After such a strong episode last week and highly anticipating this week's installment, I may have unintentionally set myself up for a letdown. It's not that it was a bad episode, it just took a long time to come together, and much of what occurred between Dexter and Debra felt forced and unnatural.

In last week's episode, Debra told Dexter she was in love with him and felt like she pretty much has been her entire life. It was an awkward moment for both of them, and I'm sure at least a handful of viewers. Dexter tried to have a logical, Dexter-style conversation with her about it, but it just wasn't flowing. In fact, it felt so uneasy I found myself fidgeting.

If I had to go out on a firm, unwavering limb, I'd say both actors are uncomfortable with this storyline, and it’s coming through loud and clear on-screen. Here's to a quick end to this silliness!

After the brilliant scene between Dexter and Isaak in the previous episode, it was inevitable they'd become tenuous allies. It starts with Dexter telling Isaak basically to pound salt when he comes to him seeking help. See, there are two really nasty hired hit men in town to send Isaak to the next life, and Isaak needs Dexter's help to get rid of them.

Killers like Isaak, however, don’t take no for an answer and the next time they meet, Isaak has taken Hannah hostage. She's being held by his assistant, Jurg (Andrew Kirsanov). Dexter is now a willing participant, with the requisite promises that if Hannah is harmed in any way, etc., etc., etc.

Dexter confides in Debra what's happening and asks her to remove the 24-hour cop detail following Isaak. She's quite reluctant to do anything that might benefit Isaak, let alone Hannah, but this love she has for her brother just won't let her say no, even to his craziest requests. It makes me wonder if Dexter is going to catch on to her inability to refuse his requests and start using that to his advantage.

Isaak shares everything he knows with Dexter about the two hired guns hunting him in the hope Dexter can sniff them out and remove them from the situation. The first one, Oleg (Karl Herlinger), is a long-range killer, which means specialized sniper rifles. Those are in short supply around Miami, and Dexter quickly tracks him down.

The other, a local by the name of Caffrey (Sherman Augustus), prefers a bit of the up-close-and-personal style of wet-work and will require a little planning to get him out of the way.

While all this is going on, a couple of different bodies are found; burnt to a crisp. It's two separate incidents, but the M.O. is the same. The scenes are fairly gruesome, even for "Dexter," and I'm not certain they were anything more than filler for the episode. Still, they were unique enough to possibly be the work of another skilled and deranged serial killer. We'll have to stay tuned to see what becomes of this potentially new storyline.

Dexter is able to lure Caffrey to the docks, where the Koshka Brotherhood owns a cargo ship. At what can only be considered the last possible moment before Caffrey kills Dexter, Isaak appears and kills the would-be assassin.

For an episode that didn't contain a lot of tension, this particular scene was really good. The docks were kind of eerily silent while Caffrey stalked Dexter, not knowing he was walking into a trap. One of the best parts of the scene comes when Isaak kills Caffrey. He simply pulls his gun and squeezes the trigger a half-dozen times after making eye contact. No chit-chat, no stories, no "Why'd you do it?" questions. Just bang-bang, you're dead. This is the mentality of hired killers and I’m glad the writers treated this scene in exactly this fashion. It added a great deal of legitimacy to an already good scene.

While all this is happening on the ship, Hannah has managed to get into a physical altercation with Jurg after convincing him to go to the garden to pick some green tomatoes so she can fry them up.