This post-Nebraska Dexter is a bit confused, to say the least. After not killing Jonah, he shakes off Brian and heads right back to Miami, stopping along the way to take Dead Harry back into his bosom. And I’m fuzzy on the timeline, but he looks pretty perky for someone who just finished a thirty hour drive after cramming all that activity in with next to no shut-eye. But hey, I guess they really could only give him so many days away from Metro—Deb would’ve shat herself for sure if he rolled in two weeks later. Even as it is, Dexter knows he’s in for smackin’ at the very least, so he kisses Deb’s ass by ambushing her at her place before work, bearing apology coffee and doughnuts. She is less than thrilled to see him, and nips his attempts at small talk in the bud, but gives him five minutes to explain himself. He blurts out some I’m sorries, but Deb still rips into him, saying the fact that everyone thinks she gave her brother a week off in the middle of a manhunt is only slightly better than everyone knowing she DIDN’T give him a week off, and he took one anyway. Word gets around you can do shit like that, suddenly everyone is bereaved and absent, taking road trips to Nebraska left and right, and then where would we be?
Like that emaciated arm has ever even smelled a doughnut.
Deb can be a pistol, but she can’t really stay mad at Dexter for long, seeing as he’s the one constant in her life, so she forgives him and immediately starts filling him in on what he missed, namely the Holly incident and the fact that there appears to be two DDK killers. Dexter realizes that, though Travis may have had a change of heart, his days of anonymity may be numbered, since the cops now have an inkling that EJO isn’t acting alone. Deb uses the extremely apt word “batshit” to describe the pair, which is the definitely my adjective of choice for the whole mess. Then Dexter uses up his absolute last free pass with Deb, asking for the morning off to attend Brother Sam’s funeral. Damn, sociopaths have balls for days, don’t they?
Travis is being all domestic at Lisa’s house, baking scones with all the glowing enthusiasm of a teenager after his first hummer, but when he takes the trash to the outside can, he finds the picture of himself and EJO on top of the garbage bags, and the bad memories come flooding back. As if the very act of opening the trash can summoned him from thin air, EJO appears. Travis freaks the fuck out, and EJO taunts him about his mundane domesticity. He mocks the garden gnomes, the scones, and all the comforts of a serene, unpsychotic home, then drags out his seven-headed beast diagram.
This sort of plan is what we strive for here in stark-raving, total bughouse, eat-your own feces CRAZYLAND…
The Whore of Babylon TABLEAU is ready, he says—it just needs the right whore. At that moment, Lisa calls Travis’s name, and EJO gets a gleam in his eye. Uh oh. He remarks that Lisa would look lovely in red, and Travis tells him to stay the fuck away, then storms into the house, still carrying the garbage bag. It’s bizarre behavior, especially when contrasted to his sunny demeanor of just a moment ago, and when Lisa asks him about it, he blows off the question and asks her to take a spontaneous trip to Disney World with him. OK, so maybe EJO has a point about Travis trying too hard with the happy domesticity thing, but I think he just wants to get Lisa out of town and away from EJO. In any case, she suggests they go in a couple weeks when she’s on her school break, which makes plenty of sense, but isn’t what Travis wants to hear.
I plan to piss on those gnomes as soon as you take your leave of me.
A modest ash-scattering for Brother Sam is taking place at Biscayne Bay, the same place where he performed all those fateful baptisms. It’s also the place where Dexter drowned Nick, and now Sam’s ashes will rest there, too, right at the scene of the crime. After the service, the speaker (whose name I forget) presents Dexter with Brother Sam’s blood-stained Bible, which Sam had apparently bequeathed to him. He’d had it on him when he got shot, and the pages are streaked with some of the last blood he’d ever bleed. You know, as if Dexter needed a reminder of his failure to honor Sam’s wishes concerning Nick. Way to get in a last dig there, Sam, even from beyond the grave. That’s some hardcore proselytizing.
