After all the madness and killing in this seventh season of Dexter, it was time to take a step back and breathe a bit in episode 8, which decidedly laid everything out on the table.
You could say that this episode (“Argentina”), was the calm before the storm, further positioning many characters into situations that could legitimately lead to their deaths.
Last night’s installment confirmed what many had previously speculated: Isaak Sirko and Viktor were lovers and Dexter got in the way of that by killing the latter. I wasn’t a big fan of Isaak’s expository dialogue (the writers clearly didn’t trust the viewers to not spell it out in gory detail), but his conversation with Dexter in a gay bar tees up the inevitable chaos that’s to come.
What really sets up this conversation is the fact that the Koshka Brotherhood has turned its back on Isaak, after he put this personal vendetta with Dexter in front of business. He essentially finds himself alone, with no one in his corner, such that venting to his nemesis Dexter is a therapeutic relief.
Actually, these ‘harmless’ talks between Dexter and Isaak really give both actors a chance to shine. It’s a way to humanize Isaak a bit and not make him a one note killing machine (like Ray Stevenson’s Punisher character). For Michael C. Hall, he reserves his best stuff for facing off against guys like Stevenson.
Dexter and Isaak may be similar guys, but the inertia of who they are and the decisions they’ve made have them on a crash course to kill each other. It’s unavoidable that one of them will die trying.
However, it’d be a great twist for Isaak to somehow escape death. Every major series villain thus far been killed by season’s end and it’d be unique for him to live just for the sake of the show taking a different path. If anything, let the guy find his way to Micronesia liked he mused about in the bar. Or just have him pop up sometime in Season 8 to wreak more havoc for Dexter.
The Isaak / Dexter showdown has immediate implications for Hannah, who will inevitably get caught right in the middle. Save Hannah, Dexter and Isaak would be in near identical states, what with both of their worlds caving in. Isaak will undoubtedly find out that Hannah is Dexter’s Viktor, and will use that against him. Will Isaak harm her to make sure Dexter feels what he feels? Better believe it (or at least he’s going to try).
This will all hinge on just how much in love Dexter is with Hannah. His unlikely girlfiend accepts him unconditionally, freeing him to discuss his kills as if they were his political beliefs. She’s not Rita, Lila or Lumen, she’s a perfect fit. Not only does Dexter trust her enough to eat her aconite-free scrambled eggs, he introduces her to his family as well.
Unfortunately, the good stuff ended there as the Deb / Dex / pseudo-incest storyline gets resurrected, with a painfully awkward confession scene from Deb. If the writers wanted to use this love storyline to justify Deb’s actions this season, they could’ve easily chalked up her adherence to Dexter’s kills by saying that she loved him as a brother. Nothing more. I was just as dumbfounded as Dexter was when this was brought up again and I would’ve gotten out of dodge just like he did as well. It’d be wishful thinking to believe we’ve heard the last from this. If anything, it’s going to separate the two even more.
All that said, it seems we’re ready for the sprint to the finish; there’s four more episodes left and things are going to get hairy, really fast. Who’s left standing (outside of Dexter) when the smoke clears is anyone’s bet. But all signs are pointing to this being one heck of a finish.
Astor and Cody’s returns were pretty much filler. Besides a bunch of complaining and pot smoking, there really wasn’t much to work with here.
You could argue that a few supporting characters positioned themselves closer to being killed (including the aforementioned Isaak and Hannah):
Now that he’s restaurant owner, Papa Angel’s usefulness may have just reached nil. That congratulatory nod and comment from Laguerta was especially creepy
Quinn falls further down the rabbit hole when he learns that George has more incriminating recording of him agreeing to sabotage the evidence. If the Koshka are willing to off their head honcho, what do you think they’d do to a lowly cop?
Laguerta suddenly has the detective skills of Columbo and Matluck combined. She now fully suspects Dexter which means that she’s going to die VERY soon.
The Masuka laugh returns, though Vince himself hasn’t been utilized very much this season. Maybe he’s the one that ends up dying somehow?
Deb sharing her feelings with Dexter also ups her chances at dying. The writers could use a big shock in the finale. What could send Dexter fandom into more of an uproar than Deb dying? She also may have expended her usefulness since she won’t do anything about Dexter’s habit and has just as much dirt on her resume as he does now.