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Dexter

Dexter Review: Oh, Brothers

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It may be contrived, but I'll take it.

This week, Dexter viewers finally watched the title character get prominently involved in the most significant, gruesome serial-killing case the show has ever portrayed. It's been incredibly odd to see Dexter so obsessed with Brother Sam and some notion of light versus dark that he essentially overlooked the sort of case that would typically grab his attention.

Deb on the Job

And, even now, it's unclear why he's working against the police instead of with them. As I've noted before, there's no reason for Dexter to be on his own in this instance. In the past, he only took it upon himself to track down killers when the cops have failed, or when there's something especially personal at stake (e.g. Trinity). But here? Of course he's committing a "Sin of Omission," there's simply no rational reason - or any Dark Passenger-related reason - for why he wouldn't tell everyone else about Travis.

So, yes, it's forced suspense. But, hey, it's suspense nonetheless. I certainly moved toward the edge of my seat when Dexter entered the abandoned church, didn't you?

My favorite aspect of the episode, though, actually did not focus on DDK. In the main one of three arcs that focused on brothers and sisters, Dexter and Deb dealt a bit with their communication problems. It was a nice change of pace for a relationship that, as the therapist pointed out, has remained constantly strong... and constantly comprised of Deb spilling her guts to her sibling.

Fans will likely start speculating now on whether this means Deb might start digging around her brother's life more and perhaps, finally, discover his secret. But Dexter just got picked up for two more seasons. I can't see this major angle playing out any time soon, unfortunately. I'm all ready for it at least. It's the shot of adrenaline and change-of-pace Dexter needs.

Because - while it was nice to see Dexter involved with the main investigation - other aspects of "Sin of Omission" were a major snooze. I'm sorry, but does anyone care to see Quinn drunk again? What happened to last week's apology and that sweet, sober exchange in Deb's office? It's like it never happened.

And does anyone care about Batista protecting his sister? Or LaGuerta protecting who we have to assume is the Deputy Chief? I know Michael C. Hall can't be in every scene, but the show comes to a stand still when it dedicates any time at all to side characters that aren't at least related to Dexter.

As far as I can tell, too, there's no such thing as Elliott Search Engine. I mean, Google is "so five minutes ago," intern guy?!? Pretty sure Google is only just beginning to take over the world (it launched Google Music this week). That was just a very strange, extraneous mention, wasn't it?

Overall? Definitely a step in the intriguing direction this week. Dexter used to bible to manipulate Travis, not to take a boring look inside of himself. I appreciated that. Let's do away with the light and the dark and the religion and the psychobabble. Of course Dexter has some light inside of him, look at how he cares about Harrison and, of course, how he doesn't just kill innocent people. I'm not sure why he's still questioning that so many seasons later.

I just want to see him set his sights on a target and for obstacles to arise that make that target difficult and dangerous to strap down. Teaming up with Travis and having Gellar make eye contact with Dexter? I think we've arrived at that fun point.

(P.S. I am aware of the popular theory that Gellar is merely a figment of Travis' imagination, and I'm aware that this episode played into it big time (having Gellar stop to look down at Travis and Dexter above the church; the mere way Travis talked about how he can't be controlled)... but this would be such an insulting, idiotic storyline to actually follow through on - the lowest form of storytelling possible, to dupe the audience via scenes/characters that don't actually exist - that I refuse to give it any credence until we actually learn whether it's valid.

PLEASE, Dexter writers, do not tell me you're this desperate for supposed shock value.)

Review

Editor Rating: 3.7 / 5.0
  • 3.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.7 / 5.0 (57 Votes)

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

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My guess is that Dexter is going rogue without notifying the police because of that situation where he held up Travis in his car. Travis clearly recognized his voice in this episode, and perhaps caught a glimpse of his face, so bringing Travis in to the cops could potentially cause trouble for Dexter.
I initially thought that Geller was a figment of Travis' imagination, but there are a few things that oppose this view: 1) Geller has physically handled objects (ex: the feathers in the earlier episodes), 2) Geller chained Travis up- while it isn't out of the question that Travis did this to himself, it seems unlike that he would have been "coerced" by his Dark Passenger to kill his sister, then chain himself up and knock himself out, and 3) there is a real Geller out there either way- the one who went underground, unless we find out he died at some point in time, but he has been keeping up a web site, so I doubt this is the case- and I don't think they would have the real Geller and the imaginary Geller because that would be too confusing (and ridiculous).
I don't really care much about Quinn, although my first guess was that he was the one who screwed with the call girl- I'd be more inclined to say it was someone like Batista rather than the Deputy Chief on the phone because I can't see Laguerta wanting to help the Deputy Chief out in any way, and I can't see him going to her for help. Batista was really being an ass with the intern, which seemed a bit out of character for him, even as an overprotective older brother. I like the new detective Mike and am awaiting the inevitable romance with Deb, although for now I wish they'd give him more to do. Deb seems to have a lot of spare time to go to therapy and do field work, especially given her new position that took up all of Laguerta's time when she was lieutenant. And speaking of Laguerta, I used to like this character, but she is simply unbearable this season. Laguerta is so selfish and shady and manipulative- I hate what they've done with her. Is the girl intern coming back anytime soon? Seems she got off easy after what she pulled. I like the guy intern now, but he'll be snooping for sure. I think that covers most of it for now- love this show!

