Dexter "Do the Wrong Thing" Review: Double Date

By Cory Barker

Nov 05, 2012

Dexter S7E06: “Do the Wrong Thing”

I don’t know about this.

We’ve reached the halfway mark of Dexter’s seventh season, and “Do the Wrong Thing” felt like a true pivot point. While the first portion of this season has focused almost exclusively on the aftermath of Deb learning the truth about Dexter’s extracurricular activities, the events of this episode, and the path it paves for future episodes, suggest that the second half is going to be much more interested in Dexter’s relationship with the mysterious, likely demented Hannah McKay.

So, I’ll repeat: I don’t know about this.

Don’t get me wrong, I think the story with Dexter and Hannah is damn compelling. I’ve consistently lauded the chemistry between Yvonne Strahovski and Michael C. Hall—both are doing great work—and the show has always been intrigued with having Dexter find someone who he can share his true self with. He thought Lumen could be that person, and heck, at times he's even found (temporary) comfort in his relationships with some of the Big Bads he's gone on to kill. With Deb deciding that she doesn’t want anything to do with Dexter’s real identity and simultaneously suffocating him and giving him the cold shoulder, he probably feels particularly stymied and frustrated. So yeah, it does make a good amount of sense that Dexter would, after investigating and stalking Hannah with the intention of killing her, decide to have sex with her instead. He has needs, after all.

Still though, I’m concerned about what this episode and this story mean for Deb’s centrality to the main story. She’s not going to be completely swept away in stupid B- and C-plots because the knowledge she has isn’t going away—no matter how much she wants it to. But more so than any other episode this season, “Do the Wrong Thing” felt like an old, mediocre Dexter episode. I said this last week as well; it’s curious to me that the first four episodes of the season were so chock-full of Deb-and-Dexter tension, and the last two have lacked it and been much more familiar.

Whereas before all the supporting characters were mostly sidelined, the last two episodes have begun pushing them further and further into the spotlight. Just in case you weren’t getting your Batista fix, he randomly decided in this episode that he wanted to retire and buy a crappy restaurant, a plot that was both dumb and completely unrelated to anything else that was happening. The good news is that it allowed Batista and Jamie to have a conversation where she got to do that TV character thing where someone says, “You’re my [enter sibling relationship] and I love you, but...” I enjoyed that so much, and it was probably useful in this case because Jamie’s such a non-entity that some fans probably forgot she was Batista’s sister.

Meanwhile, Quinn was doing his Quinn thing, i.e. making bad decisions. Desmond Harrington is kind of decent in this role and I can at least appreciate that Quinn taking money from the Ukrainian cartel is associated with an important season story. However, there’s nothing redeemable about Harrington having to deliver earnest lines about rediscovering Quinn’s crooked nature so that he can save a hooker from being shipped off to Dubai. It’s just not good.

But not everything is similarly bad. Deb dating the new character, crime writer Sal Price, is beyond cliché, but like the Quinn story, it's at least connected to important goings-on. Price has information about Hannah’s involvement with those past murders, which of course is going to lead to Deb learning that Dexter lied to her once again. Santiago Cabrera is pretty stiff and Jennifer Carpenter carried their scenes together (shocker), so I’m not particularly looking forward to a few more episodes of Sal popping up and Deb having to lie to him. The story will probably result in more good material for Carpenter and Deb, but there’s never been much value in Deb dating stories.

Have I mentioned that I don’t know about this?

There were lots of things to like about this episode, particularly the performances from the major players. And based on how Dexter typically moves, I can already imagine the final few episodes of the season, with an exasperated Deb having to manage her feelings for and knowledge about her brother while attempting to do her job and take care of Hannah. And it will be different once she figures out that Dexter isn’t just “taking care of” the ones who slip through the cracks, he’s now forging evidence, covering things up, and keeping a bad person alive. At that point, the show will be able to return to the ideological differences between the Morgan siblings, as well as force Dexter to make a choice between Hannah and Deb.

