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'Dexter' recap: Pretty messed up but kind of beautiful too

Dexter_510_1060 Last week’s episode of "Dexter" wasn’t my favorite, but I had no complaints about Sunday night’s, which was thrilling and tense with just a touch of creepiness and humor, which is the ideal "Dexter" formula.  

Of course, the thrill came from the hunt, of which there were several. Dexter became aware that his apartment was being bugged, and he first suspected Jordan Chase, but when he realized that the equipment came from the Miami Police Department (and after Deb told him about Quinn’s now-dead suspicions of Dexter), he figured it was Quinn. After trying to chase Quinn down, though, Dexter ultimately stumbled upon Liddy, who managed to trap Dexter until Dexter was able to free himself and murder him.

 Was I the only person who sort of wanted Quinn, who was responding to Liddy’s phone call to come and bust Dexter, to discover Dexter with Liddy’s body, just to see how he’d react?  Since Liddy’s blood ended up on Quinn’s shoe, he may get an idea of what went down after all.  In the meantime, Deb was on Jordan Chase’s tail for the rape-club murders, but before she could get to him, Jordan used Emily to lure Lumen to him, which left us with Dexter chasing Jordan down for the season finale. All this made the episode fly by with thrilling tension.  

But what I really liked were the surreal little touches to the episode.  Let’s start with Jordan Chase, who actually used to be a fat kid named Eugene Greer but lost weight, changed his name and his life and had plastic surgery to become someone else.  I hope we find out exactly why he underwent the drastic transformation and that the reasons why are appropriately creepy.  

I also enjoyed Liddy’s rationalization that if he made the right bust on Dexter, he’d get his job back as a cop. First of all, I don’t think that blackmailing various people and breaking several lines of protocol is how you do it, but moreover, why would he want to become a legitimate cop again when he was so good as a nasty P.I.?  Finally, I strangely enjoyed the sick relationship between Jordan and Emily. After Emily lured Lumen over, Jordan was upset with her that Dexter didn’t come too. Emily whined, “Are you mad at me? It’s not my fault!”  After proclaiming the situation “profoundly distasteful,” Jordan took a poker to her and beat her to death.  Even though their interaction together this season was brief, the relationship was perfectly relayed as sick and twisted (can someone say Stockholm Syndrome?), and I wish we had seen a lot more.  Dexter and Lumen’s relationship didn’t bother me as much this episode as it has previously, but oh, what if it were as nasty and disturbing and codependent as Emily and Jordan’s?  

Finally, the humor, which basically consisted of Dexter and Lumen finding the flatulent, burping cat at the same time on Quinn’s computer.  It was such a random little throwaway gag for Dexter, but I liked it, especially the mental image of Quinn enjoying the video at home.  I also thought it was humorous that Dexter’s street just happened to be lined with vans and RVs once he realized that his apartment was bugged and he needed to find the source, but I don’t think that was supposed to be funny.

After Sunday night’s strong episode, I have high hopes for the finale.  I think the straightforward, rather predictable plot would be for Dexter to kill Jordan and then for Lumen to finally head home, but my fingers are crossed that the season will end on a much more twisted note, like perhaps Deb learning the Lumen killed Alex Tilden, or as I said, Quinn finding that Dexter offed Liddy. What do you hope happens in the finale?

-- Claire Zulkey

Photo: Michael C. Hall as Dexter and Jennifer Carpenter as Debra Morgan.  Photo: Randy Tepper / Showtime

Comments () | Archives (14)

Personally, I think that Deb will finally uncover Dexter's secret and it would be appropriate that she finds it out in the middle of him killing Jordan Chase rather than putting some clues together at the station.

Her instincts have become so sharp as of late that it makes sense that she would somehow track down Chase and find Lumen and Dexter doing their thing

Oh and I think Lumen lives. It's weird, but I find their relationship right somehow. While I always loved Rita, I now see that other than finding out Dexter's secret life, Rita had little else she could really contribute to the show because she would always be a part of only half of Dexter's life rather than all of it regardless of how twisted it really is.

