Dexter Review: Effed Up and Beautiful

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Guess Dexter and Lumen should have hopped that freighter, huh?

Indeed, the best episode of the season featured an abundance of pulse-pounding scenes, as Dexter offed Liddy, Jordan took out Emily and Laguerta... well, she mostly remained an irritant.

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Thanks to the action of "Hop a Freighter," the stage is set for an unpredictable season finale.

In the past, it wasn't difficult to foresee how things would go at the conclusion of each Dexter season. In some way, shape or form, Dexter's main antagonist - from his brother to Doakes to Miguel to Trinity - would be killed, typically by Dexter's hand on Dexter's kill table.

But it's hard to imagine this year will end the same way. Even if Dexter does track down Jordan and plunge a knife into his chest, consider all the other factors at play:

  • What will happen with Lumen?
  • Will Quinn get further involved?
  • How close will Deb get to her sibling's connection to Chase, the man she's sure is being hunted by a pair of vigilantes?

Regarding the final point, how great was the scene where Deb inadvertently discussed Dexter's love for Lumen? The show has been dropping hints that she'll one day discover her brother's secret, but also teasing the possibility that she'll be okay with it.

Earlier this season, she spoke on her lack of guilt over killing that Fuentes brother. Here, she refers to Dexter's vigilante work as "fucked up and beautiful." Sort of describes how many viewers feel about Dexter himself, doesn't it?

Let's also give props to the show for how it's evolved Quinn. He gave a heartfelt speech to Deb about how she's affected him as a human being, to the point where he's almost as blinded as she is to Dexter's murderous ways.

It's sweet he wants Liddy to back off Deb and all - but does he really not want to pursue Dexter, considering the photos Liddy has handed him? It's a bit of a stretch to think that Quinn would go from suspecting Dexter was Kyle Butler (a plot point I really wish this season had addressed more) to not even caring that he looks to be discarding a body into the ocean.

As for Dexter and Lumen, I'm calling it now: the season will conclude with a proposal. Consider the reference to Dexter buying a ring this week, his two-word response to Lumen on the docks at one point ("I do") and the overall idea of how she is the one person to not see him as a monster.

I'll be torn on how to react to this development if it happens because Julia Stiles is simply not in the acting league as Michael C. Hall (the former overacts every scene, the latter is a master at subtlety), but we're getting ahead of ourselves.

What did everyone think of "Hop a Freighter?"


Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (81 Votes)

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


Personally, I hated the character of Rita (not the actress; the character)- she was a major irritant. Lumen at least has substance and, rather than a needy damsel in distress, is a partner and a woman of strength and determination. And I think Julia Stiles was the perfect actress to portray her - lovely, talented, and, yes, nuanced. That said, I don't think Lumen will survive into the next season, bot for plot reasons and because I don't know that Stiles wants to be part of an ongoing series indefinitely. The writers have (thankfully) strayed so far from the books on which the series is based, there's no telling where it could head (at least it won't be revealing the "Dark Passenger" as a demon, like in the books). I look forward ot being along for the ride.


The relationship between Dexter and Lumen is way to forced. It's not really a big surprise that she is ok with the fact that he kills people. What is Dexter supposed to help her kill these guys then afterwards turnaround and think that he is a monster because he does what he does. She was raped and tortured by 5 guys, so Dexter is helping her take the guys out who also fit his code. He is not exactly going out on a limb to do something he has done so many times already


Linda, I agree about the Nanny. I don't get the reason for the character, unless it's solely to justify Dexter not having to spend all his time with the kid. The actress has some measure of fame too. She starred in the Commitments. Seems like a pointless nothing, non career advancing role....But the character's literally been given no hint of anything but straitlaced focus. Consider the daughter of John Lithgow last season...You could smell that she was wrong because she kept showing up for no reason. The nanny is where she should be every time.


How about the nanny? There's seriously something not right with her- can't be. Nothing ever is that perfect in Dexter's world.


I think Julia Stiles has done a wonderful job this season!! She has gotten me to care about Lumen and the connection with Dexter is incredible. I hope I am wrong but I think Deb is going to catch Lumen in the act of killing Jordan and realize Dexter's part in all of it.


Julio I think you are right the director pointed that out very clearly. Add to that the fact that the police always checked the deceased's phone bill and they will find Quinn as the last number dialed and then a call from Quinn to Liddy... Thats Genius


The quicker Lumen is killed off, the better the show will become.

Saad khan

I think Dexter was truly Amazing this week and you were right it was a Heart pumping ride... In this episode we get to see Two really strong emotional scenes
1. Dex & Deb, it was really powerful the way Deb says " its fucked up & Beautiful" wow
2. Quinn & Deb, He almost call her a guy... I have to applause for the writers, the way he says that "your are like a Guy" who says to a girl while confessing his love for her... I think Only Quinn could have done that... it was Beautiful! I think you are becoming Julia Stiles Hater... which is really bad, I think you should do a poll and ya will know that people actually love Julia Stiles as Lumen...
I love the way they looked at each other while planning to take out Jordan Chase & then when they were at antique shop and out of all antiques bangles, rings, they end up buying Knife... it was so beautiful.
I'm really Psyched about the finale bx I know it will be another painful waiting till next September for Dexter to come back... so I'm ready whatever writers through at me. OMG yes, I just said that. :P


Gosh I don't know what is going to happen but I hope Lumen kicks Jordan Chase's ass and doesn't die doing it! I also concur that Julia Stiles should come back in the next season. I liked Rita, but Dexter and Lumen seem a better fit. I just can't wait to see what happens in the next episode. Sunday can't come fast enough!


Yeah, I think you're way off about Julia Stiles. She's done a magnificent job.

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