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'Dexter' recap: Never lie to someone who trusts you; never trust someone who lies to you

October 17, 2010 |  9:43 pm

Dexter_504_0381 Let’s talk about the most important part of the episode: Michael C. Hall with his shirt off -- twice! Just kidding. What was great about tonight’s “Dexter” was that we were supposed to cheer for Dexter, who was basically committing an act of one-on-one terrorism, and root against Quinn, who was actually completely right in his instincts. I think the only people who came out of the episode clean were Harrison and Sonya. 

The episode picked up right where the last one left off, with Dexter dealing with the filthy, terrified Boyd victim on his hands. Harry appears and chides Dexter for violating the No. 1 rule, which isn’t, as Dexter suggests, “Never kill an innocent”: Above all else, it’s don’t get caught.  The girl wakes up and starts freaking out so he needles her. Deb calls to ask Dexter to help read the blood at the decapitation crime scene and he realizes that it’s morning and he left Harrison with Sonya all night. Oops.

At the crime scene Dexter is there just long enough to run a preliminary ID test on his captive and finds a key clue in the beheading investigation, no big deal.  He heads home to an irate Sonya, who quits. I liked the way Dexter said “I miss your mom,” to Harrison, because we know he didn’t mean it in a sentimental way: He meant it in a convenient babysitter way. 

Unable to find much on his girl, named Lumen, Dexter tries once again to get her to trust him by giving her some of Masuka’s antibiotics, but she refuses.  Terrified, she tries to tell Dexter she didn’t see him do anything, but he tells her he knows that’s not true. I think Julia Stiles did a great job in this episode portraying a woman half-mad by terror and exhaustion; she seemed almost feral to me. Once again she tries to flee and Dexter locks her up in the tourism center where he was originally going to kill Boyd.  I had flashbacks to Dexter’s imprisonment of Sgt. Doakes with this scene.

Dexter tracks down the hotel where Lumen last stayed, using Harrison as cute bait to get her luggage from the woman at the front desk. He finds a letter from her parents begging her to come home, which he hands back to his prisoner.

Unable to get Lumen to trust him, Dexter asks Sonya for another chance by mostly telling her the truth about where he was, and she caves.  With that success, he tries again with Lumen, who instead hits him over the head with a bottle and escapes her prison.  He chases her through a park: I know we were supposed to be rooting for Dexter here but I felt so awful for Lumen.  In this particular scenario, Dexter was the bad guy, to her anyway.  He wrestles her down finally and shushes her and gets her into the car, where Harry appears, insinuating that Dexter should just kill her to get her out of the way.

Quinn, who has been a real pain-in-the-neck regarding the security of FBI safehouses, has finally tracked down Jonah Mitchell, and shows him a picture of Dexter. “Is this Kyle Butler?” he asks, and before Jonah can confirm, a cop pulls a gun on Quinn.  I think if this were “Law and Order” or some other show, Quinn could have been shot for cornering someone in protective custody like that.

Dex takes Lumen to the swamp where Boyd kept his victims and tells her he saved her life. “How do I know you didn’t kill these girls?” she asks, and Dexter tells her that she’ll just have to trust him. As an act of good faith he offers her his knife, which she slashes at him with before freaking out once more. 

Back at Miami Metro, Maria puts Quinn on unpaid suspension: The only reason she doesn’t terminate him, it seems, is that she’s mostly sick of dealing with police paperwork after finding out that Angel may still be in trouble after beating up Sgt. Lopez, despite apologizing to him in the hospital. It’s funny how Quinn is right in his suspicions and is on the path to solving this particular case and catching one of Miami’s serial killers, but since I hate Quinn I’m not cheering for him at all.  Deb, shaken up from a bloody encounter with a beheading suspect and his hostage, meets Quinn in the parking lot and tells him she doesn’t want to be alone for the night.  He has the decency to tell her he’s no good for her but she doesn’t care.  I’m surprised Deb hasn’t caught on yet that her instincts with men are always the worst.  Who knows, maybe in a future season she’ll come out as a lesbian, only we find she’s in a relationship with a lesbian serial killer.

In the wilderness, Lumen seems to have finally calmed down as she takes care of Dexter’s knife wound.  (It’s a rule of TV: Even if you were worried that a guy was going to murder you, you are still obligated to daub at his cuts.)  She apologizes (!) for thinking he was a monster, saying how horrible her experiences were. Dexter encourages her to go home, now that her horrible experience is over, but she reveals that it’s not over, because Boyd was not the only one who did bad things to her. 

-- Claire Zulkey

Photo: Julia Stiles as Lumen. Credit: Randy Tepper /Showtime