This season has been like one long buddy movie with a rotating cast: Dexter and Brother Sam; Dexter and his dead brother Brian; the Prof and Travis; and last night, the most unlikely team-up yet — Dexter convinces Travis to help him take down the mad professor Gellar. Fans of the religious themes and the Doomsday Killers should be pleased that the third act is kicking into high gear. If you’re bored with Dexter’s soul searching and a decided lack of kill-room action, you might be a little cranky today. But seeing Travis’s sister Lisa wearing a satanic goat mask and riding a multi-headed crocodile should count for something, right?
The episode’s title surfaces in the diner scene where Dexter uses Brother Sam’s bloody Bible to speak Travis’s language (love the gross-out pages stuck together). Quoting James 4:17, Dex reminds Travis that failure to take action against evil is sin (weird current-events confluence — has Dexter been keeping up with the Penn State scandal?). The “sin of omission” theme also surfaces with LaGuerta, who forces Deb to drop the dead call girl investigation as a favor (or, more likely, blackmail) for a mystery man. Speaking of secrets, Deb finally (finally!) reaches her breaking point with Dexter’s emotional distance and mysterious constant disappearing acts.
Then of course there’s the bombshell that Travis is sitting on, assuming the Prof isn’t actually alive. Yet once again, we’re given some confusing clues about his physical state. Deb says they’re getting phone calls about Prof sightings every day. There’s no fortune-cookie number note left behind on Lisa, leading Dex to conclude Travis didn’t arrange the latest tableau. For every hint that the Prof might somehow be alive, something else seems to prove he’s in Travis’s head, like the way he usually appears out of nowhere (notice the only car we ever see belongs to Travis). And how does the Prof knock Travis out with a shovel? You could say that was a metaphor for Travis’s mental break and the Prof taking control. But did Travis also chain himself to the church floor? And if so, does that mean he would have withered away and died if Dexter didn’t find Father Galway’s rundown house of worship? The clincher was when he apparently leaps from the second-floor window of the church, Spider-Man-style, and disappears into the night. The Prof clearly has some artistic talent, but P90X is clearly not part of his Armageddon preparation plan.
Now that Miami Metro has identified Travis as the Prof’s accomplice, the race is on to see who gets to the DDK duo first. If only Deb had noticed the nerdy fellow riding his bicycle down the street right behind her as she left Travis’s sister’s house (Travs looked rather Forrest Gump–esque in that scene; an intentional nod to Papa Hanks, perhaps?). To be fair, it’s been a rough stretch for Deb lately, especially after she finds Dexter’s Shady Lane Motel pen and he blows off more work and her attempts at some sibling bonding. That leads to a very interesting chat with her shrink, in which Deb is encouraged to focus more on her brother’s issues the next time they talk (that should go well). Elsewhere in homicide, Angel pulls the ol’ “mess with my sister and I might use my city-issued firearm against you” big-bro routine on Louis (aside from his creepy video game and his man-crush on Dexter, he seems like a perfectly nice dude — which, in Dexterland, probably means Louis is a psycho). We also see Quinn hit rock bottom as he uses a Britney Spears song title as a pickup line (thus becoming perhaps the first guy in the history of strip clubs whose use of a cheesy line didn’t result in a lap dance). If nothing else, that scene made for a great transition to the nursing home, where Dexter has his first confession and is absolved for his triple-digit body count by a demented old priest. Seems like Dex might cotton to this religion stuff after all.
Despite the fact that the season is now barreling toward a conclusion, we’re still left with more to ponder than the Living Prof vs. Ghost Prof debate as we head into the last four episodes:
• Who was LaGuerta talking to when she said the dead hooker case is closed? (Deputy Chief Matthews? Angel, who we know has a thing for working girls and was the first person LaGuerta asked Anderson about at the crime scene?)
• How did the Prof and/or Travis kill Lisa in the middle of the day at her elementary school and set up the Whore of Babylon installation without anyone noticing?
• What bad news is in store for Jamie and Louis, considering the track record for disastrous relationships on this show?
• Did anyone else notice that, loosely speaking, Dexter seems to be following the seven Catholic sacraments? There was the baptism of Brother Sam (and Dexter’s take on the ritual, when he drowned Nick); a communion of sorts between Dexter and the Bro (who died for his sins, as Dexter felt responsible for the Bro getting shot); and then last night, with his first confession. Perhaps there’s a confirmation in his future, which could simply be his embracing the idea of a higher power. There’s definitely some sort of last rites ahead, probably involving a kill room. Less likely: Dex ordained as a priest.
• How did Lisa know about the Doomsday Killer when Deb came to her house but apparently never saw all of those headlines about the Prof being the chief suspect?
• Are we supposed to laugh at the Prof when he says hilariously batshit-crazy stuff, like this as he’s admiring one of his paintings: “It’s beautiful, isn’t it? All it needs is the right whore.”
• Now that Deb and Green Thong have rejected him, how many more proposals will Quinn attempt before the season’s end? And is there any way he doesn’t end up in rehab?
• How much longer will Harrison recognize Dexter as his daddy when they spend approximately 27 minutes together each week?
• Will Deb’s shrink be the one who finally helps her connect the dots between her brother and his moonlighting gig as a serial killer?
• Is this the lowest death toll Dexter’s ever tallied in a single season?
Best quote: “Intern Puppy Dog has skills.” —Dexter marveling at Louis’s search-engine talents.
Debra Morgan Vulgar Outburst of the Night: “I can’t get him to tell me shit-all about jack shit.” —expressing her frustration over Dexter’s inability to share his feelings and properly file a time-off request.
Vince Masuka Pervo Line of the Night: “I’m going to keep rearranging that sentence to make it hotter.” —to Dexter after Deb says, “I need everyone’s asses on the fucking ball.”
Kill Tools: n/a