The title of this episode is in reference to a safe place–an ideal that allows you to be who you really are. Hannah tells Dexter that she and Randall were supposed to end their spree in Argentina and have a bunch of kids. They never made it, and she admits that it would have likely ended badly if they had, but she still pines for the serenity could have been.
It is within this idea that we see this season’s theme, and recognize that each character is being driven by love; often at dangerous speeds and through unsafe neighborhoods. Isaac reveals that Victor was his lover and, though their forbidden relationship could have meant death at the hands of the Koshka Brotherhood, he saw him as his soul mate and refused to live without him. Dexter follows his clunky feelings for Hannah, despite his knowledge that she has innocent blood and her hands and their relationship is driving away his sister. Deb admits her love for Dexter, even though she knows it is abhorrent and the admission will forever alter the course of their relationship. Even Joey has compromised his rusty moral compass, taking bribes and tampering with evidence in an attempt to free his girlfriend from her life as a stripper.
Love is a powerful weapon. It can make us brave. It can make us strong. And it can also make us do some intensely stupid things.
If we extrapolate this idea across a psychological plane, we might see where this is all headed. It could be argued that Dexter was only a mildly messed-up kid whose own youthful curiosity and exuberance occasionally ended in a dead animal or two. His desire to perform for Harry, coupled with Harry’s training and misguided channeling of Dexter’s inclinations, could have caused Dexter to nurture himself into the killer that he assumes he is by nature. It might be Dexter’s love for his adopted father that created and sustained the Dark Passenger. In speculation, it could be that the imagined Harry that Dexter has been speaking to for 7 seasons is actually, rather than a shred of conscience, the spectral manifestation of Dexter’s Dark Passenger.
Back in the world of endgame, LaGuerta has discovered compelling evidence that links Dexter to the Bay Harbor Butcher killings. Playing on Lundy’s hunch that the Bay Harbor Butcher was somehow connected to law enforcement, she runs some department names against the Miami boat registry. Not only did she find Dexter’s name, she also found that he ditched his old slip mid-lease to move it away from the epicenter of the Bay Harbor Butcher investigation. One of the last shots shows LaGuerta staring down The Slice of Life.
Armed with this information, my guess is that LaGuerta will try to feel Deb out to find out what she actually knows, since Deb has been uncharacteristically obstinate and she has a reason to protect Dexter. Deb will begin to grow suspicious, but will be apprehensive about approaching Dexter due to their recent fallout. As I’ve said before, I don’t think Deb will actually pull a trigger to take LaGuerta out, but I do think that either through some complicated machination or calculated inaction, Deb will be responsible for LaGuerta’s death at the close of this season.
Odds of LaGuerta surviving the season: 834,034,246 to 1
Odds of Deb surviving the series: 674,348 to 1
Odds of Deb surviving the series after killing LaGuerta: 1,000,000,000 to 1
I would like to say that, despite the ham-fisted manner in which Isaac’s homosexuality was handled, the writing and acting in this episode seemed to be a return to form for the series. The scene where Deb breaks down in front of Dexter was almost uncomfortable to watch, with Jennifer Carpenter conveying a broken and desperate frustration with ugly, gasping realism. And kudos to Ray Stevenson as Isaac, who has finally broken from his one-note Bond villain persona and found a character with depth, sensitivity and emotional resonance.
And now, since the show has gone in a completely unexpected direction, here is what Dexter would look like as a sitcom: