Dexter this week moves in an interesting direction, not in the least part because so much happens with Travis and EJO and their crazy bucket list that our Dark Hero doesn’t even get a chance to start stalking a victim of his own, much less saran wrap anyone to any tables. It’s actually sort of jarring, but a nice change of pace. And thanks to Travis and EJO, we get plenty of mayhem without any help from Dexter at all.
The episode opens with Brother Sam performing the Biscayne Bay Baptism he managed to guilt Dexter into attending last week. As he and Harrison watch Sam duck some poor bastard’s head under the water, Dexter’s voiceover ruminates about the purpose religion serves for mankind, and why people feel the need to believe in a higher power, and how religion has been employed to explain various phenomena throughout man’s history. It’s all very deep, and we’ll get to more of that as things move along, but for the moment, may I just ask who the fuck thinks the Biscayne Bay is the place to wade in and duck under?? There are snakes in there, and loggerhead turtles, and probably alligators, not to mention raw sewage and those flukes that crawl in your damn nose and into your brain so it swells up and kills you, and Christ only knows what else. This is Florida, folks—the wetlands are not for recreation, or touching, or anything but scenery, unless you happen to either be a reptile, or have a biohazard suit and a fucking spear handy. After his felon is all soggy and bathed in the glory of God, Sam predictably tries to cozy on up to Dexter, because he couldn’t just be happy Dexter even bothered to show. Nope, he has to try to talk him into considering his own Come to Jesus moment, and if you think this sounds like foreshadowing, give yourself a nice pat on the back.
Let me just file this under Who Gives a Shit, and we can get back to business.
And now, the moment we’ve all been waiting for: Frankenstein Mannequin Horse Murder Scene!
If that’s not its official name, I totally think it should be.
In any case, you know a crime scene is fucked up if it gets Dexter’s attention. He breezed over the scale full of intestines like it was nothing, but the sheer audacity and imagination behind the horseman murder leaves him breathless. He and Deb can’t help but see shades of Brian the Ice Truck Killer, and that’s like the fourth time this season his name has come up. What’s with all the Brian talk lately? Anyway, Deb notes that the horses are marked with the same Alpha and Omega symbol that was carved into Omar, and she’s so disturbed she doesn’t even remember that Quinn, Batista, and Masuka are standing there staring at her because they’re waiting to brief her on their findings.
It is a bit distracting, I’ll give her that.
As that’s going on, Chicago Mike (who I guess we can safely assume got the job, unless he’s just a really enthusiastic volunteer) wanders over in his fancy suit, which he’ll realize soon enough is more trouble than it’s worth in Florida. Because he’s not a drooling moron, he understands the scene is a reference to the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse in the Book of Revelation. It’s not that big a stretch, since anyone with even the most rudimentary knowledge of the Bible had that figured out before last week’s closing credits, but Deb rightfully decided Mike should be the one to research it, along with the seven snakes.
Later, Deb and Dexter are in the morgue, having a chat and reassembling poor Nathan. Since when does Dexter deal with this end of the business? I thought he was the blood splatter guy, and Masuka was the expert on cut patterns and toxicology and stuff? The only dead bodies I can remember seeing him prod around are the ones he creates. Anyway, they determine that there is some strange residue in the wounds, and then, in a complete and total rip-off of Twin Peaks, Dexter finds a small piece of paper wedged under Nathan’s eyelid. It’s printed with four numbers, 1242, and they decide to check Omar’s corpse. No dice on the eyelids, but they do find another piece of numbered paper chilling in the intestines, printed with 1237. Deb concludes that they have a serial killer on their hands, and Dexter geeks out and contradicts her, explaining the nuances of what exactly makes a serial killer, and how this particular killer has not yet attained that status. Before Deb can smack him, he gets a call from Jamie, letting him know that Harrison isn’t feeling well. Poor kid.
Okay, so the IKEA instructions say to connect the arm to this part here with the wooden dowel, then insert the black 3/4″ screw. Easy!
Instead of letting LaGuerta prance around in front of the news cameras as she is wont to do, Matthews cock blocks her and tells her to send Deb out there to make the statement about the Horseman case. Of course LaGuerta is pissed, but when she assigns it to Deb she spins it as if it’s her idea. As if that’s not enough pressure, LaGuerta also orders her to make time for thefit-for-duty therapy she was supposed to complete after the restaurant shootings. Just when Deb really starts to get nervous, Mike wanders by and tells her to get some better clothes. We have a metrosexual!
