Have you ever had that friend that was dating someone they thought was great, but you couldn’t stand? And it got to the point where you could hardly take being around your friend anymore, let alone both of them? Their whole persona so horrible corrupted by the infecting interloper that they seemed to have become a shell of their former self, refilled with nonsense that just seemed to overflow out of their mouth? And each bad decision they made echoed your assertion that they could never be saved?
Hannah has really gotten under Dexter’s skin. In the light of their relationship, he’s reexamined his entire existence and restructured his approach to morality. He’s decided that there is no Dark Passenger; no controlling entity that drives him to kill. This enlightening moment leads him to spare the Phantom Arsonist to Miami Metro, and choose to kill a man who does not fit The Code. He is now free to kill whom he wants, when he wants.
The first victim of Dexter’s newfound freedom is Hannah’s father, Clint McKay. Following a clunky attempt to reenter Hannah’s life, gain her trust and borrow money, Clint reveals that he was the one that had been selling information to Sal Price for the unauthorized Hannah McKay biography. Once Sal turned up dead, Clint tracked down Hannah for one last payday.
Clint agrees to meet with Dexter for the payoff, but gets the business end of Dexter’s needle instead. Later, on the “Slice of Life,” Dexter gives Clint a sendoff that is one part Dark Passenger ritual and two parts poetic justice—Dexter dumps daddy into the ocean just like Clint had dumped Hannah into the local pond when she was a young girl.
So, where does this leave our favorite serial killer? He’s unmoored himself from The Code to fly high with Hannah and experience a freedom that he’s never known. Instead of being told what to do by a malevolent monkey on his back, he’s following his feelings and choosing his kills. But, with choice there must be consequence and, once the initial high wears off, Dexter will need to come to terms with his own impulses.
He says he has rid himself of The Dark passenger, but has he? It seems more that he’s rid himself of his moral compass and become The Dark Passenger. Hmm… conflicted.
All of this is happening because of Hannah, a woman about which we know very little. We do know that she’s been in a similar situation before with Wayne Randall. Is it possible that she’s just manipulating Dexter, playing on his emotions and gaining his trust to use him as protection? I’d say that’s a safe assumption. Although it’s unclear if Hannah realizes that Dexter actually killed her father, she must know that she has him wrapped around her finger.
Meanwhile, the Water & Oil detective pairing of LaGuerta and Matthews is churning some soil in the Bay Harbor Butcher case. After visiting the site where Doakes literally exploded, LaGuerta identifies a connection between the drug lords that killed Dexter’s mother, the Ice Truck Killer and the Bay Harbor Butcher. Although Matthews admits that the line is compelling, he’s not convinced that Dexter is their man.
Matthews insists that he be the one to question Dexter about his involvement, which I thought was pretty fishy. First off, Matthews isn’t even a part of Miami Metro. Second, he’s the only character left that could possibly reveal new information about the night Dexter’s mother was killed, so he’s prime to drop a big bomb during a close-quarters conversation with Dex. Third, Matthews hates LaGuerta and is probably looking to get even with her for having him dismissed.
Is it possible that Matthews knows about Dexter’s impulses? Could Matthews have had a hand in Dexter’s formative years, helping Harry to cover up some of Dexter’s clumsy first attempts at lethal vigilantism? Matthews has shown himself to be ruthlessly cunning in the past, and I don’t think he would be so adamantly doubting about Dexter unless he was playing an angle. Will he give Dexter the heads-up he needs to take LaGuerta out? And, will Dexter’s newfound joie de mort actually allow him to murder his lieutenant? That would certainly be an interesting shit-storm with which to start season 8.
I have to say I’m actually looking forward to the next two episodes, just because I actually have no idea what the hell is going to happen next. It seems like anything goes this season, and the characters are all headed in very interesting, life-altering directions. Oh, and some other stuff happened with Quinn and a stripper and guns. How did guns and strippers get so boring?
Here’s Jennifer Carpenter whetting our appetites with a quick blurb about the season finale, along with a telling exchange from the beginning of season 7… back when we all thought we knew what to expect:
Deb: “Dexter, I’m just trying to make sense of all this.”
Dexter: “Deb, it’s not going to make sense.”