Dexter Season Premiere Recap: Relative Truth

Dexter has been able to talk – or kill – his way out of every close call he’s had in the last six seasons. But the Jenga tower of lies he’s built to cover his murderous nature starts to teeter big-time when Deb figures out who he really is. (Still feeling all warm and fuzzy about him, Lt. Morgan?)

It’s a bold start for a season that could go either way. Let’s face it: There are a lot of sharks in the waters off Miami, and it’s not inconceivable that Dexter might jump one in the weeks ahead. But let’s get things off on the right (dismembered) foot by dissecting the major developments of the Season 7 premiere, “Are You…”.

RELATED | Dexter EP Previews Fallout From Deb’s Discovery: ‘There’s No Dancing Around It Anymore’

NO GOING BACK | In the episode’s opening moments, we see Dexter driving to the airport like a madman. He’s got various passports and cell phones in his go-bag, his credit cards have been frozen and he hastily buys a one-way ticket to Budapest using a fake name. It looks very much like he’s fleeing, but we’ll get to that later. Before you can say, “Are there complimentary peanuts and/or air marshals on this flight?” we flash back to the final moment of the Season 6 finale: Doomsday Killer Travis is dead on the slab, Dexter’s stepping back after the kill and Deb’s brain is working furiously to reconcile what she knows with what she just saw. Of all parties present in the church, Travis is definitely having the best time. “I snapped,” Dex tells Deb, who’s shaky and reeling but not so far gone that she completely buys his heat-of-the-moment explanation – after all, Trav is methodically shrink-wrapped up on the altar. Dexter does some quick talking that gets even quicker – and more forceful – when she wants to call the station to report the death. It’s times like these that I remember that the character I root for week in and out is really a super messed-up human being. “How does this look?” he asks, and she had to admit the entire scenario is “Pretty f—ing weird.” (Ever the poet, our Deb.) After she vetoes dumping the body, he suggests making the death look like a suicide. He presses her to get on board; when she agrees that Travis’ death will look like the young killer set up “one last tableau,” it’s clear that Deb has sipped the serial Kool-Aid. Her world is completely torn asunder. Poor kid, it’s like someone kicked her puppy. Oh wait, Deb never had a puppy – as we learn via a flashback-within-the-flashback – because Dexter’s homicidal tendencies have been screwing with her life for about as long as they both can remember. Anyway, she rallies to get some gasoline and they hastily set the place aflame, but Dex accidentally drops the slide with Travis’ blood into a grate on the altar and doesn’t notice. In the words of Rick Perry: Oops. After a cup of coffee by the water (can’t blame them; My Dunkin’ Donuts addiction yields to nothing), the Morgan sibs are called back to the scene. Deb can barely hold it together – though her hair, as always, looks gorge – but puppetmaster Dexter is almost enjoying himself as the clueless brave men and women of Miami Metro fall to the exact conclusions he wants them to. But after most of the group heads out, LaGuerta notices the slide, which survived the blaze intact. So she uses her scrunchie to protect it from fingerprints as she fishes it out of the grate. (Side note: For once, her irritating tendency to overaccessorize serves a higher purpose.) If you think for one second she doesn’t put two and Doakes together, it’s made clear when she later asks Masuka whether anyone in the department keeps blood slides. The only one that did was the former sergeant, he replies, “aka The Bay Harbor Butcher.” Later, Dexter realizes he doesn’t have the trophy from his latest kill… and his problems are about to get much, much worse.