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@Matt, He doesn't care that DDK is going around killing people, he just wants to kill him himself. Dexter has said many times that he's not a vigilante going around saving people from murderers, he's just selfishly satisfying his own murderous desires. That Dexter is letting DDK go around killing people is not inconsistent with his code. Travis can kill all he wants, Dexter is only interested in killing him in the end. It's been that way forever, just sometimes there's emotional connections involved as well.

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Dexter has always been my favorite show. But this season has just been so bad its almost painful for me. I am about 99%it sure that Gellar is Travis's "harry" but if he is actually dead, why haven't the police figured that out yet?
I like the idea of LaGuerta covering for Quinn...but why? I hope that he has something on her...and something HUGE.
I am suprised that Deb hasn't slept with the new detective yet.... or ANYYONE this season! I like Deb, but she is the Show Ho...and that's just her, which makes it ok.

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I gave this episode 4 stars. I love the strained relationship with Dexter and Deb, and actually Deb has become my favorite character this season. I don't know if that is because of good writing for her or lower expectations for Dexter.
I know the theory is Gellar is imaginary, but I still haven't jumped 100% on that yet. It may turn out to be true, but would Travis kill his own sister or chain himself up in the church? Or would he decide to go against his previous pattern of leaving numbers? Perhaps, but I would just need some of those loose ends to be connected to be fully on board.

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I couldn't agree more with this review. It seems that FINALLY things are starting to pick up, although I'm not sure with 4 or 5 episodes left that it could save the season. This season is just completely weird to me. Tyler - that's a great observation! I definitely missed that and naturally assumed LaGuerta was talking to the Deputy Chief, but Quinn makes a lot of sense! Hopefully since Dexter has been picked up for 2 more seasons, they will have time to redeem themselves from this one! Dexter used to be my favorite show on tv, but now when Sunday comes around every week I can't wait to watch Homeland which is on right after Dexter! Haha! Has anyone been watching that? Incredible!

Matt-richenthal

@Alex Roggio: But Dexter works with the police all the time on cases. He doesn't go rogue all the time or else he'd never have actually lasted this long on the job.
As I keep saying, the main examples from past seasons involve some kind of personal connection - Ice Truck Killer was taunting him with a game, Jordan Chase had the Lumen connection, Dexter wanted to learn from Trinity - but that's been the complete opposite here. Dexter has been taken with Sam and religion and hasn't cared one iota about DDK. It's not consistent with his Code or history for him to be keeping this one all to himself.

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Pretty Sure LaGuerta was protecting Quinn. They made sure to bring up he wasn't at the crime scene and to give us a scene of him hitting on some stripper... It wouldn't make sense for her to protect the Deputy Chief... (LaGuerta is the captain now)

Bianca

may be unpopular opinion but I really didn't like this season until tonight's episode. I didn't understand where it was going/it was kind of all over the place but now I'm convinced that it's all leading up to Deb finding out about Dexter..especially after the blow out between them tonight

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It's not shock value when it's been obvious from the start. The fact is, I would be incredibly shocked if Gellar wasn't a figment of his imagination. I don't understand how you haven't accepted it yet. I don't have to list evidence for you considering EVERY SINGLE APPEARANCE of his on the show is evidence. Asking me for evidence that Gellar is imaginary isI like asking me for evidence that Dexter is a serial killer. Anyway, I enjoyed the episode, but I want to point out that the only reason Dexter is working against the police is because he wants to kill Gellar for himself. He did it with the Ice Truck Killer, with the Skinner, with Jordan Chase and with the Trinity Killer. And with many many many other killers that weren't the main focus of the season. Dexter just wants to kill. Let him be.

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Masuka's intern has an interest in Dexter - remember, he's developing a video game about Miami Metro and he already is gaga over Dexter's work...he created Elliot Search Engine in order to track Dexter's searches. Eventually, he'll catch on and follow-up or whatever and find out Dex is a killer