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'Dexter': Season 7 Episode 5 - 'Swim Deep'

October 29th, 2012 2:37pm EDT

Dexter Kind of a slow-moving episode with a lot of story development; if this is your kind of thing, then the fifth episode of the final season of "Dexter" is your kind of episode.

The episode opens with Dexter and his dad on Dexter's boat. Harry (James Remar) is giving his son some fatherly advice, particular to his confessing to Debra. I really like the scenes between Harry and Dexter and wish they were more frequent. There's legit chemistry between these two actors whenever they're together, and the whole father-son relationship is believable. In fact, it's the most believable of all the relationships on the show.

Plus, I think it's an excellent bit of writing, having the father mentoring his serial-killer son. It's upsetting and unfamiliar, which is fiction gold.

While cleaning his boat, Dexter discovers blood and he's quite upset because he doesn't know whose it is, where it came from, or even how long it's been there. He takes a few swabs so he can make a match and discover who was killed aboard his boat, someone he didn't kill.

Debra walks into Maria's office to ask her a routine question and notices the book Lundy always carried while tracking the Bay Harbor Butcher. Maria confides in her that she thinks it's possible he's still alive. I really like this storyline and I hope they develop it. Of course the Bay Harbor Butcher is dead, but the blood slide Dexter left behind when he killed Travis—the M.O. of the Butcher—has Maria convinced he's still alive.

This storyline has Dexter at risk of being discovered, and places Debra in a terrible position because she knows the truth. It's creating great drama and conflict and personally I hope it blows up into something crazy and unbelievable!

Dexter makes the natural discovery that it was Louis who was killed on his boat, and begins to piece together the reason Isaac has taken an interest in him. All this comes to a head when Dexter heads home, only to discover his curtains are open, which means someone has either been in his apartment or is still in there.

Through quite clever means, Dexter smokes out the person who's in his apartment. It's Isaac, who's interested in discovering the whereabouts of Viktor. They have a very chilling phone conversation, leaving us with the knowledge it's going to turn bad, and soon, as in before the episode fades to black.

In a scene that takes place in a parking garage, totally for atmosphere, I was on the edge of my couch because of the high-tension and great conflict that ensued. Dexter has to tell Debra he killed Viktor. She flips her lid because this is a straight vendetta murder, rather than the typical murder he perpetrates; namely those who tend to slip through the cracks of the justice system.

While Dexter is watching the strip club, quickly realizing that Isaac isn't just a hit man but the actual boss, he gets a call telling him that Hannah (Yvonne Strahovski) is at the station to help them put the pieces together for some of the murders she and Randall committed.

She interacts with a piece of evidence in such a way as to suggest to Dexter that she's nostalgic about those days rather than fearful like she should be. He's becoming distrusting of her but can't quite pin it down.

I like this Hannah story, but I'm not certain where it's going. It keeps cropping up in each episode, so it's clear something's being developed, and we do discover something important about her, but still it's quite shielded by the writers at this point. My thought, which is probably way off-base, is that somehow she and Dexter are going to become partners in crime. Guess we'll find out soon enough.

Something else I liked about this episode is all the little pieces of evidence that have surfaced that tie, even circumstantially, Dexter to certain murders. Not only do we get the sense that a noose we can't quite see yet is slowly tightening around his neck, but also because it's drawing Debra in deeper and deeper.

Case in point, Debra and Maria are out talking to the families of some of the Butcher's victims when they discover a box of wedding photos that might have something to do with one of the murders. As Debra is looking through some of them she sees Dexter in one of the shots of the larger wedding crowd. Of course Debra knows she has to get that picture before Maria does.

In the setup for the episode's really big and important scene, Dexter lets Isaac follow him into a very dangerous bar in a very dangerous part of town. Dexter, like the rest of us, believes he's taken Isaac to his death. It's never that easy with a trained hit man, now is it?

When the cops get the call that there's been a multiple homicide at that bar, Dexter is quite surprised to discover plenty of dead bodies, although none is Isaac, who we learn was wounded in the shootout. This means blood spatter belonging to him, which means if they can get a DNA match they can arrest Isaac. Sometimes things work out for the best, right?

Quinn shows up at the strip club while Isaac is having a nasty gash on his arm stitched. Novikov tells Isaac that Quinn is a dirty cop; that they used to leave bags of cash in his car, etc. Once a dirty cop, always a dirty cop, right? Quinn finds a bag of cash in his car as he's leaving the club, which conveniently finds its way into his glove box.

Isaac's DNA match turns into his arrest, which is a huge coup for the police department. He's behind bars and his wounds and presence in the bar are going to be very hard to explain away. Dexter and Isaac chat with each other between prison glass, and Dexter tells him he killed Viktor out of revenge. Isaac swears this isn't over and his patience might actually surprise Dexter.

Not an episode filled with a ton of action, but a very satisfying one, nonetheless. Many stories were advanced, a great deal of on-going tension was created, and Debra is reaching a tipping point with her internal struggles.

Stephanie Caldwell is a writer from Salt Lake City, Utah for CableTV.com. Find more like this on Twitter @cwsteph.

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

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