‘Dexter’ Recap: What’s Love Got to Do With It?

ALTAh, love: what a tricky, complicated, sometimes inconvenient emotion. Love always seems to pop up when you least expect it, and love was on everyone‘s mind in tonight’s new episode of Dexter. Love, home, relationships: the things that even the most logical brain cannot decode.

Lots of things happened in tonight’s episode, mostly in the way that people related to each other (or how their feelings have changed). So let’s break this episode down, relationship-style.

Deb and Dexter:

Let’s get right down to the worst of it: Deb has finally done the unthinkable and professed her love to Dexter. Yep. It happened. The one plotline we all hoped would die in a fire has risen from the ashes (of Travis Marshall! ew) in the most uncomfortable of ways. As you may recall, the night prior, Dexter got a call he never expected: Deb wanted him…to kill. And not just anyone—the one woman Dexter seems to maybe actually love: Hannah McKay.

First, Dexter says no and explains it as being for Deb’s own good. She’s caught up in the moment! She doesn’t actually want Dexter to kill someone on her behalf! There’s no definitive evidence that proves Hannah killed Sal Price! But she said she didn’t want to get involved! Let it go, he says. “That’s why I can’t let you take it any further, for your own good.” It feels genuine, but is it?

Later that evening, though, Dexter’s relationship with Hannah is made known to Deb, and well? S**t hits the fan, y’all. Deb, emotionally broken from all the no-good, terrible, very bad things she’s had to experience (seriously, will this woman ever catch a break?), starts sobbing. Because Dexter’s hurt her. And because Dexter was supposed to always be hers. It was bad enough to find out he was a serial killer, but for his heart to belong to someone else? It’s just too much for her to handle.

“Is it because she’s a serial killer? Does that turn you on?” Deb asks, sounding more like an insecure teenager than a Lieutenant at Miami Metro. “Every time I think I know exactly who you are, you tell me something worse.” “Being with Hannah is worse than being a killer?” “Yes! …No, I don’t—I know you’re not going to stop killing, you made that very clear, but you can stop seeing her.” And then, it happens.

“If you love me, you’ll accept this,” Dexter states. “If I love you? If I love you?! I went to the church that night you killed Travis Marshall to tell you I’m IN love with you!” Deb declares between sobs. And Dexter, with his ever-logical lizard brain, can’t seem to comprehend it. “You’re…in love with me?” “Was. …I don’t even know if I f**king like you,” she laughs in that I’ve-really-lost-it sort of way. “I know it’s weird and it’s gross and it’s f**ked up, and I know you don’t feel the same. I mean, I don’t even know if I feel the same. It’s one thing to be in love with your brother…but it’s a whole ‘nother goddamn f**king level to be in love with your brother who’s also a serial killer. You’re a serial killer and I’m more f**ked up than you are!”

Poor Deb. She’s just so…lost. And her current situations aren’t helping her one bit.

That said, can we all have a moment for what was, arguably, some of Jennifer Carpenter‘s best acting on the show? Her breakdown with Dexter was painful, and played in such a fantastic way—even if you were uncomfortable (and let’s face it: we were all uncomfortable), Carpenter still brought a frenetic emotional wallop to the scene that was necessary for it to play out. There was love, embarrassment, terror, and partial disgust in every word she uttered. Perhaps it was her previous real-life marriage/divorce/general relationship with Michael C. Hall that made her capable of such a wonderfully painful breakdown, but either way, she did the scene a great justice just by how she played it. This season has been majorly about Deb, and this episode showed her hitting it out of the park.

Dexter and Hannah:

“Does Hannah fit into my family?” Dexter muses while admiring pictures of his own. It’s the question that’s at the core of that one—love—that the two serial killers seem to dance around the entire episode. Their bond is obvious, that much is true. Plus they can’t keep their hands off each other and we all know Dexter has never been into all that physical connection stuff, anyway. (Lord, remember how awkward it was for him to have sex with Rita?)

