“Dexter”: Sunshine & Frosty Swirl Review

[Note: These reviews may be a little less extensive than in the past.  If you’d like a more in-depth recap/review, head over to The Dark Passengers Podcast Page]

Last week did a lot to erase our memories of Season 5 and especially Season 6 – even though it relied heavily on the end of 6 – making us once again hopeful for what was in store.  If nothing else, “Sunshine & Frosty Swirl” maintained the momentum.  At first, it looked like “Dexter” was going to rehash some old territory but an interesting bait-and-switch changed the entire tone of the episode…and maybe the series from here on out.

The episode again takes place directly after the climax of the previous episode, with Deb running away from Dexter…who is creepily chasing her through the courtyard.  When she finally stops to chat, she’s rightfully freaked out (and concerned), as she questions him about being the Bay Harbor Butcher.  It’s a logical conclusion, and Dexter avoids the question altogether.  More damaging, though, might be the fact that Deb finds out their dad knew the whole time…meaning he’s arguably just as responsible.

Besides Deb, LaGuerta (Lauren Velez) also has lingering questions about the BHB, but she’s keeping the questions to herself.  She uses backchannels to confirm the blood belonged to Travis.  With a second week in a row explicitly showing Doakes’ picture, the writers are poising him for a return…although this may be in the form of a flashback or Harry-like figment of the imagination.  At this point, though, I’m banking on his return (look ahead to the possible title of the finale, too, for more proof).

A major thread of “Sunshine & Frosty Swirl,” involved a convict, named Wayne Randall, who was trying to clear his conscious by releasing the locations of at least three missing persons.  The entire time he shares Brother Sam-like conversations with Dexter about how his morals have changed.  Dexter takes this to mean he, too, can change.  Up until the final scene, the episode was pretty hopeful…

But we kind of knew that couldn’t stay, right?

Before I get to the climax, I feel like I should re-visit the Dexter and Deb complex.  Seeing his killing as an “addiction,” Deb volunteers to be Dexter’s rehab.  Until he gets “better,” he’s to sleepover and stay under a close watch.  Being handcuffed by Deb’s presence, Dexter resorts to drugging his own sister and sneaking out to figure out what Louis is up to.

Speaking of Louis, he continued to be creepier and creepier.  Is the show deliberately making him so hatable?  At this point, I’d guess over 3/4s of the audience wants him dead.  Hell, I wanted Dexter to take him out during this episode.  After first physically threatening him (by the way, my favorite scene of the episode), Dexter returns and actually injects him.  Louis isn’t going away, and I have to imagine Dexter may regret using a “half-measure” instead of a “full-measure” (“Breaking Bad” reference, yes).

As for the Ukrainians, we got a healthy dose of where their story is going.  Isaac arrives in Miami when Viktor fails to make it home.  When a bouncer rolls and talks to the police, Isaac is there for revenge (in the form of a screwdriver).  Their storyline will continue to increase by next episode, too.

Other than that, we were introduced to a potential Quinn love story, which seems unnecessary at this point.  It’s my only real criticism of the episode.

Finally, I’ll get to the end.  Just when we thought Dexter was changing (or maybe just Deb thought that), Wayne throws himself in front of a truck, killing himself.  Dexter realizes that he couldn’t stand being in jail…and he openly questions whether or not he’ll survive.  All the hope is lost.

I’m still hesitant to say “Dexter” is back, but Season 7, Episode 2 built up some stories and maintained the show’s pace.  The endgame isn’t in sight, but with almost two full seasons left, this isn’t a bad thing.  I just hope it continues…and by the looks up what’s to come, I’m looking forward to it.

Rating: B+

Notables

*The color red was a huge part of “Sunshine & Frosty Swirl.”  From LaGuerta’s office to the creepy looking spaghetti, red was everywhere.  It fit in nice with Dexter’s description of how his urges feel.

*Masuka is getting back to his perverted self.  It was also nice to see them tie-up a loose end, too, when Dexter questioned how the ITK hand went missing.

*I can’t believe I didn’t mention this earlier, but mondo sexual tension between Deb and Dexter this week.  There were at least three lines/situations that had me a bit terrified (with the shower line being the funniest).  I’m not sure if it’s just me, but the writers don’t seem to want to let go of this thread yet.

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