Dexter – Beauty And The Beast (S05E04) – Episode review

Alternative title: The episode of [[Dexter (TV Series)|Dexter]] where Julia Stiles got to actually speak. It was a tiny bit cruel last week when we got the big reveal that Julia was playing a victim. She saw Dexter going to work on her captor, Dexter discovered her and that was it. Roll titles.

Tonight’s episode was fundamentally about trust. Dexter’s unexpected encounter with Stiles’ character (we’ll call her Lumen from now on) causes him to be out all night, leaving the nanny stuck at home with Harrison. When Dexter finally returns, he’s humble, but nanny quits because she doesn’t believe him. And of course, Lumen herself is terrified of him thinking he’s yet another evil guy intent of keeping her captive. 

So, most of what Dexter does in Beauty And The Beast is geared toward reclaiming some of that trust. Let’s face it, we only have to look to Quinn to see what happens when people become suspicious of Dex.

What’s unintentionally hilarious about this is that Dexter’s so preoccupied with his personal mission this week that he takes a few moments out to help Debra with The Santa Muerte murders. He breezes into the crime scene, all deadly efficiency, confirms the spatter patterns and kill method and picks up some crucial evidence that everybody else had missed!

And it only takes Deb and Batista one botched raid to end up with a bystander with a slashed throat and the suspects make a swift escape. Oops. 

Of course, we’re mostly interested in Lumen – where she comes from, how she came to be locked up in a killer’s house, and what impact she’s going to have on Dexter’s life. Will she become an ally? A love interest? An inconvenient loose end? One thing’s for sure, Dexter doesn’t have the luxury of time to deal with her.

As the episode closes, an interesting piece of information presents itself – Lumen has been held captive before. And she seems to feel that she’s ‘prone’ to getting captured and locked up. Dexter’s already presented himself as a killer of bad guys, drawing a parallel between Rita’s killer and Lumen’s captor. Can he offer her some kind of protection? I’m really intrigued to see how this pans out.

Quinn’s storyline is becoming more interesting too. He get’s caught out tonight trying to speak to Jonah Mitchell, son of the Trinity killer. But Jonah is under witness protection and Quinn tricks an FBI agent into leading him to Jonah so he can try to identify Kyle Butler as Dexter. Even though he takes a roasting from LaGuerta later on, Quinn’s convinced he’s got his man. He just doesn’t have any idea what the full story about Dexter is.

We’ll have to cut with the Doakes comparisons, because nobody could ever be better than James Doakes. But Quinn’s a different kind of beast – he seems to have a pinprick of conscience about sleeping with Debra when he’s on the path to outing her brother as a killer. And Dexter was able to rationalise going after Doakes because Doakes was a killer himself. If his code prevents him from killing an innocent like Lumen, then surely Quinn is an innocent too? And both of them present viable threats to his lifestyle.

Overall, it’s definitely taking this season a long time to find its feet. Granted, season 5 opened with a lot of baggage, and it wouldn’t be right to wipe the slate completely clean. On a positive note, though, it’s good that Dexter is dealing with his issues following on from Rita’s death, and there seems to be a nice balance with the new opportunities that the character of Lumen is presenting.

People are definitely expecting a major adversary this season, and the fact that a major threat still hasn’t presented itself is a bit of a worry. How do you guys think things are going to pan out?

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