Episode Title: "Sunshine and Frosty Swirl"
Writer: Manny Coto
Director: Steve Shill
Previously on "Dexter":
Episode 7.01: "Are You…?"
Amazingly, the first few moments of this week’s episode of “Dexter” don’t walk back on last week’s cliffhanger or attempt to convince anyone that it’s a dream. Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall) confessed to being a serial killer and his adopted sister, Debra (Jennifer Carpenter) does not take it well… at all.
"Sunshine and Frosty Swirl" has a few moments between Dexter and Debra that we’ve waited the entire series to see. And screenwriter, Manny Coto didn’t let us down. Both Hall and Carpenter were really terrific as the Morgan siblings attempted to find some way to deal with their new reality.
Deb cycles through her emotions pretty quickly and she decides that the only way to deal with Dexter is to treat him like any other addict. If she can separate him from temptation then maybe she can cure Dexter of his deviant urge to kill. It’s a nice thought, if not totally within the realm of possibility. But then Debra has never been the poster girl for mental stability herself. She’s grasping at straws to justify not turning her brother in because she loves him… but hopefully not in a romantic way.
For his part, Dexter actually tries to make it work. From Debra’s edicts, he starts to assemble a list of rules that resemble his Code of Harry. There’s also a really chilling scene in which Dexter graphically describes to Debra what his dark passenger feels like over dinner before calmly eating his spaghetti because it doesn’t bother him. It was also amusing that Dexter used Debra’s honesty rule as an excuse to tell her that she overcooked their meal.
Dexter’s current nemesis is wonder intern, Louis Greene (Josh Cooke); who has an unhealthy fixation on Dexter himself. Looking through the evidence that Debra uncovered in his apartment, Dexter finally realizes that he has the severed hand from the Ice Truck Killer case and he soon figures out that Louis was the one who sent it to him.
When Dexter finally confronts Lewis about the hand, he claims that he sent it to Dexter as a joke because Dexter didn’t like the Miami Metro inspired video game that Louis had been creating. But it soon becomes clear that Louis isn’t actually afraid of Dexter despite his threats. And even though Dexter wants to permanently get rid of Louis, he still calls his defacto sponsor, Deb even though he drugged her to give him the opportunity to kill Louis in the first place.
However, Debra is so elated that Dexter choose to call her rather than act on his impulse that she doesn’t stick around to see that he had Louis drugged and unconscious in the back of his car. Dexter even lets Louis live as he contemplates a way to get rid of him without murdering him. But Louis seems like such a budding psycho that letting him live may have been a mistake.
At this point, Dexter is not even aware that the death of his last victim, Victor (Enver Gjokaj) is already leading to collateral damage in the form of Ukrainian mobster Isaak Sirko (Ray Stevenson). To demonstrate his displeasure with a former employee who spoke to the police, Isaak stabs the man through his eye with a screwdriver in a made for premium cable moment. Isaak isn’t on Dexter’s trail yet, but the two will inevitably cross paths before long. But Detective Joey Quinn (Desmond Harrington) will probably end up on Isaak’s radar first thanks to a spectacularly inappropriate relationship that Quinn is beginning to form with a stripper named Nadia (Katia Winter). Quinn is such a screw up that it’s amazing that he hasn’t gotten himself killed yet. Maybe this will be the year.
Fortunately, most of Dexter’s supporting cast took a back seat this week as Dexter and Debra remained on the forefront. But Captain Maria LaGuerta (Lauren Velez) remains in her own subplot as she seemingly attempts to prove that the late Sgt. Doakes wasn’t the Bay Harbor Butcher. In theory, this is supposed to be a heroic turn for her character, but I dislike LaGuerta so much that I am rooting for her to fail.
Over the course of the episode, Dexter also strikes up an odd bond with an imprisoned serial killer named Randall who claims that his “surrender” to his circumstances help him live with being a killer behind bars. But in reality, Randall is simply looking for a way to end his suffering after a few reminders of the simple pleasures that he once had. Randall also mentions that he committed his crimes with a woman named Hannah; which just happens to be the name of Yvonne Strahovski’s character who is slated to debut soon. If that’s the case, then maybe the Randall scenes here are more important than they first appeared to be.
So far, neither the Ukrainian mob or the Louis Greene storylines have managed to really grab me. But I find the new status quo between Dexter and Debra to be very compelling. There are still some great character dynamics between them that make “Dexter” worth watching. Their living situation is precarious and it probably won’t be long before either of them makes a mistake that leads to a major disaster.
But waiting for that other shoe to drop is part of the suspense that made “Dexter” so successful in the first place.