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

December 5, 2010 | 10:00 pm

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

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