BAGGAGE, HANDLED | As he mulls the case while driving home, Mike calls Deb to wonder why Travis’ car wasn’t at scene of his death. She weakly offers that he probably walked to the church, and Mike’s so tired that he’s all, yeah, that’s probably it. His curiosity is short-lived, though; after pulling over to help a guy with his flat tire, Mike opens the guy’s trunk, finds a dead stripper in there, and dies after the driver shoots him in the chest. Goodnight, Det. Anderson. Here’s the investigation, shorthanded: The Ukranian stripper danced at a club run by George (Boomtown‘s Jason Gedrick) who, along with Mike’s murderer Viktor, works for a foreign bigshot named Isaac. George and Isaac think Viktor’s on his way outta town, but as the big flashback ends and we find ourselves back with Dexter on the highway, we realize that Dex isn’t going on the lam at all – he’s running to intercept Viktor before his flight. In a voiceover, we hear that Dex isn’t only doing it to rid the world of another scumbag; he really needs a kill to help him focus. He incapacitates Vik in the men’s room (nice syringe skills, bro), restrains him with luggage straps (sweet improv), snuffs him out in the lost baggage department (where I’m pretty sure I saw the purple raincoat I left on a flight back from Panama a few years ago) and transports his corpse in a surfboard bag before dumping it off his boat.

MOMENT OF TRUTH  | His peace of mind restored, Dexter returns home… where Deb has ransacked the apartment and is sitting on the couch with his slide box on the table in front of her. Eep. Earlier in the evening, all of the questions he either deflected or had too-easy answers for (including but not limited to why Travis was trussed up in the exact same way as she was when Brian tried to kill her in Season 1 and why Dexter just happened to have plastic sheeting, a rubber apron and sleeve guards in his car) made her call him – and catch him in a lie when Jamie said he was working late. One more perusal of the Ice Truck Killer file jogged her memory, which suddenly coughed up the visual of Dexter holding something sharp and shiny as he and Brian argued about whether or not to do her in. So now she’s sitting before her adopted brother and once-though-possibly-not-anymore object of affection, wearing a fresh coat of lip gloss (side note: the hell?), and it goes a little something like this:

DEBRA: Did you kill all these people?
DEXTER: I did.
DEBRA: Are you a serial killer?
DEXTER: Yes.

There you have it, folks. Dexter closes his eyes immediately after the admission, and the moment is filled with as much relief as regret. The person he’s closest to in the world finally has seen him for who he really is. (For now, we’ll just push aside the knowledge of what’s happened to almost everyone else who’s learned his little secret.)

Now it’s your turn. Did the episode live up to your expectations? Did Deb react the way you thought she would? And let’s not forget some of the smaller, though still important stuff: What did you think about Angel and Quinn’s make-up at the bar (aww) and Louis closing Dexter’s financial accounts – hence his inability to use his credit cards in the opening sequence? Hit the comments with your take on the killer season premiere!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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34 Comments
  1. Pat D. says:

    Wow…best season premiere since season 2. Love how they didnt dance around Deb being sure for the entire season. Bravo.

  2. Ally E. says:

    In the novels Deb knows about his dark passenger and looks the other way. Its interesting how they are going to have this play out in the show.

  3. Jordan says:

    I have some issues with the details of this opener. I know that Dexter is trying to gain control and is not himself, but his carelessness with the leaving the blood slide in the church along with his hasty killing at the airport just doesn’t seem like Dexter. I am having some trouble believing the writing

  4. d says:

    Hope this show never ends. Best series ever created! Im addicted for sure

  5. efdwef says:

    Pls someone answer these questions. How does dexter get into the luggage room to kill victor when the guy locked the door? Also dosen’t Jamie have to stay in his apartment until he gets home, or does he allow harrison to sleep all by himself? If so, do we just assume deb came to the apartment and asked jamie to leave??

  6. SeaGipsy says:

    Anyone else think that Deb might be history at the end of this season? I don’t think Dexter will kill her, but she won’t be able to handle all of the deception and pain she’s had in her life. Possibly a suicide in her future…?

    • Kavyn says:

      It’s too early to say because we don’t know what she’ll do, but if they do go the suicide route, I’d imagine they’ll do it at the end of next season and not this one since next season is the last.

    • cjeffery7 says:

      i dont think so. not because it wouldn’t make sense in a real life scenario, but because she’s too big of an asset to the show. she’s the only reason that i personally watch it. if she dies, it’ll be the series finale.

  7. S says:

    I thought it was a great premiere and was annoyed when it ended. I just don’t know what is going to happen next with Dexter.. He does need to be more careful

  8. Dexter Morgan says:

    Jordan…you’re having trouble believing the writing about someone who works for law enforcement by day but is a serial killer at night?

