"Bring on the bad guys!"
That little Stan Lee quip pops up in my mind when I think about how to describe the latest episode in the seventh season of Dexter.
With the first portion the season dealing with the direct aftermath of sister Debra discovering Dexter loves to kill stuff, the rise of this season's antagonist has been shrouded behind all the sibling interaction. Isaak Sirko, coolly played by Ray Stevenson, has lurked in the background, threatening and even killing those who don't produce what he wants. The leader of a heroin and strip club empire, Sirko shows no hesitation in declaring a war against Miami Metro Homicide for the perceived murder of his friend, colleague, and possible lover, Victor.
When Dexter arrives at his front door and senses someone is inside, he tricks Isaak out into the open and the two have a tense exchange over the phone. The scene has the energy of a late-season episode, with the confident, though naive, Isaak threatening the seasoned psycho-murderer and his family. Dex responds by setting his opponent up to square off rival Columbians, a fight in which Isaak, outnumbered and outgunned, only loses a pool of blood. That red puddle ties him to the murders, which cops relate to a drug war, and by the end of the episode he's clad in the county orange, talking to Dexter behind a glass window.
Whoa, shocking turn of events there! With a livid Isaak behind bars, he is literally unreachable, and as the gangster relates the story of his ancestor who waited patiently for revenge, the promise of repercussion is clearly announced. This is a new predicament for Dexter. He's completely motivated to murder Isaak, but has no way of reaching him short of infiltrating a prison. There is squat our hero can do while Isaak ponders and plots. As Isaak admits, he's in the dark about who exactly this clever bastard is, and he's going to be well-prepared for Dexter in the future. That's a new animal for Dex, who almost always operates with the element of surprise.
So you throw your "big bad" in jail, now where do you turn? Meet Hannah. Continuing the story thread of the sudden concentration on a decade old cold case, the murders perpetrated by Hannah's teenage boyfriend need the presence of Dexter. The scene where Batista calls him and demands his aid for a debriefing with Hannah and said sequence are hilarious… you needed the forensics expert for this why? With so much hot blonde it's apparent the new character is ascending into a major player for the season's events. After the po-po find the body of some of the victims Dexter does a quick analysis… to discover that two people committed the murders, the second being Hannah, who is just chilling out at the crime scene.
Dex does not blow up her spot, but he confronts her immediately afterward and she calmly denies his allegations. Dex looks intrigued, but ultimately leaves it alone. It's here where it looks like some friction might erupt, as Hannah doesn't seem be inept or afraid in the slightest. Occasionally, Dexter has gone up against killers just as nutty as he, and that's where this appears to be going.
The budding subplots take upward swings this hour too. Debra, now elevating herself to co-main character status by being in the know, throws out some Debra Morgan Fuck classics in "Fuck nugget!" and "We're in the storm of fuck." Deb's stress level, as both accomplice to her brother and acting boss-lady to the homicide division for a major city, has to deal with LaGuerta turning up the burner on the Bay Harbor Butcher case.
The Captain lets Deb in on her personal investigations, and Dexter's sister does her best to derail it. With the powers of her new position Deb is also learning the pitfalls of being a friend's boss, telling Batista to talk a walk when he presses about the murder of Mike Anderson. Batista has next to nothing to do this season, but at least they're trying to tie him into every scene they can. Finally, Joey Quinn, the character so bro it's hard watch some weeks, continues his fling with the stripper who is probably playing both sides in the game between Miami PD and her ganglord bosses. After receiving a hefty bribe, the question apparently comes down to whether Quinn is a grimy cop or a filthy-grimy cop.
This is another decent episode that throws a wrench into the apparent arc of the season. With Isaak in jail it would appear the danger is abated, but as Dexter has learned, the threat isn't over until it's put down promptly. The rising plotlines of Hannah McCay and LaGuerta's investigation demonstrate promise for an exciting ride as we reach of the meat of the season. The bad guys have been brought — Your move Dexter.
Jamil Scalese is just like you — an avid comics reader and lover of sequential art. Residing in Pittsburgh, PA, he is an unapologetic Deadpool fan, devotee of the Food Network and proud member of Steelers Nation. Check out his original, ongoing webcomic And Then There Were Zombies and follow his subpar tweeting at @jamilscalese.