Dexter Season 7, Episode 10, “The Dark…Whatever” Recap

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Throughout the seventh season of Showtime’s Dexter, Vinny Ginardi will hand out his thoughts on each episode. Beware of spoilers.

Dexter’s voice over. Dexter “talking” with his father. The Dark Passenger.

These are all elements of Dexter that have present throughout much of the series, if not from the very beginning. While each added something unique when they were first introduced (Dexter’s voice over providing a vehicle to get to know our character who barely spoke and showed little emotion when he did), all have been kept well past their expiration date. It would probably be weird to eliminate the voice over because it would significantly alter the structure of the show, but the constant uses of conversations with Harry and references to The Dark Passenger have been exhausted to the fullest, so much so that the audience is numb to the value the techniques once provided.

It appears now, though, that The Dark Passenger has finally reached its destination. More importantly, Hannah has convinced Dexter that The Dark Rider Passenger never actually existed, and that it was just an excuse Dexter created to avoid taking responsibility for his lethal actions. We immediately see the effects of Dexter letting go of his Dark Passenger, as he allows the Phantom Arsonist to live by giving him up for the police. Did we just see a change, even if it may be temporary, in Dexter? Now that he actually realizes that it is he who is responsible, not some imaginary dark part of him, for the deaths of the people he kills, has the urge to kill subsided?

Although I appreciate Dexter’s attempt at a rare character-driven episode, an episode like this (which also gave character depth to Hannah) would have been much better served in the middle part of the season. The pace of the second half of this season has been confusing. Isaak’s death felt rushed and anti-climactic and the Phantom Arsonist storyline appears to have concluded just as quickly as it was introduced. LaGuerta, although basing it mostly on suspicion, has put two and two and two and two and two together over the course of this season to figure out that Dexter is actually the Bay Harbor Butcher. With most of the other storylines wrapped up and nobody really caring about Quinn’s, it looks like Dexter’s inevitable choosing between Hannah and Deb along with LaGuerta’s investigation will be at the forefront of the final two episodes.

I’m probably voicing the opinion of many fans here in that I hope Dexter kills LaGuerta in the end, but is it possible that his lack of a Dark Passenger will prevent him from doing so?