'Dexter' - 'Are You...?' recap: What, me, a serial killer?

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michael-c-hall-dexter-S2-1.jpg "Dexter's" Season 7 premiere was every bit as good as we expected -- and so much more.

Before picking up in those crucial seconds in the church after Deb discovers her brother killing Travis Marshall, the show opens with a flash-forward to Dexter apparently on the run. Miami's most prolific serial killer is racing to the airport with a getaway bag full of cash, which he has to use to pay for gas, and a one-way ticket to Budapest, after all his credit cards are declined. This does not bode well for Deb's reaction in the church.

"Pretty f***ing weird": On this point, both Deb and Dex agree: the tableau Dex has created to off Travis is quite peculiar. Once her initial shock wears off, Deb starts questioning why, if Dex killed Travis in self-defense, he was wrapped in plastic on an altar. Dexter manages to placate her for now by saying that as a forensic expert, it's "second nature" for him not to leave a trace. He also persuades her not to call it in -- even if it's judged "temporary insanity," he'll lose his job, his son, and end up in a psych ward. Debra then becomes an accessory after the fact, buying gasoline for the siblings to set the church on fire.

lauren-velez-dexter-s2-1.jpg Slide Show: Unfortunately for Dexter, the fire doesn't destroy his trophy: the slide of Travis' blood, which Dexter accidentally dropped. Unfortunately, LaGuerta ( Lauren Vélez) finds it and bags it as evidence. Masuka ( C.S. Lee) later reminds her that blood slides were used to posthumously implicate Sergeant Doakes as the Bay Harbor Butcher. It seems inevitable that she will reopen the case, as she's especially motivated to clear her good friend's name.

But those slides pose a more immediate problem. In the light of day, Deb's suspicions about her brother only grow, especially when the plastic wrap triggers her memory of a nearly identical tableau: when she nearly died at the hands of the Ice Truck Killer/her fiancé Rudy/Dexter's brother Brian. As she pores over the case file, even more of her repressed memories come flooding back -- including Brian referring to Dexter's hobby as he urges him to kill his sister. After learning from his nanny that Dexter often "works" late into the night, Deb ransacks his apartment and finds the incriminating slides -- and other tools of his trade. Which leads to Deb's overwhelming question and title of the premiere: "Are you...a serial killer?" The episode concludes with Dex admitting the truth.

hall-gjokaj-dexter.jpg RIP Mike: Intuitive black detectives have a very short life expectancy on "Dexter." Doakes was murdered by Dexter (before framing him as the Butcher); now Mike Anderson ( Billy Brown) is gunned down by another killer ("Dollhouse's Enver Gjokaj). Moments after calling Deb to question why Travis Marshall's car wasn't at the church (oops), Mike stops to help a motorist fix a flat tire -- and discovers a woman's body in his trunk.

While Batista & Co. trace the victim to a strip club run by the Ukranian mob -- setting up the season's new bad guys -- Dexter identifies the killer as Victor Baskov. (Because he's the only one in the department, besides LaGuerta, who isn't a completely incompetent crime scene investigator.) Turns out Dexter was chasing Victor to the airport, not fleeing himself, in episode's opener. It's a reckless kill for Dexter -- bashing in the mafia henchman's head in Miami International's lost luggage office and dumping his whole body in the ocean -- but he's been under a lot of pressure.

COMING UP

hall-carpenter-dexter-7-2.jpgIt's about to get a whole lot worse for Dex, now that Deb knows everything (almost). And she's not the only one all up in Dexter's bidness -- Masuka's kooky intern, Louis, is really damaging his calm. (He's the one who canceled Dexter's credit cards after snooping in his computer.) Retaliation won't be easy for Dexter with Deb monitoring his every move and trying to rehabilitate him.

Meanwhile, Keystone Cops Batista ( David Zayas) and Quinn ( Desmond Harrington) spend a lot of time at the Foxhole Gentleman's Club trying to track down Mike's killer and forcing the boss, Isaac ( Ray Stevenson) to take charge.

What did you think of the Season 7 premiere? Where do you think the Morgan siblings' relationship will go from here?
Photo/Video credit: Showtime