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'Dexter' recap: “This is all much easier with a partner"

Dexter_508_0677 Tonight as Dexter told Deb that Harry had told him that some people deserve to die, I wondered, where has Harry been this season? It feels like we haven’t seen him around for several episodes, and I’m starting to miss him: someone needs to tell Dexter to dump Lumen already, because she’s probably bad news and god knows she’s no fun. 

I said it last week and I feel the same this week: Lumen’s character isn’t doing a lot for me, I think because her character doesn’t give us much to sink our teeth into. What is she really like?   What’s she going to do with herself once her romp with Dexter is over? Meeting Owen, her former fiancé, didn’t shed a lot of light on her either.  All I know is that she presses her lips together in a perturbed sort of way, quite often.  Moreover, as a sidekick, partner, whatever, so far she isn’t taking the show to a new place worthy of following last season. 

In case you couldn’t tell, I didn’t find tonight’s episode to be one of the more edge-of-your-seat installments of the season.  Dexter tracks Cole at one of Jordan’s seminars, and eventually he and Lumen kill him, as they had essentially planned to do in last week’s episode.  I remember when Miguel Prado eventually joined Dexter in murdering there was something giddy and terrifying about the new addition, but I felt nothing with Lumen there, either from Dexter’s point of view or Lumen’s own catharsis.  Sad to say, even if we knew what Dexter and Lumen mean to each other, I don’t think there are boatloads of chemistry between Michael C. Hall and Julia Stiles to enjoy just for fun’s sake.    

Thankfully this season still has Stan Liddy and Jordan Chase, the two wild cards.  As was suspected, it turns out that Jordan Chase was likely involved with Lumen’s rape and torture.  More enticing of course is Jordan himself, a man so creepily self-assured it seems quite probable that he knows Dexter’s tracking him down and killing his colleagues yet still invites him up onstage with him and lets him know he knows everything about his life.  The show’s writers are obviously having fun with the character, too: I especially liked the buttons for sale at the seminar featuring Jordan wearing his wireless mic. 

Stan Liddy of course is the crooked cop Quinn’s employed to follow Dexter and Lumen on behalf of Quinn.   It’s useful that he and Deb now have a common enemy: Laguerta, who’s  thrown Deb under the bus for the fiasco at the night club.  Liddy’s got Lumen and Dexter on film tossing something (IE, Cole) into the ocean from the boat.  Potentially bad news for Dexter and Lumen, good news for us? 

--Claire Zulkey

Julia Stiles as Lumen. Photo: Randy Tepper/Showtime

 
Comments () | Archives (13)

I found the last scene showing Liddy had taken pictures of them dumping the corpse at see a little unbelievable. Liddy would have had to have access to a boat to follow them without having prior notice to the fact that he would need one, needs to have followed them in a boat in a boat without dexter noticing, and needs to have been in range to get those photographs while dexter is dumping bodies without him being aware of another boat.
Also Dexter is so well illuminated while he is dumping the bodies, we assumed this is for technical filming purposes so the viewer can see dexter, not so other characters to catch him in the act.

Quinn has to go he is too much like Doakes for his own good

maybe Lumen could get rid of him

I agree also that the Lumen character isn't adding much to the show. Laguerta is much better off as bad guy and I appreciated Jennifer Carpenter's acting tonight.

This show could run 120 minutes each episode and it would still seem short.

A convergence of suspense, intrigue and a theme that resonates deeply: justice served up without the agonizingly long (and expensive to taxpayers) process of legal systems. Ancient wisdom: "When a crime is not punished quickly, people feel it is safe to do wrong." (Ecclesiastes 8:11).

Did Liddy have a photo of Dexter and Lumen dumping the body or was his photo of them loading the body into the boat? My impression was the latter, so much so I didn't even rewind it to see it again to make certain. (I still could be wrong.) If it is the latter, that seems plausible.

Michael (from the first post), Stan didn't take pictures of Dexter and Lumen dumping bags off of the boat. If you look closer at the pics in the viewfinder of Liddy's camera you'll see they're all of Dex and Lumen boarding the boat and putting the luggage from the hotel on the boat. They even put some large lens on Stan's camera to make it seem like he could be shooting at the boat from miles away, which is of course impossible. It's another mislead from the "Dexter" producers/writers hoping we'll fall for it and tune in with bated breath next week (like in Season 3 when Dex was 'kidnapped' for what turned out to be his bachelor party).

