Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Showtime Dexter "Blood is Thicker #705 “Swim Deep”

by Catherine Giordano

Seven seasons and I’m still in love with Dexter. (Too bad I couldn’t say the same about my husband.)  Season 7, episode 5, of Showtime’s “Dexter” is filled with the tension and emotion we have come to expect.

Ever notice how “Dexter” has a high body count every week. This week we had three Columbian drug-gang members and a few exhumed bodies. Along with a few hints about corpses-to-be. Showtime named this episode “Swim Deep”; it’s a fine name but I’m renaming it “Blood is Thicker.” 

For Debra, her love for her brother (adopted, no blood tie, but still the relationship between Deb and Dex is as strong as if he was a blood-relative) is proving to be stronger than her love for the law.  Debra is continuing to protect her brother.

Debra learns about LaGuerta’s secret investigation into the Bay Harbor Butcher killings when Matsuka finds out that LaGuerta has sent the blood slide she found at the site of “The Doomsday Killer’s” murder. Matsuka thinks that LaGuerta went to an outside lab because she intends to fire him. He runs to Debra in a panic.   

Debra goes to LaGuerta with Matsuka’s concerns and learns about LaGuerta’s secret investigation into the Bay Harbor Butcher case. She thinks the “Bay Harbor Butcher may still be alive because he was the only serial killer to use blood slides. Deb, seeing the danger this investigation poses for her brother persuades LaGuerta to bring her into the investigation. This move soon pays off for Debra.

LaGuerta decides to investigate every unsolved missing person case for new clues.  She shows Debra a sheet with the photos of each unsolved case. Debra takes this list to Dexter and demands, “Which ones are yours?” Dexter points out the ones he has killed. Now Debra knows where to focus her intervention into LaGuerta’s investigation.

“The Wedding Photographer” is one of the Dexter’s victims. Debra arranges to interview the family alone, but LaGuerta shows up at the family’s home so they interview the family together. LaGuerta asks to see pictures from the weddings he photographed around the time of his disappearance.  As they look through these photos Debra spots one that shows Dexter in a crowd of people. She slips it to the bottom of the pile and suggests that she take the photos back to the station so she can examine them more carefully. La Guerta agrees. When Debra gets back to the station she takes the incriminating photo and slips it into her pocket.

Later she tells Dexter, “I saved you.” This is a moment of triumph for Debra. As children they would run on the beach, and she could never catch him. In the water, he’d swim deep so she could not catch him. As adults, Dexter has more than once saved her life.  Only a few episodes ago he saved her from Ray Spitzer, a serial killer that Dexter later murdered. Now Debra is so proud. She has saved her brother. Dexter sheepishly admits that this is so as he slowly burns the photograph.

Debra is still troubled by Dexter’s extracurricular activities. She learns that he has sometimes hidden evidence from the police as he did when he found a fingerprint at the scene of the murders committed by Vicktor, part of a Ukrainian mob operating in Miami. This is new insight for her into Dexter’s criminal life—he doesn’t just hunt down and kill the ones who slip through the cracks; he helps them to slip through the cracks so that he can hunt them down and kill them. 

Debra says she doesn’t want to know anything more about his secret life. She can’t handle being complicit. She won’t turn him in, but he has to go back to keeping his killing activities a secret from her. Dexter agrees. Is Dexter glad to have Debra remove herself from his killing or did he like having a “partner in crime.” In season 5, a young woman, Lumen, whom Dexter rescued from a gang of rapists-torturers-killers became an accomplice as she sought revenge on the men who had hurt her. Dexter rather liked having someone to share his killing with. However, when the last of the gang had been killed, Lumen left saying she did not want to become like Dexter. The killing was over for her. Dexter was alone again. Now Debra has said and done pretty much the same thing. This is the “alone-again-naturally” moment of the episode.

Dexter may soon have a new accomplice of sorts. Hanna McCay (played by Yvonne Strabovski) is a young woman who as a teenager was the girlfriend/accomplice of Randall, the prisoner who, in episode 2 of this season. jumped in front of a truck despite being in shackles. He had been allowed out of prison because he had promised to show people where the bodies of his victims were. Now the police have enlisted Hannah, an accomplice who had received immunity because she was thought to be more of a victim than an accomplice, forced by Randall to participate in his crimes. They uncover two bodies (a husband and wife), and Dexter realizes from the evidence that Hannah must have been the killer of the female victim. He does not disclose this evidence to the police. However, he does have a little talk with Hannah, who plays it coy, and neither confirms nor denies. Dexter decides if she had killed that one time, maybe she killed other times as well. Maybe she is still killing. The hunt is on.

Sirko is still after Dexter. Dexter devises a plot to get rid of Sirko. Since Sirko is not from Miami he does not know about gang turf. Dexter tricks Sirko into following him to a bar that is Columbian turf. Since Sirko is the head of a rival gang, hostilities break out. Dexter slips away thinking he has solved his Sirko problem—it’s three to one after all. But Sirko does not die easy. He manages to kill all three of the Columbians. However, his blood is found at the scene, and he is identified and arrested.   

Sirko is pursuing Dexter because it is “personal.”  In some way, Viktor was family to Sirko, maybe not a blood-relative, but as close as if he had been a brother. And now it is personal for Dexter too. Sirko has threatened to kill Debra. When Dexter visits Sirko in jail, Sirko tells Dexter a chilling story about the lengths the men in his family will go to to get revenge. Dexter is going to find a way to kill Sirko because Sirko will continue to be a threat to Dexter and his family.

As I said, blood is thicker …

by Catherine Giordano

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