    There’s a reason why we call it fiction.

    • Jordan Fox says:

      No not at all. That part I have no problems with and why the show is so fascinating. I’m saying that dexters is acting out of character and so the writing is hard to believe. I guess it’s because deb now knows, but he’s usually so careful

  9. b. says:

    What a season premier!!! Definitely met my expectations and the title is actually “Are You…?” :) I have to think Louis is treading on thin ice, his days maybe numbered. Oh, so is La Guertas! Lol. The last closing minutes of the episode was great, superb acting!

    • b. says:

      Oh and one last thing; for everyone who thinks Dexter was careless with losing the blood slide. Deb interrupted Dexs intimate moment! He was nervous!; it’s like your Mom walking in on you while you’re having sex! Uh, what do you do! Lol

  10. DarkDefender says:

    Is it just me, or was the opening 2 minutes changed from the previously released 2 minutes (and what I saw at comic-con)? I swear the camera angles were different and the reaction/facial expressions of MCH and possibly some dialogue were different. Regardless.. It was a great season premiere… This season is going to be killer.

    • Michael says:

      There is a scene when Quinn and his partner are talking to Deb. Quinn’s hair is dishelveled but not short at all. In the very next scene at the bar, Quinn’s hair is very short. There were obviously some reshoots.

    • Emily says:

      No, it’s not just you. That’s just how it works. The two minutes were released over 2 months ago, after all.

  11. AJ says:

    It didn’t even occurred to me that Louis was closing Dexter’s credit card accounts until I read the end of your summary and I did watch the episode. I need to watch that part again.

    I just thought the opening scene where he goes to the airport was because he was being chased by the police and he was trying to get away…great job doing the play by play!

    The end of the episode where Deb found his slides was unexpected, their was no way he could’ve talked himself out that one! I thought the writers were going to drag it out.

    They really did the season premiere justice.

    I can’t wait what they do from here on out.

  12. Jason B says:

    Its kind of obvious where they are going to go from here, she has to have some form of acceptance of what hes doing otherwise she would use the gun sitting right in front of her and we wouldn’t have 2 more seasons of Dexter. The show has to continue so she has to on some level be ok with whats going on.

    • Pat D. says:

      You mean like the GREATEST SCENE in the show’s history, when Dexter reveals he is the bay harbor butcher?

      “I’m him. The Butcher.” (BANG!)

      ROFL

  13. meo says:

    I would just love to see Gibbs do to Dexter what he did to Harper Dearing…

  14. Shaun says:

    I wonder how the slide ended up on the other side of the altar where Dexter was standing.

  15. Brigitte says:

    Loved the episode but thought it had a couple of holes. La Guerta finding the slide? She isn’t the type to be rolling around in a burned out room digging into vents. And I would think that Dexter would have given the evidence to Deb so that she would think it was a one time event and hopefully get her off his trail.

    • Pat D. says:

      I think if they went with the “self-defense” approach, there would be digging into Dexter’s past, and lets face it, Dexter isnt anywheres near as careful and clean as he likes to think, LOL

  16. Pete says:

    I’ll predict you a prediction:

    At some point, after realizing she can’t “cure” Dexter of who and what he is, she’ll feel compelled to put him down like a rabid dog.

    From there it goes one of two ways (obviously): Either Dex kills her, or she kills Dex. Hopefully the writers will do it right and she’ll come out on top, but you never quite know with this crowd.

  17. ALLIN MILO says:

    Having some serious Jack Handy DeepThoughts moments especially over the flashback scenes. LUCKY BANJO…saved by Detective/Daddy Harry.
    Premiere left me salivating for episode 2. Gotta give Lieut. Deb her props on figuring out where to find the slides. Tuche me – didn’t think she had it in her to outsmart Bro Dex! Kudos for the Krime Kween. Episodes gets a 5 Krispy Kreme rating!

  18. Mikael says:

    LaGuerta is so not surviving this season.

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