Dexter—Season 7

dexter season 7 poster review episode guide
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 9/10
Visual: 8/10

Big twists with Deb knowing Dexter's secret

Too many storylines without a strong overall arc


Well Dexter, this is awkward…

Deb (Jennifer Carpenter) knows the big secret of her brother Dexter (Michael C. Hall) and no excuses can help Dexter cover his tracks this time.  Now, Deb must decide what to do with the fact her brother is a serial killer.  Detective Mike Anderson (Billy Brown) is gunned down by a member of the Ukrainian mob, and Dexter’s revenge brings Isaak Sirko (Ray Stevenson) after him for revenge.  Dexter also is suffering a crisis in his love life when he falls for a woman named Hannah McKay (Yvonne Strahovski) who has been accused of murder in the past…but might not be finished with poisoning people.  Dexter’s problems are compounded when Maria LaGuerta (Lauren Vélez) finds evidence that the Bay Harbor Butcher isn’t dead…which puts her on the trail of Dexter.

Dexter—Season 7 aired from September 30, 2012 to December 16, 2012 on Showtime and is the penultimate season of the long running series.  The series and Michael C. Hall in particular continues to be a critical favorite.


Getting closer, LaGuerta…

This season of Dexter starts with the huge sixth season cliffhanger of Deb discovering Dexter killing Travis Marshall.  With this, the show takes a big turn again, and Dexter is now once again forced to question the “why” behind his killer instinct.  Both with Deb trying to “cure” him and Hannah pushing that he has a choice in the killing, the series really starts to dip into if Dexter is really a sociopath or what he is.  Earlier season indicated that he had no sense of empathy…something sociopaths usually can’t do, but for the last few seasons, he has shown general care for people in his life…it could be argued that this isn’t in character, but it does work for compelling TV.


Weird, but pointless…

The season does suffer from a bit of a distracting storyline.  Generally, most seasons have had a one killer theme that takes a twist about midway through.  Here we get Isaak who gets killed with a number of episodes left (plus a weird Saw like Minotaur killer).  The story then tries to insert the phantom arsonist as the thrust, and then the show settles for exploring LaGuerta and Hannah…I prefer some of the earlier seasons with more of a central theme (though I think I prefer this season to Season 6).

The show continues to suffer the problem of characters you don’t care about.  Quinn takes up a large portion of this story with his involvement with a strip club dancer…and it goes nowhere.  Of all the characters that should be knocked off, it should be Quinn who really adds nothing to the plot, and I generally get bored with Quinn scenes when they occur.


Worst…New Year…Ever…

*****Spoiler Alert***** Previously, LaGuerta had been a wasted character.  She rarely had any plots surrounding her and what few plots she did have were rather pointless.  Part of the reason is that in the novels, LaGuerta was killed in Dexter’s first outing.  Here, LaGuerta has had no direction for seasons.  This season made the character interesting again, so in my mind, it was pretty obvious that she was doomed.  It is too bad because I really hate it in these type of shows where a character gets killed for being right and trying to do the right thing.  I know Deb’s loyalty to Dexter would be high, but I don’t know that she’d allow Doakes and his family to believe he was a mass murderer just to protect Dexter…to shoot LaGuerta at the end also doesn’t seem realistic no matter how far Deb has fallen.

It feels like Dexter is wrapping up this season and that things can’t go on forever.  As the danger grows, I can’t imagine that he cannot “get away clean” forever.  It already was quite an unrealistic show in that everyone in the show are good detective and couldn’t find any links to Dexter who rarely wears a mask and doesn’t even use gloves all the time…simply going into the hotel to kill Isaak should have been picked up on cameras.  I can suspend belief for the story, but I think I’m glad that the next season is the final season for a good show which is getting close to running its course.

Dexter—Season 7 Complete Episode Guide:


“Are You…?”