Such a beautiful, touching, not at all horrific and disturbing memento of their friendship.
Then the guy asks Dexter if he’s seen Nick around, because by Jove, he seems to have up and disappeared. I’m not sure why anyone would think Dexter of all people would know Nick’s whereabouts (even though he literally is the only one who does); I know he was tight with Brother Sam, but he wasn’t exactly part of the garage’s inner circle of friendship. In any case, Dexter surmises that Nick must have needed some time away. Then he leaves, wondering if all his conversations with Brother Sam have changed him, after all.
His ruminations are cut short by the opportunity to go behind the scenes at the Miami Cultural Center, where he scares the bejesus out of an on-the-job Travis. Even though he never saw Dexter’s face during the whole I’m-going-to-kill-you-in-your-car confrontation, Travis recognizes the voice behind him, and summarily poos his pants. Dexter congratulates him on releasing Holly, but is curious as to why he did so. “I didn’t want to see her suffer,” Travis says, then tells Dexter that their encounter made him realize that he doesn’t have to do whatever EJO tells him to do. Yay, autonomy! I wonder how long he can keep that up. Why not tell the police what happened, Dexter wants to know, and Travis gives him an insulted duh face; because he helped EJO commit those atrocities, he says. Even though he was acting on faith, doing what he thought was the right thing, he knows now it was a mistake, and doesn’t want to go to jail. EJO is mad, though, and won’t leave him alone.
This face wouldn’t last too long in Gen Pop.
Help me find him, Dexter says, and we can put this little incident to bed without involving the cops. Travis gets all offended by this, saying he’s not going to start working with Dexter just because he quit EJO. Sure, Travis, it must be really comfortable up there on that high horse if you can so easily forget how you’ve handled human intestines. He warns Dexter that EJO is crazy and dangerous, (clearly underestimating who he’s talking to) and determined to finish his mission. Before they can go into what will happen once EJO actually completes all his TABLEAUS, Travis’s co-worker returns, and Travis clams up. Dexter observes that Travis has his own Dark Passenger—but unlike Dexter’s, EJO is alive and can be killed. Maybe. So they want us to think, anyway. At this point, were we to find out EJO is a Dead Harry type, it would be a surprise only to Travis. Who knows what the writers have up their sleeves, but if EJO being fake is the “big reveal” of the season, they’ve fucked up the element of surprise but good. It’s probably a red herring, but whatever, we have more murders in Miami to tend to. Dex gets called to a crime scene, and we leave Travis on hold for a bit to clean out his undies and have a good cry in the break room.
Dexter arrives at what looks like a nice, beachfront hotel room that would be just lovely, were it not for the call girl corpse fudging up the ambience. Chicago Mike and Masuka have already cased the scene and determined it looks like an OD—there are no signs of a struggle, and the only prints in the place belong to the girl. They say it looks like she OD’d on heroin and fell, hitting her head on the tub. They’re ready to call it a day, but Chicago Mike is a stickler for details and asks Dexter to give it a once-over. Sure enough, he notices an inconsistency in the blood flow pattern on her face; it appears someone turned her over and tried to revive her, breaking one of her ribs and causing additional blood loss, then flipped her back to her belly and fled the scene. Better investigate this further, he says, and Mike and Masuka agree. Before they can wrap things up, though, who should appear but LaGuerta! I haven’t seen her on a crime scene in quite some time, and the sight of her surprises Chicago Mike, as well. LaGuerta demands a copy of the scene report, then takes off, all aflutter. Odd.
Not worth the trouble in LaGuerta Land, I guess?
