on top of Quinn’s final showdown with the Ukrainian’s to save his girlfriend Nadia and this episode is an absolute powder keg.
After another brutal fire by TPA, Miami Metro is without a clue as to how to stop the serial arsonist but Dexter smells an inside job. Soon after, he trails Phil Bosso only to find that he is most definitely not the arsonist but just a creepy Civil War reenactment buff. It is a scarily funny moment when for a brief moment you think that Dex has found his man only to see Bosso in his goofy 19th century getup. Soon after one of the most vicious scenes that I have ever seen on a cable show plays out with the real TPA gearing up in a fireproof suit as he sprays passengers on a public bus with flammable material and then sets them on fire. Fortunately for the Miami PD they have caught a break when the young firebug leaves a print on the now crispy bus.
Dexter and Hannah have turned their relationship up another notch and there is something organic that makes me sense that somehow they fit together perfectly. While determined to explain his “Dark Passenger” to Hannah she just does not comprehend Dexter’s rationale for killing. In an interesting conversation with his Dad (the always terrific James Remar), Dexter is made aware that the “Dark Passenger” was not a term given to him by his long gone Dad like the Code of Harry. This puzzles Dexter and for the first time he is really examining himself and seeing that he enjoys what he does and is not blaming his actions on “that part of him.” Hannah’s deadbeat father shows up a changed man but it winds up that he is working her so that he can milk her for twenty large to pay off gambling debts. In a fit of drunken rage, he drives his pickup into Hannah’s greenhouse ruining her business in one fell swoop. Despite Dexter scaring him off he returns and approaches him man to man and lets him know that it was him that was feeding the now dead author Sal Price information about Hannah. As it happens Hannah’s father has information about his little girl from her teenage years when she was in a facility where she poisoned and killed a counselor. However her friend Arlene witnessed it and is ready to talk to Hannah’s dad. In a failed ploy to extort the money from Dexter, Hannah’s dad eventually winds up on the table or in this case the SLICE OF LIFE. Dexter’s first kill as his real self and without his Dark Passenger has finally happened and he has never looked so happy.
After secretly tracking down the identity of TPA and finding out who “Bobby” actually is, Dexter gears up for a kill but then realizes that he cannot do this to Deb. He made a promise to her and for once he is finally keeping it. Deb and the gang take the arsonist alive but she is notably aware that it was a twisted gift from her big bro. Quinn has again made it through another episode alive after saving Nadia from becoming a sex slave in Dubai and winds up killing Ukrainian soldier George (Jason Gedrick) but not before orchestrating an obvious set-up. The worst thing about this is that he involves Angel in the whole charade and I think I speak for everyone in saying that no one wants to see anything bad happen to Batista. Quinn on the other hand has made his own bed.
LaGuerta and Matthews are at the location of the cabin where the long dead Sgt. Doakes was killed and they learn that the former tenant of the property was a drug-lord whose name the former Captain immediately recognizes. It turns out that the dealer that ran drugs out of the location is the same man whose cadre killed Dexter’s mother when he was three. LaGuerta is convinced that Dexter is their man but Matthews still has his doubts. But if we know anything about LaGuerta it is that she will do anything to advance her career. In a final scene where Hannah and Dexter confess their love to each other, any joy of the moment is swiftly taken away by Deb who is back at the station asking Angel to look up Hannah’s friend Arlene in the system. Hannah’s fathers final was leaving a message for Lieutenant Morgan letting her know the information he had about his baby girls additional kill. Mr. McKay’s insurance policy may take down the woman Dexter now loves. The final two episodes look to be something of a death pool of who will make it to Season 8 and who won’t. My advice for the characters is to stay in the shallow end of the pool where it is easy to get away. Can’t wait…
Mania Grade: A
Episode: The Dark Whatever (Season 7, Episode 10)
Starring: Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, Desmond Harrington, C.S. Lee, Lauren Vélez, David Zayas, James Remar
Written By: Laren Gussis, Jace Richdale, Scott Reynolds
Directed By: Michael Lehmann