By Mike Horky
Dexter is a show that loves to surprise its audience, as proved by the miraculous comeback from season six that the show managed to pull off in the majority of season seven. Tonight’s episode, "Every Silver Lining" pulled the exact kind of surprise, improving drastically from last week’s premiere, and introducing key plot points that could give us a deeper understanding of Dexter as a character. It also made good use of Evelyn Vogel and brilliantly expanded on the relationship between Deb and Dexter.
But this episode wasn’t all about Dexter and Vogel; Deb gets plenty of time to shine as well. Fresh off of her sting with criminal Andrew Briggs, Deb is trying desperately to find out where he hid his stash of stolen jewelry, so she can get a cut of it from the freelance agency she works for. The good news is she finds the jewelry. The bad news is hired hit man El Sapo finds her, beats her senseless, and takes the jewelry. It could have stopped there, but Deb tracks him down and shoots him point blank in his car. This is pivotal moment for Deb, who’s been emotionally compromised and spiraling out of control ever since she killed LaGuerta last season. She’s irrationally killing people now, and lying about it. When Dexter visits her and asks her about her injuries from her fight with El Sapo, she lies in an attempt to distance herself from Dexter, which is normal; he did influence her to kill LaGuerta. This leads Dexter to find out about her most recent kill through evidence at El Sapo’s crime scene. Deb has suddenly become the one thing Dexter could have never thought of; she’s becoming a killer like him. Her motive for killing El Sapo is non-existent, and Deb is no longer the innocent victim Dexter sought to protect with his serial killer methods. Now she’s the kind of person he’s been stopping for years, and it’s his fault. Dexter exposed Deb to his secret life, convincing her subconsciously that killing those who deserve it is just because holes in the legal system let criminals like El Sapo off easy. In this sense, Dexter has created a monster out of Deb, which is brilliant development for both characters. Dexter now must live with the guilt of turning his sister into a killer and losing the one stable emotional partner he had left in the world. He begins to realize the consequences of his actions, a welcomed element that has been missing in past seasons. Meanwhile, Deb must deal with losing her past self and gaining her new dark passenger, all while losing in Dexter what he is losing in her; someone who understands her. The scenes between Carpenter and Hall are as brilliant this week as they were last week, and Carpenter is definitely shining this season. She plays the emotional wreck that Deb has become with such brutal force, that at times it’s almost unbearable to watch. "Every Silver Lining" manages to answer so many questions, and bring so much character depth to the foreground, making the rest of this season seem very promising. It’s a huge step for Dexter’s persona, and a huge step for what could be his downfall.