The third episode of the seventh and final season of Showtime's "Dexter" served to advance several existing stories while not giving us too much in the way of new developments. A few, which I'll note, but not many, which means an episode that wasn't as fast-paced and gripping as the past two from this season, but satisfying all the same.
The tone is set right out of the gate as we see Dexter standing in a long line at the post office. The scene is grim, it's clear the line is moving at a glacial pace, and to make matters worse one of the two employees behind the counter just put out the "Window Closed" sign.
Dexter is clearly agitated. He's feeling claustrophobic and under a microscope, which has a lot to do with the fact that Debra is in his face 24/7 and pretty much questions his every move.
Just minutes into the episode, Dexter is telling Debra he needs to have time to himself and needs to be away from her, at least for short periods of time. She tries to tell him that something bad will happen, but he turns the table on her and assures her that something bad will happen if she doesn't oblige. He's quite convincing and he must be respected. After all, he is a serial killer.
After Debra's reluctant agreement to more space, Dexter is up to his old shenanigans. He's thumbing through of Raymond Speltzer (Matt Gerald), a tough guy who's recently been paroled on an assault charge and works as a groundskeeper at a local cemetery. Dexter is not only certain he's a killer, but will kill again if someone doesn't stop him. And by stop him, Dexter means in a very permanent way.
Dexter tries to drag Debra down the rabbit hole that is the mind and logic of a serial killer, but before I get to that, another story is also being advanced.
The investigation of Kaja's murder has caused Quinn to become quite interested in Nadia. I can't imagine that the dynamics of a cop-stripper relationship can be all that positive, but there's clearly some magic in the air when they're together.
Nadia tells Quinn about a bracelet Kaja was wearing when she was murdered. Quinn shows her the file on the case and there's no mention of the bracelet in the police report. Assuming it would have been logged as personal property, Quinn can only assume it was taken for a reason.
Back at the strip club where Nadia works, she tells club-owner George what she saw in the file. Isaac is in George's office and tells Nadia to get close to Quinn so she can find out everything the cops know about the case. We learn that the bracelet has a GPS chip embedded in it, which is how these Ukrainian mobsters keep track of the girls, who are drug mules first and strippers second.
Not sure if the Nadia-Quinn relationship is legit or not, but it appears to be. I guess it wouldn't be too hard to turn Nadia into one of the bad guys before this particular storyline runs its course, but so far she seems like she's being honest with Quinn.
And that brings us back to Dexter dragging Debra into a bad place. Dexter is stalking Speltzer and creates a situation where Debra will definitely follow him. He lies about going to a gym, and instead is at a bar when Debra busts him for lying. He said it was a setup and he wanted her to follow him so she could see how he works when he's in the mood to kill.
She's repulsed by the idea, but Dexter is genuinely trying to reach out to her, as well as to advance his agenda of killing his chosen victims. He's also trying to give her clues as to how he knows Speltzer is going to strike again. She's too upset at him to actually focus on the fact that what he's telling her, from a pathological standpoint, is accurate.
I came away from this scene fully understanding that Dexter isn't going to change, even for his own sister. I hope, for the sake of the integrity of the series, he never changes.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainians discover the GPS chip in the bracelet is dead, but they did get the coordinates of its location just before it stopped working: Dexter's boat slip at the marina. I won't spoil what goes down at the marina, but it was a little unexpected until the reality of what was going to happen actually happened. Suffice it to say it's all going to come back to haunt Dexter.
Fortunately for viewers, Dexter is not going to let something as trivial as his sister's dislike of serial killing stop him from putting a plan together to take out Speltzer. While on a stakeout at the cemetery, he learns that Speltzer is hiding something in a mausoleum. Dexter breaks into the mausoleum to see what it's all about.
At the same time, Debra is staking out Speltzer's house and tragically discovers for herself that Dexter was right about the pathology of Speltzer and his pattern before striking. One person is dead, another is on the loose, and Debra is now very conflicted about how her brother's mind works.
This gratifying episode wraps with Debra telling Dexter he needs to move out of her place and back to his own apartment. She now sees what her brother does is some sort of necessary evil, but she's a long way away from being able to accept it.
"Deb, I'm still your brother. Nothing's changed."
"Everything's changed. I don't know if it can ever be the same again."
Stephanie Caldwell is a not-serial-killer who likes watching shows about serial killers from Salt Lake City and also writes for CableTV.com. Find her on Twitter @cwsteph.