In an episode that focused so much on how things change yet how the simpler things always remain the same, I couldn’t help but interpret it as a direct metaphor for this seventh season, and how, as it was probably intended, it relates specifically to the character of Dexter.
I mentioned in my premiere recap how Dexter had become too dedicated to its basic premise, leading to season after season of the same beginning (Dexter finds a new serial killer) and same end result (Dexter kills the serial killer). But for the first time since season three, which probably ranks as the second or third weakest season, it appears that this installment of Dexter will simply be more than Dexter hunting down a main antagonist. The show is changing, and for the better. This season, at least thus far, has focused almost entirely on Deb’s discovery of Dexter’s “Dark Passenger”, and how this affects both her relationship with Dexter and Dexter’s ability to find time to give into his urges. And while some of the series’ other characteristics still exist, such as Dexter’s conversations with his father, it’s refreshing to see that the focus has shifted onto the character of Dexter rather than just the storyline he is in.
As for Dexter himself, has he or is he in the process of really changing? Deb gave him a new set of rules to abide by, ones that he can only follow if he abandons the code given to him by his father so long ago. Dexter has some trouble with rule number one (be honest) throughout the first episode, but ultimately follows the second rule (call if you have the urge to wrap someone up in plastic and stab them) and calls Deb as he has Louis passed out in his trunk. So Deb’s Rulebook trumps Harry’s Code here, but didn’t Dexter already abandon the code? I mean, what did Louis do to deserve Dexter’s knife? Nothing. Maybe Dexter isn’t just the vigilante serial killer he thinks he is. So yes, stopping himself from killing Louis could be a sign that he is freeing himself of his killing ways, but the fact that he wanted to kill Louis, who would have been for the most part an innocent victim, shows that maybe Dexter is actually worse off than ever before. When it comes down to it, is Dexter’s “Dark Passenger” like the shopping mall that can vanish without a trace or more like the sunshine above, something that will always be there?