With Lumen, Dexter can be himself, as both normal Dexter( I say that loosely) and his dark passenger. I know that Lumen is dividing the isles right now with fans, but so did Rita though maybe not quite as much.

They simply have not had enough time for their relationship to become what it could be. Simply put, they need more screen time.

It's about time really that Deb finds out. With season 6 renewed and probably season 7 at some point next season, Deb needs to find out now. It gives her character some real juicy material to work with.

The agonizing realization of what her brother is and has been since childhood, what Harry did and if she keeps it a secret(she will) how that will affect her. I could see real hatred for her father next season, and trying to figure out how she feels about Dexter now that she knows everything.

I think to some degree we were given a clue that Deb would find out in the finale. In this episode, Lumen asks Dexter if his sister ever had any idea of what he truly was? Dexter responded that she has a blindspot when it comes to him. That blind spot will have vanished after next week, big time.

So my predictions?

1. Lumen lives

2. Deb finds out Dexter is a killer

3. Dexter confesses to Deb about everything. Who he is and what Harry did.

4. Lumen either escapes, or is there with Dexter when Deb appears.

5. Quinn suspects that Dexter killed Liddy, but does not pursue it too much.

6. The screen cuts to black with Deb trying to come to terms and accept Dexter's secret, and with gun pointed at her brother, whether she should keep Dexter's secret(and Lumens) or turn them in.

I'm calling it now. The season finale twist (if any) is that Dex, Lumen and Deborah (or Dex and one of the two women) car pool together to Orlando for Harrison's birthday party only to find out Sonia and the baby never showed up. When Sonia told Dex over the phone in "Hop on a Freighter" that Astor and Cody were playing with Harrison the place where Sonia called from didn't look at all like a park or place for kids to be playing... and when we cut to Sonia the camera didn't show Harrison, just a baby carriage. Remember the artwork for the ad campaign this season with Dex staring at a pool of blood and a baby bottle in the floor? A-ha. And yes, if this pans out (I really hope not) it means "Dexter" is stealing storylines from both FX's "Sons of Anarchy" (next week's episode) and AMC's "Breaking Bad" (this week's silent vann scene).

What a disappointing second-to-last episode. It had great moments (the cat, Dex talking to Lumen about his sister, their break-up into Quinn's place, Deborah laying the smackdown on Jordan Chase, etc.) but that vann scene by the pier neatly ties-up the impending Liddy threat with one crappy, punk, convenient death of a great antagonist that deserved a better send-off. When Stan stunned Dexter and threw him into the vann I literally jumped out of my seat, it's the type of WTF? "Dexter" moment we all live for. But s***, the moment Stan pulled the curtain inside the vann (which matched the purple shade of his jacket...snatch!) I knew what was going to happen. I don't even mind that technically, by Dexter's code, Liddy was an innocent that didn't deserve to die because the #1 rule (Don't Get Caught) takes precendence. Again though, no Harry on an episode where his wisdom about killing an 'innocent' would have been warranted feels like a missed opportunity. It just feels like a very punk way for one awesome rival that got the closest ever to nailing Dex (complete with video!) to be dispatched. Guess Liddy not caring what Dexter/Lumen were (a menace to society) and seeing him as a pawn to get back to the force was his undoing. BTW, what shady cop (which we know Quinn is) doesn't stare or try to force open an empty vann when a proven dirty cop calls him and barks orders to come looking for him where that vann is? Of all of "Dexter's" close calls this is the first one to truly, madly, deeply upset me.

