Seriable’s Aria Mohtadi reviews Dexter 7.04 “Run”
Thread in hand, Dexter navigates through the maze of self-discovery, at the core of which lies a Minotaur embodying all the right and wrong reasons he needs to unleash the dark passenger. Debra holds onto the other end, hoping that she can somehow make sense of her brother’s demons. In the end, who comes out enlightened?
Where were we again?
- Through Speltzer, another monster on the loose, Dex sought to convince Deb that there’s good in his killings. Well, he managed to get her almost hunted and traumatized for one thing and make her end the not-so-efficient 2-step rehab program.
- Isaak and his gang tracked the signal in Kaja’s bracelet and it led them to Louis. Isaak killed the poor nerd and learned about Dexter.
- Dex met Wayne’s sidekick, Hannah; an awkward encounter which could lead to a different relationship for our lonesome lab geek.
Slay the inner beast
The episode continues the unresolved case of last week (and it hits the right notes), as Dex challenges Ray Speltzer -Miami’s Minotaur– when the killer falls through the system cracks and Deb can no longer bring him to justice on her own. Last week we discussed how the Labyrinth metaphor and the story of Theseus fits into Dex and Deb’s current situation, and how one needs to overcome his/her demons inside such foundation. So, unhappy with Deb’s take on the point of pursuing Speltzer and not accepting her brother for “who he is”, Dex strikes him again, this time improvising a bit.
Having failed to bust him in the first encounter, Dex kneels at Speltzer’s altar inside the mausoleum, and with the help of Deb, he vows to bring him down. But it’s Deb’s symbolic hallucinatory bathtub dream that actually sets the plan in motion, while forging Ariadne’s thread out of her overwhelming guilt and Dex’s desire to open her eyes to his reality.
In the vision, Deb lies in a bloodbath, like the late Rita, as if dying and resurrecting through Dex’s partnership proposal: “Will you be mine?” conveying all the senses in the sentence. Deb’s too horrified to see things through Dex’s eyes so later she begins questioning Dex’s methods, that his selfishness and carelessness led to Rita’s death and how it will all eventually harm Harrison. But Dexter’s too self-centered to see things clearly as he believes everything is in his control when just a while ago Travis Marshall almost sacrificed his little son. In their mutual struggle to avoid being overwhelmed by each other’s logic, Dex and Deb find clarity, with Speltzer serving as the goal that binds the illuminating thread…but it takes more than one strike to bring this monster down…so here we go:
Round 1: The mental play
Dex lets Deb handle the first strike as she and Batista try to break Ray by playing good/bad cop. Having had the pleasure of being targeted by a few serial killers, Deb makes a great character analysis of Speltzer: A psychopath who even though was repulsed and traumatized by memories of his mother sleeping with other men, pictured himself as the enforcer and liked the sensation. Therefore he seeks to smash strong and beautiful opponents who somehow shatter the image of his mother. We can also draw parallels between Ray’s mother and the Minotaur’s, Pasiphae, who was cursed to indulge in bestiality with a bull.
Round 2: Underestimating the beast
But Ray’s lawyers manage to throw off the confession, and this is the point when Dex gains the upper hand in the argument about criminals escaping justice. So Dex goes ahead with his plan to kill Speltzer in his RV. Deb criticizes his selfishness the night before, how he attracts danger and death like a blood magnet and that someone (Deb) needs to protect his son from the man who protects him. (Of Breaking Bad crossovers, there are 3 in this paragraph alone.). Deb’s right of course, because as we know, Isaak is just waiting for the right moment to assault Dexter. Somehow Dex wants to prevent Harrison from becoming another monster (both father and son having been born again in their mothers’ blood) and so his pride shatters reason when he believes he’s in control of everything. Dex underestimates Ray’s physical advantage (he’s the bloody Minotaur after all!) and loses the round…