Dexter Season 7, Episode 4, “Run” Recap
One gripe I’ve always had with this series is that far too often someone will end up on Dexter’s table for the sake of entertainment. Almost like how The Walking Dead would occasionally introduce a random zombie to be killed in season two just to quench the audience’s thirst, Dexter would introduce a nonessential character for Dexter to kill. Usually, this person will be in one episode, maybe two and almost completely be unrelated to the main plot. Dexter would then explain why this person needs to be killed, finds this person, and ultimately kills him or her. While this worked in the first season or two because we were still learning who Dexter was and what his lifestyle was like, these type of episodes lost their value (and entertainment) as the seasons piled up. It was almost like the writers set a body count quota for Dexter and needed to hit it in some way. At his first introduction, I assumed Ray Speltzer would be one of these purposeless kills.
But for once, one of Dexter’s kills unrelated to the main antagonist served a purpose. And a big one, at that. It only took four episodes, but Deb went from disgusted by Dexter’s lifestyle to understanding, if not accepting. She now knows that even if Dexter’s thrill to kill is disturbing, dangerous, and illegal, it is effective in that it saves innocent lives and allows for justice to still be served when the justice fails. And while she may not see it as a natural human feeling like Dexter does, nothing but a first hand experience would sway her this much, and that’s exactly what she got. Speltzer almost killed Deb, killed an innocent woman (who could have been saved had Dexter not been second-guessing his habits and bringing his urges to Deb), and ended up getting released from prison. While it’s difficult not to roll your eyes at the convenience of Speltzer being released from prison, it’s also commendable to see this season attempt to keep its storylines intertwined. Deb attempted to change Dexter, and to some degree she has, but really he is changing her.
Isaak is making a case for the best antagonist since Trinity in season four. While he’s not as creepy and methodical as Trinity, Isaak is every bit as dangerous. He has a a calm confidence about himself that almost makes him seem indestructible. Most of the previous villains have been individuals who kill for the joy of killing or are mentally disturbed in some way. Isaak appears to be much more than a killer and people are dispensable to him, making him feel even more menacing. He still has the upper hand on Dexter and the death of Viktor now looks to be more personal than initially believe. It’s only a matter of time before he blindsides Dexter.