Picking up right where we left off last episode, Dexter has just reached the stunning conclusion that poor, slandered Professor Gellar has been dead as Dead Harry this entire time. Upon finding the frosty corpse of EJO in the church cellar’s freezer chest, Dexter wastes a bunch of time prying his shirt open so we can see he has a wound that looks similar to other wounds made by that ancient sword—the one that a not-so-unconscious Travis is currently clutching as he makes his way to the open trap door. When he and Dexter make eye contact, Travis seems to snap to reality all of a sudden, and he realizes his mentor is in front of him in corpse form. He slams the trap door and moves the table leg back on top of it, runs outside to cry in the bushes, and has an emotional conversation with EJO, during which he denies killing him. Sure you killed me, EJO says, opening his imaginary shirt to show the stab wound, fresh and leaking blood.
Deny this, douchebag.
Then they hash out what really happened: Three years ago, Travis stole the sword, but the university blamed EJO and fired him. Then, Travis went to the real live Gellar’s office with the stolen sword, to present to him the totally delusional idea that the two of them were the Two Witnesses, meant to bring about the Apocalypse together via a murderous scheme. Whatever else he may have been in real life, EJO apparently wasn’t a sick fuck, because he told Travis to get bent and get some help, which I guess Travis took rather badly. He stabbed EJO with the sword to prove he was a Chosen One and couldn’t be hurt, and when that little plan failed to work out the way he thought it would, the heavy-duty psychosis kicked in.
Get back in your freezer, old man, I have hallucinations to tend to!
In Travis’s little world, he was able to convince EJO that they were Chosen, and bring him around to the Light (or, you know, his version of the Light). I wonder at which point he decided that the EJO delusion was in charge? And if the university had fired Gellar, how did he and Travis manage to have the little showdown in Gellar’s office? And then did Travis tote the body from Tallahassee all the way down to Miami to stuff it in this specific freezer? …for what reason, again? What the fuck, writers, do you not have a quality control department, or an intern, or someone to proof this stuff? Email me, if you want—I take enormous pleasure in pointing out the shortcomings of others, especially for a paycheck.
Anyway, Travis decides to blame everything on False Prophet Dexter, who’s watching this whole one-sided exchange from his cellar window. I’m not sure if he’s been hearing Travis speak in two voices or just hearing Travis’s singular side of the conversation, but now he has to sit there and watch as Travis hangs EJO’s murder on him. Travis promises to EJO that he didn’t die in vain—“I will finish what we started,” he vows, “and I don’t need you, anymore.”
I do kind of need to lie down, though. I’ve had a long night.
Travis takes off, and Dexter immediately decides to stop him, freeing himself via a handy deus ex machina: an easily opened door to the outside. Dead Harry wants to know what happened to Dexter’s mission to save Travis, and Dexter rationalizes that Travis’s Dark Passenger actually IS internal, and therefore can’t be stopped any more that Dexter own can. The only way to take out that kind of Dark Passenger is to take out the body in which it resides. He never should have listened to Brother Sam—all that talk of finding the Light does not apply in this situation. Sam was right about one thing, though, Dead Harry says: Putting your faith in the wrong thing can really fuck you up. Dexter is back to only trusting himself, and he needs to move fast, because Deb texts him that the cops will be canvassing a one-mile radius around the IP address from last week’s blog update—which means the church will be crawling with his coworkers in no time. He doesn’t want them getting their hands on Travis, though, not after all the bullshit he’s gone through to get this far. This means EJO’s corpse has to go, because if he’s found dead, the hunt will focus on Travis, making it that much harder for Dexter to get to him first.
Good thing that padlock was so old and rusty, because it would be very awkward to explain to my sister why I’m locked in this basement with this frozen murder suspect.
Because Dexter knows that the cops will expect to find EJO’s prints on all the ritual murder tools upstairs, he lops off one of EJO’s hands and uses it to leave fingerprints all over the tools and paintbrushes and stuff. He keeps the hand for future use (ew), dumps the rest of EJO in the swamp, and heads to Travis’s hotel room.
It’s daylight now (with Harrison presumably still alone at home? Since Jamie is at Louis’s, and Dexter is running around with a frozen corpse hand?), and Travis isn’t in the room, but all his stuff still is. Dexter updates EJO’s blog with a retraction and an apology to his followers, knowing Travis will at least check in eventually. Sure enough, Travis is almost simultaneously logging on from a public workstation. There are several responses to his latest post, including a Goth stereotype and a video of a dude who presumably has the End of Days stored in his nutsack. There’s one that catches Travis’s eye, though: one from Doomsday_Adam, aka Steve, some lazy-eyed, yokel motherfucker, who is essentially offering to become his new sidekick. Or EJO’s really, but it’s all the same. Travis emails him to set up a meeting, and then he notices Dexter’s update. Sure enough, he can’t resist letting The False Prophet know that he’s onto his little game. Which I guess means he still remembers EJO is gone, and has decided to fully embrace the batshit dark side. Looks like Conflicted Travis is as dead as old EJO.