Back at the station, Louis (clearly giving Yours Truly a shout-out in his stylish blue canary T-shirt) tags after Dexter like a puppy, stroking his ego and fawning all over his forensic skills. Louis is totally a serial killer, you guys. Dexter has no time for this fanboy behavior, though, because Deb is hosting a briefing at that very moment, detailing how the entire city of Miami is losing its shit with fear over these TABLEAUS. They’re tracking two people now: Gellar and his younger accomplice, who they believe is a former student. Thanks to Louis, they have a much shorter list of possible suspects than they thought, but it’s still around 200 names, so Deb takes some herself and divvies the rest between Batista, Quinn, and Chicago Mike. She also tells them to keep mum about the accomplice, and Dexter starts puzzling a way to get Travis to talk before he’s caught. Quinn was absent from the call girl crime scene that morning, probably because he was balls-deep in a ladyfriend, and as a way of apologizing, he offers Batista his extra ticket to the opening of a new strip club.
Wow, this is like the buy-your-love episode of Dexter, what with doughnuts and call girls and now an invitation to view some boobs.
Batista tells him to take Masuka to see the boobs, which I’m sure will be much appreciated by Masuka. Before Batista can roll his eyes any harder at Quinn’s bachelor ways, Jamie arrives, using the Harrison-wanted-his-daddy excuse to lay eyes on Louis and his blue canary shirt. Batista is weirdly overprotective of Jamie, getting all huffy at the idea of her dating someone. Um, okay, isn’t she an adult? Jamie invites him to dinner with her and Louis, so he and Batista can get to know each other. Great, that sounds like a fucking blast, Jamie. I’m sure it won’t be at all awkward when your territorial brother starts peeing all over your leg in front of your sort-of boyfriend.
Not as effective as setting up a TSA checkpoint at her pussy flaps, but probably more subtle.
In the seclusion of his apartment, Dexter peruses the bloody Bible, looking for some sort of passage that might convince Travis to give up EJO’s location. Looks like Brother Sam used the hell out of that thing—it’s full of notes and highlighter ink. Sure enough, the next afternoon sees Dexter tracking Travis to a lunch counter, where he appears and scares the bejesus out of him yet again. I’d feel sorry for Travis if I wasn’t so hilarious. Dexter tells him that, even though he understands now what he did was wrong, Travis is still responsible for all the messy business with the disembowelment and dead waitress and such. Turns out, there’s this bit in the Bible that says that anyone who knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do, sins. The Sin of Omission, folks—it’s the loophole that keeps on giving. That particular sin makes it impossible for Travis to stand idly by and let EJO move forward with his crazy scheme, because in God’s eyes it’s just as bad as being a part of things. Travis wishes he could take it all back, but can’t risk antagonizing EJO ay further. He’s afraid for Lisa, he says, and Dexter reminds him that, antagonized or not, a free EJO is a dangerous EJO. Travis is convinced he can protect Lisa, but Dexter forces him to question that conviction. Travis finally agrees to help Dexter, as soon as he can convince Lisa to get out of town—Gellar won’t leave Miami, he says. Interesting; how can he be sure of this? Hm? He then buggers off, leaving Dexter with his gory Good Book.
Cut to Lisa’s house, where she’s answering the door to find none other than Deb, who fills her in on the possible connection between Travis and the killings. Lisa starts yammering away about Travis’s personality, as non-criminal types are wont to do when confronted by police. Most people want to help however they can, even if it means revealing their own brother’s awkward, withdrawn personality and his PTSD coping skills and orphan status. Lisa, of course, doesn’t have the slightest inkling that Travis could be connected to any such bullshit as the DDK killings, and at this point Deb isn’t interested in him as more than a name to cross off the list. She gives Lisa her business card, and asks her to have Travis call her. As she walks to her car, however, Travis tools by on his bike, and when he sees Deb’s holstered gun, he keeps right on going. Too bad—he might have been able to throw her off the scent if he’d just acted normal and answered some questions, but now he’s being all sneaky and elusive.
Well, there was that one time caught him masturbating into our dead mother’s knitting basket, but I just chalked that up to growing pains, you know?
