For fans of bloodthirsty murderers, noirish narration, and vigilante justice, last night was a long-awaited holiday. Dexter, Showtime's drama about a serial killer who kills serial killers, returned with a season seven premiere that might foreshadow one of the best seasons yet.
Past seasons of the show have dragged a bit. Sometimes, it's the fault of lukewarm characters (see: Julia Stiles' rape victim-turned-murderer, or Jimmy Smits' high-profile Miamian with a thirst for blood). Sometimes, the plot moved too slowly, or was too predictable (see: last season's reveal about the, um, "unreal" Professor Gellar). And for those of us in Miami, sometimes the scenes just didn't look realistic. (Hey, is that a mountain in the distance?)
But in last night's premiere, the cliffhanger viewers have waited nearly a year to see resolved -- what will happen now that Deb's seen Dexter kill a man -- came to a satisfying head. That, plus some fresh blood in the villain department and, yes, scenes in which Michael C. Hall drives over actual Miami causeways, gives us hope for the next 11 episodes.
If you missed it, here's a spoilery list of the last night's biggest happenings.
Deb's an Accomplice
You had to see this coming from the many, many, many different edits of the episode's opening scenes that Showtime released as teasers in advance of the season seven premiere. Dexter talks Deb down from her ledge of rationality, explaining away a seemingly un-explainable situation. ("I snapped," he says, and it's a real testament to Jennifer Carpenter's acting skills that she can convince us she believes that crap even for a second.) Then they burn the crime scene and race home so they can get called back there to faux-investigate.
LaGuerta's on to Dexter
LaGuerta, you sneaky little spider. Deb's frenemy-in-chief sends her out to deal with the press while she snoops around the crime scene itself, and finds the blood slide Dexter left with the body in his haste to convince Deb to put down her gun and forget she ever saw anything like a good little sister. Yeah, that's going to cause problems later.
Louis is a Creeper
Weirdo Louis, whose mild obsession with the Ice Truck Killer, Dexter, and general creepiness has been simmering in the background for the past season, seems to finally be letting his insanity come to a full boil. He steals Dexter's credit card information from his computer and cancels his credit cards. Meanwhile, all of America yawns. You know other characters on this show are murdering each other in cold blood, right Louis? Man up already.
Mike Anderson's Dead Now
Alas, the only professional police officer in Miami has been shot by a Russian mobster. Dexter follows up the killing with one of his own, naturally, tracking down the mobster at Miami International Airport -- hey, there's stock footage of the actual airport sign! -- and killing him in a room filled with lost luggage. Not the most typical of kills -- Dex crushes the guy's face with a fire extinguisher -- but certainly the most improbable. Come on, writers. MIA's not the greatest airport, but they'd probably notice a civilian pushing a passed-out dude in a wheelchair through areas restricted to airport personnel.
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No, seriously, he confesses. Deb finally figures Dexter out for the killer he is -- which, thank you, Dexter writers, for finally giving Deb the credit for her investigative skills she's deserved for at least two seasons now -- and confronts him in his own home. The episode ends with a payoff that fans of the show probably thought they'd have to wait at least a couple weeks to see: Dexter's admission to Deb that yes, he is a killer. And then the screen goes black, and credits roll, and you guys, how crazy stupid exciting was that one moment oh em gee.