We’re down to the penultimate episode of the season, and things are picking up in a big way! Miami Metro has arrived on the yacht, and Dexter moseys on in like it’s all new to him. Masuka and his team have deemed the boat safe to board, but he reports he found the chemicals used to make poison gas. Deb manages to identify Holly Benson without seeing her face, which is pretty sharp detective work. They find Steve’s dead body inside, but no one thinks it looks like the Wormwood TABLEAU, so Deb gives the order to alert Homeland Security, knowing there’s a very real possibility that Travis still has something big up his sleeve.
Look, kid, I don’t have time to hear about your video game. I’m literally the only person who works around here.
And how! Dexter has a great detective moment of his own while walking everyone through the forensics of the stabbing he himself committed. When Louis sees who it is under the gas mask, he mentions the blog post he found, and that Batista had gone to check it out. Right about then, they notice Batista isn’t there. If it was Quinn absent, zero alarms would have been raised, but Batista actually shows up to work on a regular basis, so they start to worry.
Hey, there’s an unattended vagina hanging from that anchor. Quinn must be around here somewhere.
And with good reason! Batista is being held captive by Travis’s looney ass, hog-tied on a bed in Beth and the late Steve’s house. Travis is telling him he’ll soon understand the purpose behind the crazy–when the world ends and the new one begins, Batista will wish he’d have had faith. “I do have faith,” the blatantly Catholic Batista informs him. “I believe in God.” You best start praying then, Travis says, and leaves the room. Beth is in her living room, saying goodbye to her picture frames and ceramic cats and shit. Knowing he has to sell her something fierce to get her all the way downtown to suicide gas-bomb the homicide department without chickening out, he tells her what a special soul she must be to have been chosen by god to sacrifice herself in His name. I’m not sure if Travis believes any of this shit anymore or not, but he convinces her. She’s to use Batista’s key card to get her backpack of death inside the station without going through the search checkpoint.
Not at all conspicuous.
Quinn’s useless ass is speeding down the road, late again and probably still buzzed from whatever the fuck he poured down his gullet the night before. His phone rings and it’s Deb, wanting to know why the fuck Batista isn’t with him. Quinn, who’s been missing calls all morning, figured he’d just meet him at the yacht, and doesn’t even know about the little trip to the Dorsey House of Doom. When he hears that Steve is dead and Batista AWOL, he hangs a wicked U-turn in the middle of the street and hauls ass to the Dorsey house. Deb calls dispatch and sends them to meet him.
There are no Dorsey’s there, though, because Beth has arrived at Miami Metro. The key card plan goes off without a hitch, and once inside, she calls Travis. He instructs her to target Deb, the lieutenant who’s leading the battle against them, then hangs up, confident his TABLEAU will shortly reach fruition.
Jesus is all about Second Amendment rights.
However, we know Deb isn’t even there–she’s on the yacht, dealing with all the bullshit there, so now Beth has to sit in the waiting room, across from a totally uninterested desk cop, and cool her heels. Jeez, not even a Warrior of God can get prompt service in that fucking dump. Travis is unaware of this, of course, and sashays into the bedroom, informing Batista that he is no longer needed as a hostage. With a gun to his head, Batista asks for a moment to pray, working frantically on the knots of the rope around his wrists, and buys just enough time to hear Quinn’s tires screech up to the house. Travis runs out and sees Quinn making for the porch.
Quinn busts in and searches a seemingly empty house, but sees smoke in the hallway. He kicks open the bedroom door to find Batista hemmed in by the fastest spreading fire in the world. Half the room is ablaze, so I have to assume Travis had some gasoline stashed somewhere close, because there’s no way he could get a fire going that quickly without some kind of starter.
Maybe the gasoline was stashed in his magical asshole, along with his laptop and sanity.
Quinn acts heroically for once and snuffs the fire, rescuing Batista and calling in Travis’s location at the same time. We hear the backup arrive, and Batista tells Quinn to leave him and chase Travis. Quinn says fuck you and cuts the rope.
Back on the boat, Masuka is informing Deb that the fingerprints on the knife that killed Steve are a tentative match for Travis’s. That makes no sense, though, not if they were working together, Deb says. Maybe he was done with him, Masuka said, and the knife was his severance package. I love Masuka. He’s so underused.
