Dexter: Just Let Go

Dexter: "Here I am. The fork in the road."

I was surprised by how much this episode upset me.

What Brother Sam said to Dexter made me cry. What an exceptionally strong and moving scene. They may not have known each other for long, but Dexter was starting to feel genuine friendship for Sam, and lost him too soon. Sam even knew that Dexter was struggling with darkness, and was trying to help him. With Sam's help, Dexter could have changed. I believe Dexter wants to change. If not for himself, then for Harrison.

And Dexter was actually trying to do what Brother Sam told him. He tried so hard to let Nick go, because it was what Sam wanted. And Nick was simply too stupid (or too evil, or both) to see the gift that Dexter and Sam were giving him. I bet that almost anyone, homicidal tendencies or not, would probably have lunged at Nick and tried to strangle him under circumstances like that. No surprise that Dexter couldn't stop himself.

Why did Brian suddenly appear at that moment? Because Brian represents the dark side of Dexter, the personification of Dexter's "dark passenger." Dexter came so close to giving up his darkness, and he just boomeranged in the other direction when he killed Nick. I don't plan to cry for Nick; Brother Sam could use a dog at his feet in the afterlife. But I did cry for Dexter. I know that Dexter ultimately defeating his dark passenger isn't good for continuing drama, but it's what I want, and why I'm still watching. This was a big step backward for our antihero. So close, and no cigar.

Interestingly, Travis also reached a breaking point, and got the cigar. He found it in his heart to let that poor young woman go. She can go home to her little boy and be a material witness against Travis when they catch him. Unless Dexter takes Travis out. As Travis was coming so close to branding and sacrificing her (and thank you so much for not showing us that, because I was starting to get really freaked) I was quite put out that Dexter completely dropped Travis because of Brother Sam. I mean, I understood why, but hey, Dexter, take a couple of vacation days and take this lunatic out first, will you? Will he even bother now that "Brian" has arrived?

I do feel fairly certain now that Professor Gellar isn't there and that it's all Travis, since his sister Molly Parker said that Travis is an artist. I could be wrong, though. It might be a great turnaround if Gellar wound up sacrificing Travis. I have no idea how Professor Porter is involved, but clearly, she must be.

In other news, Deb has realized that becoming the boss means that she's no longer one of the gang. This happened to me once, and the reactions of my peers when I became their boss were interesting and varied, to say the least. I'm glad Deb has found a good therapist, although everything would get a lot easier if she booted Quinn out of Miami Metro. He is obviously not going to stop making a big hairy thing of himself any time soon, and he just screwed up a major investigation. It's time. I know I should feel some compassion for him ("Did you ever love me, Deb?") but I don't. Quinn has always rubbed me the wrong way.

There were some developments in the supporting character department. Green is only masquerading as an intern; he creates video games and is doing research on homicide. And he's fascinated with Dexter. This is going to be a problem. I also got the impression for the first time that Angel's little sister Jamie is crushing on Dexter. This could also be a problem.

Bits and pieces:

-- So Travis and Gellar are the "two witnesses," and there are "seven keys," all involving human sacrifice, that will bring about the end of the world. Okay. But why is Travis stockpiling his own blood?

-- Quinn should definitely be fired or transferred. Shouldn't they also transfer Dexter? (Not that I want them to.) Most organizations have rules about people not supervising their relatives and spouses.

-- Deb took Mike's advice and stepped up her wardrobe just a bit. She looked good.

-- Flamingo-ing someone is a Chicago thing. That was funny. Not that police brutality is funny, but it's not like Mike gunned the guy down in a garage or branded him.

-- I bet that the producers have wanted to bring Christian Camargo back for a long time. It was great to see him again.

-- Gold acting stars for Mos Def and Michael C. Hall. They were terrific.

Quotes:

Man: "And now, in the name of forgiveness, let's say a silent prayer for the misguided sinner who shot Brother Sam."
Dexter: (to himself) "I'd rather prey on him."

Angel: "Lie to Deb? No way."
Quinn: "So you're just gonna turn your back on your partner?"
Angel: "Oh, no no no no. Do not play the partner card."
Quinn: "Of course I'm gonna play the partner card. Why wouldn't I play the partner card? Situations like this are exactly why the partner card is in the fucking deck!"

Deb: "For a shrink, you're not that annoying."
Yes, the shrink was cool. And Deb could use a cool shrink right now.

Quinn: "Maybe you're jealous."
Deb: "Are you kidding? I could give a fuck who you fuck. Just don't fuck with my investigation, you fuck."
This may be Deb's personal best for the number of "fucks" in a sentence.

Dexter: "There's no light in you. There's no light in me."

Four out of four bottles of inexpensive tequila,

Billie
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Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.

11 comments:

Mischievous Ninja said...

Much better episode this week. I'm kinda glad that brother Sam was killed off this early. I liked the character enough, but - as with the Doomsday plot - he would have gotten irritating rather quickly, so it's best to get him out the way while people will still miss him.

Best episode so far, and a great cliffhanger.

Anonymous said...

Clearly gellar is imaginarly... I mean come on. they go shopping to some mexican chick and el gringo does the talking with broken spanish instead of edward james freakin olmos?? that seals it for me

Paul Kelly said...

