"Paul Levinson's It's Real Life is a page-turning exploration into that multiverse known as rock and roll. But it is much more than a marvelous adventure narrated by a master storyteller...it is also an exquisite meditation on the very nature of alternate history." -- Jack Dann, The Fiction Writer's Guide to Alternate History

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Dexter 7.1-3: Sneak Preview Review!

I caught the first three episodes of the new season of Dexter last night - Season 7, set to premiere on Showtime September 30 - courtesy of a screener from Showtime that arrived yesterday.  These three episodes were the best openers I've seen for Dexter - taut, tough, unflinching in addressing the issue that has haunted and torn Dexter from the very beginning.  Herewith my review, unavoidably studded with spoilers.

The final scene of Season 6 was Dexter's worst nightmare come true: Deb standing in the doorway, with Dexter's hands on the knife in Travis's body.   Season 7 does not shy away from confronting the inevitable consequences of this scene: Deb is too smart a cop to be swayed by Dexter's first explanation, pretty fast on his feet, that he just "snapped" and killed Travis that way.  That wouldn't account for the plastic with which Travis was wrapped - all too familiar to Debra, who was wrapped in the same when Rudy almost killed her.   Before too long, she realizes that Dexter was the Bay Harbor Butcher and the model for the Ice Truck Killer.

And, in another unflinching stroke, Dexter doesn't deny this.   A part of him knows he can't pull the wool over his sister's eyes at this point, and a part of him, as always, welcomes the relief of coming clean.   Deb - of course - can't bring herself to arrest Dexter, but she - also of course - thinks that maybe she can somehow cure him.   Dexter knows better, but he has no choice but to give this a try.

And this brings us to the deepest crux of Dexter's life - which has been at the back and sometimes the front of just about every episode.  If Dexter can take out a serial killer before the killer takes another innocent life - a serial killer who for whatever reason is beyond the power of the police to stop - is not Dexter doing an ultimately moral thing?   In the third episode, Dex seeks to convince Deb of this proposition.  We the viewers are already convinced - at least, I am - but we're not police.  And Debra?

I'll keep this one, crucially important answer from this review.  But suffice to say that Deb's decision is plausible and stands to set Dexter on a new, logical, satisfying and keenly painful track.

See also Dexter Season 6 Sneak Preview Review ... Dexter 6.4: Two Numbers and Two Killers Equals? ... Dexter 6.5 and 6.6: Decisive Sam ... Dexter 6.7: The State of Nebraska ... Dexter 6.8: Is Gellar Really Real? .... Dexter 6.9: And Gellar Is ... ... Dexter's Take on Videogames in 6.10 ... Dexter and Debra:  Dexter 6.11 ... Dexter Season 6 Finale: Through the Eyes of a Different Love

And see also Dexter Season Five Sneak Preview Review ... Dexter 5.4: Dexter's Conscience ... Dexter 5.8 and Lumen ... Dexter 5.9: He's Getting Healthier ... Dexter 5.10: Monsters -Worse and Better ... Dexter 5.11: Sneak Preview with Spoilers  ... Dexter Season 5 Finale: Behind the Curtain

And see also
Dexter Season 4: Sneak Preview Review ... The Family Man on Dexter 4.5 ... Dexter on the Couch in 4.6 ... Dexter 4.7: 'He Can't Kill Bambi' ... Dexter 4.8: Great Mistakes ... 4.9: Trinity's Surprising Daughter ... 4.10: More than Trinity ... 4.11: The "Soulless, Anti-Family Schmuck" ... 4.12: Revenges and Recapitulations

See also reviews of Season 3: Season's Happy Endings? ... Double Surprise ... Psychotic Law vs. Sociopath Science ... The Bright, Elusive Butterfly of Dexter ... The True Nature of Miguel ... Si Se Puede on Dexter ... and Dexter 3: Sneak Preview Review

Reviews of Season 2: Dexter's Back: A Preview and Dexter Meets Heroes and 6. Dexter and De-Lila-h and 7. Best Line About Dexter - from Lila and 8. How Will Dexter Get Out of This? and The Plot Gets Tighter and Sharper and Dex, Doakes, and Harry and Deb's Belief Saves Dex and All's ... Well

See also about Season 1: First Place to Dexter

"As a genre-bending blend of police procedural and science fiction, The Silk Code delivers on its promises." -- Gerald Jonas, The New York Times Book Review

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