Chicago Mike reports that Homeland Security wants to take over the case, and Deb gets a call from Quinn updating her on the Travis situation. Deb remarks that the anonymous tip saved Batista, and Dexter realizes that he actually did the right thing. Since Deb is physically incapable of making big decisions on her own this season (never noticed she had much trouble doing that in seasons 1-5), she tells Dexter about finding out Deputy Chief Whoremonger is attached to the Jessica Morris case. Deb doesn’t want to bust him, based on his history with their family and Alive Harry and all, and Dexter tells her she needs to put this on the back burner and focus on the serial murderer they’re trying to catch.
Because really, this professional conflict thing is slightly less important than the dead bodies in front of us at the moment.
She says she has to deal with it, though, because she’s having dinner with him that night. Dexter tells her to bring it up, but let him have his say. Maybe he had a reason for leaving the scene. He tells her to keep an open mind.
Everyone heads back to the station, and Dexter makes casual eye contact with Beth on his way in. He barely notices her, though, because he’s focused on getting to his computer to do some research on Steve, hoping to find some clues to locate Travis. Nothing on the guy but parking tickets, though.
Deb walks in and in snagged by LaGuerta before Beth sees her. Of course LaGuerta is all frantic about the case, but actually shows a moment of solidarity when she says they’ll just deal with whatever happens. She leaves and the desk cop enters, telling Deb there’s a woman there to see her about Wormwood. At the sound of the W word, which even the desk cop doesn’t know the significance of, Deb jumps. she has desk cop send Beth in.
Beth has a bit of a Gollum look going on right here, no?
Dexter is searching photos of Steve online, and finds one of him and Beth. She looks familiar, and hTopeka out his blindst just as she passes by his window, following Deb to her office. Dexter jumps up and follows, just in time to see her press the lever to release the Wormwood gas.
Before Deb even knows anything is happening, Dexter grabs Beth and hustles her into the interrogation room, holding the door closed.
Well played, all around!
She dies a gruesome death as Deb pulls the fire alarm and orders officers to evacuate the building. She grabs a weakening Dexter and drags him outside.
Out in the parking lot, the ambulances and Homeland Security have assembled to do their thing. The EMT tells Dexter he didn’t inhale enough of the gas to cause permanent damage, but he’ll be probe to nosebleeds and weakness for a few days, so he needs to go to the hospital and take it easy. Sure, that’ll happen. Deb wants to know how he knew Beth was a threat, and he’s all modest, chalking it up to luck. She informs him that he saved a lot of lives that day, which is true, and to a greater degree than she thinks–by doing the right thing and calling in the scene on the yacht, he’d saved Batista and cleared Miami Metro, which would probably have been taken down by Beth, had things not gone exactly as they did. He tells Deb that he’ll never let anything happen to her, and she hugs him. Note the face on Deb’s therapist in the background, and keep it in mind, because this touching moment will totally be used against Deb later on in session.
At home with Harrison, Dexter is packing a bag for him. He’s worried Travis will find out where he lives and go after Harrison, so he’s booked Jamie and Harrison a room at The Ritz. This somewhat makes up for him owning Jamie’s life, I guess, and she doesn’t seem upset. She’s starstruck by his heroism and distracted by Harrison, and all she wants to know is if Dexter has picked out their animal costumes for Harrison’s Noah’s Ark program at school. Dexter looks less than thrilled at the prospect of appearing dressed as an animal in public, but muses that lions, the King of the Beasts, might be just the ticket.
With his kid safe in the usual hands, Dexter has a chat with Dead Harry. Just because Wormwood was thwarted doesn’t mean Travis is done–he has another TABLEAU left, and could go after Deb again the way he did with Holly. So I guess this means you’re no longer working with the cops, Dead Harry says. The cops have been taken over by Homeland Security, Dexter says, so it’s up to the Dark Passenger to do his thing. Because that’s worked out so well thus far.
Dexter turns to Brother Sam’s Bible and notes that that the final TABLEAU on the list is the Lake of Fire, which brings us to the subject of The Beast. The Beast gathers the kings of the earth to prepare for war against God. The Beast is also responsible for killing the Two Witnesses.
Hold that thought, though, because Dexter’s nose decides to add its two cents to the already bloody Bible. The side effects of the poison gas are rearing their ugly heads, and Dead Harry lectures Dexter about going to the ER. No time, Dexter answers, I have to find Travis. But he could be anywhere, and there are no leads. Assuming the mantle of The Beast, Dexter decides to make Travis come to him.
This will not fuck things up at a crucial moment at all later on.
Oh, speaking of Travis, there he is, eating ice cream out of the carton in some unfamiliar living room.
