After six years on the air, and a sixth season that was decidedly a bit uneven, it would be natural to think that Dexter had simply run its course. Not so much…The seventh season is where chaos ensues. While I’m certainly not going to reveal every twist and turn of the season here, if you haven’t watched the seventh season yet (and perhaps even season six), you may want to stop reading here. I would hate to be accused of ruining the viewing experience for you.

The Seventh Season picks up a few seconds before Season Six ended. In that pivotal moment, Debra (Jennifer Carpenter) walked in on Dexter killing Travis (Colin Hanks). Of course, Deb’s discovery makes the relationship between her and Dexter a central focus of the season. Over the years, we’ve watched Debra transform herself into one of the best cops at Miami Metro Homicide, recently earning a promotion to lieutenant.  So, even though Dexter is quick to talk his way out of the initial cliffhanger, Deb is just as quick to punch holes in his story, and find out that her brother is in fact, a serial killer. Now that Deb’s in charge of her department, simply arresting Dexter, and revealing the truth, would spell the end of everything she has worked for. As a result, the two must keep the secret between them, and deal with all the drama that causes.

Dexter S7To further complicate matters, may have found love with Hannah McKay (Yvonne Stahovski), who has an undeniable dark side. Hannah is the first woman Dexter feels like he might be able to open up to.  Unfortunately, because Hannah is the primary suspect in a homicide investigation, the relationship really strikes Deb as wrong, and it’s a risky endeavor for Dexter. Now, not only does Dexter have to worry about Deb turning him in, but he has to worry that the only woman that he’s ever really felt comfortable with, is going to get tossed in jail too. With what to do weighing heavily on Deb, she is forced to call everything she has steadfastly believed in to question. While Jennifer Carpenter has always been solid in her role as Debra Morgan, this season was truly her time to shine, and she acquitted herself very well.

This season isn’t just about Deb and Dexter’s relationship. We still get the resident ‘bad guy’ trying to take Dexter down. This time, it’s Ukranian mafia member Isaak Sirko (Ray Stevenson), with local business ties. The cat-and-mouse game that goes on between Sirko and Dexter is tense and interesting. As time goes on, the two men compare notes on their differing attitudes on what it means to take a human life, making for some of the most gripping scenes of the season. Oddly, the Sirko story ends a bit early in the season, leaving the final episodes to tie up other subplots, and even introduce some new ones. In no way does this ruin things, it just feels a bit abrupt.

As in previous seasons, there are crazy plot twists every few minutes. When Dexter goes to a crime scene you have no idea what’s going to happen. With the eighth and final season set to begin airing in June, the seventh season set things up nicely for what I expect will be an explosive final look into Dexter’s twisted world.

Presented in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio, these 1080p transfers look wonderful. Color quality is stunning, and the accuracy of skin tones is top notch. Small object detail is razor-sharp with smear only becoming a minor issue in some of the show’s darker scenes. Black levels are consistent throughout, and there are no compression issues to speak of.

The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 sound mixes are rather involving. Dialogue is crystal clear, and sound effects come through nicely, using the surrounds when called upon. Music shows a nice fidelity throughout, and the atmospherics add to the moody feel of the series.

French Dolby Digital 5.1 and English and Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 tracks are included, as are English SDH subtitles.

There’s not much in the way of special features. We get an UltraViolet Copy of the pilot episode of Showtime’s new upcoming drama, Ray Donovan.