7.1       Are You…? Airdate:  09/30/12

Deb (Jennifer Carpenter) has caught Dexter (Michael C. Hall) red-handed as he kills Travis Marshall, and Dexter must go into spin-mode to cover his tracks.  As he tries to convince Deb that it was a momentary break from reality, Deb and Dexter learn that Detective Mike Anderson (Billy Brown) has been killed in the line of duty.  Dexter continues to butt heads with Louis Greene (Josh Cooke) as Greene begins to insinuate himself more into Dexter’s life.  Meanwhile, Maria LaGuerta (Lauren Vélez) finds Dexter’s blood slide at the Marshall crime scene that could exonerate James Doakes from being the Bay Harbor Butcher.  Dexter tracks down the killer of Anderson and discovers he has ties to the Ukrainian mafia.  As Deb begins to make connection to the Ice Truck Killer, Dexter’s tricks may be up.


“Sunshine and Frosty Swirl”

7.2       Sunshine and Frosty Swirl Airdate:  10/07/12

Dexter has come clean to Deb about his Dark Passenger, and Deb is out to fix him.  Telling Dexter that she’s going to watch his every minute, Dexter must find ways around Deb when he discovers Louis is the one who has been playing with him.  LaGuerta continues her quest to discover the origin of the blood slide and looks into the files of the Bay Harbor Butcher.  Joey Quinn (Desmond Harrington) and Angel Batista (David Zayas) continue to investigate the Anderson’s death which forces the leader of the Ukraine group Isaak Sirko (Ray Stevenson) to come to Miami and ends up landing Quinn a dancer named Nadia (Katia Winter).  A talk with a serial killer leading police to missing bodies makes Dexter question if change is possible and forces him decide what to do with Louis.


“Buck the System”

7.3       Buck the System Airdate:  10/14/12

Dexter tries to convince Deb that his actions are right as he tracks a killer named Ray Speltzer (Matt Gerald).  With no evidence against him, Dexter tries to convince Dexter that killing before the crime will save lives.  Quinn continues to grow close to Nadia, and Nadia reveals her bosses double-dealings.  Researching the past murders of a serial killer, Dexter meets Hannah McKay (Yvonne Strahovski) and learns she once ran with the killer. Isaak searches for the bracelet of the dead prostitute which could give police the link to their drug trade and tracks the bracelet to Dexter’s boat…and Louis.  Deb’s attempt to go by the book on Ray Speltzer could put her in danger.



7.4       Run Airdate:  10/21/12

Deb questions Dexter about his relationship with Trinity and if Dexter really loved Rita.  Speltzer is brought in and the police try to get evidence on him.  Isaak finds he can’t move his supply and decides to set-up one of his employees to get the blame for Anderson’s death.  When Speltzer is released due to a technicality, Dexter finds he might get his chance at Speltzer.  Dexter is captured by Speltzer, and he finds himself in Speltzer’s death maze fighting for his life.


“Swim Deep”

7.5       Swim Deep Airdate 10/28/12

Deb has come to accept Dexter through Speltzer’s death, but Isaak is still gunning for Dexter.  When Dexter discovers blood from Louis’s murder on his boat, Dexter learns that someone might be coming for him.  Vince Masuka (C.S. Lee) finds that LaGuerta is using an outside lab on the slide, and Deb finds Dexter could be in trouble when she learns LaGuerta is after the Bay Harbor Butcher.  Dexter learns about Isaak, and Isaak warns Dexter that he’s going after everyone Dexter knows.  Dexter and Batista continue to investigate Hannah’s former accomplice and finds himself attracted to her when he learns she was a killer.  Dexter’s plan to eliminate Isaak backfires and leads to Isaak’s arrest.  Quinn’s past as a dirty cop could come back to haunt him.  Deb has to go against Batista to help Dexter, and Deb makes a decision about her relationship with Dexter.


“Do the Wrong Thing”

7.6       Do the Wrong Thing Airdate:  11/04/12

Dexter stakes out Hannah for the murder of her husband and debates killing her.  Dexter learns that true-crime novelist Sal Price (Santiago Cabrera) is investigating the new murders tied to Hannah McKay and tries to get the evidence.  Isaak orders his men to get him out of jail, but the situation is complicated when Quinn refuses the buyout.  Deb and Sal go out where Deb learns    Sal’s theory, and Dexter and Hannah have a date of their own…which could have an unexpected ending for Hannah.