In the station bathroom, Deb crosses paths with LaGuerta, who is still taking a lot of interest in the dead call girl case. The cause of death was the OD, she said, so they can definitely close the case as an accidental death. Deb wants to know why LaGuerta is looking at her case reports, and LaGuerta says it “came across her desk” (you know, after she requested it), and she wanted to help Deb out with her workload. Now, maybe I just don’t like her, but I’m having a hard time remembering the last time LaGuerta did anything for anyone just for the sake of being helpful. Something’s fishy here, and apparently Deb thinks so too, because she calls Dexter to ask him to rush the blood report.
Complete nervous breakdown to commence in three…two…
Travis is waiting for Lisa outside her classroom, antsy and jiggling like he has to make a pee. Unable to wait any longer, he starts toward her door, but is apprehended by EJO, who declares that time’s a’wastin’, and they have work to do. He then smacks Travis in the face with a shovel. Well then, that was an exercise in finality. I guess he thought over that whole free will thing and decided it was a crock of shit after all, huh? Since nothing seamlessly follows assault like a segue to an awkward meal, we next visit Batista, Jamie, and Louis at a restaurant, where Louis is trying his best to socialize with a cranky Batista. Big Brother is having none of it, and when Jamie goes to the bathroom, Batista flat out tells Louis that Jamie gets around and isn’t looking for a relationship. He then flashes his shoulder holster at the poor guy, which is pretty damn presumptuous of him. I love my brothers, but if any of them ever got it into their head that they were going to start orchestrating my love life, it’d be time for a little chat of the mind-your-own-goddamn-business variety. Lucky for me, they know me well enough that this sort of interference wouldn’t even cross their minds. This idiot behavior will likely come back to bite Batista in the ass, and it’s no more than he deserves.
If only that shirt had been available for the TABLEAU draperies.
With Dexter’s blood report confirming that there was indeed a second person in the room with the dead call girl, Deb is stumped as to why LaGuerta wants to close a clearly questionable case. When she goes to sign off on the report, though, all thoughts of LaGuerta are dashed when she notices Dexter’s pen is from his hotel in Kearney, NE. Realizing that Dexter took a road trip to see Jonah instead of coming to work for a week, she unloads on him, making him confess the reasons for his trip. Of course he can’t actually fill her in on the whole plan to murder Jonah in a plastic-lined room, so he makes up some excuse about needed to talk about his feelings with Jonah in order to get closure. Since she’s done nothing but try to corner Dexter and force emotions out his mouth hole, Deb is more hurt than anything else. She wanted Dexter to come to her if he needed someone to talk to, not drive all the way to Buttfuckville for a conversation. To be fair, conversation is not usually the reason people go to Buttfuckville, but Dexter is such a sociopath; he really doesn’t get why she’s so upset. Before they can really get into it, though, Masuka barges in: looks like DDK struck again.
And oh shit, where is the TABLEAU set up but the children’s playground outside Lisa’s classroom. A curtained square is opened to reveal a seven headed alligator between the open legs of a branded, masked woman. And yeah, when they take the mask off, it’s Lisa. Damn, EJO. Just damn.
You have to give him credit, though–there’s nothing half-assed about EJO’s efforts.
Deb recognizes her right away, of course, and orders Chicago Mike to find Travis immediately. Considering Mike’s track record, Travis had better hit the fucking road if he wants to keep his wrists bracelet-free. When Dexter hears Travis’s name, however, he’s shocked—this means that Travis either went back to EJO, or was unable to protect his sister, and her death was the price of his defiance. Dexter notices a tag that reads “F.N. Galway” on one of the curtains, and cuts it off. Then, while collecting evidence, they notice there are letters carved into her forehead, and Masuka finds Deb’s business card pinned to the body. Damn again, EJO! Way to add that personal touch, you sick bitch. Deb of course freaks out, immediately assuming the presence of her card means Lisa was killed as punishment for talking to Deb. And who knows? Maybe she was, or maybe EJO was punishing Travis for deserting him. If you feel like dragging the murky depths of EJO’s twisted soul for some answers, do let me know what you find. Dexter reassures Deb that this tableau is not her fault…then internally acknowledges it may very well be his.
