Dexter Review: Take It!

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The latest episode of Dexter relied on a couple of significant plot holes to move the season's story along:

1. Are we really meant to believe Lumen would somehow still have her cell phone? That her abductors wouldn't have taken/destroyed it when they first captured her?

2. Considering how careful Dexter typically is when it comes to his kill rooms, there were multiple ways in which he and Lumen would have been caught on "Take It." Chase sprinted through a hotel with security cameras in his pursuit of the latter. He also broke down the door that connected his room with Dexter's.

Lumen Photo

I'd be willing to overlook these developments if they contributed to an especially tense hour, but we're more than halfway through this season and I continue to be disappointed, mostly due to the presence of Lumen.

I'm curious to hear what readers think of this character... because I can't get remotely invested in her. It's partly due to the performance of Julia Stiles.

This actress doesn't specialize in subtlety, typically overacting and making me feel like she has no business sharing a screen with Michael C. Hall. It's a major reason why I can't buy into the characters' supposed bond.

I want to get into the concept that Lumen is the first person around whom Dexter has truly been himself, I really do. But I would rather have seen Dexter on his own this season, dealing with Rita's death by either going on a major killing spree or distancing himself as much as possible from his Dark Passenger out of guilt.

My favorite scene of the episode, by far, was when Jordan called Dexter on to the stage and forced him to talk about Rita's death. Was he just pretending to have trouble with it? Is he really still struggling with what happened? I would love to see more of this.

I know Dexter's relationship with Lumen is based on his desire to help her in a way in which he couldn't help Rita - but it's just not a direction I'm satisfied with.

To end this review on a positive note, though, the final scene was intriguing. Sure, there's a fear that this Quinn/Liddy storyline too closely resembles season two with Doakes learning just what Dexter is, but at least seeing Liddy get this close to the truth raises the stakes a whole lot. I'll also give nothing but props to Peter Weller, who appears to be having a blast as Liddy.

As I say every week, Dexter's interactions with Lumen are not keeping me interested, so the more this serial killer's world tightens around him, the greater the chance for the kind of suspense I expect from this show.


Editor Rating: 3.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (45 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.


I like Lumen, except its difficult accepting a character knowing she's only temporary, and not a permanent fixture of the show. The fact they still cast credit her as 'special guest star' makes me think she either bails, or gets killed, before the end of this season. What I want to see is Dexter have an intimate interest in her, and see her carry on to the next season. She's a good character, even if she does overact a little. Impulsive, thoughtless, fearful, and angry, she's Dexter's total opposite. I love it!


Up until this episode, I might agree on the side plots. However, I am intrigued with what is going to happen with this Debra-Laguerta thing. Especially glad that Batista seems to be doing the right thing, as well. I think they could redeem themselves with the side plots this season. Beating the Trinity story line will be a challenge though, no question.

Matt richenthal

@meh: Good call on the cell phone/belongings from the hotel. I forgot about that.
It's very possible that I'm down on Stiles/Lumen due to the impossibility of following Lithgow/Trinity. In that regard, I wish the show didn't even try to have another major guest star, as there's just no way anyone could compare.
It does see baffling that it can't find ANYthing interesting to do with supporting characters, though, doesn't it?


Yeah, is there anybody not tired of seeing Laguerta on the screen? I think meh is probably right about the cell phone thing. Didn't think about that.


I will admit that there are certain events that happen in this season that feel just a little bit too convenient. One of those being the whole thing with the nanny. The thing with the phone is not a plot hole, however. When Dexter first rescued Lumen he found her belongings that the motel had stored after she didn't pay her boarding. I am sure it is possible her phone was with those things and Dexter eventually returned it to her once he trusted her. I don't hold the opinion that there are plot holes that "break" the plot. The stuff about the hotel room is a valid concern, but we have yet to see if they do anything with that. I can understand if your personal taste prevents you from enjoying this season as much as others. Not everyone is going to like Julia Stiles or every direction a show goes, but I do think they are sticking to what makes the show good, and keeping it entertaining. Your complaints about the side plots in this season are complaints I had with season 4. Of course, it may have been that Lithgow was so good that I didn't care about any plot but what involved him. Regardless, I think your being a bit too quick to judge on some things, but at the end of the day your opinion is going to be your opinion.


You can get a new cell phone and keep the same number. I don't remember exactly how Cole busted through the door. Did he break the door or just knock it off its hinges. The latter is a quick fix. I'll give you the hotel camera complaint. Not sure of a way around that one. Regardless, are you really that hung up on these details? I've noticed some other "plot holes" this season as well, but I find them to be relatively insignificant. Really? You don't like Lumen? You must have really hated Rita.


I like the whole show. I like the twist with Lumen. Makes me wonder where this is going.

Matt richenthal

@meh: You make very good points about the over-arching theme, but my simple response is ironically the same as your user name: meh.
I simply find this season to be boring. That's all there is to it. Very little feels at stake, more so than ever with the supporting characters, all of which feel like pure filler in order to save Michael C. Hall from being in ever scene. I also don't think sticking to a theme is an excuse for sloppy writing. It's not nit-picking to state that there's no way Lumen would have her cell phone. The series changed show runner hands at the conclusion of season four and such plot holes such as this have been more noticeable since, unfortunately.


Has this reviewer been watching the series? I mean seriously. The whole over-arching theme of the series is Dexter's desire to be normal, or at least find a balance between what he wants in life and what his "dark passenger" wants. Lumen is a beautifully ironic but perfect candidate to explore Dexter's desire to truly connect with someone at the most intimate level. Admittedly, the timing of events is a little convenient for the story, but that is forgivable in my opinion. Nit-Picking Dexter's actions is pointless because a recurring theme of the series is how he makes more mistakes as he explores this part of him that could be "human." As we see Dexter get closer to someone than ever before we see some major changes in his execution. We don't know how that will all pan out yet, but it is obvious from the last scene of this episode that his carelessness is going to catch up with him. Please stop criticizing the show when it stays true to its central theme. If Dexter never explored this part of himself and never took the risks he does to do so, we would have just another crap show like CSI that has a weekly formula. We don't like Dexter because he kills people all the time, we enjoy taking this unique and strangely relate-able journey with his character.


Wow, you completely underrated this episode. It's like you're LOOKING for things to moan about.

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Dexter Season 5 Episode 8 Quotes

Dad once told me that some people deserve to die.


I've never been around so many people who made me feel normal. [Pause] Really normal.