He turns on the news, and only then does he discover that his Wormwood TABLEAU was an utter disaster. He panics, starts pacing and rationalizing, convincing himself that Beth’s sacrifice must have been sufficient for God.
Sufficient! Yes, That’t the ticket!
Maybe this is God’s way of telling you to lay off your nutty little plan, huh Trav? Of course this doesn’t occur to him, because it would be inconvenient and counterproductive to his invented cause. Instead, he intones that the time has come, and he must pass the test. He starts a sketch on the wall, and the camera pans through to the kitchen, where we see the bodies of the homeowners, bloody on the floor. The cat gives about as much of a shit as you’d expect, which is not a single bit.
Deb is having a very expensive dinner with Deputy Chief Whoremonger, who is trying to convince her to leave off on the call girl case. Under his seemingly innocent questioning, Deb gives up the charade and confronts him. She’s nice about it, though, and e opens up. Since his wife died, he’s been alone. He’d found Jessica ODed on the floor, and tried to revive her, but it was too late. Since he couldn’t help her and couldn’t change the situation, he bailed, and we know the rest. It’ll only hurt him, not bring anyone back, if this gets out. He guilts her into agreeing to make the case go away and tell Jessica’s father that they found no new info.
The next day, at briefing, a Homeland Security agent is on hand to take over the DDK case until they can confirm the Dorseys have no ties to terrorist outfits. The gang is irritated, to say the least, but Dexter gets the silver lining–now he’s free to gain the upper hand without having to contend with his coworkers.
Quinn is trailing after Batista, who’s been giving him the cold shoulder. Quinn is trying to apologize. Batista acknowledges that Quinn saves his life, but he can’t trust him anymore. And he can’t have a partner he can’t trust. Is this the end of the Quinn/Batista bromance?? Say it ain’t so!
Time for Deb’s weekly therapy session! Usually these sessions are more of the same, but this time the therapist (who, if you remember, was lurking in the background during Deb’s earlier embrace with Dexter) takes things in a different, decidedly more disgusting direction. After confirming Deb is okay post-gas attack, she asks of maybe there isn’t some sort of erotic charge to her feelings for Dexter, and that’s why she chooses inappropriate men.
Say what, now?
Um…EW. No, I get it, they’re not related, but still. EW. She’s as grossed out as I am, and gets really upset. You can tell the therapist thinks her anger is coming from a place of denial, but Deb states very clearly that, while she loves Dexter, she is not IN LOVE with Dexter. Well, good. Keep in that frame of mind. No, really, I’m begging you, because no. Just no.
Unaware that he’s being discussed in a very icky manner, Dexter heads to the morgue to get EJO’s severed hand, so he can stage his own TABLEAU to get Travis’s attention. Before he can catch the elevator, Louis catches him. Dexter isn’t particularly fond of Louis, and the last time they talked went less than well when Dexter informed Louis his video game idea was a piece of shit, so you can imagine he’s not thrilled with this discussion. But Louis is insistent, and wants to thank him for his honesty. He’s now realized that he’s spent his whole life on the sidelines playing make-believe games, and now he wants to get out in the real world and make his life count for something. Um, what? Dexter leaps into the elevator in the middle of that little spiel, so he probably doesn’t notice that Louis may have just possibly admitted a desire to make his game a reality…you know, the game in which one chooses to be a serial killer?? Fuuuuck. Louis is a freak–I’ve been saying it for weeks now, and it looks like he might be worse than I thought.
Sure enough, the next thing we see is Louis in his fancy apartment, drawing palmistry lines on the Ice Truck Killer hand, wrapping it up, and addressing it to Dexter. The hell? Louis, what are you playing at, son?
The life line is short, because I will kill you, but the love line is looooong, because I loooove you Dextahhhh….
Dexter arrives at the Miami Cultural Center, Travis’s very own workplace, and proceeds to decorate an angel fountain with blood, the severed hand, and the Mark of the Beast. And this one, despite the 666, is easy enough to hang on Travis when metro is called in the next day. The hand is EJO’s it’s a TABLEAU, and it’s in a place that was significant to Travis. This on the heels of Steve’s death only paints Travis as more of a psycho, and he’s correctly pegged as EJO’s killer as well. Well done!
Just another day at the office.
