Seriable’s Aria Mohtadi reviews Dexter 7.03 “Buck The System”
An infuriated Dexter is backed into a corner with Debra watching his every move. Unable to control his overwhelming urges, he starts having hallucinatory and real outbursts of violence. Later with another monster on the loose, Deb starts to doubt her strategies and rethinks whether she should keep her brother at bay or let him carry out the necessary evil to save lives.
Where were we again?
- Dex reluctantly went into Deb’s two-step house rehab program, yet only managed to abide by one of the rules when he decided to take care of the Louis problem indefinitely but decided not to kill him. Fittingly, Wayne Randall (lover of frosty swirl, killer of girls) set himself as an example, demonstrating the failure of the suppression treatment.
- Isaak the smooth operator arrived at Miami only to kill a possible rat, and get to the bottom of Viktor’s disappearance. Meanwhile, Quinn found himself a new source of information and if appropriate, pleasure.
At the center of the labyrinth
It seems there’s been a while since Dex accepted to live under Deb’s supervision, locked up inside the labyrinth of primal instincts he’s bound to roam. Dex struggles to slay the Speltzer Minotaur at the center of his subconscious maze to satisfy his urges, but when Deb intervenes, she accidentally shreds the thread leading back to reality and they both become trapped within.
With every step Dex feels more trapped, lost and suppressed inside the labyrinth and the more he’s cornered, the more dangerous his passenger becomes. So he begins to experiences hallucinatory daydreams in which he slits people’s throats, even colleagues like Masuka, forcing us to doubt the reliability of Dex’s narration once again. And at one point we, along with Dexter, mistake reality for another imagination when he almost strangles a witness/suspect. Had Deb not stopped the rehab process, would Dex have imagined cutting her throat as well?
“I can’t do anything about Deb, but there’s one irritation I can get rid of.” Of course he gets rid of Louis once and for all, but will a time come when throwing Deb off his shoulder for good becomes a viable option? He tries to convince Deb that there’s value in channeling his instincts, and when Deb’s perception of good/bad finally starts to disintegrate she’s forced to end the treatment. Dex threatened that if Deb didn’t stop meddling in his plans, something bad would happen, and so Speltzer ran away. Escaping the labyrinth came with a price, for both Dex and Deb.
As much as Dexter’s urges seem to control his attitude, they also seem to push Deb into reopening the Speltzer case. Like Dex said, his lizard brain has always been Deb’s secret weapon, yet this time it leads her to a devastating realization. ”I swear I will bring both of us down.”
Dex starts chasing the Minotaur to the core of the maze, waiting for the perfect moment to strike before Ray unleashes the monster on someone innocent. Both Ray and Dex satisfy their thirst for blood by hunting down challenging opponents; while Dex seeks cunning serial killers, Ray overcomes his weakness and self-esteem issues by bludgeoning strong-looking girls. His savage helmet obscures reason and empathy.
How can Deb distinguish the hunter from the monster? Both Dex and Ray gather trophies and channel their urges onto others. Deb and her brother both bring criminals to justice, yet she still can’t see him on the good side although he’s saved her life on many occasions. She believes that on some level Dex “likes” to kill and of course she can’t change who she is. Therefore She has to co-exist with the monster, until she can accept its nature.
(Read further on the symbolism of ‘the Minotaur locked up in a labyrinth’, in “Reflecting beneath the surface”.)