The plot of Dexter’s fifth season is inching along nicely at this point. I’d argue that Take It, an episode title based on Jordan Chase’s slogan, drew on the most engaging aspects of Dexter. Namely that he fully revealed his killer instincts to another person and shared in the ritual of a kill with her. And also ended up getting photographed dumping a body at sea by the slimy copper Stan Liddy and his improbably long telephoto lens.
Dexter begins tonight by attending one of Jordan Chase’s motivational seminars, and quickly realises that he’s underestimated his potential adversary: Chase knows a worrying amount about Dexter, Rita’s murder and even about Harrison. What’s more Chase wants to get to know Dexter better.
Which is rather inconvenient, because Dexter’s actively planning to kill Chase’s henchman and chief of security, Cole. But while Dexter’s doing this, Lumen is helping him prepare and also meeting up with her old fiancée. This was an interesting development, because we’ve assumed that Lumen’s got no real ties to her old life. Now this guy shows up. So while Dexter is feeling comfortable enough to share a kill with her, is it possible she’ll use him for vengeance then move on?
It’s a very good question that plays neatly on the question of whether Julia Stiles will graduate from her “special guest” status to a season regular in the sixth season.
Also very busy this week was Peter Weller’s character, Stan Liddy. Liddy managed to get a significant amount of background on Lumen. He continues to put pressure on Quinn for extra cash for his covert investigation. What’s great about this is that he’s getting amazing results. It takes a crooked cop with time on his hands to finally unmask Dexter.
The final scenes in Take It were phenomenal – we had Dexter and Lumen getting rid of Cole’s dismembered body, the climax of their bonding and symbolic of Dexter’s growing trust in Lumen. At the same time, Liddy is casually photographing the whole thing from the shore. Now, it may be stretching credibility a little bit that Dexter would be dumping a body that close to the shore, but he’s potentially now in a ‘caught red handed’ situation.
And with us being two-thirds through the season, it can’t be long before those photos come to light or Liddy (and possibly Quinn) will wind up in small pieces at the bottom of the ocean.
Also gaining pace this week was the LaGuerta/Debra Morgan storyline, which some critics are distinctly cold on. However, you can’t deny that LaGuerta throwing Debra under the bus for the Santa Muerte screw-up was a fine moment – it was classic LaGuerta, protecting her own fine ass and getting an ambitious cop to back her up. Even better was Batista telling Deb he’d back her instead of his new wife.
Of course, much more intriguing was Debra’s admission – to Quinn and Dexter separately – that she has no regrets over killing one of the Fuentes brothers last week. It certainly doesn’t put her in the serial killer category, but it’s definitely an interesting reaction and poignant for Dexter. Can he finally share his dark secret with his sister?
To sum up, this has been a much more solid episode for Dexter. And as I pointed out earlier on, the series is in the last handful of episodes. So the tone from hereon in will probably become a little more urgent than it has been. The stakes for Dexter have slowly been raised – he’s got a potential partner in Lumen, but he’s never been so close to discovery before. Liddy definitely poses a real threat. Quinn is involved with Dexter’s sister, but done much to unravel Dexter’s secret – if it comes out, how will Deb react? There are a ton of engaging questions being raised now, and I’m interested in how they resolve.
What’s your take – is this a turning point for season five?