7.7       Chemistry Airdate:  11/11/12

Dexter’s decision to sleep with Hannah has ramifications when Sal Price catches him with her.  Quinn theft of Isaak’s blood work means that Isaak goes free…and Batista suspects Quinn.  Dexter works to set-up Sal while working with Hannah…but Hannah might have plans of her own.  LaGuarta’s investigation gets a lead.  Isaak decides he’s staying in Miami until he deals with Dexter.  Deb comes to Dexter with a proposition that forces Dexter into a corner.



7.8       Argentina Airdate:  11/18/12

Dexter tries to deal with Deb’s request for him to kill Hannah McKay but finds himself the target of Isaak.  Batista uses the money from Quinn to get his restaurant and opens it for business.  Dexter finds that Harrison (Evan George Kruntchev), Astor (Christina Robinson), and Cody (Preston Bailey) are coming to visit and tries to eliminate the threat of Isaak whose own men are gunning for him.  Quinn finds himself in the pocket of George Novikov (Jason Gedrick) and forced to work on bringing in the drugs.  Deb finds out about Dexter’s relationship with Hannah and reveals her feelings for Dexter.  Hannah suggests getting know Isaak is the key to killing him, and Dexter makes a discovery about Isaak that he didn’t expect.



“Helter Skelter”

7.9       Helter Skelter Airdate:  11/25/12

Dexter spends time with Hannah but finds Isaak has inserted himself into his life when Isaak reveals he’s being targeted for death.  Dexter’s refusal to help Isaak leads to Isaak kidnapping Hannah…forcing Dexter to help him kill the men after him.  A new serial killer surfaces in Miami, and the squad searches for a man who kills his victims with fire.  LaGuerta continues her search for the true Bay Harbor Butcher and is forced to seek an alliance with an old enemy in Tom Matthews (Geoff Pierson).  Quinn refuses to continue to work for George Novikov, and Novikov decides to take the Isaak situation into his own hands.


“The Dark… Whatever”

7.10     The Dark… Whatever Airdate:  12/02/12

The search for the arsonist nicknamed “phantom arsonist” is heating up and Dexter’s leads might force him to compromise his promise with Deb on taking jobs from the department.  Hannah’s life is complicated when her father Clint (Jim Beaver) returns and demands a payout or threatens to reveal secrets to the police about Hannah’s past.  LaGuerta and Matthews dive into the history of the Bay Harbor Butcher and find that their prime suspect might be Dexter.  Quinn and Novikov have a final showdown over Nadia which could lead to Nadia’s freedom.  When Dexter is faced with Hannah’s father, he learns a new truth about his “Dark Passenger”.

"Do You See What I See?"

“Do You See What I See?”

7.11     Do You See What I See? Airdate:  12/09/12

Christmas is coming and Dexter is about to get a present:  Hector Estrada (Nestor Serrano), the last of his mother’s killers, is about to be released from jail on parole.  As Dexter sets out for final vengeance for his mother, he also considers a future with Hannah.  Quinn discovers providing Nadia with freedom doesn’t lead to the result he expected.  Matthews clues Dexter in on LaGuerta’s investigation, and Dexter and Deb must make a tough choice to get LaGuerta off his tail.  When Deb has an accident during her investigation of Hannah, Dexter questions what the truth is.  Dexter’s decision to take out Estrada could have unexpected ramifications.


“Surprise, Motherfucker!”

7.12     Surprise, Motherfucker! Airdate:  12/16/12

LaGuerta makes her move on Dexter, but Dexter is able to turn the tables on her.  As Dexter hunts the escaped Estrada, Hannah faces her day in court…but an intervention from her friend could change her future.  Dexter recalls his past with Doakes (Erik King) and how he got into the mess of being Doakes’ suspect.  Batista throws a retirement/New Year’s Eve Party with the hopes that Dexter and LaGuerta can make amends…but Dexter realizes that something must be done to stop LaGuerta when he finds her intentions.

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Related Links:

Dexter—Season 5 Review & Complete Episode Guide

Dexter—Season 6 Review & Complete Episode Guide

Dexter—Season 8 Review & Complete Episode Guide


Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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