EJO, we hardly knew ya.
Deb, Batista, and Chicago Mike arrive at the church, and it doesn’t take a detective of Chicago Mike’s caliber to deduce that all the bullshit lying around is definitely related to the DDK murders. Then something unusual happens: tough-as-nails Deb, who’s seen her fair share of crime scenes far more disturbing than this place, freaks out. She starts hyperventilating and has to step outside. Not exactly good for her reputation.
Just tell them you’re on your period. That’s a catch-all excuse for strange, girly behavior.
Speaking of ruined reputations, Quinn is currently unconscious outside a bar, sleeping off a drunk from the night before. He’s woken by a combination of his phone ringing and the spray of a sprinkler on his shoeless feet, which happen to be hanging out the passenger window of his car. He has to wade through empties and mud to get his shoes, then drag ass into work. I can only hope he has time to shower the gin-sweat from his carcass, for the sake of everyone who has to work with him. This man is riding the edge, my friends. Deb’s cootch must be damn near irreplaceable.
The Single Guy Life, sans reason, joy, and dignity.
Dexter strolls up to the church with his blood analysis kit, innocent as a lamb, and immediately notices something’s up with Deb. Likely remembering all that chair/table shit from last week, he actually makes an effort and takes a moment to talk her down, telling her about the panic attack he had way back in season one, and reassuring her that that’s probably all it was. Either that, or she’s pregnant. She shoots that idea down immediately, but wouldn’t it be funny if she was knocked up with Quinn’s little leprechaun zygote? Can fetal alcohol syndrome occur spontaneously if the fertilizing sperm has a high enough blood alcohol level at the time of conception?
Observing the church as the crime scene it is, Dexter’s voiceover opines that it was a mistake to think religion held any redemption for him and his Dark Passenger—all it is here is a vehicle for Travis’s craziness, and all this place of worship contains is clues to locate him. Batista is cataloging the paintings, pointing out the TABLEAUS that already occurred. A sixth painting has been created, though: A charming depiction of people burning alive, with the word “wormwood” inscribed across the bottom. Since Chicago Mike is the only one doing any reading on any of this shit, he lets us know that it represents the next sacrifice, something about a star that crashes to earth and poisons mankind. Quinn, who has magically appeared on the scene (unshowered, for the record), wonders if the reference to mankind means the TABLEAU will be bigger; Dexter points out that not all of the TABLEAUS have been literal, so who knows. Deb gets a call from Chief Matthews and steps out to take it, and Masuka calls Dexter over to looks at some bloody jars he found. Deb gets off the phone looking confused, telling Batista that Matthews wants to have a fancy dinner with her later this week. She knows it’s a weird request, and I bet it has something to do with the dead call girl, Jessica Morris, and getting Deb to close that case before she finds out Matthews is the john she’s searching for.
Dexter and Masuka, sifting through Travis’s art supplies, find that he’s used prescription pill bottles to mix his paints. Upon examination, we see they’re for Travis’s very own chlorpromazine prescription. What’s chlorpromazine, you ask? Why, nothing special, just an antipsychotic, used to treat schizophrenia and delusional thinking. Wait, Travis is delusional? Land sake, why did no one tell me?? I never would have guessed on my own!
Dexter notes the doctor’s name on the bottle, but Deb tosses it to Chicago Mike, who gets on it faster than Dexter can even get to his car. Another lead, snatched away. At least he still has the blog though. He checks it from his phone, seeing Travis’s response: “I listened to you once, and I made a mistake, but never again. I’m going to fix it.” Fix what?
In a happier, more doughnut-filled place, Jamie and Louis are enjoying some coffee while Harrison is at preschool. Lord knows what Louis is doing eating doughnuts when the forensic team he’s interning for is dissecting a major crime scene, but that’s the least of the writers’ worries when it comes to realistic behavior, I guess. He’s still fanboying over Dexter, and wants his approval for the game prototype. Jamie tells him Dexter is a big softie. Jamie is a terrible judge of character.