I'm guessing Travis stockpiling blood is because Revelation talks of the two witnesses having the authority to shut up heaven and turn the waters into blood (Rev 11:6).

Your Modest Guru said...

This episode just kept on with the heavy hits but before blindsiding me with the appearance of Brian. This season just got a little more interesting. The promos did say Dexter would be like his old self again.

Brother Sam's death was truly sad. Awesome job on Mos Def's part backing up Michael Hall's usual awesomeness; just glad they didn't somehow make him evil. Hope the ax crazy philosophy of Dexter's real brother won't overshadow the goodness Sam saw in him. Still don't blame him for snuffing out Nick; didn't expect him to be a cackling little worm. Pretty sure Dexter had a small, scary smile at the end. The monster is back.

I can see why people think Gellar isn't real. He never interacts with anyone but Travis, Travis 'sees' him talk to God, they are both exceptional artists, and plus his former lover was surprised to hear that Gellar was even religious. Maybe the real Gellar was just Travis' dead mentor who he used to channel his confused actions.
I do however think that if Travis is crazy enough to have a split personality, he'd be crazy enough to have Gellar talk him into branding and killing by now. Unless Travis is really truly good but just deeply disturbed like Dexter (I keep noticing similarities between the two of them). Plus, I am fairly certain Gellar can be seen painting in the background in the video Dexter sees Travis in; his back is turned, but it kinda looks like him.

I am actually liking Deb's plot this season. It is all good for her character. Been awhile since we've seen her out of her comfort zone (not in the major, tragic ways we are usually accustomed to that is). Having a hard time sympathizing with Quinn, who I think is looking at his last season if he keeps his self destructive, Jimmy McNulty syndrome up. I mean, his screw ups almost got him arrested for murder last season. He may not be so lucky this time.

This was a dark turn for the season. I've got a bad feeling about every plot and am a little worried for every character: Masuka has sketchy proteges; Quinn's losing it; Debra's trying to keep it together as usual; and now this with Dexter. Things are starting to get edgy. So I of course cannot wait.

Anonymous said...

Too bad Brother Sam is gone because Mos Def was amazing in the role. Quinn should be fired or killed, the guy is getting on my nerves. This episode established more that Gellar may be in Travis´s mind.

Mark Greig said...

I was going to write a longer comment but I've having something of a lazy day so I'll stick with my initial one word reaction; Wow!

Annie said...

Thanks for the great review, as always, Billie. Wow, what an episode!

I also cried when Brother Sam urged Dexter to try to follow the light. Triple gold acting stars to Mos Def and Michael C. Hall for that scene alone - very emotional, very intense, and they both nailed the delivery, facial expressions and mood perfectly.

I loved Deb's quadruple F-bomb during her rant to Quinn in the interview room... Like she was so angry that she couldn't come up with any really creative profanity - just the tried and tested "fuck" four times over to express her sheer rage, frustration, and astonishment over his new level of idiocy. I bet she was thinking "what did I ever see in this guy" right at that moment, too.

Dexter's scene with Nick on the beach was a total heartbreaker. I, too, have been really keen for our antihero to achieve some sort of salvation or at least a brief sojourn away from his dark passenger. I believed it was possible (again, gold stars to MCH) right up until Nick started his evil cackling. At that moment, Dexter's face changed completely... That brief moment of hopefulness and optimism, that flirtation with the road less travelled, was gone in an instant. And then I knew that Nick would meet a grisly end.

And then, in the closing seconds, as Dexter let slip that truly frightening grin, I realised how close he had come to changing his ways - and how far over the edge he is likely to go now that he's been reminded of the pitfalls of human nature in such a tragic way. An epic episode. I can't wait for next week.

Billie Doux said...

I've read your comment twice, Annie. It's terrific.

Annie said...

Thanks, Billie! Just wanted to drop by real quick and share a theory, courtesy of my hubby, who has been debating this episode with me all week...

My man and I have been following the contract negotations between MCH and the show's bosses and we're really starting to think that this season could be the last one for Dexter. I hope they can work things out, but if not, hubby is convinced that he's got the season-ending episode all wrapped up...

Dexter's heat-of-the-moment murder of Nick will be the one crime that brings him down. One of his colleagues (or perhaps Masuka's geek-slash-Dexter-worshipping lab assistant) will link him to the crime. He will be arrested, tried and convicted, and then sent to jail. Everyone will feel sorry for him, because they'll think it was a once-off incident fuelled by his grief over Brother Sam. And they'll justify it to themselves without ever knowing that Dexter is a serial killer.

Billie Doux said...

The possibility that this might be the last season and they won't be able to wrap up the series with a strong ending is really depressing. I hope that Michael C. Hall gets what he wants, and not just because he deserves it.

Your hubby came up with a good possibility for an ending. Have they run out of time to tack a series ending on this season already, though?

Harry Earle said...

Very interesting theory, Annie (and husband), I hope that doesn't have to come to pass but it wouldn't be the worst ending in the world if they did that. Still, I would be completely gutted if Deb doesn't find out about Dex before the end of the show.

And now what I wanted to say - YAHOO BRIAN'S BACK!

I wonder if this means the end for Harry? To be honest it would be a hoot having them both converse as Dexter wrestles with decisions *rubs hands together with glee*