The problem is, we presumably still have a handful of episodes left before all that comes crashing down. We’ve reached that middle part of the season where Dexter often gets distracted by silly and worthless stories starring its lifeless supporting characters. The last two episodes have started to point Season 7 in that familiar direction. And while neither this episode nor last week’s offering were as bad as similar moments in past seasons, I was hoping that the writers had figured out how to avoid that lull that the show almost always falls victim to.

I’m hoping that Hall and Strahovski’s chemistry will be enough to power the show through the bumpy spots I’m predicting. And maybe I’ll just be wrong and Dexter will expedite the stories that I'm assuming won’t progress until later. The show is still going strong, but I hope this is as weak as it gets.


NOTES


– Isaac in prison was fine. I like that the character is still hanging around and that the show is taking a different approach to the season-long villain’s trajectory. It still feels like that story is going to take a while to develop, though.

– That blood-splatter flower was pretty cool looking, right?

– Masuka ratting out Batista for thinking about retiring was amusing. That guy can’t shut up.


  • Comments (88)
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  • ChrisODriscol Feb 04, 2014

    That's not the usual thing he is stabbing into someone when they are on his killing table.

  • Draconax Nov 13, 2012

    After being "spoiled" on facebook by the killing room scene, with hannah taped down, I was very saddened. I really felt as though there was too much chemistry between Hall and Strahovsky to let it simply fall to another "murder of the week" type deal. I knew Dexter had feelings for her, and to let it go simply to let him kill her would have been a weak ending to the affair. Once he cut her loose, I knew I was right. I've always enjoyed Dexter most when he's with other killers (his brother, the DA (whatever his fuckin name was) Trinity, Lumen), it brings out the deepest parts of his character. I'm anxious to see where this story takes us.

  • kok_warlock Nov 08, 2012

    Even tho it can lead to another awful ending, I really liked to see Dex and Hannah together, about the rest of the cast, I don't' have anything more mature to say, except, Meh...



    Kinda disappointed, that even Deb is throwing some dirty looks, it's all business as usual between her and Dex, and is even dating again, how do you get over your sibling is a serial killer!?!?



    Btw, Santiago Cabrera, is an awful actor to say the least, I just can't forgot about that ultra crappy and very expensive 'Rome' series he made, where he butchered one of my favorite characters in history, Augustus Caesar.



    About the rest of the cast, well, they just seem to take valuable screen time, this show has always relied heavily in Dexter and even more on the actor, it's the (much needed) ending, the final season, let him show all his considerable acting skills, it's what makes this show the best.

  • TypeB Nov 07, 2012

    I found Dexter's actual blood spatter report was amusing with a couple of spelling errors. I think I might have OCD for noticing that. :/ But trouble with spelling wasn't a part of the image of Dexter in my mind.



    Not sure if Debra doesn't have feelings for her brother anymore entirely. She seemed awkward around a topless Dexter in that icky motel room from the previous episode.

  • Ubercolt Nov 08, 2012

    I have a theory: the writers from seasons 3, 5 and 6 were commissioned to write the blood-spatter report.

  • pretzilm Nov 07, 2012

    I knew right from the start that Yvonne Strahovski would get her kit off at some point, but I was a bit annoyed that she didn't go full on "Scuse my tuts" like Jaime Murray as Lila did in season 2.

    Everybody loved that season and that's 2 of the reasons why!

  • coutterhill Nov 07, 2012

    Also wondering why Deb didn't asked about Doakes being framed. No one is worried about that dude that got killed on Dexter's boat (I guess I'm not worried either since I can't remember his name) I thought Deb was going to go "oh, so it was you behind the curtain that I let go!" but she didn't. Last scene was wild. wild wild stuff.

  • 134sc Nov 07, 2012

    Ya, that was the only thing that disappointed me about the episode. Thought Dex or Deb would bring up that Deb let the guy behind the curtain get away.

