Still, it's a relief to see Deb (Jennifer Carpenter), one of the show's strongest characters, returning to form. Deb's at her best when keeping a stiff upper lip and hurling as many "fucks" as she can fit into a sentence at whoever has most recently pissed her off. It's nice to be free of the convoluted sub-plot of last season, when an emotionally frail Deb thought she might have romantic feelings for Dexter (Michael C. Hall). Adding shades of incest to a show already rife with lurid violence and other elements both disturbing and confusing was gratuitous, if not downright off-putting. Shit-kicking Deb is back and we're glad to have her.
Dexter's reckoning might still await him, however. Season 7 opens with more than one character invested in his downfall. Creepy department intern Louis (Josh Cooke), whose baser motives were unknown when last we saw him Fed Ex-ing Dexter a severed hand, is creepier — and more determined — than ever. Meanwhile, Captain LaGuerta (Lauren Vélez), in all her watchful, hood-eyed smarminess, has stumbled upon a piece of evidence that might well be Dexter's ruin. Amid Miami Metro's hectic case load — including the sinister dealings of a Ukrainian mob and the re-opening of a 15-year-old case — it seems more than possible that Dexter, already off his game and mentally off-kilter, will make more mistakes. After all, as it's become abundantly clear, he's only human.
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