But their ability to be so open with each other—so unafraid of who they are, so frank—catches them both off-guard. You’ll remember in last week’s episode when Hannah remarks about their “looking out for each other” and how it was “huge” for “people like them. Maybe even historic.” Well, this week that trend continues. Hannah lets Dexter borrow her van to track his next (hopeful) victim, Isaak Sirko. Dexter refuses to kill Hannah: the connection between these two is as intense as we’ve ever seen for our favorite murder person. And even though they both know the other could (and maybe eventually will?) kill the other one at a moment’s notice, their feelings for each other trump all of that. Is it love? It sure seems headed that way. “Is this crazy? just you and me, sitting here, eating breakfast?” Hannah asks, still unsure. And is it? It sure seems so from an outsider’s perspective, but seeing the two together: can they save each other from their ways? Or will they bring each other down? Dexter’s definitely been more erratic and unstable since he first met Hannah…but he’s also killed a lot less people this season, too. Is this because he keeps getting thwarted, or because he’s too busy focusing on salvaging his relationship with his sister and building a new one with Hannah?

Isaak and Dexter:

It seems appropriate that Dexter learns all about the ways of love from the man that’s trying to murder him. There’s a sense of respect they have for each other: knowing that they both must do what they have to do, even though someone’s plans will fail in the end. Dexter finally hears the truth about Viktor and Isaak’s relationship (in a gay bar, natch), and learns that love is anything but logical. Maybe that’s why his brain cannot comprehend it and in turn, figure out what it means for the relationships in his life. Isaak, on the other hand, knows all too well what love is, and it’s the one thing that the Koshka Brotherhood could not give him. So when George and the brotherhood decide that Isaak is more of a liability than he’s worth, the wheels start coming off the train. A hitman is sent (and then murdered by Dexter, natch), and Isaak realizes that his life as he knew it, is over. He thought his love of another man was the only thing that could make them turn on him, when really, the bond between mafia and mafia-man was far less secure.

“You took from me the one thing that money and power can’t buy back.” “That’s how love is. It’s a powerful weapon. Can work for us or against it, can’t it? … That’s because you’re a scientist. Love defies reason. … Logically, Viktor and I shouldn’t have been together. … I suppose the heart knows something that we just don’t know. Love can be inconvenient, perhaps inappropriate. It can be dangerous, make us do things we wouldn’t dream of doing,” Isaak waxes, philosophically. “We’re outsiders, you and I. On the periphery. Watching everybody else, pretending we’re just like them, but we know we know we’re not. Best thing we can hope for is to find a place where we don’t have to pretend. It’s a shame really: under different circumstances I think we could’ve been great friends.”

Quinn and Nadia:

These two lovebirds are getting serious. And Quinn is seriously putting his work in jeopardy by trying to save Nadia. Turns out George recorded the conversation he had with Quinn about making the blood evidence that pinned Sirko to the bar crime disappear. So now, Quinn is a bought man. This is one relationship that won’t end anytime soon: the Koshkas now own Quinn. So, of course, he has to sit and make sure that their cocaine delivery gets through with no legal issue. Quinn is a dirty cop once more. Hope that Nadia chick is worth it? She’s so one-dimensional it’s hard to believe.

Dexter and Astor, Cody, and Harrison:

That’s right! Harrison’s forgotten siblings are back! And older. Astor smokes pot now! What a ~deviant~! There’s talk of Rita, and how the kids miss her. Astor admits to Dexter that Orlando doesn’t feel like home—but neither does Miami. Dexter never feels at home because he’s mentally incapable of feeling anything about any place/thing/one.

Dexter and LaGuerta:

Remember when LaGuerta had a crush on Dexter? Well now that she’s pretty much realized that he’s the actual Bay Harbor Butcher, that is one relationship that is definitely no more. After discovering when Dexter moved boat slips (right after the discovery of the Bay Harbor Butcher bodies), and seeing the “Slice of Life” in all its glory, LaGuerta knows the truth. This better be further explored in the next episode, in a BIG way.

In the end, other people are the one factor that logic and reason cannot explain. And in the end, they’ll (probably) be the reason for Dexter’s demise. Not being able to account for the things that aren’t logical (and yes, Dexter, there are many things that people do that aren’t logical. Sort of like…killing people for funsies!) is the ultimate blind spot. What’s love got to do with it? Everything.

What’d you think of this week’s episode? Let us know in the comments!

[Photo Credit: Showtime]

Follow Alicia on Twitter @alicialutes


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