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'Dexter' recap: We have work to do

November 20, 2011 | 10:01 pm

David Zayas as Angel Batista, Michael C. Hall as Dexter, Desmond Harrington as Joey Quinn, Billy Brown as Mike Anderson, and Jennifer Carpenter as Debora Morgan. Photo: Randy Tepper / Showtime

I don't know about you, but I’m holding on to the theory that there is no actual Professor until I’m smacked in the face with how wrong I am. I’m choosing to see clues: Dexter muses that Travis’ “dark passenger can be killed,” which sounds like it’s just a setup to prove Dexter wrong; Travis is aware that his sister spoke to the police, which makes it possible that he killed her; and at the end of the episode, while Dexter was chasing the Professor, he never actually saw him, but just noticed that Travis looked up toward the choir loft in the church.

Also, why didn't Dexter seem to notice that Travis had just been brutally branded? Unless that was all in Travis’ mind? I still think Dexter’s going to realize that, while Travis may believe there’s a Professor and has convinced others that he’s operating as two people, the real Professor is in some horrible tableau somewhere. We’ll see.

The main story tonight was Dexter and Debra’s crumbling relationship. Early in the episode Dexter muses about how children blindly trust their parents, and we then see Deb realizing how much less she can trust her brother than she originally thought. “I took advantage of you,” Dexter apologizes early in the episode, but Deb’s disappointed by him all over again when she learns that he ran off to Nebraska during his time off, which she sees as him opting not to confide in her regarding his anguish over the Trinity Killer rearing his head again.

After speaking with her therapist, Deb resolves to be a better listener to her brother, but when she shows up at his place to cook him dinner, Dexter blows her off to go find Travis, telling Deb he’s busy, even though he told her earlier that he was staying in for the night. Well, at least he’s a better brother than Travis, whose sister Lisa ended up dead, riding a poor mutilated crocodile (or alligator? Mystery!) as the Whore of Babylon.

What’s going to happen when Deb and Dexter’s issues come to a head? I don’t think Deb’s going to learn her brother’s secrets anytime soon. I do like the idea that perhaps Dexter, in order to help his sister’s arrest record, will offer Travis up for her to capture. There are also a few parallels between Debra and Lisa (in terms of brothers with dark pasts who lie to their their well-meaning sisters) so I wonder if Debra will be in danger from Travis and the Professor since they now know who she is.

Maybe it was the letdown from last week’s ramble to Nebraska, but tonight’s episode felt a little forgettable, like it’s just a bridge to when we get closer to Dexter finding (or not finding) the Professor.

We also need to wait to find out who Laguerta was covering for as she urged Deb to close the case on a dead call girl (Capt. Matthews seems like too easy a guess, no?). Yes, Dexter confessed to a priest with dementia that he kills people, but last week’s episode felt more cathartic for our hero.  

By the way, am I a total creep for expecting (perhaps wanting) a more horrifying tableau for Lisa as the Whore of Babylon? After the theatricality of the spike-collared angel and the horses of the apocalypse, sitting on an alligator behind a curtain seemed kind of bush league.

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-- Claire Zulkey
twitter.com/Zulkey

Photo: David Zayas as Angel Batista, Michael C. Hall as Dexter, Desmond Harrington as Joey Quinn, Billy Brown as Mike Anderson, and Jennifer Carpenter as Debora Morgan. Photo: Randy Tepper / Showtime

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