What developments we do get are all plodding and convenient and nonsensical. The one highlight: a visit from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s Li’l Kevin, from the classic “Sweet Dee’s Dating a Retarded Person” episode. Naturally, he gets murdered before he has a chance to do anything interesting. Hey, why introduce something new—be it a fresh character, dilemma, or change in a relationship—when you can fiercely defend the status quo with a bunch of convenient escapes, tedious repetition, and unceremonious kill-offs?
Starting at the top: at the end of last week’s episode, Dexter discovered Gellar’s dead body, prompting him to exclaim that Gellar’s been dead this whole time. Travis did all those killings himself! Then Travis sealed him off in the cellar. But just in case we didn’t catch it, or forgot, or weren’t convinced, or something, Dexter repeats his exclamation, then shows us Gellar’s chest wound, then explains that Gellar’s chest wound is like the other victims’ chest wounds, and then, just in case we still don’t get it, Dexter calls to Travis: “Travis, you killed Gellar!” And then Travis traps Dexter in the basement. Are the writers not paying attention to their own show? Did they forget that all the background info we need is covered in their always-thorough “previously on Dexter” reel? Note to the Dexter showrunners: LAST WEEK’S EPISODE ENDED WITH DEXTER TRAPPED IN THE BASEMENT. PLEASE START THERE.
Oh but wait: Dexter’s not trapped after all. There’s another exit. And a window, through which Travis is perfectly framed while arguing with Ghost Gellar, for the sole purpose of re-confirming what we just learned, two or three times, but this time from the corpse himself: “Travis, you killed me!” Do the writers seriously think we’re so stunned by this “twist” that we won’t believe it until we hear it from the corpse himself? I’m seriously boggled by the number of times we get this information. I guess the showrunners think we’re terminally distracted idiots? I guess so: how else do they expect to get away with a body kept for three years in a deep-freezer located in an abandoned church that has NO ELECTRICITY.
Also, they turned Ghost Gellar into a good guy, without explanation, for the apparent reason of delivering yet more exposition.
From there: Dexter plants Gellar’s prints and has plenty of time to dump the body before the police show up sometime the next morning, even though they’ve been closing in since right after Dexter watched Travis arguing with himself, which was at night. Then Dex shows up and starts trying to screw up the investigation so he can get Travis himself, because who cares if he kills again? Not Dexter.
Deb apparently doesn’t, either. When she finally shows up at the church, her comment is “Doomsday Killer in an abandoned church. Too fucking perfect.” And by “perfect,” I think she means “obvious.” But she’s not upset at all she didn’t notice the church, even though it was right in front of her when she went to check out the Doomsday Killers’ IP address the other day. Does it seriously never occur to her that her panic attack has something to do with failing at her job, thus allowing more people to get killed? She can’t even draw simple conclusions once it’s clear she’s inside DDK’s hideout: “Holy fucking shit, is this it?” Yes, Deb, it is. “Are these Gellar’s paintings??” Yes, Lieutenant Oblivious. Those are paintings of crime scenes you’ve already been to, and identified as the work of the DDK.
Then Travis recruits Li’l Kevin and his wife, Beth, to help him kill the whore who got away, who of course is not being watched by the police, even though she was released just days earlier by the killers terrorizing Miami. Of course, Dexter figures out that angle before the cops, identifies the yacht she’s escaped to with the help of Fake Facebook, and tracks the yacht’s location with his awesome computer and interpersonal skills: hey, who isn’t sympathetic to a married yacht-owner whose mistress ran off with his boat? A heartless monster, that’s who.
So Dexter catches up with the boat, Ricochet Rabbit (we have an episode title!), kills Travis, and then realizes it isn’t Travis, it’s some stranger in a hazmat suit. Why he was in a hazmat suit we don’t know, because the deadly wormwood poison is long gone. I guess it was just to confuse Dexter. And it works! Dexter finally calls the police, dialing 9-1-1 from his cell phone but refusing to leave his name, because, you know, cell phone calls to emergency services are totally untraceable to their owners.
Is there more? Kind of. We learn for the third time that Matthews was involved with the dead hooker from a few episodes back, but of course we don’t learn why we should care, at all. Oh but now Deb knows. Because she’s such a great detective.
We learn for the umpteenth time that Quinn’s manic partying schedule is interfering with his police work.
We learn for the umpteen-gazillionth time that Deb has always relied on her big brother for support, and that she doesn’t suspect him of a goddamn thing besides “a fuckload of mysterious personal stuff.”
We also learn that Brother Sam was totally wrong, and then that Brother Sam was totally right, which we’ve only learned every episode since Mos Def appeared.
Oh but here’s a new development: we learn that Intern Computer Whiz’s video game is a serial killer simulator, and that he doesn’t seem to understand why it would be offensive to someone who works for the police. So it turns out he’s suspicious! Oh wait, we already learned that one too.
Ye gads. Tune in next week for the second-to-last time, when Travis kills everyone at Miami Homicide with deadly poison gas. I HOPE.
It’s a sign:
- Exclamation bingo: “Travis, you killed Gellar!” “You killed me, Travis!” “He thinks Gellar’s still alive!” “I’m the fucking lieutenant for chrissake!” “He’s a big softie!”
“Not now, Louis!” “Your friend is a total slam pig!” “Hello, whore!” “I’m the Bay Harbor Butcher!” “Wormwood can’t be stopped!” “LEAVE ME ALONE!”
- “I’ve only been there for funerals. You know, my mom, my dad, my boyfriends, my sister-in-law.” Makes you wonder why no one has suspected Deb of anything.
- NO FORESHADOWING HERE: “Who would choose to be a serial killer? How could you possibly know what it’s like to take a life? Why would you even want to?”
- “This is wormwood.” “I thought it would be bigger.” Yuk.
- Anyone got an extra invite to FriendZone they can pass me? Thanks in advance.
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