By: Heather Seebach
WARNING: The following contains major season 6 spoilers and a few minor season 7 spoilers.
Season 6 of Showtime's Dexter ended with the shocking moment when Lt. Debra Morgan walked in on her brother Dexter ritualistically killing the "Doomsday Killer", Travis Marshall. Of course, there had been near-misses between the two siblings in the past - namely that incredibly suspenseful moment behind a curtain in season 5 - but there was no getting out of this one. So naturally, we Dexter fans were left jaw-dropped and wondering where this would go next.
When season 7 picks up from that moment, Dexter convinces his sister that he "snapped" when he found Marshall. Not convinced but in a panic, Deb helps him cover up the murder evidence. Dexter's flimsy lie soon falls completely apart, however, when Deb finds his knives and blood slides and finally gets the truth out of the closeted serial killer. What follows is a few episodes of the lieutenant baby-sitting and attempting to "cure" Dex.
During this time, Dexter also meets Hannah McKay (Yvonne Strahovski) and a romance slowly brews. During these first few episodes, the show begins to drag as Dexter is proverbially neutered by his sister and gets all soft on Hannah. I especially hate one moment when Dexter clumsily (and uncharacteristically) drops a DNA swab at the very sight of Hannah's sexy mouth (really?).
Things soon pick up, though, between a crazy fanboy trying to ruin Dexter's life and a psycho-killer in a minotaur helmet with a labyrinth in his apartment. Things get even better as Isaak Sirko, the Ukranian mobster played by Ray Stevenson, becomes more involved in the story. A great cat-and-mouse game ensues between the two killers, with some interesting surprises along the way.
Meanwhile, Dexter falls deeper for Hannah, who herself is accused of having murdered people. I have always been a little uncomfortable with the idea of Dexter dating anyone because of his supposed detachment from "normal" people but as girlfriends go, Hannah makes sense. And there's a pretty wild amusement park scene in it for the audience. But the closer Dex gets to Miss McKay, the angrier Debra becomes because she is convinced that Hannah is a black widow killer. This, of course, complicates the whole moral web of the season since she knows her brother is a killer now, too. While Deb's complaining gets stale for me, I did really enjoy the moral dilemmas of this season.
Other less-interesting side stories from this season: Quinn, being his usual idiot self, gets romantically involved with a dangerous stripper, and Batista makes plans to retire from Miami PD. There is also a subplot involving LaGuerta that is pretty suspenseful at times, but mirrors Doakes' season 2 storyline very closely (almost too closely). My favorite aspect of this whole season is definitely Sirko. Not only is he badass, but he forms this brilliant relationship with Dexter. Villain or not, I never wanted him to go!
Season 7 feels like a follow-up or parallel to season 2. Only Dexter is more careful now, and Hannah is way cooler than Lila (ugh). As season 2 happens to be my favorite season, needless to say, I enjoyed this latest one. Once Debra's whining and the Hannah mush is out of the way, it's a pretty tense, exciting season that stands among the series' best.
Dexter: The Seventh Season hits DVD and Blu-ray on May 14th. Both include all 12 episodes but unfortunately no bonus material except episodes of other Showtime programs (i.e., The Borgias, House of Lies).
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