Then see what you can do about that flat-ass mop on your head, and you should be good to go.
Over in Masuka Land, Ryan is still slutting it up, using Masuka’s ever-present boner to manipulate him. After distracting him with mental images of herself practicing roller derby, she attempts to gain access to more serial killer evidence. Masuka, showing some sense for once, tells her no, and you can see she’s a lot more irked than she lets on. I wonder what she did with that hand.
At the group briefing, Dexter is taking it upon himself to decipher the numbers, and you know he’s just going to die if someone else beats him to it and they make an above-board arrest before he can dispatch of Travis and EJO himself. Masuka busts in as Mike is explaining the link between the horse spectacle and the fruit vendor, and both to the apocalypse and Book of Revelation. Turns out, the residue found in the wounds is oxidized iron, a metal which hasn’t been used in weaponry in quite some time. This leads him to believe that the killer used a medieval artifact. Mike continues explaining the link between the tableaus, a word that flies right over Quinn’s dumbass head, and Dexter has to explain the difference to him as Batista rolls his eyes. Oh, Quinn. I know you[ve had a rough week, but just keep your trap shut and let the grown-ups talk for a moment, okay?
The numbers found on the bodies are stumping even Mike, though. No one can think of what they might mean, but Dexter points out that they are spaced chronologically to match the number of days between the two killings. Now all they have to do is wait until they find another body with numbers attached, and they’ll be able to predict when the next one will occur! Sounds like a Quinn idea to me!
I’ll show you a tableau, Cracker.
Deb instructs the team to round up all the religious nutbags with criminal records, and that trasitions seamlessly into a café, where our favorite two(?) religious nutbags themselves are mulling over the effects of all their zany bullshit. EJO and Travis are taking a nosh break because killing makes you hungry, and while EJO is patting himself on the back, Travis is popping a stiff one over their waitress. She isn’t at all creeped out by this, and is actually very receptive, which is both baffling and worrisome. Someone’s psycho detector must be in the shop. She even calls him by name when she refills his drink, but totally ignores EJO, not even glancing his way. Maybe she was just distracted by Travis’s charms, but that doesn’t make sense, because he’s not that attractive (sorry, Colin Hanks). Plus, even though EJO isn’t exactly easy on the eyes himself (sorry, EJO) he’s a tipping customer…who doesn’t even have a cup in front of him, or food, or so much as a tablecloth wrinkle.
BECAUSE HE ISN’T THERE. MAYBE.
So does that mean she can’t see him, or is Travis just that big a stud? Eh, the invisible guy theory seems more likely.
Since she clearly worries far too much about what Mike thinks of her, Deb has gone shopping for feminine suits and pantyhose and such, but her impromptu fashion show is interrupted when Harrison poops in the bed. Dexter goes in to comfort him, and it’s sad to see the little dude all shaken up. All Dexter wants is to fix his baby boy’s problem, but he’s unable to do anything but snuggle him.
Dexter brings his car back to Sam and they discuss how Sam takes care of his “flock” the way God takes care of everyone. I can’t figure out if that’s a man humble and following the example of the Lord, or a man who sees himself as a God figure. They get on the subject of the horseman killings, and Sam shakes his head at the idea of murder in the name of God. Sam says the craziness of the actions doesn’t make the faith any less real. What’s the point of faith, then, if it leads to such crazy bullshit? Dexter asks. Sam says it’s human nature to believe in something, especially when faced with problems bigger than you can handle. In the past, Dexter turned to Alive Harry for help, but he’s long gone now. Faith, Sam says; if you put it in the wrong things, it’ll fuck you up.
Because no episode can pass without Deb behaving like she was raised by wolves, we get to see her scratching her cootch in the elevator and cursing her new pantyhose. Of course she gets tremendous amounts of bullshit for her new look the second she steps into the office. We see briefly that a bunch of Christly kooks are assembled for questioning, but no one is paying any attention to them. Deb is pacing back and forth in her office, barefoot, practicing her statement for the press. LaGuerta barges in and drapes accessories on Deb, advising her to ditch the speech and be herself. Has she met Deb? Or is this a subtle form of sabotage?
Dexter is in the morgue again with Nathan, searching for clues he might have missed. Dead Harry is there to help, and the two of them puzzle over why the crimes are so meticulous while the cuts on the body are so crude. He correctly arrives at the conclusion that more than one person may be involved: one who does the killing, and one who does the dissection. This sort of blows a hole in my EJO Is Fake theory, but maybe multiple personalities have different levels of skill?
