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'Dexter' Ratchets Up The Tension

October 22nd, 2012 2:20pm EDT

Dexter The fourth episode of the final season of Showtime's "Dexter" turned up the flame under the pot that has been on the verge of boiling over since the end of last season.

The episode starts with the aftermath of last week's story involving serial rapist and murder Ray Speltzer (Matt Gerald). Human nature is a funny thing. Dexter is talking to himself about the fact that if he'd taken out Speltzer when he wanted to it would have prevented yet another senseless murder. He mentions that Debra accepts this as fact, and she does.

I'm glad they addressed this issue in a real-world way. Whether or not she agrees with Dexter's methods, she can't deny the fact that, at least in this instance, there would have been a positive gain from his death. This is how we humans operate. It's hard to be too upset when a bad guy gets taken out, even if it's at the hands of our own brother.

Speltzer has been located after bolting from the "maze" house last week, and is sitting in an interrogation room. Battista and Debra play a little "set him up, tear him down," and it works like a charm. If I have one minor complaint about this particular episode, it's this scene.

Within just a couple of minutes of bringing up things about his mother, they have this serial killer rattled so badly he actually confesses to at least one murder. Sure, they need the confession to move the story along, but it all happened so easily, so quickly, it felt like a bit of dishonesty from the writers. Like I said, a small complaint to be sure, and certainly not a deal-breaker for this episode. I just wanted to get it off my chest.

Meanwhile, back at the strip club, George and Isaac have taken a real interest in Dexter. They're starting to piece together that Dexter took out Viktor. The rest of the police department don't even know he's dead. Through the window in George's office we see several cops, led by Quinn and Battista, march into the strip club for more harassment.

The writing here is tight and a little gut wrenching. It's always refreshing when bad guys are treated like bad guys.

Just as the cops are creating a ruckus in the club, Isaac comes up with a plan to end all the harassment and possibly draw out Dexter. I won't give too much away, but it involves the club's bartender Alex Dubrozny (Ludwig Manukian) taking the fall for Mike Anderson's murder in the first episode of this season, and relies on the fact that bad guys are sometimes truly despicable and have little regard for human life.

Wayne Randall's accomplice Hannah McKay (Yvonne Strahovski) shows up at the Miami police station to speak with Dexter. She's there to offer assistance in finding some of Randall's additional murder victims. There's definitely some chemistry between Dexter and Hannah, and she asks him about some of the last words he said before he stepped in front of a very large, very fast truck.

It might just be me, but there's something about her that seems a little too good to be true. She was a minor when she and Randall got busted, and as a result only spent a few years in juvenile detention. I think she's never fully repented or felt remorse over her actions and is somehow using Dexter for some yet-unknown end.

In a classic twist of easy confessions (perhaps this was a way for writers to apologize for the easy confession they extracted earlier), Speltzer is released and his confession tossed out by a judge after video surfaces of him being hit over the head during his struggle while the cops are trying to arrest him. His lawyer argued that he may have been confused and didn't understand his Miranda Rights as he never answered yes as to whether or not he understood his rights.

Sure, it's a technicality, but this is often the way confessions and other police procedures are treated in real life. There's nothing the cops can do about his release and tossed confession. It's a good thing Dexter is only sorta a cop, right?

The hunt is on. Dexter is on the trail of Speltzer and finds him in a likely place: back at work at the cemetery. While Speltzer works digging another grave, Dexter visits his onsite trailer, looking for clues. Oops! Speltzer surprises him and a fight ensues.

In what we expect to happen, but are disappointed in the least with it actually happening, Dexter wakes up in what we know is a maze created by Speltzer. It's serious this time and if he's not careful he's going to get killed. The note with the word 'RUN' written on it was a great touch. My adrenaline was immediately on high alert.

Dexter manages to escape, knowing full well he wasn't quite prepared to kill Speltzer, particularly in a place foreign and unknown to him. He utters some words about making sure when he kills Speltzer he's got nothing left to lose, prompting him to send his son to Orlando to visit his grandparents for a few weeks.

Wrapping up the story of Alex the bartender taking the fall for Anderson's murder, it's all too pat for Battista. His cop hackles are standing at attention, and he wants to do some more poking around the strip clubs.

Personally, I'm glad they're not ready to end this particular storyline. The addition of the Ukrainian mobsters and their brotherhood is very interesting, and could ultimately play an important role right down to the final minutes of the final episode.

It's not really a spoiler to tell you that Dexter hunts down Speltzer and kills him. The method I'll leave for you to find out. In the final scenes there's a note with the word 'STAY' written on it. I love when writers choose to bookend little details like this. It's sharp writing and definitely pleasing to fans who pay attention to the details.

This episode, titled "Run," is high-action and high-tension throughout. It advances the relationship between Dexter and Debra, and throws a few more wrenches into other ongoing stories. Best episode since the season opener.

Stephanie Caldwell is getting suspicious of this Hannah character! Stephanie is a writer from Salt Lake City, Utah who writes for CableTV.com. See more on Twitter @cwsteph.

Related: Dexter, Starpulse Exclusives, Recaps, Television, Drama, TV Networks, Showtime

Photo Credits: CBS/Showtime

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