Back at the station, Deb has yet another run-in with goddamn LaGuerta about the Jessica Morris case, and LaGuerta attempts to cock-block Deb on the DDK briefing, slipping a little dig in about how Deb is very busy focusing on other cases, so she’ll just lead this DDK thing, mmmkay? It’s such an obvious power play. LaGuerta’s a bitch. Fortunately for Deb, LaGuerta’s a bitch who knows almost no details about the DDK case, and therefore doesn’t know which questions to ask. Deb immediately steps back in, making her look foolish. I approve. One theory being tossed around is that the blood in those jars, which match Travis’s type, may have been the blood Holly Benson was forced to drink before she escaped captivity. But she didn’t escape, Dexter realizes—she was let go by Travis, because Dexter influenced him. Could Holly be the loose end, the “mistake” Travis referred to in his post? What if he’s after her again? Dexter immediately tracks down her address, and rushes out, blowing off Louis’s fanboy doughnuts on the way.
“Donny, you’re out of your element.”
Travis, very unobtrusively sporting sunglasses and a hat, is lurking outside a house in a neighborhood that’s not exactly ghetto, but sort of run-down looking. When he knocks, who should answer the door but Doomsday Adam himself, Steve Dorsey, the yokel from the blog video. He’s all star-struck by Travis, as is Beth, Steve’s wife, who done seen him on the teevee! She’s bearing a tray of Velveeta n’ crackers, so you know Travis is a special guest, especially since this Velveeta was bought with an unemployment check. Steve gives Beth a hush-woman glare, but Travis smooths things over with some Jesus talk, telling them that the Time has come; the faithful will be given untold riches in God’s new kingdom–enough to buy an eternity’s worth of Velveeta!
Crackers, too? Well, count us in!
They must trust and obey, though, he says, and Steve is all about this plan, whatever it is. And there is a plan, make no mistake—Travis tells him that they must prove their total commitment.
Meanwhile, Dexter arrives at Holly’s place, to wait for Travis to show up. The apartment is empty, though, all her toiletries and personal necessities gone, even though the furniture and photos and dildos and such are still there. Dead Harry, who seems to be consistently talking more sense than almost anyone else this season, knows she won’t be safe, no matter where she goes, and Dexter answers that that’s why he needs to find her before Travis does. He figures she must have gone to hide out with her boyfriend, since he seems to be the one featured in all her picture frames. Making the rather baseless assumption that the name on the magazine subscription label belongs to her boyfriend (and that she didn’t lift that issue from the free clinic, like the rest of the world gets their magazines), he rips the address off and goes to talk to this Peter Grant character.
Turns out, Peter Grant is rich as fuck and conspicuously not home, and Dexter has an exchange with his bitter teen daughter, who’s busy working out her Daddy Issues by throwing an illicit pool party. She’s not exactly fond of Holly, either (unless “slam pig” is a term of endearment), and says she’s probably whoring it up on Peter’s yacht. Dexter leaves to go track down the yacht before Travis does, his only clue being that it’s “somewhere in the water.” In South Florida. Have fun with that.
Sure enough, there’s Holly, struttin’ her way onto the Ricochet Rabbit (which I swear I thought said Rabbi at first glance), chatting on her phone, a cast on her arm the only sign of her recent stint in Travis’s clutches. Travis, Steve, and Beth pull up right behind her, and I can only assume they tailed her there, as I just don’t believe they would show up randomly the exact instant she was boarding the yacht. She goes straight for the liquor, but can’t help notice when someone else boards the boat.
Okay, quick pause: I grew up in Florida. I’ve been to marinas. Not even yacht marinas, just regular ones, and I’ve never seen one just open to the public like that. There’s always a guard, or a gate, or some kind of pass code keypad you have to get past, so those yachts don’t end up serving as hobo squatting nests or impromptu party boats for drunken college kids. So what gives with these three yokels just walking aboard? A minor detail, but goddamn it.
Anyway, Holly goes to investigate, and suddenly her doorway is filled with Travis. “Hello, Whore,” he says, and the chase is on. It doesn’t last long, though, because the Velveeta Duo catches her going out the back door, and they restrain her as Travis starts the yacht and heads out to sea. Because in between all the murder and artwork and delusions, he somehow learned to drive a yacht, I guess.
Why are you running? I just want to give you your very own free copy of the King James Bible.
Quinn is continuing his useless streak, dozing at his desk instead of working. Batista catches him and gives him another lecture about being a slack dick. He tells him to grow a pair and be responsible, then covers for him again when Deb appears. Chicago Mike has managed to get the world’s fastest subpoena for Travis’s medical records, and he tells us that Travis was on some heavy anti-psychotics. Turns out, he also has a history of violence, going back to childhood, plus lack of empathy, delusions of grandeur, and a tendency to be a master manipulator. Upon hearing his own personality being read aloud as he walks past, Dexter can’t help but stop, just in time to hear this little nugget: Travis’s shrink suspected Travis is the one who killed his parents, by grabbing the car wheel and steering them into a tree. Cold! There aren’t any signs of abuse, though, and Deb is convinced his sister was unaware of all these details and genuinely thought he was a good guy. Maybe she didn’t know, Dexter says. Anything’s possible, Deb answers, unaware she’s up to her eyeballs in irony.
