Dexter Review: “Swim Deep” (Season 7, Episode 5)

“Swim Deep,” Dexter‘s latest episode, continues with what is expected to be its focus all season, which would be questioning everything that Dexter, Deb, and others had thought they knew. Its characters believe themselves to be on the straight and narrow until they’re confronted with a crossroads, almost like cross-hairs centered on them, and a decision to make.

What makes this difficult is they have no signs to help them navigate. Whichever direction it is that they choose to take, they know not where it takes them. They may think it will lead them back to the straight and narrow; however, chances are it’s only a matter of time before another crossroads comes into view and sights are set on them once more.

This is truest of Dexter, whose path so far this season has been riddled with uncertainty and whose earlier path, thought by him to be bullet-proof, has been similarly riddled with shots from Deb. No matter how much he wants her to understand, how much he tries to make her, she won’t. Each attempt only brings with it more questions, ones that complicate things for both him and her.

This week it reached the point where Deb could no longer take it. Rather than know Dexter’s every dirty deed and be complicit in it, she chose to stay out of the loop on that other life of his. She isn’t, nor ever was, equipped to, as the episode title says, “swim deep.” Dexter, on the other hand, was and is. He swims with sharks of another kind on a daily basis, playing human chess with men like Sirko.

Men who more and more seem to be his equal and then some. Last week he met his superior in sheer strength in Spelter, and this week he met a man in Sirko who looked, at least for a moment, as if he could possibly be Dexter’s superior in multiple regards. Much like Speltzer, he was a force. As Masuka puts it, the man’s a “terminator.” Dexter led him into a room that should’ve been his final resting place. He didn’t know, or at least shouldn’t have by Dexter’s estimation, to be on his guard. Yet he walked out, having killed three men all by his lonesome, with nothing more than a single defensive wound on his arm.

It led Miami Metro to him, but one gets the feeling that he’s right when he tells Dexter that it’s not over in their little face-to-face prison chat. That being said, I doubt it takes him nearly as long to get revenge as it took his uncle to. The second he was brought in to the police department, his hands cuffed and lawyer at his side, I got the sense that he would find a way to weasel out of this, much like Speltzer.

Just because he’s arrested that doesn’t mean things are over. There’s still his trial to deal with, and his lawyer could very well be a master spinster since you have to believe he doesn’t come cheap. With the business Sirko and those beneath him are in, I doubt buying the best and the brightest of the legal profession presents them with a challenge.

More importantly, Sirko’s this season’s big-baddie, or at least that’s how he’s been built up thus far. Knowing that, it’s clear he’s bound to pop back up in some fashion before the season’s over. Perhaps he gets out and decides to first go after Deb, the only person in Dexter’s life that he really and truly cares for, wanting Dexter to understand how he hurt him.

How likely my brainstorm above is, I don’t know. What I do know is that the consensus among viewers seems to be that Deb won’t survive the series, and probably not even the season. At this point, her dying is almost a certainty. Plus, it would make all the sense in the world from a writing perspective.

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