Review: Dexter - “Helter Skelter”/”My Dark… Whatever”

Review: Dexter - “Helter Skelter”/”My Dark… Whatever”

Season 7, Episode 9 & 10 - Isaak meets his end and Dexter faces an existential crisis.

As we move into this two-block Dexter episode review (sorry, I missed last week so you get two at once), Dexter and Isaak are preparing for a showdown, Deborah has let Dexter know that she wants to jump his bones, Quinn is in hot water because of his dealings with the Russian mob and LaGuerta is still tracking down the clues to find out who the real Bay Harbor Butcher is.  Isaak, for his part, is out of jail and ready to go, though it doesn’t end well for him.


Isaak has gone rogue from his Russian buddies, so they end up sending a few assassins his way.  He decides that the best way to deal with them is to make a deal with Dexter.  In exchange for taking them out, Isaak will call off his hunt and leave Dex in peace. 

Dex wants nothing to do with it at first, but when his girlfriend Hannah is kidnapped, he goes along with Isaak’s plan.  It’s a pretty straight shot from there and Dex manages to take out both of the killers with little trouble.  Unfortunately, the strip-club owning rival of Isaak, George Novikov, catches up with them and puts a bullet in Isaak’s gut.  After a brief heart-to-heart, Dex dumps the dead mobster’s body into the bay.

Meanwhile, Hannah tries to escape from her captor but ends up getting herself stabbed.  As she lay dying, Deborah’s keen detective work leads her to the house where she’s at in the nick of time.  Despite her dislike for her brother’s murdering girlfriend, Deb saves her.  Still, this does little to alleviate the hatred that Deb has and she continues to try and figure out a way to get Hannah tossed in jail for her poisoning habits.

After Isaak is out of the way, Dex has to find someone else to kill.  Luckily for him, there’s an arsonist serial killer in town, burning up people in public places.  Dex figures out who he is, but actually sticks to the promise he made to Deb about not interfering in her cases.  He’s close to putting the knife to the arsonist, but eventually lets his sister do what she does best.

But this restraint isn’t doing our favorite serial killer any good.  He still has the urge that needs to be fulfilled.  As if by magic, Hannah’s abusive father shows up, playing at making peace but really there to blackmail his daughter.  It turns out he has information on one of Hannah’s earlier killings, including the name of a witness who could pin it on her.  He demands big money from Dex and Hannah but Dex isn’t playing ball.  Instead, despite his lady’s protestations, he drags the father off and puts a knife in him.

In the meanwhile, Quinn gets into more trouble when he gets into an argument with George.  First he puts his fists into George’s face and later a bullet into his chest.  Lucky for him, Angel is around and heard the altercation.  Despite some misgivings about the details of the situation, Angel backs his partner up.  Whether Quinn will be facing the wrath of more Russian mobsters or end up in jail remains to be seen.

LaGuerta is tracking down more clues and getting closer every day, but still lacks any evidence to suggest that Dexter is the man behind so many killings.  She looks for help in the form of her former boss who, despite not liking her one bit, offers some sound advice.  This story arc is boiling slowly, though I’m guessing we’ll see it’s conclusion by (or at) season’s end, possibly even as the lead-in for what will happen in the eighth and final season.

Perhaps the biggest element of these episodes, and Episode 10 in particular, is that Dex is changing from the code-driven, controlled serial killer to a more chaotic and whim-driven murderer.  He breaks his code by killing Hannah’s father, simply to protect her.  He gives up on the concept of his “dark passenger”, admitting to himself that there is nothing driving him to kill - that it’s only him and his urges.  He’s becoming less and less a force for vigilante justice and more of the type of serial killer that everyday people fear.                                                

As the last two episodes loom near, Quinn, Dexter and Hannah are all getting into hot water.  There is something hanging over each of their heads that isn’t likely to end well.  Dexter will no doubt have to make a decision about saving Hannah from his sister and another about whether LaGuerta makes a viable target to prevent her from bringing him in.  I’m wondering whether they’ll sacrifice Hannah at the end of the season to save Dexter or whether the writers will try to keep her around for season 8.

Tune in again next week for yet another Dexter review.  Only two more episodes, so it’s about ready to hit the fan and get serious.