Dexter – Circle Us – Episode review

You may have noticed that I skipped last week’s review. No real reason for it – I watched the episode, just wasn’t motivated to write about it. The highlight – and low point – of the episode was the ludicrous escape of Dexter’s clingfilm clad captive and the totally implausible  placement of two bodies to get himself out of a sticky situation. As if Masuka thrusting his groin like Duffman on viagra was going to make us forget how unbelieveable that whole scene was.

Moving swiftly on to Circle Us, the episode named after a prayer by Harrison’s nanny. With his renewed focus on capturing and killing the gang of men who tortured and raped Lumen (Julia Stiles), Dexter for once has a bulk order to deal with, and a rookie killer in tow.

What really complicates matters is that the gang are spooked by the phone call informing them that Lumen is alive, so they decide to dispose of those barrels of dead girls in formaldehyde. Don’t think about this too long, because there’s really no way they could know that Lumen knows where the bodies are. For one thing, who was going to tie the barrels back to the gang? And where else were they going to store them?

It’s spectacular to see the barrels and their contents spilled all over the road though. It’s interesting and precarious when something Dexter’s been involved in overlaps with a police investigation. Not that he was in danger of being rumbled, really. And the shocking turn of events was the motivational speaker Jordan Chase and his bodyguard – clearly involved in the abuse and murder of these girls – brazenly show up at Miami Metro to ‘offer their assistance’ to the police.

Moving away from the minutae of the episode – which I found didn’t really stand up to scrutiny very well – it was an interesting study in how Dexter had to come to terms with having Lumen in his life. It may well be too soon for Dexter to start trusting her, and luckily Harry wasn’t present in this episode to hold him back. However, Lumen is the most interesting character to walk into Dexter’s life so far – she’s the only person in his life that knows exactly what he is. By the end of the episode, he’s referring to them as ‘we’ and introducing his son to her.

This is perhaps the key development for me – Dexter has this unspoken neediness, the need for a connection with someone else – look at his brother Brian in Season 1, or Arthur Mitchell in Season 4 and the continuing presence of Harry in his psyche. Dexter is always looking for someone to reveal his true nature to. The big question is how Lumen will feel once her vengeance has been dealt out, and whether this murderous partnership will develop into something more…long-term.

The police operation on the Fuentes brothers was well executed as well. It’s so nice to see this storyline having a payoff, with LaGuerta needing to impress her already-hostile boss and still managing to screw up the bust.

First up though, LaGuerta on a police operation? The continuity with regard to LaGuerta’s character is absolutely rubbish on Dexter. Dios mio! She’s a public figure for the police. LaGuerta was the not-too-bright Lieutenant who preferred doing press conferences to getting her hands dirty with real police work. Having her present in a sting operation like this was incredibly reckless, but I’ll concede it was necessary for her to overrule Debra’s advice leading to the shoot-out in the club.

Quinn doesn’t have much time to deal with his suspicions about Dexter this week, other than being blackmailed for more money by creepy Stan Liddy. However, Liddy’s been busy and knows that a blonde is staying in Dexter’s old house.

Overall, a move in the right direction for Dexter – the excitement level’s beginning to build on the show. I’m excited for how Dexter’s relationship with Lumen is going to develop and ultimately if Julia Stiles will stay in the show beyond this season. I still feel like he’s hampered by Harrison, something which has boxed the character in, making the nanny a necessary fixture in the show. Perhaps by recreating the family he had, Dexter can return to ‘normal’ again?

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