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Dexter Recap: Doomsday Killers

“Jesus Christ!” That’s Dexter’s reaction to seeing the Four Horsemen crime scene and those build-a-zombie riders. It’s also what many people probably blurted out at the end of last night’s episode. As slowly as this season had been creeping along, you figured there would finally be some payoff after the Prof and Travis unleashed their steeds. But there were so many revelations (pun intended) that Dexter didn’t even have time to kill anyone. All the talk of belief and faith is getting a bit heavy handed, but dude — the Prof went all Saw VII on Travis’s date!

Before we delve into the Doomsday Killers, as they’ve now been officially dubbed (nice work, Deb!), there’s still some shaking up going on at Miami Metro. In predictable fashion, LaGuerta gives Lieutenant Morgan some helpful advice before her first press conference and even lends her a necklace. Of course, encouraging Deb to “be herself” backfires as she drops an F-bomb on live television (and that necklace — not flattering). Then — surprise! — double backfire as Deputy Chief Matthews applauds her no-nonsense style with a pat on the back and an F-bomb of his own. Mike Anderson, Deb’s new hire, makes another great impression on his boss when he catches Deb shoving Thin Mints in her face during a stress-induced freak-out. He also suggests she dresses like she’s headed to a “hoedown.” If Anderson is homicide’s new fashion consultant, let’s hope he throws out all of Quinn’s International Male catalogues.

Like LaGuerta, Quinn gets less likable each week. Who knows where Angel’s midlife crisis is heading, but hopefully not to more Cheech & Chong moments with the biggest douchebag in the department. (Bonus points for Anderson, who nearly blows Quinn’s mind all over the station with the word “tableau.”) Miami Metro’s most improbable (and actionable) romance comes to an abrupt end when Masuka discovers Ryan the Hot Intern stole the Ice Truck Killer hand. Office romances are tricky like that. Sometimes they end in love, and sometimes you get stuck with a $1300 bill for a prosthetic limb and pray you don’t get shit-canned for sexual harassment.

After sitting on the sidelines for a week, Brother Sam plays a much bigger role this time, lending his support to Dexter, who’s in full-on dad-mode with Harrison at the hospital. Harry is a cute kid and all, but man, he is really taking up a lot of quality kill time these days. In continuing with the night’s theme of maximum reveal, Brother Sam launches into a moving soliloquy that explains why he broke bad — his father used young Sam to help him shoot some dude in the face. Bearing witness to a homicide is one thing, but Lil’ Sam’s bloody Superman shirt seems to be what pushed him over the edge. Dexter realizes he has more in common with his preacher-friend than he thought, namely a traumatic childhood and daddy issues. Perhaps the show will shift into buddy-drama mode next season, as Dexter and his new pal team up to bring a unique brand of righteous justice to evildoers. Dex and the Bro, anyone?

All of these religious themes might make it feel like Kirk Cameron is script consulting, if not for Travis and the Prof, Miami’s most deliciously sick power couple. In 60 minutes, we went from knowing almost nothing about them to a state of info overload. Travis lost his parents in a car accident as a kid. The Prof’s name is James Gellar, he’s on the run, is moderately web-savvy, and has a thing for ancient Roman swords. Detective Anderson figures out what we already knew — that they’re creating very bloody translations of the Book of Revelation, and as even Quinn could surmise, more of them tab-low thingies are on the way. We also learned that the Prof is one lousy wingman. I’m still not sure what’s more shocking: the Rube Goldbergian way Erin the waitress met her demise, or that Travis closed the deal on the first date. Never underestimate the Hanks family charm! Or the lengths to which the Prof will go to prove a point. (“Chicks are not part of the Judgment Day Preparedness Plan! And as your mentor, I reserve the right to watch you get it on!”)

In the scene where Dexter stops by the auto repair shop, Brother Sam delivers a line that speaks to both the Doomsday Twins and to those of us who were growing impatient with the slow place this season. “Faith,” he tells Dex. “Put it in the wrong things, it’ll fuck you up.” Shame on us non-believers who were tired of all the teasin’ and not enough pleasin’ so far. Act one is over, and now the race between Dexter and Deb to catch the Doomsday Killers is on (as usual, Dexter has a big lead, especially since he saw Travis looking all enraptured at the crime scene). A few lingering questions to ponder as we move forward:

• How will Dexter deal with his shattered slide collection once he gets back to the killing business?

• Will Astor and Cody continue to be no more relevant than a passing line of dialogue once every few episodes?

• How will Ryan the Hot Intern come back to cause trouble, which seems inevitable, given her abrupt exit and Masuka’s perpetual horniness?

• What’s up with those fish? (Could be another Revelation nod; in chapter eight, there’s a mass execution of sea creatures.)

• And what about those numbered fortune-cookie notes Dex found in the jogger’s eyeball and the fruit-stand guy’s entrails? (Dex figures the numbers represent days, and by that logic, the Four Horsemen parade happened on day 1242. Noted Biblical scholar Professor G. Ooglesearch suggests the number 1260 appears repeatedly in the Bible. Consider this line from Revelation 11:3: “And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days.” And this, from Revelation 13:5: “And there was given unto him [the Beast] a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue 42 months.” Dex and the gang probably have about two weeks to stop the Doomsday Killers before their gruesome finale plays out.)

• Was the waitress’s execution supposed to represent the Harlot of Babylon? Some sort of angel of death? A really extreme premarital sex PSA? (Again, the answer seems to tie into the Bible and those numbers. From Revelation 12:14: “And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.” Biblical scholars agree that the “time, times and half a time” is the same measurement as 42 months and 1260 days — three and a half years. That’s also the length of the Great Tribulation. Heavy stuff!)

• Did we just sorta figure out what all the crap means?

• How can the Prof out-tableau himself and come up with something to top the chest snakes, apocalypse horsemen, and the death angel?

• How will Brother Sam and the Doomsday Killers intersect? (One theory: The Prof is making ends meet by teaching under an assumed name. It seemed odd that Nick, the kid Dex and the Bro saved at the auto body shop, mentioned he was taking a computer class. Insert contemplative invisible-beard stroke here.)

• Will this end with the Prof putting Travis’s sister in harm’s way, thus pushing Travis too far and prompting him to revolt against his psycho teacher?

• Will Deb learn to walk in high heels?

Best quote: “Which one of you characters drives a Firebird? Crockett or Tubbs?” —Anderson criticizing both the parking skills and wardrobes of Angel and Quinn.

Debra Morgan Vulgar Outburst of the Night: “Goddamn pantyhose. Has anyone ever died from crotch asphyxiation?” —adjusting to her new professional wardrobe.

Kill Tools: n/a

Photo: Randy Tepper/Showtime