I disagree with Claire's assesment that Lumen isn't adding anything to this season. You can dislike the character and/or Julia Stiles' portrayal of her (and/or the lack of chemistry between the actress and Michael C. Hall) but Lumen's presence in Dexter's life has made me watch Dexter's rituals and behavior that I had gotten used to (like his drawing of the blood from his victim's cheek) with a newfound perception that it is, indeed, weird bats*** insane behavior, makes this a unique season of "Dexter." In Season 3 we watched almost the exact same song being played, but Dex's antics were made to seem normal and seductive to a willing-to-take-the-leap participant like Miguel Prado's flawed character. The fact Miguel was eager to grab the knife from Dex to experience the thrill of killing in Season 3 (forgot the exact episode) makes a sharp contrast to how Lumen conducted herself last night when Dex was going through his 'kill room' ritual. That alone makes S5, flawed as it might be, a major step above S3 IMHO.

Stan Liddy's role keeps growing and it's good that he's finally coming across as a menace to Dex/Lumen instead of a colorful thug. He has earned the right to keep breaking appliances in Quinn's kitchen in lieu of payment. :-) I'm also glad that we've left the Santeria storyline behind and the aftermath of LaGuerta's horrible decisions (both undercover and to throw Deborah under the bus) brings her character back to the S1/S2 conniving career woman where Lauren Velez' excelled. It can't be a coincidence that there are now THREE characters on the show (Quinn, Liddy and now Deb) that have been screwed-over by LaGuerta. The producers want us to think there's a target on her back, but between these three wronged cops we know which one deserves more to wind up in Dex's collection.

I disagree about Lumen. She's interesting and mysterious. I don't think she's accepting of her new lifestyle because of what happened to her. It seems that she's just as unconventional as Dexter, hence why she left her fiance and former life behind. It's also nice to see Dexter totally connect with someone. In previous seasons there was always that one person he got sort of close to but they all ended up being toxic. The relationship he has with Lumen is probably the most intimate and real relationship he's ever had.

The writers are having even more fun with the vial of blood around Johnny Lee Miller's neck in the upcoming episode. Could it be...Angelina Jolie's? ;)

@Michael

The photographs Liddy took were of Dexter and Lumen loading luggage(Cole) onto the boat. When they come back without the luggage and cop/PI will know something is up.

I'm pretty sure that the photos were actually of Dexter and Lumen LOADING the boat, not dumping the bags into the ocean. It would be rediculous to suggest that he was able to photograph them dumping the bodies, despite that massive telephoto lens he had, considering that the Gulf Stream is several miles off the coast of Miami and it was at night.

You have to suspend belief quite a bit when watching Dexter ie: to believe that a big city police dept. could be so inept, that, as Michael noted, Liddy could take pictures of that quality at night with such good quality, and what happened to the door that Cole busted his way through? I could go on and that is only from one episode. Every episode has sloppy plot development. That being said, I can't stop watching. It is still so much fun and I have to figure that the Lumen character is like a volcano getting ready to explode. This can't be all she has to offer. There must be more to the role than what we have seen so far. Why would Julia Stiles take it unless it was a juicier role to play?

I was unsure how the storyline would go with Rita out of the picture. I understand the dramatic sense of killing her off and I thought that was a great cliffhanger between seasons, however there is not anything this season leaving me on the edge of my seat.

I felt that it was a definite "cop-out" for the kids to go to the grandparents. They basically wrote off 3 main (Rita and the kids) characters because Julie Benz has a new show on another network. I don't think it was a smart move without already having another strong connection for Dexter; or at least having one developing.

Also, anyone who Deb gets involved with ends up dead. Quinn is next for sure. They previewed Quinn and Liddy exchanging pictures. The question is how are they going to kill them both off.. a gun battle where they both end up dead and Dexter gets the pics before anyone else? That means a new detective in the house.

Will Lumen go once the 5 are dead? Will she become his new soulmate? Will she end up dead searching for her abusers?

Will Batista be single again? Will Laguerta get reprimanded for her role in the club murders? her boss doesn't like her, maybe that's a way to get her out, or maybe it will bring them closer since she's the bus over Deb????

I can't wait to see the next episode!

Given the baggage both of them carry I think the chemistry between Dex and Lumen are perfect for the stage of the partnership they are at. They are both damaged mysteries and I think with oneanother's help, the real chemistry will come as they adapt and grow together. In fact Dexter might actually learn to realize the empathy he feels for the victims of his victims are actual feelings, and maybe he will also figure out how to get the closest he ever has to understanding what most consider "normal" feelings of love. But given all the potential obstacles facing them I get the feeling this new found bliss will be short lived for both.


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