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'Dexter' recap: What a night!

October 31, 2010 | 10:00 pm


A lot happened on Sunday night’s episode, but the one thing that stuck with me was a desire to implore the writers of “Dexter” to please give Deb Morgan a break already.  I was half laughing, half groaning when she asked Quinn to tell her if it was going to end badly. Memo to Deb: IT’S GOING TO END BADLY!  Although it’ll be exciting, no doubt, to see how Quinn’s vendetta against Dexter will play out in regard to his relationship with Deb, I wish the show would figure out a way to give her a love life that doesn’t go horribly awry.  Even if it means she becomes a nun, it’s time to give her a break. 

Otherwise, Sunday night’s episode is about Dexter trying to keep his life neatly compartmentalized: This part of him is a father, this is a blood-spatter expert, this is a murderer.  To celebrate a return to old times, Dexter decides to take down Lance Robinson, who kills men he meets online for casual encounters.  “Tonight’s the night,” he says as he goes, while we also see Lumen preparing for her own kill.  Dexter’s hopes for a tidy evening are disrupted when Lumen calls him as he’s wrapping Lance in plastic.  She begs for Dexter's help: She has tracked down one of the men she thinks raped and tortured her but has botched the murder. 

Dexter meets Lumen at her murder scene, where she initially blames him for not doing it for her.  She discerns that he works for the police department as they track her bleeding, escaped victim through the marina, bickering along the way like a big brother and wayward little sister.  Lumen reveals that she never actually saw her attackers’ faces or heard their names, but she knows, based on a smell, that he’s the guy.  I’ve been trying to figure out exactly how Dexter sees Lumen (I was worried that they might kiss at the end of the episode and was relieved when they didn’t), but I love this scene, the way Dexter seems so peeved and incredulous when Lumen curses him out. 

While Deb and Angel are doing a stakeout on a club to try to get the Fuentes brothers, they get a call about a potential homicide at the marina, which of course just happens to be the potential homicide that Dex and Lumen are engaged in.  Then Lumen and Dexter find their man, and a ridiculous bloody screaming match ensues (again, so much for neat and compartmentalized) in which Dan the Dentist claims he’s never seen Lumen in his life.  Dexter takes a call from Sonya to hear Harrison say bye-bye (or “die-die”), and when he returns, Lumen has her stiletto against Dan’s throat. While Dexter yells at Lumen for being nuts, Dan crawls off and is conveniently heard on the cellphone telling his cronies that Lumen’s alive -- so she has had her man all along. “They’re gonna find you,” Dan promises Lumen, and then Dexter finally dispatches him.  Lumen seems almost happy, but they need to clean up, because Deb and Masuka are on the trail.

Just in time, the M-99 wears off on Lance, who escapes Dexter’s SUV.  A great, suspenseful scene follows with Dexter chasing Lance, trailing a length of plastic wrap, around the pier while Lumen's left with Dan’s body and the police are stalking the marina. Just in the nick of time, Deb finds Dexter, who claims to have found something amazing -- he sends Lumen home to his old house and stages a death scene involving both Dan and Lance.  Masuka reads it as a homoerotic/auto-erotic crime of passion and graphically mimes what he thinks happened. “What a night!” Deb exclaims, and that’s how I felt -- almost over the top but just enough gripping, ridiculous drama.

In the meantime, Angel and Maria sort things out: He spots a comely potential source on the beheading cases and brings her to the station as a way to patch things up with Maria.  He apologizes for his temper; she apologizes for, uh, trying to be a good cop, which I guess also means being a bad wife?  Either way, I’m glad it's resolved because their marital tension isn’t the most riveting storyline.

Back at his old house, Dexter talks to Lumen, who now has figured out that Dexter is also a father.  She delivers a rather stiff monologue on how she used to live a normal life, bailed on her wedding and then ended up here, saying that she can’t help but think that what has happened to her is a punishment for trying to lead her own life.  She won’t feel peace until all her attackers are dead, and Dexter realizes she has her own dark passenger, and he will help Lumen get revenge.

So do we think Dex and Lumen are developing some sort of Batman and Robin relationship here?  Will the two of them become romantic, and are you like me and hope they don’t? And will Deborah ever have a relationship with someone nice and boring?

-- Claire Zulkey

Photo: Julia Stiles as Lumen and Michael C. Hall as Dexter. Photo: Randy Tepper / Showtime