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'Dexter' recap: There's no coming back from something like this

November 29, 2010 |  6:43 am

Dexter_510_1325 I figured out a problem I have this season with “Dexter,” although I’m worried that admitting it might make me look like I’m filled with bloodlust.  While we were listening to the screams of Jordan Chase and Co.’s victims being tortured during Sunday night's episode, I’m afraid to say I wanted more.  We don’t know exactly what happened to Lumen and the other blond victims before they were murdered, and this gap in my knowledge lessens my interest a bit in the storyline. We know “something” happened to Lumen and the others but what exactly?

I don’t think I want to know just because I’m a sicko, but because with this series, we’re accustomed to a certain level of gore: Remember the Ice Truck Killer’s grisly clues?  The skinner? Call me crazy, but I want specifics.  The show previously had trusted that its audience was able to handle gory details, but lately it feels like it just wants us to use our imaginations, and if I wanted to that, I would read a book (kidding).  

I’m also not a fan of Dexter and Lumen hooking up, which was what happened Sunday night after Dexter let Lumen murder Alex Tilden, a member of Jordan’s crew (played by Scott Grimes, who to me will always be that snotty bad doc on “ER”).  I’ve been dreading this moment all season.  I know some of you are Lumen fans, but I think there’s so little going on with her character, which is not Julia Stiles’ fault. Her character has two settings, basically: traumatized and boring.  I still don’t get what Dexter sees in her: the chance to make things right in the universe by saving a would-be blond victim like Rita? A Supergirl-type sidekick?  A vengeful feminist goddess?  And how do any of those things lead to sex? 

In all, the Lumen storyline is a retread of two previous ones that I never found compelling in the first place: Dexter has a partner (which we saw with Miguel Prado) and Dexter has a lover (the annoying Lila).  I didn’t mind Rita so much as Dexter’s love interest because, in the beginning anyway, it was clear why he was with her: because she was damaged and could help him lead a normal life.  But just because Dexter says things like, “Here we are, hunting as a pair: it’s all become so natural,” it doesn’t mean that it feels natural to the audience.

I love “Dexter” so I don’t want to give the impression that I’m just picking apart this major theme of the season for fun.  Thank goodness for Stan Liddy, at least.  Although it feels to me like each new element of the Jordan Chase storyline doesn’t really go anywhere (we all know there’s going to be an inevitable showdown with Jordan and Dexter and Lumen), Stan Liddy’s in there, now forging Quinn’s signature to get surveillance equipment to spy on Dexter and Lumen.  My longshot prediction is that Liddy will die in a horrible fire along with all of his notes on Dexter, but in the meantime Liddy’s muddling around will indicate a huge mess for Dexter, Lumen, Quinn and Deb, and I can’t wait for that. 

-- Claire Zulkey

Photo: Peter Weller as Stan Liddy and Michael C. Hall as Dexter. Credit: Randy Tepper / Showtime