Sorry about that, Lisa. The Dark Passenger wills it, though. I’m sure you understand.
Travis, meanwhile, is just coming to after being conked with EJO’s shovel. He opens his eyes to find himself chained to the floor in the church, while EJO fiddles around in his fire pit. He apologizes for the chains (which really will be the least of Travis’s worries once he hears the fate of his sister), but says Travis is far too important to the cause to lose. He must cleanse his soul and repent of being tempted by the Devil, who apparently used Travis’s family to lure him away from EJO. Travis tells EJO to shut up about his sister, and EJO informs him that Lisa talked to the police…she betrayed him….just like the Whore of Babylon.
Yeah, just like the…wait, what??
And Travis gets it. EJO even try to deny it, and when Travis sees that the painting of the Whore bears Lisa’s face, he loses it. And EJO, through the whole thing, remains perfectly calm, reassuring Travis that Lisa’s soul is free to go to God once the End arrives, instead of remaining trapped on Earth, and now Travis is free to return to the mission. Wow, he really thinks he did the woman a favor, doesn’t he? Much like “fuck” in the last episode, “batshit” isn’t even sufficing anymore. There’s some stuff in the Bible about reaping what you sow, isn’t there? Maybe Travis skipped that part?
How ever did things go oh, so wrong?
Back at the station, Deb is catching shit from LaGuerta about not apprehending our DDK boys, and Deb takes the opportunity to inform LaGuerta that she hasn’t closed the case on the dead call girl. This goes over about as well as you’d expect, and LaGuerta gets all frantic and whispery about the department statistics, and how the whole city is going nuts with fear over all the unsavory murders. The last thing LaGuerta wants is another open case utilizing manpower on finding “some john, who bailed on a fucking junkie prostitute,” when they need to focus on DDK. Way to prioritize the loss of human life, LaGuerta. While you’re at it, do you think you could muster up any more contempt for the dead hooker, maybe? Anyway, she orders Deb to close the case—and as Deb walks away, LaGuerta leaps onto her cell phone and informs whoever answers that “it’s taken care of…you have nothing more to worry about.”
LaGuerta is getting shady as hell, folks. I mean, I just thought she was being a twat about the numbers, but it looks like she knows something that could land some people in some shit.
Louis uses his geek skillz to fellate aid Dexter in his search for the mysterious F.N. Galway, and Deb interrupts to inform Dexter that Lisa died the same way as Omar and Nathan, but didn’t have any paper numbers stashed anywhere on her body. Dexter realizes this means Travis had nothing to do with this particular death, and that Deb and her crew are in turn getting too close to apprehending Travis. Then Deb, who’s been clingier and clingier ever since she found out about Nebraska, asks Dexter to have dinner with her that night so they can talk. Dexter begs off, saying he wants to stay in and hang out with Harrison, and Deb is completely unsurprised.
Good thing she has a therapy session immediately afterward, huh? Deb is pretty messed up by the most recent TABLEAU, and confesses she feels responsible for Lisa’s death. She thinks Lisa may have had more of a clue about Travis’s batshittery than she let on, but what girl really thinks her brother will be her killer? This line of conversation drifts naturally into all sorts of brother/sister talk, and she reveals that Dexter’s reluctance to talk to her is a source of deep pain. Really, Deb? I’d have never guessed by your totally subtle behavior. Deb tells Dexter everything, whether he wants to hear it or not, and she expects him to reciprocate. The therapist says this sounds like a whole lot of Deb in the conversation, and that she needs to make an effort to focus on Dexter for once. That sounds valid and all, until you realize she’s talking about Dexter. There’s plenty he could tell you, Deb, but I doubt you want to know it.
