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Dexter: The Dark...Whatever

Harry: "It's much scarier to think that the Dark Passenger is no more real than I am."

Jim Beaver is one of my favorite character actors. He usually plays nicer characters. Clint McKay admitted up front that he was a terrible father, and he wasn't being disarming; he was telling the absolute truth. Clint McKay's deviousness, cruelty and his malicious treatment of his daughter certainly explains a lot about Hannah and the person she is now. In my opinion, he deserved death, if only for the smarmy way he called his beautiful daughter "Banana."

It was obvious early on that Hannah wasn't capable of killing her own father, no matter what he did to her, and I didn't think Dexter would do it because (1) Hannah wouldn't want it, and (2) Harry's code wouldn't allow it. But this entire episode turned out to be about Dexter leaving restrictions behind, and accepting the Dark Passenger as simply a part of himself, not a passenger at all.

I loved how they set up this epiphany for Dexter. The Phantom Arsonist blamed what happened in his childhood for his murders ("It's Bobby"). Dexter said to him, "You can't blame it on something that happened to you when you were a kid," and it was like Dexter was saying it to himself. Dexter has now internalized that the Dark Passenger doesn't exist. Clint McKay didn't meet Harry's code, but Dexter killed him anyway simply because he wanted to do it.

Killing Hannah's father was a little like killing the memory of Harry. It was like Dexter just became an emotional adult, and left Harry behind. It felt to me that Dexter reacted to Clint McKay as if he were a normal guy being protective of his wife or girlfriend. (Except for the murder part, of course.) It's interesting that Hannah was the one to bring this out in Dexter. But is it a good thing or a bad thing? Did Hannah guess that Dexter took out Clint for her sake? If and when she finds out, will she be relieved or angry?

Sometimes the stuff they do on this show is a bit much for me, and the Phantom Arsonist's crimes were heading in that direction. His victims were exactly the ones that always upset Dexter (and me) the most – children and mothers. I really wanted the guy to be dead by the end of the episode. Instead, Dexter made a choice. He found the Arsonist and set him up for Miami Metro instead of killing the guy himself, and he did it without endangering other innocent people. Dexter kept his promise to Deb this time.

Is it wrong of me that I want Dexter to be learning this stuff about himself because of Deb, not Hannah? Poor Deb, who is taking pills for anxiety, now?

In other news, Maria and Matthews are hot on the trail of the Bay Harbor Butcher, insulting each other every step of the way. It was a lot of fun. Except that now they've done it. Maria found out about Laura and Rudy and now she believes that Dexter is the Bay Harbor Butcher. I almost can't believe that, after seven seasons, they're actually going there. I don't think fate is going to eliminate both Maria and Matthews the way it did Doakes.

But then again, Dexter isn't bound by Harry's code any more. Anything could happen, couldn't it?

Bits and pieces:

-- Clint McKay left one last poison pill for his daughter; he told Deb about the woman who witnessed young Hannah poisoning someone. Clint was also the one who gave Sal Price all those tidbits about Hannah. Let's tie up the loose ends, shall we?

-- At Miami Metro, Bosso was describing the Phantom (poor social skills, on the outskirts of law enforcement). Dexter was looking at Bosso, but the description didn't fit Bosso, who was all about the Civil War re-enactments. It did fit Dexter. I love the way they do this stuff.

-- This week's Most Obvious Symbolism was the dollhouse that Clint brought for Hannah. It was an obvious symbol of Hannah's childhood being a facade.

-- Joey just killed George to save Nadia, and he took a bullet in the arm and got Angel to lie for him to do it. So much for George and Nadia. Quinn is such bad news, but I sort of liked that he took a bullet to help Nadia.


Hannah: "You're not a puppet. Of course you have a choice."

Deb: "I have compromised the shit out of myself for you. I'm sure as fuck not going to do it for Hannah McKay."

Dexter: "Bosso's not the Phantom. He's just strange."

Maria: "What if Dexter is the real Bay Harbor Butcher?"

Dexter: (to the saran-wrapped Clint) "I realize this isn't the best way to make an impression on your girlfriend's father."

Clint: "You got the devil inside you, boy."
Dexter: "No, I think it's just me. (kills him and dumps him over the side) Sink or swim, Daddy."

This was a major episode, a big change for Dexter. Does that make it four out of four water wings?

Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.


  1. I'm giving this episode a 3 1/2 out of four water wings. Next to Deb and Dex coming to grips with things about each other, there's nothing better than Dexter learning more about what makes himself tick. This episode also didn't seem to go too fast, it was exactly the right length and that last bit with Debra was great. Still a great season so far. I was again on the edge of my seat with all the revelations in this one. Dexter has finally grown up.

  2. Yes, this a 4.

    Wow, and I told myself : hum, things got quieter in Miami after Isaak's death. And then, everything went at full throttle after that bus ride. I should have shut myself up...

    Shame on me : I wanted to see Hannah's father in plastic wrap and my wish came through. Jim Beaver's performance was outstanding. (But he wasn't the only one; really you guys, you blew my mind this morning.)

    I am now officially declaring the 7th season of Dexter to be epic.

    And you Billie, you are spectacularly awesome. Waking up on Mondays, the 3rd day of my weekend (I work 5 days condensed in 4) and finding (already) your review is a great way to start the week.

  3. "Spectacularly awesome." Celticmarc, you're good for my ego. :)

  4. I think Matthews knows about Dexter urges, after all he was Harry's buddy and that it will be him who stops Maria (payback for her backstabbing as a bonus).

    I don't get why Clint didn't tell Dexter that he has already told the police about Hannah and now if he goes missing it will only make her look worse.

    Also am I the only one getting the vibe that Dexter talking about being no one's puppet and freeing himself from his Dark Passanger is oblivious that he may become one for Hannah? Just like Randal or whatever was his name.

    The worst possible outcome for Dexter is Hannah and Debra outing each other in the season finale and Matthews getting rid of Maria plus the revelation he had in this episode. He is responsible for everything he has done, he is free to live with it and has no one to talk to.

  5. I really like this episode. It was very thrilling watching Dexter come to the realization that he is responsible for what he has done. I also liked Jim Beaver a lot.

  6. I really like this episode. It was very thrilling watching Dexter come to the realization that he is responsible for what he has done. I also liked Jim Beaver a lot.

  7. Better than the previous episodes.

    For the first time this season I'm starting to like Hannah McKay.

    And finally a kill by the Dexter himself.

  8. I am really confused about Dexter and his feelings. He says he loved Rita but when he confessed to Hannah he sounds like does not know what love is or that he has never experienced it. And that is something I don´t like.

    The talk in Deb´s office with Dexter made me think that in the end ot will be Deb against Dex. But we have to get rid of Hannah first and I can´t wait for it to happen.

    I have also the feeling that Matthews knows and will shut up Laguerta - hopefully forever.


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