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Dexter: Season 7 (2012)

DVD Cover (Showtime Entertainment)
Movie Connections:
Dexter
> Dexter: Season 1 (2006)
> Dexter: Season 2 (2007)
> Dexter: Season 3 (2008)
> Dexter: Season 4 (2009)
> Dexter: Season 5 (2010)
> Dexter: Season 6 (2011)
> Dexter: Season 7 (2012)
> Dexter: Season 8 (2013)
Genres:
Cop Show, Crime, Crime Drama, Crime Thriller, Prime-Time Drama, TV Horror

8.7 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: April 23, 2013
I'll admit it: it took me a while to get around to this season, and truth be told, I actually forgot all about it until I saw the teaser for the upcoming eighth season. Granted, I did have some personal issues going on when this season started and those took priority over a television show, but it was pretty nice to discover that I had an entire season of a show that I loved ready and waiting for me. It was also refreshing to discover that the show was still as good as one could hope for, and it took me very little time to burn through all of the episodes. There were literally nights where I was late getting to bed because I had to see just one more episode, just to see where the story would go, and I loved every minute of that. So, without further ado, let's get into the seventh and next-to-last season of a beloved show.

As always when dealing with a season of a television show, especially one that is this far along into the series, there will be spoilers. The final moment of season six was an especially surprising scene, and yes, I will be talking about that here. So, proceed at your own risk if you haven't seen the show or any previous seasons yet.

So! What a shocking ending in season six, huh? I mean, Debra walking into that church and seeing Dexter stabbing a man to death? Sure, the victim was a serial killer, but still - this wasn't exactly self defense; the man was tied to a table in typical Dexter fashion, and yes, Dexter was wearing his protective gear to avoid getting any blood on him. This one is going to be hard to explain away, and that is where we begin in season seven... right there where season six ended, just seconds after Debra walked through that door. I wouldn't have had it any other way.

That is obviously one of the big storylines for this season. Debra discovers Dexter's little secret, she learns about all of the people he's killed and the code that he follows, and she even discovers that he was the so-called Bay Harbor Butcher. Dexter isn't happy sharing all of this information with her as he believes that she would be better off not knowing, both to keep her close as a sister and to keep her legally safe in case they are ever caught, but she presses on and it eventually all comes out. Naturally, she isn't too happy about discovering that her brother is a serial killer, but she loves him and she stands by him... even if she disagrees with everything about it and is constantly dealing with the hypocrisy of her, the lieutenant of a homicide department, covering for her killer of a brother.

However, Debra isn't the only woman in Dexter's life now. You see, Dexter falls in love with a pretty young lady named Hannah McKay (Yvonne Strahovski), a woman who spent some time locked up for crimes of her own... and who also knows the joys of killing. For the first time, Dexter is completely comfortable with someone, he can be completely open and honest about his dark passenger, and yes, he even thinks that he is truly in love for the first time in his life. The only problem here is that Debra knows Hannah is a murderer, and while she can cover for her brother, she's not too keen on covering for the woman who is trying to take her brother away from her.

Of course, it wouldn't be a proper season without a villain, and this one comes to us courtesy of Isaak Sirko (Ray Stevenson), a big man in the Koshka Brotherhood (think European mafia). As it turns out, one of the guys that Dexter recently disposed of was also a member of this organization, and Isaak is on to him... and for him, revenge is personal. Unfortunately for Dexter, Isaak is smart, smooth, and extremely deadly, and shaking him will be no easy task. Quinn also gets involved in this little mess, as this gang owns and operates a series of strip clubs in Miami... and Quinn is falling in love with one of the strippers, an illegal immigrant named Nadia (Katia Winter). As if all that wasn't enough, LaGuerta discovers evidence that may prove that Doakes wasn't the Bay Harbor Butcher after all, and with the help of the returning Tom Matthews, she sets out to find who the real killer was... or is.

As is always the case with this show, there is a lot going on at all times and there are numerous plot devices playing out at any given time. Some are short-lived and end after a couple of episodes, some take place over the course of the entire season, and some are left unresolved when this season ends... but each of them is entertaining in their own right, and most of them end up overlapping. I've seen some reviews say that the writing has been going downhill since (insert any season since the second one), but personally, I found it to be just as strong here as in most of the previous seasons. If you like the show and if you enjoyed the previous seasons, you will certainly feel the same about this one.

There are a lot of interesting things going on here. Obviously, the big one is Debra finding out about Dexter's little secret, something that fans have been waiting for since the first season. It's been a long time coming, and seeing it play out was worth the wait - that scene when Dexter comes home to discover Debra sitting there, surrounded by his toys and trophies? That literally sent a shiver up my spine. This entire angle is handled beautifully throughout the season, and the season finale implies that it will once again be the focus of the final season... but possibly in a different way. Again, I can't wait for the next season to see where it goes from here.

I also enjoyed Dexter's interactions with Hannah, and I thought that the character brought a lot to the show. It was neat to see Dexter be completely open with somebody for a change, and the chemistry between the two characters - as well as the two actors - was great. Putting Dexter in the middle of Hannah and Debra's war against one another made for some great tension, and again, I loved every minute of it. This part of the season sort of overlaps with Isaak's story, for reasons that I will leave to the viewer, and I thought that Isaak made for one of Dexter's most formidable foes. Sure, Dexter has faced off with serial killers and thugs before, but a ruthless mafia hitman? A man who is always one step ahead of even Dexter, and who is as deadly as he is cunning? It made for a great match.

Oh, and that thing with LaGuerta prying into the Bay Harbor Butcher case and finding out new facts about the killer? That pays off in a big way towards the end of the season, and while I won't spoil any of it, I will say that it leads to more than one "holy shit" moment. I wasn't sure where the writers were going with this at first and I wasn't sure if it was going to pay off, but trust me, it's great. Actually, the only part of the season that I can say is anything less than great is Quinn's storyline, which... it's not bad and I see why it's there, but it just didn't do much for me. Admittedly, I've never been a big fan of the character and that may have influenced my opinion a little, so his fans may feel differently.

I have yet to give any of the Dexter seasons less than a 9/10, an almost perfect rating, and I can't start now - season seven was honestly one of the best seasons in the show's history. I'm not sure that I would call it the overall best of the bunch, but it definitely ranks high up there. Almost everything is great storyline-wise, with a lot of it being incredibly memorable, and the cast - veterans and newcomers alike - all knock it out of the park with their performances. Some shows start to go downhill after a couple of seasons, and very few are still going this strong seven seasons in, but here we are: 10/10.
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