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'Dexter' recap: Running in place

November 22, 2010 |  6:09 am

Dexter_509_0179 Readers, who do you think is a better bad guy this season, Jordan Chase or Stan Liddy?  From a practical perspective, I guess the answer is Jordan since it appears that he was involved with the grisly torture and murder of several girls, plus the whole motivational-speaking thing is just weird and cult-like.  But Stan Liddy, crooked cop and difficult private eye of Quinn, is scarier to me.  Obviously, he cackles and threatens and winks like a cartoonish bad guy, but he seems so good at what he does -- yet unpredictable.  Liddy might be the bigger creep.

Sadly, we didn’t get to see too much of either of them Sunday night, as Dexter was playing father once again when his stepdaughter Astor and her friend Olivia showed up drunk at the house, coming face to face with Lumen.  Astor was convinced that Lumen was Dexter’s replacement for her mother, and Dexter was convinced that Astor was on a bad-girl path.  Then he learned that actually she was protecting Olivia from the abusive boyfriend of her mom. I’m glad that this storyline gave Lumen a way to meet more of Dexter’s family (and vice versa), but of all the facets of Dexter’s life, his role as a father has never been the most intriguing.  I groan a little bit when he says his most important role is as a father. No! Your most important role is serial killer!  That said, I did enjoy the way Dex was surrounded by women in this episode and had to tap dance his way past most of them.

The most intriguing part of the episode for me was Deb meeting Lumen.  Deb knows something’s up, that Lumen’s not just Dexter’s renter, but what I ultimately want to know is where their mutual acquaintanceship will take them. Will Deb need to rescue Lumen at any point? Accuse Lumen of any wrongdoing?  Or will Lumen just ride off into the sunset at the end of this season?  

In the meantime, Dexter slowly stalked Jordan during their odd treadmill therapy sessions, stealing a bit of blood from a vial Jordan wears around his neck. (Did anybody else here automatically think Angelina Jolie? Jolie, it so happens, was married to Jonny Lee Miller [Jordan Chase].) Things are tense between Quinn and Deb as she reacts strangely when he tells her he loves her, and then she’s further alienated when she learns (and he tells her) that he wasn’t on vacation from work, he was suspended for stalking Dexter. Quinn has bigger stuff to worry about too: After trying to get Liddy to go away, Liddy seems like he’ll do as he pleases, which is potentially make things difficult for Quinn.

Now that Dexter’s settled his family business, next week it seems we’ll get back to the big story of the season, namely what exactly Jordan was doing with Lumen and all those women in the barrels (and the still-living woman whose blood he had in the vial) and if Dexter can find the answers before the Miami police do.

-- Claire Zulkey

Photo: Michael C. Hall as Dexter and Jonny Lee Miller as Jordan Chase. Photo: Randy Tepper / Showtime