  • Draconax Nov 13, 2012

    I'm pretty sure that was simply dealt with by the fact that she instantly knew it was him. She didn't have to specifically say "oh I let you get away from behind that curtain", because the very first thing she did when LaGuerta talked about the barrel murders was talk to Dexter. She knew it was him instantly.

  • DiegoPecchini Nov 07, 2012

    Why hasn't Deb asked about what happened to DOAKES and how he was framed?





    I mean, it's the FIRST thing that comes to mind once you learn that your brother is the real BHB and not your former co-worker.







    Plus she's trying to cover for Dexter in the whole LaGuerta BHB investigation so why not "Btw bro... whatever happened to this guy that in the eyes of everyone was the BHB and now I found out it is you and Im helping you stay away from jail but I haven't got around to asking if you killed him and if he fit your famous code?"

  • CoryBarker1 Nov 07, 2012

    I saw your tweet, sorry I didn't respond.



    It's odd. Maybe it's implied in the BHB investigation? Maybe they're holding that convo for a specific reason?

  • DiegoPecchini Nov 07, 2012

    No worries, thanks for responding at all



    It's weird because, as you said, she's been asking all the right questions: Harry? Rita? Trinity? Jordan Chase and Lumen?



    I would let it slide if not for the fact that Deb is very invested in sabotaging LaGuerta's investigation, so I reckon it's inevitable she should've already asked about Doakes.



    Major bummer, but let's see what happens.



    Also, I'm from Argentina and I'm already preparing for more offensive farmer allegations :p

  • yona21 Nov 06, 2012

    I DID actually forget that she's batista's sister...(up until that scene with them in the restaurant)

    LOL

  • CoryBarker1 Nov 07, 2012

    See. They knew it'd have a purpose.

  • Ubercolt Nov 06, 2012

    My only explanation for this episode is that the writers from seasons one, two and four have been replaced by a basket of rotten vegetables. The same vegetables who had last season's Dexter tipping off homicide on his mobile, chasing after an imaginary killer and setting up kill rooms in active crime scenes. This episode was rotten to the core.

  • CoryBarker1 Nov 07, 2012

    The writer turnover on this show is hilarious, and weird. There has been more carryover in recent seasons, which might not actually be a good thing (as you suggest).

  • Ubercolt Nov 07, 2012

    Bizarre. Why not stick to the formula that made the earlier seasons so good? The writing has been incredibly lazy since season 5. The lead actors' performances really carried the first few episodes of the current season, but I agree that the show appears to be slipping into unnecessarily familiar territory.

  • 134sc Nov 06, 2012

    I just thought off a theory that I just had to get off my chest. This is not based on spoilers or anything.

    What if Dex decides not to kill Hannah ever, but Deb finds out Dex altered the blood and tries to subtley (or not so subtley) convince Dexter to kill Hannah. Dex will intially refuse, but Deb will point out that Hannah goes against his code and that he is protecting a murderer. That she fits the profile so he shouldn't be playing favorites. Dex will agree, and end up killing Hannah for Deb. Remember with Speltzer when Deb asked if the kill was for her and Dex said it wasn't. Well this time around it will be for Deb. Then at the beginning of season 8, maybe Dex starts to have the same "feelings" towards Deb that she has toward him. Then who knows where the story goes.

    I know this may be a bit out there, but I just have this feeling that it could happen. I see the direction Deb`s character arc in relation to Dex is going so far and it just makes sense to me. As for Dex hes not there yet with Deb, but maybe 6 or 7 or 8 episodes from now he will be.

    Or.....I am completely wrong. But it sure is fun to theorise

  • CoryBarker1 Nov 07, 2012

    I don't totally hate it, but it *seems* like Deb has fallen on the side that killing people is wrong, she's just not comfortable with it.

  • FringeFanatic Nov 06, 2012

    I like it!

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