I am still highly conflicted about this season of Dexter. I will never be a fan of too much religion in my drama, although for some strange reason I did secretly enjoy… I can’t believe I’m admitting this… Touched By An Angel. I’d always end up crying at the end of every show. Which I will never understand. But I suppose the difference there is that show was about religion, faith, forgiveness, redemption, etc. And I knew that going in. When I watch Dexter, honestly, I want to watch sick, disgusting, warped serial killings. Why pretend? There’s a reason the show has lasted six seasons. I felt it was bad enough when Dexter (Michael C. Hall) went through the addiction phase, but the religion thing has thrown me for a loop. Although I will admit, Brother Sam (Mos Def) preaching, has not been over the top, which helps a great deal. It seems that at least the writer/producers are looking at religion making you a better person, more enlightened and willing to help others vs. the religious nuts who use religion as an excuse for violence.
In this episode, Dexter learns that he does have some light in him – from Harrison. I do love that it takes a reformed murderer to point this out to him. And this is probably why I’m not completely turning the show off every week. Brother Sam is a way to get the ideas across without actually shoving religion down the viewers throats. He’s essentially a “balanced” character when it comes to discussing religion since he had none before, still fights with his evil side, but is learning to be a decent person. Although the way Brother Sam has befriended Dexter does remind me of the born again Christians who try to latch onto the lost people and essentially bully them into their belief system. But Dexter won’t be bullied and Brother Sam isn’t an over the top missionary so I’m willing to let my issues go and try to enjoy the show. But I know that this is just going to be part of the season. I guess I need to make my peace with it and accept that I can’t change the course of the television narrative no matter how hard I might like to.
While Dexter is learning about the light, Deb (Jennifer Carpenter) is so stressed she actually talks to the police psychologist. Which means Deb’s character is growing and that means hopefully she will be able to start making better choices in men. Okay and maybe clothing as well. Because she looked so much better in the suit. Uncomfortable perhaps, but slightly more professional. What works so well about Deb’s character is that she never stops being Deb. It takes a breakup with a potential fiance along with a job promotion she isn’t ready for or comfortable with to push her into talking to a professional. But that’s the thing about Deb. She isn’t an idiot. She knows when she is in over her head and she knows when she’s hit rock bottom and probably needs help. It’s also very Deb that she would pick a spot where a murder-suicide just occurred. Because she has so many other issues going on, worrying about where someone died or looking at blood-stains for her would be like someone else deciding not to sweep their floors for a few weeks. A necessary inconvenience of a chosen lifestyle.
Quinn (Desmond Harrington), on the other hand, seems to be going down a path of personal destruction. He sleeps with Professor Gelllar’s (Edward James Olmos) old teaching assistant and girlfriend, Clarissa (Mariana Klaveno – Lorena from True Blood). That is a bad decision based on the previews for next week when Clarissa gets brought in for questions concerning the Doomsday Killer case and Quinn gets outed – to Deb. Batista (David Zayas) discovers a book/diary of Professor Gellar’s in a box at Clarissa’s while he’s waiting for Quinn to appear the morning after Quinn’s one night stand. I believe that is a bit of a stretch. Because I know I keep boxes of all my old boyfriend’s stuff around my place, neatly labeled. That’s one of those instances that I just don’t find believable at all. Surely there could have been a better way for Batista to find the diary.
Finally, Travis (Colin Hanks) gets identified by Dexter. While I might have had issues with the diary, I actually think the way Dexter discovers Travis’s identity is clever. He goes to the Cultural History Museum and tries to ask an obnoxious docent about who to talk to for art repairs and he gets shoved into an informational film about art restoration and repair while an elementary school class is watching. He’s about to leave, frustrated, when he sees Travis working in the film while the narrator drones on. That is the right way to discover information in a narrative. The diary in the box is the wrong way.
Dexter tracks Travis down and is ready to kill him until Travis admits he can’t kill Gellar’s victims. Now, I guess if you’re Dexter you can’t just assist in finding victims. You have to do the killing because in my mind, Travis is equally guilty. He sets up the victims and refuses to help them. I was reading a recap which asserted that Professor Gellar doesn’t actually exist. He’s a figment of Travis’s imagination. I’m not sure I buy that. It could be true but I would argue that is very sloppy storytelling since one figment of a character’s imagination, Harry for Dexter, is more than enough in a show. If you have two, it’s just overkill. And in my mind, uninspired. I hope that guy’s prediction is not the case. I suppose time will tell.
If Dexter doesn’t have enough on his plate tracking the Doomsday Killer, he’s about to have more since Brother Sam gets gunned down in his garage. It doesn’t look good for him in the next episode. He might be seeing the real light sooner than he expects.