Travis, still working on his art (a depiction of The Beast in the Lake of Fire) sees this mess on the news, immediately gets the message, and is totally pissed. This is not part of his plan. Then he gets a video text from Dexter, informing him The Beast is coming for him. I guess no one has thought to tap or trace Travis’s phone, and I’m sure Dexter is not at all worried about what will happen if metro gets to Travis first and finds that video. Jesus Christ. This is the one weak spot in the episode, and it’s a doozy. But no worries. Back to the action! Travis notes Slice of Life in the background of the video, and immediately paints Dexter’s face over the generic beast face on the wall. Melodrama!
Somehow not the scary effect I think he as aiming for.
Deb enters her office the next day to find an irate Matthews on her couch. The police chief has learned of Matthews’s involvement in the Jessica Morris case, and suggested Matthews take an early retirement. So sad! Matthews immediately blames Deb, and lays two tons of shit on her shoulders, ignoring her protests. And it doesn’t take a goddamn detective to realize which one of the two people who knew about this is the probable leak, but before we can get into that any further, Batista and Quinn are due for some new assholes. She’s read the report on what went down at the Dorseys’, and now that Metro is back in control of the DDK case, she can’t afford any more fuck ups. May I suggest putting Quinn in front of a sky-high stack of paperwork, then? You know, until his single guy phase blows over.
He started it.
Dexter is busy not at work, setting up a kill room in the boat next to his. I guess he plans to hang out there all day and wait for Travis. Good thing he apparently has no direct supervisor at work.
Speaking of leadership roles, Deb at least has figured out that LaGuerta must have been the one responsible for throwing Matthews under the bus. And yeah, LaGuerta doesn’t even try to deny it, beyond some sarcastic, thinly veiled comments. Matthews went over her head to hire Deb in the first place, and this is his reward. And she’s sleeping fine, because Deb is under her thumb, now. Wow. That’s not a good place to be, Deb. Better start digging for some dirt on LaGuerta, because there’s bound to be some somewhere, what with her history of inappropriate cock sucking, and it’s the only way you can ensure your life won’t turn into a living hell.
And then, instead of lying in wait at the marina, Dexter is…having beer and Chinese food with Deb. And what the HELL–things start getting suggestive and lip-focusy, and there’s anticipatory music playing, and Dexter is being very tactile and seductive. What the fucking actual fuck? This is all wrong. But to Deb, it somehow feels so right! And then they make out! And I dry heave everywhere, because I know they aren’t blood related, but I think of them as brother and sister, and if V.C. Andrews can’t make the raised-as-siblings-yet-unrelated-so-it’s-cool thing work without giving me the creeps, then the writers of this show sure as shit can’t do it either. This is wrong!
And then the voice of reason descends upon my living room:
Mr. Canary: Wait, he wouldn’t be having dinner with her. This has to be a dream.
And sure enough, it is. Deb wakes up, understandably disturbed, and more confused than ever.
The real Dexter is actually still at the marina, crouched between boats, watching Travis approach.
I’ll say this for old Colin Hanks: this boy has his creepy psycho face DOWN.
And because absolutely nothing has gone according to anyone’s plan at any point this season, Dexter’s nose picks this moment to start bleeding. He gets lightheaded and stumbles, making a big racket just as Travis passes by. He tries rushing him, but the element of surprise is gone, he’s weak and dizzy, and Travis is bigger, younger, and stronger. And probably more crazy at this point, which is saying something. They struggle over Dexter’s hypodermic needle, and Travis wins! He injects Dexter, and Dexter is out!
When Dexter wakes up, he’s out to sea in a little lifeboat filled with cans of gasoline, and Travis is on Slice of life, dumping more gasoline into the water. This is how it was always meant to be, he tells Dexter. I will wait on a pillar of light for God’s return, and you will burn in eternal hellfire.”
Which I am holding in my hand, right here.
He lights a flare and sets the water on fire, trapping Dexter in a ring of flame. The lifeboat blows sky high, and the only reason we know Dexter isn’t on board is that the show just signed for two more seasons. Sure enough, we see he’s swimming underwater, away from the flames. But now he’s stuck in the middle of the ocean, and Travis has his boat. Looks like the Dark Passenger done screwed the pooch this time.
Now this is a pickle, is it not?
Great episode. Great. And next week’s finale looks like a motherfucking doozy! Travis isn’t done by a long shot, and he’s GOT HARRISON!! DON’T YOU DARE, TRAVIS!! There’s more stuff with the LaGuerta subplot and Deb’s icky Dexter crush, but all I can see is Travis, holding that ancient sword to Harrison’s throat. Christ! See you guys next week for the finale!
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