Dexter Review: Sprinting Toward Suspense

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Deb and Astor know about Lumen.

Jordan Chase knows about Dexter.

And I'm finally excited to see how all this plays out.

Treadmill Action

For most of season five, I've complained about the exceedingly slow build-up, as Dexter has served as more of a babysitter than a serial killer. That didn't change a lot on "Teenage Wasteland," especially with Astor back in the picture and Dexter forced to play father.

But at least the many secrets that were discovered - Dexter's agenda with Chase, Lumen's presence in Rita's house, Liddy's new film roll - should lead viewers toward a suspenseful final few episodes.

It was a nice, tender moment when Dexter took down the man who was beating on Olivia (only on Dexter can a one-sided brawl be described as "tender." Gotta love that aspect of the show, don't you?), but that incident also illustrated a problem for the series.

It can't seem to decide if it wants Dexter to evolve or not.

Every time this character talks about placing his family over his Dark Passenger, little actually changes. Think about the line Dexter narrates soon after he drops Astor off and spends time with her and Cody: he says he has an answer for Jordan Chase, he wants to be a good father above all else. In literally the next sentence, he says he can't wait to go back and learn the results of the blood test from Jordan's vial.

The series is continually asking whether or not Dexter can have it all (his killing and a normal life), but I thought that question was answered with a resounding no after Rita was killed. In my ideal scenario for season five, Dexter would have responded to that death by embracing his Dark Passenger more than ever, while also trying to stay one step ahead of the search for Kyle Butler.

Seriously, what happened to that storyline?!? If Rita's death was all over the news, are we really meant to believe Trinity's family wouldn't have noticed Dexter's name/face and said something? A couple more nagging questions:

  1. Quinn is now so blinded by love that he doesn't bat an eye, and appears to absolutely shrug off, photos that show Dexter and a strange girl piling garbage bags into his boat?!?
  2. Why was Harry so proud of Dexter for sticking up for Astor? First, it's not the first time this has happened (remember when he scared away that perv with the camera two seasons ago?). Second, Harry has always been against the idea of Dexter trying to be both a family man and a killer. Third, it's not against Dexter's character to take justice into his own hands. He does that all the time.

Okay, rant over. Focus returned to the actual events of this season... despite my disdain for the character of Lumen and the direction the show has gone in, I really am excited to see how this ends. I'm anticipating a major twist of some kind, perhaps starting with Emily Birch.

Who is she? Why does Jordan carry around her blood? Will she be his next victim? And, perhaps most importantly of all: how many steps are there for Batista between the couch and the bed?

What did everyone else think of this episode? Browse through the latest Dexter quotes and sound off now!


Editor Rating: 3.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.2 / 5.0 (29 Votes)

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


it was a slow episode and more fatherly one so I think the show creators are looking for some soft side in Dexter don't know why though?
We love the Bad Bloody Dexter!!!!! my only hope is with now "what writers have said that Dexter's ending will be shocking and nothing you have expected Coming in this season" Keeping my figures cross.


I wondered if Quinn takes Lindey out himself, maybe he's keeping an eye on Deb (Quinn) and notices Lindey trying to approach her with some evidence of Dexter being a guilty person, kills Lindey and destroys the evidence.
I'm a bit surprised that Dex hasn't noticed he's being tailed though, I guess the guy is more after Lumen though then Dexter himself.
I think it makes sense for him to explain himself to Astor why Lumen's in the house, but he handled it best by saying "she's had some very tough things to deal with..." and that she understood why he was. About Deb though, I don't think she'll find out this season that Dexter is a murderer. She might think that someone is, but not Dex. Or soon after she has the idea, some "new evidence" or something gets placed at a crime scene to throw her off the trail, he wouldn't or shouldn't let a police officer get that close to his Dark Passenger. I can't believe there's only 3 more episodes left for this season! It went so quickly.


Dexter is James Bond, Dirty Harry, Batman. We know in the back of our minds that he is invulnerable. Another big question this season is: how does he kill Liddy without breaking the code? Liddy is clearly a shady character but probably not a murderer and he has a lot of rock solid incriminating evidence against our friend Dexter. He will have to be conveniently "collaterally damaged" somehow. Or he will cause his own death in a clever unexpected way that is poetic reward for his pathological need to get back at those that wronged him - maybe a subtle Robocop homage. Quinn will continue to be a wildcard.


This episode felt like it could well be the beginning of a progression toward a series finale. It seems like they're creating so many threats to the character that there's no way around everything coming to a crashing end. I'll be curious to see how they work their way out of this.


I agree, this season has been painfully slow to ascend. I was on the edge of my seat from the first episode last season until the end. Remember the last episode when Deb said that she didn't feel anything when she killed the Fuentes brother? I really think that is going to come into play at the end of this season. I think Deb is going to figure out that Dexter is a vigilante serial killer, and be ok with it. I think she's going to have a hand in WHO Dexter kills (ex. by giving an old file). As far as Emily Birch is concerned, I'd guess it's a girlfriend from Jordan's past that survived his torture... before he disposed of the tortured women. SHE was his "big change" that turned him to the phrase "take it". I can't wait to see how it all plays out! Great review!

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Dexter Season 5 Episode 9 Quotes

Lumen: Share something with her - what you did when you were her age.
Dexter: I killed the neighbor's dog.
Lumen: Well, don't tell her that.

Dexter (thinking to himself): Jordan is one tough nut to crack.
Jordan (out loud): You're one tough nut to crack; you know that, Dexter?
Dexter (still thinking): I wish he'd stop doing that.