Dexter now knows Travis has been bad from the start, using EJO to justify his kills. Lots of people justify their kills, Dead Harry says, getting a little dig as Dexter looks up Holly on the computer. “You justified mine,” Dexter tells him. “You taught me the code.” I kept you from becoming your brother,” Harry retorts, but Dexter isn’t buying it.
“Making me a killer was the best you could do?” Harry sneers at that. “You were already going to be a killer.” “I guess we’ll never know,” Dex says, and that, to me, is the root of Dexter’s Daddy Issues. Harry never considered he might be anything but a lost cause. He never believed in Dexter’s capacity for good enough to steer him toward therapy and treatment. Instead, he made him into the lesser of evils, a killer of killers, and doomed him to a double life. Only now is Dexter starting to realize what a raw deal he got. Only now is he starting to look at Harry as his destroyer and not his savior.
No time for that deep stuff now, though, because Dexter has located a picture on Holly’s social networking Facebook ripoff site that shows her posing on the Ricochet Rabbit. Because I guess it would have taken more time and been less of a sure thing to search the county deeds for Peter Grant’s yacht registration? Do I have to think of everything, here? Anyway, now Dexter knows what to look for, and so he takes off.
Deb is in therapy yet again, talking about her panic attack and how unusual it was that the come scene affected her. Churches are associated with loss, and Dexter calmed her with his very presence.
This is much easier to swallow when you don’t know about his slide collection.
He’s her safe place, has been all her life, and she takes a little trip down memory lane, sharing that she used to sleep on his floor when she had nightmares. Is that weird? She asks.
Only if you consider it weird to sleep on the bedroom floor of your adopted serial killer brother without his knowledge. Otherwise, you’re golden.
The therapist turns that one right back on her, and she realizes she thinks it’s sweet. Aw. Deb, please get more help.
In not-so-sweet (yet somehow more Dexter-ish) happenings, it’s suddenly nighttime, and we’re back at the yacht, which is parked somewhere new. Travis informs Beth and Steve that their faith is about to be tested: they’re going to help him kill Holly. Much like Abraham was asked to sacrifice his son, so Steve and Beth will prove their devotion to Travis and God by sacrificing Holly. Beth doesn’t exactly seem on board with this when faced with the cold reality, but Steve gets all excited. Sicko. Travis convinces Beth that her sacrifice will purify Holly’s soul, then, without further adieu, he slits open Holly’s throat and hands the knife to Steve, who takes great pride in stabbing her.
Better late then never, I guess, but doesn’t this count as a mortal sin, since it’s not part of a TABLEAU?
Dexter swings by his place to make sure Jamie can stay late (since she pretty much lives there by this point, I’m not sure why he bothers coming home at all), and catches Louis waiting for him to get home so he can take his lady out. Dexter acts like kind of an asshole about their date, and for some reason Louis thinks this might be a good time to show off his game. Dexter grudgingly yields, but when Louis explains his game’s premise, things go a little worse than he expected. It’s a homicide game with a twist: you can choose to be the serial killer. Louis is all proud, but Dexter just gives him a deadpan look, unable to comprehend exactly what he’s just heard. When Louis informs him that you can choosefrom a list of notorious killer, including the Bay Harbor Butcher, Dexter unloads on him. It’s offensive, he says. Why would anyone choose to be a killer? “How would you know what it’s like to take a life? Why would you even want to?” Dexter snaps. He orders a total redo of the game idea, and storms away. Louis is left almost in tears, and we’re left with the impression that Dexter is possessed of more self-loathing than we ever suspected. Louis bails on his date without explanation, leaving Jamie free to babysit. Nicely done, Dex.
I actually think its’a good idea, but you need to GTFO so your girlfriend can watch my son.
When he arrives at the marina, the yacht is long gone, as we know. He sets off an alarm and lures the security guard out of his office, which seems like an afterthought, considering how useless the guard was that afternoon when Travis was hijacking the boat. Dexter watches the day’s security tape and sees Travis drive away at the helm, then calls Peter Grant’s security tracker company to find the boat location. By the time he gets there, the fucking sun is rising. This man never sleeps, and Jamie pretty much lives at her job.
