As Deb might say in an elevator-based rant: holy $hit balls, mother effing f-ck, that was another very strong Dexter Season 7 episode.
On "Swim Deep," we were once again deprived of any serial killings or any real action, but that didn't mean the episode wasn't oozing with tension and suspense.
That's been the most impressive aspect of these opening episodes so far. There's been little chasing, few deaths, not a great deal of twists or turns or shocks. Instead, there have simply been conversations. Fascinating, revealing, stress-filled conversations that continue to build on one another, leaving the viewer dying to know how various relationships will shape what comes next.
The most obvious example is Dexter and Deb. The siblings were at it once again here, with Deb throwing everything she could think of at her brother. As I emphasized last Sunday, the writers have held nothing back when it comes to Deb's anger and accusations.
She's tossed Trinity Dexter's way, Rita, Harrison, the blood slides. In this case, we returned to the Bay Harbor Butcher and also to how Dexter hasn't just gone after the guilty who slipped through the justice system cracks, but he's actually interfered in cases.
Deb finally made Dexter understand that he's been more sloppy than he previously believed. And he owes his sister some serious gratitude now after she swiped that photo of him at the wedding.
Whether she wants to be or not (note: she does NOT want to be), Deb is in it all the way now. She's being forced to cover up Dexter's crimes, even lying to right-hand man Batista, and one has to wonder how long she can continue this way. At what point will her love for Dexter be outweighed by the guilt she's feeling at work?
The hard time Dexter is receiving from his sister is clearly affecting his interactions with Hannah. Deb is so turned off, as most human beings would be, by Dexter's Dark Passenger - but has he found a kindred spirit the lovely Ms. McKay? He isn't keeping her murderous lies a secret because he wants her on his table.
He's doing so because perhaps this is someone who understands, who also gets off on death and actually misses the high from her past life. Will Dexter incorporate her into his current one?
Finally, we were treated to Dexter's multiple one-on-ones with Isaak. No pretenses here, no beating around any violent bushes. These two are coming right after each other. It's similar to many past cat-and-mouse games Dexter played with a season's Big Bad, but each is already on to the other in this case. It was riveting to simply watch the two killers threaten and attempt to one-up one another.
Call me crazy, but I doubt Isaak's incarceration means this is the last we'll see of the mobster.
So another impressive episode overall. The show is managing to juggle a trio of storylines - Deb vs. Dexter, the presence of Hannah, the threat of Isaak - very well, keeping its foot on the suspenseful pedal without even including any major bloodshed.
I'm rather confident some of that is coming, though. It's only a matter of who and when and how the relationships already established on Season 7 are affected by it.