It's nothing new to have death in Dexter, in fact it is a fundamental part of the show, so maybe that was why when a significant regular or reoccurring characters dies on this show I don't feel it as much as other shows. It's kind of like desensitising I guess, while unfortunate, it's there and I have to deal with it. So when Brother Sam lay there on his death bed, i wasn't really focused on his imminent demise, but rather his dying words; "Forgive Nick".
It's pretty sad that Dexter could not achieve this, while Nick may not have deserved it, for his own sake it was really sad moment that he couldn't let go.But i seriously digress.
Over all I think the episode delivered tonally and thematically, though on closer inspection, a portion of the dialogue was very blunt and hammered home, in regards to the exposition, on several occasions I took a plot element on and then they explained in precise detail what had already explain visually and by the actors faces.
Other than that the reveal at the end was great, even if I wasn't shocked at first. I was like..."Oh it's Brian cool....WAIT?!?!?".