‘Dexter’ Review: “Sunshine and Frosty Swirl”
'Dexter’ season 7 has a serious mess to clean up in its second episode of the season, as Dexter attempts to navigate his distraught sister through the full extent of his serial killer ways, while Miami Metro continues investigating Detective Mike and a stripper's death, and Louis continues making life hell for his one-time idol.
Last week’s ‘Dexter’ premiere “Are You...?” saw Dexter trying to keep the extent of his double-life from his sister Debra following her discovery of Travis Marshall, while Miami Metro lost one of its own, and a young woman’s death began unraveling the thread of a Ukrainian crime syndicate, so how does “Sunshine and Frosty Swirl” adjust to the new status quo? Will the show be able to survive now that Deb knows the truth about Dexter?
Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know ‘Dexter’ season 7 episode 2, “Sunshine and Frosty Swirl!”
Following Dexter’s big revelation, Debra runs out of the apartment as Dexter chases her through the complex. She comes to a stop just outside and pukes at the horrid thought, as Dexter confirms himself to be the Bay Harbor Butcher and to have begun his murderous career at 20 using a code that Harry himself had taught.
Back inside, Dexter walks his sister through the whole sordid history and the nature of his Dark Passenger, though she refuses to accept that what Dexter (or now, she herself) has done can be morally justified. Dexter asks what she plans to do about it, as she takes a swing at her brother and leaves without a word. Afterward, Dexter has a vision of a disappointed Harry, though Dexter is more focused on what the Ice Truck Killer hand would be doing in his apartment.
The next day Dexter rifles through Miami Metro’s evidence locker to confirm the hand as the genuine article, when a nervous Masuka explains how his intern Ryan had previously stolen and sold the hand, leaving Dexter to wonder why Louis would have sent him the item. At the daily briefing, Deb presses the department to keep on the strip club that likely house’s Detective Mike’s murderer, also bringing up that incarcerated killer Wayne Randall has offered to help police find some previously unknown bodies from his past spree. Looking for some alone time, Dexter volunteers to be the lab tech on the scene, though Deb insists on sending Masuka instead.
Following the meeting, Deb explains to her brother how close she came to arresting him, but decided instead that Dexter’s addiction to killing should be treated like any other addiction. Acting as a sort of clinic, Deb demands that Dexter move in with her to be close at all times and address any murderous urges, something their father might have been wrong never to try.
Meanwhile up in her office, LaGuerta places a call to an external source, confirming the blood on the slide recovered from the church to be a match with Travis Marshall. Uh-oh.
Back at the Foxhole strip club, the police once again interrupt the proceedings to the continued annoyance of club-owner George (Jason Gedrick). While Quinn befriends a stripper named Nadia, both he and Batista learn that murdered stripper Kaja was dating the club’s bouncer Tony Rush, who hasn’t shown up for work since the murder.
That night at Deb’s, the woman lays out to her brother the new rules of their arrangement, including constant vigilance and total honesty, as Dexter explains over dinner how the image of blood becomes a fixation that ultimately drives him to seek killing as a release. Mortified, Deb explains that the only reason she decided against turning Dexter in was the unbearable thought of him in prison, or perhaps worse. That night, Dexter relaxes in bed looking over the plans for Louis’ penthouse, but Deb’s supervision forces him to feign sleepiness.
The next day Quinn interrogates Tony Rush, whose alibi unfortunately turns out to be backed up by the club’s security footage. Still, they manage to make the man slip up by confirming his relationship with Kaja Soroka, leading him to give up that she was with Victor on the night of her death.
With Masuka miserable about the Wayne Randall assignment, Dexter attempts to have Deb okay swapping assignments as a cover to visit Louis’ apartment, but Deb offers to drive. Fortunately for Dexter, Quinn and Batista’s break in the shooting case pulls Deb away before she gets a chance. Out in the hot sun, officials continue to dig up the changed landscape looking for bodies, as Dexter makes smalltalk with the incarcerated killer. Randall explains that after years in prison, he finally decided to obey his conscience and identify the missing girls.
A break finally affording him the chance to sneak into Louis’ penthouse, Dexter finds his credit card numbers that Louis had cancelled, as well as evidence that the man might have framed his former employee as a child molester. Several videos on his computer reveal that not only is he cheating on Jamie, but also has a blind hatred for Dexter. When Louis suddenly arrives back home, Dexter hides for a moment before pinning him against the wall. Louis confesses that his efforts to mess with Dexter's life stem from Dexter’s earlier dismissal of the serial killing video game, leading him to threaten that he never wants to see Louis again in any facet of his life.
Dexter arrives back at the Randall dig site to find Deb furious, while Wayne observes. Dexter questions him further how he managed to surrender to his conscience, to which he explains that accepting his situation allowed the anger inside of him to drop off. Elsewhere, Quinn and Batista bust up the strip club once more, George claiming Victor doesn’t’ work for them, as the club owner retreats to find Isaak (Ray Winstone) directly in his office! It seems Viktor has gone missing, never having made his flight, as Isaak fears someone in “The Brotherhood” may have decided to make an example of him.
Meanwhile, Nadia calls Quinn for a ride home, though the detective ends up disappointed to learn she has no more information to offer, and instead flirtatiously suggests that he pay for the repairs for her car. Dexter too arrives home to see Louis brazenly ignoring his earlier demands to stay away, leading Dexter to realize more drastic action might be needed.
Later that night, Dexter manages to sneak out by drugging Deb’s steak, and visits Louis’ apartment to drug him as well. However, the sight of blood from Louis’ injection mark gets the better of Dexter’s conscience, and he awakens his sister with a call to come talk him down. Without uncovering Louis’ in Dexter’s trunk, Deb explains to her brother that contacting her proves their father wrong about Dexter’s murderous impulses, as he clearly had enough control to call her first. After watching his sister drive off, Dexter opens the drunk to leave Louis drugged on a park bench, figuring he’ll get him out of his life some other way.
While Isaak pays a visit to Tony Rush at his home, stabbing him in the eye with a screwdriver for talking to the police, Dexter and Deb continue overseeing the Wayne Randall dig site. All seeming well, Deb goes across the street to get them some Frosty Swirl ice cream, as Dexter converses with Randall once more. Dexter muses that if Wayne managed to find peace, perhaps he could as well, while the man explains how he laments never having the opportunity to tell his partner in crime Hannah how he felt about her. She once saw him as special, though now only sees a killer, as the man takes a moment to appreciate the sunshine. Just then, Randall hops in front of an oncoming truck, a final act of contrition that spatters Dexter with blood.
Realizing Randall hadn’t changed, and only wanted some Frosty Swirl and sunshine before escaping prison life for good, Dexter is left to wonder if he would be able to cope with life behind bars.
Certainly, 'Dexter' created quite a bit of work for itself by going forward with the twist of having Deb uncover the full nature of Dexter's serial killing, which once again proves a welcome revitalization of the series. The chemistry and interaction between the two leads has never been more interesting to watch, as we see Deb both foolishly, and successfully attempt to curtail Dexter's dark impulses. Being the second episode, "Sunshine and Frosty Swirl" doesn't pick up much steam in the way of the European Crime syndicate plot, or even with Louis, but sets an intriguing stage for the rest of the season. Time will tell what the dynamic between Dexter and Deb evolves into, but for now the series definitely has its old spark.
What about you? Did you get your fill of darkly dangerous ‘Dexter’ drama? What did you think about the episode? Join us next week for another all-new ‘Dexter’ episode recap of “Buck the System” on Showtime!