Dexter Review – Sunshine and Frosty Swirl (Season 7, Episode 2)

Once more, Dexter seems determined to tackle the issue of whether its protagonist, Dexter Morgan, is beyond saving or if he’s capable of undoing the damage done by that earliest of his memories, being found inside a shipping crate sitting in a pool of his mother’s blood.

Previous seasons have hammered home that Dexter fighting his urges is impossible, that he’ll succumb eventually no matter the circumstances. As Dexter says early on in this episode, he’s tried the cold-turkey approach before and he ended up giving in after a while, so what’s to say this won’t be a repeat of past failures?

Deb thinks she’s the key to washing away all the blood and darkness that clouds Dexter’s vision. As she puts it, he never had her, someone who loves him “more than [he] could ever f**king know.” Hearing her say that brought with it PTSD-esque flashbacks to the storyline of last season concerning her realizing that her love extends beyond the bond of a brother and sister.

I know it’s bound to be revisited eventually, but I hope this whole sticking point of him being a serial killer is enough to keep it at bay at least for the majority of this season.

That aside, she appears to have a point. Not a great one, yet a point nonetheless. Dexter’s never had someone to help guide him back into the light, so to speak. Harry did it to an extent by making the best of his bad habit, except he only did it since he thought Dexter was beyond saving. Deb, on the other hand, thinks she’s all he needs, probably in more ways than one.

Love is said to heal all wounds, but I think it’s safe to say this one goes too deep, having left behind deep scarring as a result. In this episode, there are brief moments in which Dexter appears to have turned some sort of corner.

When he does as Deb instructed, calling her as he has second thoughts about killing Louis, for instance, it felt like a sudden change-of-heart. So sudden that I assumed it had been a ploy by him all along to make Deb think he was getting better, all while striking fear into Louis like his prior altercation with him hadn’t. Still, the writers wanted us to at least ponder if this was a sign that things were changing.

Then that all came crashing to a halt at the end of the episode, along with that tanker truck. In one of the show’s more obvious attempts at paralleling Dexter’s life with someone else’s, Dexter was led to believe by a fellow murderer that this need can be gotten rid of. For that guy, it was too late, locked up in prison and with the love of his life seeing him only as a killer.

Dexter, though, had been gifted the golden opportunity of a second chance, Deb caring too much for him to see him locked up (or worse, as she puts it). The onus is on him to make good on that opportunity and follow in the footsteps of the convict who reminded him so much of himself.

Problem is, those just so happened to take that same convict right into the path of an oncoming tanker truck. Dexter spun it as him not being able to take prison life. The way I see it, however, is he saw the monster deep inside that will never relinquish its death grip on him and decided to kill it the only way he knew how, by taking himself with it. Try as Dexter might to wipe away that blood from his vision, it’ll simply end up smattered with more, a fact driven home (pun intended) by the closing images we get of that man’s blood streaking his face.

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