He’s enjoying this far too much.
Masuka’s perusal of Ryan’s ass is interrupted by a call from a collector, wanting to know if the prosthetic hand he saw in an online auction is actually from the Ice Truck Killer case. Masuka craps his pants when he realizes that Rollergurl185 is his very own intern, and she’s clearly thieved the hand right out from under his nose. Looks like someone just blew their shot at an A. He tries to buy it out from under the guy, but the auction has ended. Hey, it’s not like she’s already shipped the thing—just have her bring it back and email the collector that he’s SOL. What’s he going to do, call the cops? Ryan tries to play the helpless girl card, saying she needed the rent money, but surprisingly enough, Masuka proves he’s capable of thinking with something other than his cock, and kicks Ryan out. At least get the hand back, dude. Also, what sick fuck pays $1300 for a fake hand?
I know he didn’t quite do it for you in the pants, but at least the fainting fat intern respected the chain of command.
Deb, sporting LaGuerta’s necklace like champ, knocks the press conference out of the park, especially when she declares they just want to catch “the fucker that did this. That’ll be all.” Awesome. Quinn and Batista leave to call on a reverend they need to question, and Dexter gets called to the hospital—Harrison has a ruptured appendix, and has to go into surgery. Boo! Poor little dude. If ever there was a moment for Dexter to turn to Jesus, now’s the time. As if he sensed the crisis, Sam calls, but Dexter is too flustered to deal with him and hangs up.
Batista and Quinn, meanwhile, ended up at a dead end address, and have to wait for a callback. They do the buddy cop thing, smoking a joint that Quinn finds in Batista’s midlife crisis car (that he named after his mom, which is just weird). This should end well. They have a stoned bonding moment, then have to go deal with a possible suspect baked off their asses. I’m no stoner, but somehow Quinn is sexier when he’s smoking. Maybe I just like Bad Boy Quinn. Yeah, that’s it.
Not in this screencap, though.
Dexter is in the hospital waiting room, playing Internet Doctor and freaking himself out about Harrison and the effects of anesthesia on toddlers. Brother Sam appears, and takes this opportunity to preach the comforting power of Jesus. That’s just ambulance chaser shit, Sam. I know he’s a believer (who doesn’t), but that is such an annoying trait, and it really does nothing but irritate the person in crisis. Dexter has enough on his plate without having to be polite about someone’s religion. To give Sam credit, though, he seems to seems to realize this may not be the best time to sell his faith, and he apologizes. Then he tells Dexter about his own father, and how Sam used to look up to him with every bit as much trust and devotion he has for God now. Dad wasn’t exactly a stand-up guy, though, and Kid Sam’s faith was shattered when his own dad used him as bait to murder a guy.
Such a trauma naturally fucks up his head, and as we already knew, Sam ended up in the Greybar Hotel. It was there, though, that he had his epiphany, right in the middle of choking out another inmate in the prison chapel. Hey, whatever it takes, right? This incident is what led him to turn over his leaf and reform, and brought him to his faith. It’s a nice story, I guess, but Dexter can’t sit still anymore, and abruptly goes for coffee. It’s one of those shitty vending machines, and when it refuses to yield a cup, Dexter loses it. He spouts a non-specific prayer for Harrison, saying he’ll do anything in return if his son pulls through. Then the coffee cup drops, filling with magical caffeine as if in answer to his prayer.
Speaking of crazy bullshit, Travis and EJO are back in their abandoned church headquarters. EJO is working on one if his paintings, and they have a few snarky words before he gives Travis permission to go on a date with Erin, the waitress Travis has apparently been so bold as to court without a signed permission slip. EJO does specify that Travis must accept the consequences of his actions. Travis flouts the warning and takes Erin to dinner, then taps it on the first date.
So much for Christian morals.
Then we see the door is cracked a bit, and who do you think is on the other side, his creepy old eyeball peering around the frame? EJO himself, in Travis’s apartment uninvited!
I know he may not be real, but EWWWWWW.
Back at the hospital, Harrison’s doctor announces that the kid is fine, and Dexter jumps on him in a moment of gratitude. He’s a little too forced in passing his “thank God” moment off as a slip of the tongue, though, which only calls attention to it. Sometimes people just say things, Dexter. Deb and Jamie leave, and Sam needles Dexter about his “thank God” moment. Sam says he can’t prove God exists, but Dexter can’t prove He doesn’t. All due respect for Sam and his beliefs, but I’m pretty sure it was science that ensured the successful appendectomy. If you have doubts, feel free to pray away your own ruptured appendix. Let me know how that goes, okay?
