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Dexter Review: “Chemistry” (Season 7, Episode 7)

"Chemistry" is what we're told that Dexter and Hannah have. He can't explain it himself, but it's there. Or so he tells us, his insatiable need to jump her bones attesting to that fact. Nothing he can do, say, or think will stop it from happening, it being the two of them having enough forced sexual tension to inch Dexter slowly into Twilight territory.

“Chemistry” is what we’re told that Dexter and Hannah have. He can’t explain it himself, but it’s there. Or so he tells us, his insatiable need to jump her bones attesting to that fact. Nothing he can do, say, or think will stop it from happening, it being the two of them having enough forced sexual tension to inch Dexter slowly into Twilight territory.

Watching Dexter fidget as he spoke to Hannah about Sal Price, looking more like he needed the use of her bathroom than her, was pathetic. Dexter, once a calculated killer, has been turned into a mess of a man with no self-control by Hannah and it’s still a little hazy why that is.

He briefly mentions her cool acceptance of who he is, yet it comes across as an unrelated observation and he continues to be baffled by his insatiable desire for her (living) flesh. He’s even, gag, asking if this is love, if that’s something he’s even capable of.

While it’s an understandable question for him to have, and one fans of the show have undoubtedly wondered about before, that it was Hannah of all people who inspired it is what bothered me. One day all you want to do is get her on your table and kill her like all your other victims and the next it’s doing her on that same table that you want and you’re throwing around words such as “love”?

Worse yet is Hannah’s passive acceptance of not only who Dexter is but this change of heart as well. Even less time was spent on giving viewers a reasonable explanation for why she’s going along for the ride(s). This is the man who came (pun intended) within moments of making you nothing but the next in a long line of his victims and, like that, you’re sleeping with him on top of literally sleeping with him?

Oh, so you never really thought he’d go through with it? What led you to think that? Could it have been that Dexter couldn’t even restrain himself from being romantic in the way he tricked her onto his table? No, for all you knew he treated each of his victims to some sort of pseudo-date first, that it was some sick ritual.

What was it that clued you in on him wanting to stick his rod into you as opposed to his blade? Do you have your very own Dark Passenger that alerted you to this? No, you only kill when it’s that or be killed, so to speak. In keeping with your love for plants, you’re somewhat like a Venus Flytrap. So long as no fly buzzes too close, you’re perfectly harmless.

But when someone, say Sal Price, swoops in, you lash out. Or so you say. For someone who claims to kill in self-defense, you’re good at it. Unbelievably so. You’ve even succeeded in upstaging Dexter, at least in his current (and sloppy) form, at covering your tracks.

You negotiated immunity for yourself on anything and everything involving Wayne Randall, denied your late husband an embalming so as to destroy evidence of your having murdered him, and somehow made Darkly Dreaming Dexter into Dick Driven Dexter.

If Dexter weren’t too busy either being inside you, or thinking about it, he would marvel at what you’ve managed to pull. Maybe that’s a component of his indescribable attraction to you. There’s something sexy about a woman proving that song right; “everything you can do, I can do better.”

Whether it’s that or something else entirely, I just want the writers to give us some idea what’s driving these two into each other’s arms. As is, it’s about as much of an oddity as the relationship between Bella and Edward in Twilight. Edward’s a vampire who watched Bella sleep and stalked her, yet Bella just goes with it. Dexter’s a killer who almost killed Hannah and stalked her, yet Hannah just goes with it.

Stranger still is that it’s Hannah that brings Deb over to the dark (passenger) side, her elusiveness motivating Deb to give her to Dexter as a dirty deed to do. Little does she know, however, that he only has one dirty deed on his mind when it comes to Hannah.

How will Dexter ever decide between following through on the demands of his sister who, unbeknownst to him, sees him not just as a brother, but also as a potential lover, and Hannah who he’ll probably have sex with in every conceivable place and position by the time the season’s over?

Seriously, it’s almost like they brought Stephanie Meyer in as a consultant because that sort of love triangle would be right at home in one of her books. The same goes for nearly every line of dialogue in this episode. For instance, Hannah’s initial interaction with Sal Price is one miss after another. The writers appear to be trying for comic banter, but the end result is trite. We’re even treated to the stock what-I-want-you-to-do-is-leave-me-alone response.

Alarmingly, this extends all the way to Dexter’s inner-monologue. Usually one of the highlights of the show, Dexter is saddled with some of the episode’s lamest lines. Like everything regarding his aforementioned “chemistry” with Hannah.

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Travis Smith