I knew from the previews last week that Jordan would kill Emily Birch with the turn-around maneuver (really!) but I was disappointed how, from one week to the next, Chase went from formidable opponent to standard-issued cornered criminal animal exhibiting behavior straight out of a CBS crime procedural. So next week's finale boils down to a hostage stand-off, and we know how 99% of these end in TV land. Only two wild cards next week: does Lumen live, and does Deb find out about Dexter's extracurricular-activities? Based on the Quinn-can't-open-a-vann-to-save-his-life precedent in this episode (or mislead to get us to expect "Dexter" to play it safe next week) I wouldn't hold my breath. And LaGuerta turning into Deb's buddy again by coming through with a material witness warrant felt like a complete betrayal of basically the entire season arc's Fuentes Bros. storyline. Seriously writers, WTF? Also, how did Dexter get back to his car/apartment from where Liddy took him to in the vann? He didn't jog all those miles in the Miami heat in gloves and sweater (he would have been seen), did he hitch a ride or call a cab? Seriously writers...

The scene in Dexter's apartment (before Dex notices the baby monitor picking-up the camera signal) when he and Lumen are laying in the floor trying to plan an attack on Jordan's place was borderline sick in its cuteness; the way Lumen had her hand on Dex's back was just adorable. Dexter talking to Lumen about his sister was also surreal but beautiful since we're only used to hearing Dex's inner-thoughts about his sister. To hear him sharing these sisterly thoughts to Lumen felt surprisingly comfortable and nice, especially since Dex and Lumen talked in the same balcony where earlier in the season the Morgan siblings were drinking beer and sharing intimacies (well, Deb was since Dex was semi-lying to her all along). This episode also has three or four of Jennifer Carpenter's best acting scenes in the entire series. From listening to Quinn pour his heart apologizing to Deb about his spying on Dex (great Desmond Harrington scene but its Carpenter's reactions to what he's saying that sells the moment) to Deb talking to Dex about how he admires the bond between her vigilante and male accomplice (M.C. Hall's wig was really distracting here though), and from Deb laying the facts with a gleam of satisfaction to Jordan Chase to Deb butting heads with LaGuerta ('I'm the a**hole, right?'), Carpenter was on fire in "Hop on a Freighter." Liddy using Dex's phone and answering Sonia's magician request was precisely the right amount of lighthearted humor before one of the movie's most tense and crammed fights/deaths. The scene with Dex and Lumen in the marina shopping for a knife (which the director went the hell out of his way to establish for the rest of the episode) was neat too, especially since everybody knew Dex didn't mean it when he asked Lumen to leave (i.e. she's had plenty of chances to leave if something were to happen to her next week). And the cat (which made me laugh harder than any sitcom or movie joke I've seen all year) along with Dex's stone-faced 'cute' response came at just the right moment, when the Dex/Lumen break-in into Quinn's gave us a glimpse into how tight and efficient these two have become at what they're doing. I so want Lumen to live and come back next season (even part-time if that's all Julia Stiles' schedule can spare) if, of course, Deb doesn't see those pictures of Dex/Lumen on the Slice of Life boat loading luggage.

Overall, despite my bitching, "Hop on a Freighter" is an OK episode (stuff happened, major characters for this season's arc were dealt with, sets up the conclusion rather well, etc.) but does the opposite of what next-to-last episodes in a season of "Dexter" are supposed to do: lighten up the tension. Before tonight I didn't know where things were going, and now they're pretty much set in the only path they can go forward with only the Lumen/Deborah/Harrison/Quinn wild cards left.

Deb's set up the romantic aspect of a man killing for a vigilante as being kinda beautiful...this is because shes about to discover its her brother.

However, no need for her to realize hes a serial killer...that WILL NOT COME OUT. Just that he met lumen heard her story, and much like deb would have done after watching the rspe tapes over and over, he assisted her instead of sending her through legal recourse.

And lumen dies, sacrificing herself for Dexter happily. No way she stays alive.

First let me curl up with my cat that burps and farts at the same time....

I think I'm with Caleb.