Deb return to the station to get her new asshole from Matthews, but she’s instead greeted with a smile. Turns out, everyone loved her f-bomb, and Miami is excited to have a young, feisty, no bullshit lieutenant in charge for once. After so many years of LaGuerta’s sidestepping, politics, and big jewelry, Deb must be a breath of fresh air. Matthews tells her to keep up the good fucking work. Amen to that! Also, just don’t with the accessories…but if you really must, try a thin silver chain or some nice pearl studs, because the chunky beads thing is not meant to be.
Meanwhile, Batista and Quinn have rolled in, parked like assholes, and proceeded to sate their munchies with a bag of chips, not even trying to act professional. This twists the stick up Mike’s ass, and since his comments fail to elicit much more than derisive cackles, he jumps right on a passing Deb and tells her she should watch her language. Jesus, this guy is presumptuous. I mean, really—he’s the new guy, and in one episode he’s opened his yap about her outfits, her cuss mouth. This is his boss. Does he really think she A. gives a shit, or B. gives an actual shit what he thinks of her? I’m waiting for her to punch him, but she just tells him about the kudos she got for the interview, and retreats to her office for Quinn and Batista’s briefing.
Between doobie hits, they managed to dig up EJO’s website! If he has his own website, does that mean he’s real? His last site post was the day of the first crime scene. Turns out, EJO’s name is Professor James Gellar, and he was a Revelations expert who went underground three years before because he was fired for stealing an ancient sword, possibly the one that’s been leaving the iron deposits Masuka discovered in the dead bodies. So maybe that rusty-ass machete-looking thing from the fruit vendor slaying is actually the John the Revelator artifact? Assuming, of course, that this Gellar character is real and alive and actually working with Travis, instead of a schizoid hallucination? Because if he isn’t real, how did Travis get the sword? And does that mean that EJO is actually dead? And if so, did Travis kill him? Or is he both? The plot, it is thickening.
I’m just going to keep calling him EJO, I think, at least for now. It’s become a habit.
Oh, speaking of Travis and thickened plots, the next we see of him, he’s waking up from his post-coital nap, alone in the bed of passion. He goes looking for Erin, and he finds her, all right—bound and gagged, courtesy of EJO! Ugh, creepier and creepier! Erin is now part of God’s plan, EJO informs a horrified Travis, and if Travis had wanted to keep her out of things, he shouldn’t have defiled her. What, a man can’t get a little piece every now and again without his withered old brother in Christ getting all bent out of shape? Instead of hitting EJO over the head with a skillet and freeing the woman who voluntarily gave it up to him, Travis pussies out and leaves. Some date, huh Erin?
Dead Harry is lurking around again, this time in Harrison’s recovery room, reminding Dexter that he made a promise to God in exchange for Harrison’s life, and he’d better be ready to pay up for the answered prayer. Before they can really get into this, though, Deb calls him to a new crime scene.
This had better not be some veiled reference to women smelling like fish, because that would just be offensive.
Science vs. religion. Blood and fucking fish, arranged in the Alpha-Omega pattern. Fish and blood, very deliberately leading to a greenhouse and a still-living Erin, hanging in a Jigsaw-like trap. Deb sees the fishing line and yells a second too late, and the beat cops accidentally spring it. Erin is done, hung on her spiked collar with a punctured jugular before they can take another step. As Dexter realizes that this third kill makes it a serial case, they hear a buzzing, and follow it to a cabinet. Opening the doors releases a plague of locusts, and I’ll be damned if that’s not Travis, grinning in the crowd. Dexter sees him, recognizing the satisfaction of a man who has seen his plan come to fruition, and it’s on. Travis had better hope he hatted up in the sack and didn’t leave any DNA inside Erin, because they can trace that shit.
“Hey Travis, how was your date?” “Oh, it went pretty well. She and I might HANG OUT later.”
Next week it seem Travis and EJO are linked, they get a fancy new name, and Dexter starts the hunt. More details come out concerning “Professor Gellar,” and hopefully we get some more clues as to whether he’s alive and actually involved in this, because right now the contradictions are flying around like those locusts. Any guesses, anyone? Let’s get the speculation going!