On the yacht, Travis is futzing around with some kind of chemistry set, and finally presents Steve and Beth with a couple of canisters: wormwood. When he says they need to cover their tracks, Steve proves what dumb swamp trash he is. What difference does it make, he asks, I the world is going to end in four days? Because, you yokel, Travis says, the world will only end if we complete our work. That can’t happen if we are in jail. Good thing he doesn’t know about Steve’s latest blog video, or he might not be so confident.
Deb arrives at her office and starts going through the Jessica Morris file. She immediately finds a card from a florist shop, signed “T.” After that, it’s as easy as calling the shop and finding out that the flowers were delivered the day Jessica died, and ordered by Thomas Matthews–Chief Fancy Dinner Whoremonger himself! Now she needs to figure out how to handle this, so of course she calls Dexter. He’s not coming in for a while, however, because he has more personal business to attend to. I don’t think Dexter ever really goes to work unless he feels like it, but somehow he never gets in trouble. Great gig to have, if you can get it
Meanwhile Louis is distracting himself from his heartbreak by perusing EJO’s blog, and has stumbled upon another one of Steve’s crazy psycho rant videos. Apparently, the dumb fuck has gone ahead and literally informed the world that he and Beth have been chosen to aid in God’s final battle. Louis has the name and address all ready to go, and Batista heads over to their house.
He’s sitting outside Steve and Beth’s house for a good long while though, waiting on Quinn. Who, let’s face it, is probably balls-deep in a cocktail waitress. Finally, totally ignoring protocol, Batista decides to confront these two possible homicide suspects alone. Goddamn it, Batista, not you too. If you get killed during this little foray into lone wolf behavior, I’ll hold you just as responsible as I’ll hold Quinn’s drunk ass. Beth answers the door and says Steve isn’t home, denying all knowledge of any cuckoo blog comments her husband may have posted. Batista decides to question her alone and wait for Steve to get back.
But Steve will not be coming back, because Dexter has arrived at the yacht. Mistaking a hazmat-suit clad Steve for Travis, he puts the killing blade to work, and doesn’t realize that he has the wrong man until it’s too late. This was supposed to set things right, and now things are more fucked up than ever.
Dammit, wrong Jesus Freak!
Speaking of fucked up, Batista is dragging some cockamamie story out of Beth. She says the posts were supposed to be a joke; that Steve was hoping they’d go viral, and his out-of-work ass would get some attention. Batista buys it and gives her a lecture about wasting police resources, but when he goes to take his leave, he notices an entire shelf crammed with EJO’s books. And he confronts her. And because Beth is a woman and Batista is sexist, he confronts her with HIS BACK TO HER. Which is such a no-no, and which he rues almost immediately, when Travis knocks him out cold with a wall crucifix.
At least a man did the swingin’, though, and not some weak female type. Also, it seems Louis doesn’t have to worry about the Big Brother thing for awhile. Silver linings!
Beth freaks out at the unconscious cop in her living room, but Travis informs her that the cops don’t enforce God’s law. This is a sign, he says: God wants Wormwood staged at none other than Miami Homicide. Yikes!
Dexter frantically searches for any indicator of where Wormwood is going to be, and he accidentally hoists anchor on the yacht. Who should be hooked on the anchor but Holly. Of course.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t she supposed to keep that cast dry? Too soon?
Dexter is failing at everything this episode. Dead Harry tells him he needs to act sensible for once and call the cops–this is getting out of hand, and he’s fucking up too much to handle it on his own. Of course he won’t, because it’s personal now, but his little tantrum uncovers some chemicals that combine to make poison gas–a likely candidate for what’s inside Travis’s little canisters. When dead Harry tells him again to call the police, he freaks out, but suddenly realizes he has to surrender to something greater than himself. This is Michael C. Hall’s moment in the episode, as far as I’m concerned. The look on his face, his body language, his eyes—he looks almost reptilian, as if Dexter is completely his Dark Passenger at that exact moment. It’s amazing, and gives me chills, and it reminds me why I love this show. Then Human Dexter resurfaces, resigned to fact that this is just too big for him to solve on his own. He calls 911 and tells them where to find the yacht.
Then takes what appears to be a nice, cathartic poop.
Next week, Travis sends Beth on a suicide mission into Miami Metro, presumably to release Wormwood in Deb’s office. Deb gets ever more clingy with her brother (which must have been weird to film, considering their real life relationship), and Dexter profanes Travis’s work with a blasphemous TABLEAU of his own. Only two episodes left, and they look action packed! Can this season redeem itself? Stick around to find out!
To get the funniest quotes from TVgasm recaps as they’re posted, follow us on Twitter or like our Facebook page! You can post your favorite lines right back at us. Thanks for being here!