Meanwhile, Quinn and Masuka are living it up at the strip club opening, which translates to Masuka ogling boobies and Quinn acting like a drunken dumbfuck once again. Wow, the man really has a problem holding his hooch this season. He makes enough of an asshole of himself that the bouncer threatens to eject him, and Masuka, after trying unsuccessfully to rein him in, ends up ditching him and leaving in disgust. And if Masuka voluntarily leaves a club full of semi-nude women whose job it is to titillate him, you know the disgust is for real.
Dexter appears to have had some success with Louis’s geek-friendly search engine, and has located F.N. Galway: a retired Catholic priest, suffering from dementia in a nursing home. After a really strange and uncomfortable introduction, during which Father Galway mistakes Dexter for one of his former church members, they have an even weirder and more uncomfortable exchange. Father Galway makes Dexter confess his sins for absolution, and when Dexter actually admits to committing piles of murders, the dementia blocks out the impact such news would have on a sane priest. Luckily for Dexter, Father Galway just skips over the body count and grants forgiveness.
Thanks, but I plan on negating your absolution with more killing almost immediately.
I wonder if that sort of absolution counts with God, seeing as the priest is a few bottles short of a six pack. Anyway, the scene wasn’t just some bullshit filler (even though it came off as such), because the nun mentions to Dexter on his way out that Father Galway’s old church has been abandoned for years, and Dexter makes the connection between the robes and the perfect hideout for EJO. He zooms off, planning to pay that place a visit, ASAP.
Unfortunately for him and his plans, Deb has decided to barge into his apartment and make dinner for them both, effectively combining her idea for them to break bread together and chat with Dexter’s fake desire to stay in with Harrison. Man, I have to say, I feel sorry for Deb, but she really does bring the disappointment on herself. You can’t just inject yourself into someone’s life like that on short notice and expect them to dig it. You can imagine, though, that his response doesn’t quite go over—he tells her something came up and that he needs to rush back out again. He really only stopped by the say goodnight to Harrison. Man, Jamie must make bank on overtime, because Dexter is almost never home.
Deb being Deb, she’s not going to let that one go, and starts grilling his ass about what came up and why he won’t communicate, and blah blah blah. She follows him outside, yelling at him that she can’t believe he won’t share his innermost feelings with her, and why can’t he be more sensitive to her trying to meet his needs? This woman-think is way more than Dexter can handle at the moment, and he has no response, so she storms off.
EJO is looming over Travis with a glowing hot iron, informing him that he doesn’t want to hurt him. “I think you do,” Travis answers. “I think you like making people suffer.” But there’s only one way to get the demons out, EJO responds, and it’s a sizzlin’ way. He burns the fuck out of Travis’s arm, just as Dexter signals his arrival with a slamming car door. Jeez, Dexter, you’re starting to lose your stealth powers for sure. First the Nebraska pen, then the door slamming—next thing you know, he’s going to start walking around with his victim’s blood caked under his fingernails. Season One Dexter would never be this sloppy.
Next thing you know he’ll let slip a squeaker while sneaking through a dark and creepy church.
He finds Travis in the church, still chained, making much less of a fuss over his burned arm than I would be. EJO watches them from the loft behind Dexter, but when Dexter turns to look at him, EJO is gone.
A chase through the loft amid a bunch of creepy statues yields no EJO, of course. Once again, no one but Travis has laid eyes on the man, but EJO has now seen Dexter, which sort of puts a crimp in things. But Travis, apparently unswayed by the purifying burn, has had it with the whole mess. “I’ll help you kill him,” he tells Dexter. And Dexter sees that by getting Travis to trust him and hopefully eliminate EJO, he’s once again letting some Light in.
Next week, we see Dexter and Dead Harry setting up a kill room, and we learn about the final three expected TABLEAUS. Also, Travis lends his knowledge to Dexter, there’s a bunxh of running around with machetes, and some serious looking shit goes down, leaving Dexter covered in blood. Can’t wait!
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