Dexter – Hop A Freighter (S05E11) – Episode review

After LaGuerta said it, I wanted the title of this episode to be called Vigilantes In Love. But Dexter is never that obvious, so the powers that be plumped for Hop A Freighter instead. Ah well.

The unmistakeable message is that Dexter has fallen for Lumen in the way that only two criminally damaged people can – their respective ‘demons’ seem to cancel each other out and make them seem like a perverse version of domestic bliss. At one point, Lumen toys with the idea of both of them leaving together. The one flaw in that plan – because she doesn’t know Dexter like we do – is that his need to kill is a compulsion. Sure, he’s at an all you can eat buffet right now, but this is normality for Dexter.

Anyhoo, you can really feel the plot threads starting to come together in this episode. There was a marked quickening of pace, but not quite as much as I expected. 

You’ll have noticed that Quinn and Debra played a bigger role in this week’s episode. We now know that Quinn has a video of a cat that hiccups and farts at the same time. Quality. I’m slightly disturbed that a single man living alone has no porn on his computer, but whatever. Maybe the cat is the porn

Another classic Dexter moment – Quinn and Deb visit the dentist’s wife and reassure her that her husband probably wasn’t gay. But there’s a good chance he’s a rapist and murderer. Sorry for your loss, etc.

Snarking aside, we have the progression that Deb is on the side of the vigilantes. One of whom is her brother, the other his mysterious lodger who narrowly missed spending eternity in a rusty barrel. Not only that, she thinks it’s romantic. This is an interesting scenario, and one we haven’t spoken much about – Deb loves Quinn, Quinn loves Deb. But Quinn put Stan Liddy (currently bleeding out in a rental van at the old dock) onto Dexter’s case. So Quinn was right. The natural progression – hinted heavily at in the previews for the season finale – is that Debra will discover Dexter and have to decide where her loyalties lie.

Yes, that’s right, Stan Liddy gave Dexter the runaround this week before getting slow-stabbed while Blackmailed Detective Quinn waited patiently outside. What happened? Well, Dexter realised he was being filmed at home thanks to his hi-tech baby monitor (with video? but the baby sleeps in the living room) being on the same frequency as the police surveilance equipment. Think about it for a moment, ladies and gentlemen. How many other people in that apartment complex were seeing video of Lumen practise stabbing? Sorry, Dexter. Nice try on the ambitious storyline, but I didn’t even know baby monitors came with video these days. It all seems a bit improbable, even for this show.

Anyway, newly alerted to the fact he’s being watched, Dexter goes down a few blind alleys assuming that Quinn’s behind the surveilance. I liked this sequence though, because it’s nice to see Dexter behind the curve and struggling to catch up. In fact, he only catches up when Liddy kidnaps him – in a shocking parody of how Dexter usually injects his victims – with a taser. Sadly, as HitFix note, Liddy – the unknown quantity in this entire season – was dispatched all too quickly. And Dexter even had his hands tied behind his back!

Dexter has barely found out that someone associated with Miami Metro is watching him, and has no idea that it’s Liddy, and then within the space of about 10 minutes, he’s taken prisoner by Liddy, finds out everything Liddy was up to and most of what Quinn does and doesn’t know, and manages to put a knife through the guy’s heart. Bing, bang, boom; complications (almost) all gone, and there’s so much other plot swirling that I doubt there will even be much time for Dexter to grapple with the idea that he killed someone who was a dirty cop but not really within the boundaries of The Code of Harry. The only thing that could have been more formulaic would have been Dexter securing Liddy to a table with plastic wrap to do the ritual first

But we didn’t even have a minute to deal with Liddy’s demise, as Dexter raced off to save Lumen. Dude! Burn the van or something! Dexter mustn’t watch much television, because he’d know that running away from a crime scene like that is going to bite him in the ass later on. Unless the Kaystone Cops at Miami Metro decide it was the work of the Santa Muerta crew. 

Moving on, Lumen walks into a trap by Jordan Chase. As if to prove that he’s a dangerous type, Chase beats his blood-muse Emily to death with a poker. It had me wondering why he kept her alive in the first place if he was just going to kill her the first time the plot demanded it. Nevertheless, it seems he’s rattled by the police closing in on him, Dexter’s marvellous abilities and the deaths of his accomplices. And now he’s got Lumen.

That’s where we leave it, folks. Dexter’s in a race against time to save the one person he can trust. And Liddy’s body is discovered – I wonder how much evidence Dexter’s left behind him there. Next week’s going to be all about whether Dexter can rescue his girlfriend, kill off Jordan Chase and keep his secret and get to Harrison’s birthday party before the magician arrives. I’m hoping that Julia Stiles will be back for the next season – it wouldn’t be right to end two consecutive seasons of Dexter with the death of his significant other, would it?

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