written by Wendy West / directed by John Dahl
I'm loving this season's progress; particularly the way things seem to matter again, as Dexter (Michael C. Hall) and Debra (Jennifer Carpenter) try to reach a mutual understanding. Over the past few years, there's every chance season 7's plots might have slightly dull (with Dexter's voice-over cluing us into whatever hazy theme or token symbolism the writers are reaching for), but this year it's working because the potentially humdrum stalk-n'-kill of femicidal body-builder Speltzer (Matt Gerald) carried significance for the main characters—as he was Dexter's example to prove the legal system's shortcomings (Speltzer walked free on a technicality after confessing). It's therefore only fair and acceptable that someone like Dexter literally takes matters into his own hands, for the ultimate good of innocent would-be victims, right?
Overall, "Run" was another very good episode of a season that's taking shape quickly and confidently; breathing new life into a show that had become a boring joke just last year. Ultimately, it was an episode of compromise and understanding: Deb surprising herself by realising she feels nothing but happiness at the thought Speltzer's been incinerated by her brother, and Dexter deciding to end the most macabre part of his ritual by destroying his blood slide trophies along with Speltzer's body. But is that just a token effort to curb his Dark Passenger for his sister's sake, or a genuine desire to be more clinical if he's going to now be working in conjunction with Deb?
- Deb's dream of taking a literal bloodbath was a little too on-the-nose for my taste, although it worked as a nice reference to Rita's murder scene. Dream-Dexter's offer ("will you be mine?") can be taken a few different ways: as a romantic proposal, knowing that season 6 set-up the idea Deb has sexual feelings for her stepbrother, or a more straightforward offer to help him kill bad guys?
- Will wonders never cease? Angel (David Zayas) has a hunch that the barman's suicide wasn't genuine because it's too neat, and he's absolutely right.
- Hannah (Yvonne Strahovski) made a brief return, but it seems her character's on the back burner for now. She's obviously interested in Dexter romantically, and I still have a suspicion she's going to be a Lila-esque problem further down the line. Maybe someone Deb has to kill to keep her brother's activities a secret?