Credits: Randy Tepper/Handout
A major character has been killed off on Dexter.
It's a character who didn't die by traditional means.
All it took was some self-realization by Dexter Morgan, played by Michael C. Hall.
SPOILER ALERT: What follows is a review of the Dexter episode titled The Dark ... Whatever, the 10th episode of the seventh season, which aired Sunday, Dec. 2 on Showtime in the United States, and on The Movie Network and Movie Central in Canada. If you wish to remain "in the dark," so to speak, about the specifics, now is the time to cut and run.
So Dexter has been blaming all his murderous actions and instincts on his so-called Dark Passenger (an inner urge that somehow takes him over) ever since this unique TV series began. But three figures - one real, one ghost, one recently deceased - have combined to bust that bubble.
- Hannah McKay, played by Yvonne Strahovski. Dexter's new girlfriend, a killer herself, didn't buy any of it when Dex tried to explain his Dark Passenger. "You're not a puppet, of course you have a choice," Hannah said.
- Dexter's dad, played by James Remar. Dexter regularly talks to his "ghost dad," but this was one of the most weighty conversations they've ever had. Dexter says that he assumed the Dark Passenger terminology came from his dad. But his dad says, "I gave you the code. The Dark Passenger was all yours." Apparently Dexter first said it when he was 12, and his dad just let it go. "If there's no Dark Passenger, then I'm responsible for everything I've done," an alarmed Dexter says.
- When the serial fire-setter and murderer known as "the Phantom" found himself on Dexter's killing table, Dexter started to give him a lecture about taking responsibility for his actions, and not blaming it on a childhood trauma. Then Dexter stops and realizes the personal implication of what he's saying.
Later, when Dexter has snared Hannah's evil dad Clint, the freaked-out Clint says, "You got the devil inside you, boy." And Dexter replies, almost cheerfully, "No - I think it's just me."
Interestingly, there's a possibility that the theme of Dexter taking personal responsibility for what he has done may continue in more than an emotional way.
Maria LaGuerta (played by Lauren Velez) is on Dexter's case. She even uttered the words, "Doakes always thought there was something off about Dexter. What if Doakes was on to him? What if Dexter is the real Bay Harbor Butcher?"
Wow. In the history of this series, is that actually the closest Dexter ever has come to being "caught," so to speak? (Please email me your thoughts, Dexter historians who have far better memories than I do.)
One thing we know: If Dexter ever does face the music, he won't be able to blame it on his Dark Passenger.
That sucker has an alibi.
Other story lines and observations:
- So fire inspector Phil Bosso, played by Brett Rickaby, isn't up to anything after all, other than Civil War re-enactments. As Dexter concludes, "Bosso's not The Phantom; he's just strange."
- As for Hannah's doll house, I ask you, why are doll houses always creepy?
- The camera focused in on the pills that Deb (Jennifer Carpenter) was taking for anxiety - something called Alprazolam. Camera shots like that are never by accident. So, are there any pharmacists in the house who can explain what the side-effects of Alprazolam are?
- Funny exchange between LaGuerta and Tom Matthews, played by Geoff Pierson, at a restaurant. Tom: "It's the kind of place you take hookers and ugly broads, so nobody sees you." LaGuerta: "You should know."
- Dexter referred to "Bobby" as "a kid's name. Nobody calls an adult Bobby." Hey Dexter, don't make us send over Bobby Orr to kick your butt.