The writers will make us believe that Deb is going to find out everything about Dexter, but...but...what she comes up with is the fact that Lumen did everything and Dexter was just "helping" her. This is established by the fact that they found the female shoe prints at the vacant house when they killed Tilden. Dexter, having much more experience, would know not to leave some evidence like that behind. Lumen, having no experience, wouldn't think that far ahead. (Or maybe Deb won't even identify Dexter at all as the "male helper," but she knows that Lumen is Dexter's "tenant" so I would be shocked if she didn't put 2+2 together.)

Chase kills Lumen, Deb kills Chase, and Dexter's secret remains safe, the chance that his true nature will be revealed dying with Lumen. Everyone who knew everything about Dexter is now dead, including all the scum in the "Barrell Girls" case. One thing I would like to see is the potential public reaction/media storm as Jordan Chase, a supposedly high-profile public figure, is revealed as a serial rapist/murderer. But I don't think we'll get to see any of that.

Dexter escapes the noose yet again, but must continue to be tortured by losing Lumen. His tortured life of violence reaching out yet again to cause death and destruction even (and especially) of those Dexter loves.

There may be some tiny bits of evidence implicating Dexter, but not enough to get him convicted, or even a formal suspect. But Quinn's suspicions will rise again, especially with that blood on his shoe. Time to move on to Season 6, and that's when Deb will finally find out.

Personally, I don't think Lumen will die. I know it's usually a one-off with celebrity guest stars, but that is one of the reasons they won't simply kill her. With a chance to really expand on a relationship that has become quite believable and sweet, it would be a shame to see it come to an end.

However there is another reason why I believe Lumen will live. In many ways it's too much of a rehash to have another woman intimately connected to Dexter die at the very end of the season finale for a second year in a row.

While his relationship with Rita was nice, his relationship with Lumen is more real. She can be with him in all aspects of his life, and that includes killing.
Rita was always shut out of half of it. He doesn't have to lie to Lumen.

Hopefully Lumen stays. I hope she doesn't disappear, die, or simply leave. Her character can make Dexter's life much more interesting.

Well, we know one thing for sure -whenever anyone discovers Dexter's true self, they end up dead, which I'm guessing means Lumen. I think giving Dexter a soul mate in crime would be a real plus. What are they going to do with Harry though? He really cramps the show and Dexter's constant juggling to get around this obvious thorn in the show's side is distracting. He needs an understanding care giver for Harry if Harry is going to stay in the show. I will be eager to see how they tie up the loose ends in this one. It's very sloppy this year. I personally think the second season was by far the best although most seem to think it was season 4. I hope they keep Lumen.

1) Liddy's death will get pinned on Quinn because of the blood on his shoe.
2) There would not have been that much blood spilled; his heartbeat stopped quickly ending the flow.
3)I agree with the Harrison kidnap plot (a. that it's happening, and b. that its a cop from Sons of Anarchy).

Harrison kidnap copped from SOA: even an Irish nanny!

I'm pretty sure the nanny isn't going to kidnap Harrison, seeing how there is already a preview clip out showing them including Astor and Cody and their grandparents suprising Dexter in Miami for Harrison's birthday.

aninjawitagun, I said I hoped I was wrong. If anything is consistent with "Dexter" is that season finales are almost impossible to predict. :-)

I seriously doubt that Deb will find out that Dexter is a serial killer next week.

That moment will be saved for the end of the series, not season, especially now that the show has a less bold showrunner in charge .

I thought it was a little funny and creepy that when Liddy had Dexter tied up at the back of his van, he answered a text from the nanny to have a clown at harrisons birthday party. That surely must be an example of the creepy humour that is always in Dexter.

I am afraid the following will happen:
1)Quinn gets killed by the surviving Fuentes brother(perhaps protecting Deb--her killing of the one brother is not likely to be forgotten)
2)Jordan kills Lumen
3) Jordan is killed by---?--I'm actually guessing Deb here--though the standard kill room may come into play--but 1 +3 would make Deb NOT a dull girl.


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