Dexter – Episode 6 “Just Let Go” Recap and Review
Well Dexter fans, we’ve hit the halfway point and of all the unexpected turns I didn’t expect this season, the one at the end of tonight’s episode is among the least-expected-est! It almost feels like we’ve been shown a mid-season finale and next week is going to kick the homestretch into high gear. But before I turn on my predict-o-matic, let’s look back on what’s either going to be this season’s springboard into greatness or ramp over the shark!
Tonight’s episode “Just Let Go” was written by Jace Richdale (first time Dexter writer, most known for doing The Simpsons‘ season 5 episode “Burn’s Heir” and the Chris Elliot cult classic show Get a Life‘s beloved “Spewey and Me” episode) and directed by John Dahl (this season’s premiere and “Horse of a Different Color”). While tonight started off somewhat slow, the twists in the last 20 minutes were among the most satisfying the show has made. I don’t know if the fresh feeling by the end of it is a result of Richdale’s great set-up of the developments, but Dahl’s typically great framing elevated the writing and the performances to the next level.
We begin with Dex hearing about Brother Sam being shot and vowing revenge on the perpetrator. All signs point to it being a revenge attempt at Brother Sam for the disappearance from their leader. While Dexter is staking out the gang’s second in command who he believes is behind the attack, Miami Metro becomes hot on his trail too, leading to a shootout that guns him down, but doesn’t sit right with Dexter. Once they find the security tape and Dexter recognizes that Sam’s attack dogs doesn’t so much as bark at the shooter, he realizes the killer must be Sam’s assistant who we saw him baptize earlier this season. Dexter visits Sam in the hospital and tells him vows revenge, only for Sam to instruct Dexter, as his dying wish, to tell the boy he forgives him and not to harm him, “just let it go.” Sam dies just as the shooter is approaching the hospital and Dexter takes him to the beach where he was baptized. Dexter tells the killer he knows and that he isn’t going to arrest him, he just wants to know “why?” After the killer explains that he did it to get back in the good graces of his gang because Sam didn’t deliver on the “better life” he promised and then laughs in Dexter’s face for being able to get away clean, Dex snaps and drowns him in the water, only to re-emerge and be greeted by…HIS BROTHER!
Yes, Dexter’s brother Brian (the Ice Truck Killer) appears to be Dexter’s brain’s newest inmate. It’s interesting, we get the first worthwhile moment between Harry and Dexter in about two seasons with Harry telling Dexter that Sam may have seen Dexter’s potential for light that he himself had never saw, only to now perhaps see him gone. While the Rita’s funeral escapade in last season’s premiere teased Dexter going full-on evil, we’ve never had him look as completely dark as he did at the end of tonight’s episode. It’s a credit to Michael C. Hall’s performance that his internal un-narrated conflict as he watched the killer laugh in his face was one of the most tense moments in the shows history. As a viewer, I wanted to see Dexter kill this kids for the moment of vengeance, but also see him just walk away in hopes he could one day get better. Hall was able to create one of the tightest bonds of voyeuristic empathy with this scene, earning every penny Showtime’s giving him as the network’s franchise player.
Elsewhere, we had two more unexpected swerves that were just as satisfying. Doomsday accomplice Travis let Professor Gellar’s latest capture go, driving her to the beach still blindfolded and restrained but presumably on her way to freedom. We got more signs of Travis’ reluctance to Gellar tonight, but even then I did not see letting the girl go coming. We also got Travis taking some time to surprise his sister at the preschool she teaches at. If it turns out Gellar’s a dark passenger it’s going to be a tremendous letdown. That being said, with the way we’re seeing Travis’ relationship with his sister, I don’t see her getting through this season alive.
We also had “That Ishy” Quinn upping his levels of scumbag, getting Batista to not tell Deborah he slept with the investigation’s main person of interest because of “the partner card,” only for it to come out in the interrogation room, followed by a tremendously shot scene where Deborah tells Quinn she doesn’t care who he copulated with*, she just doesn’t want him to ruin this investigation. Later, at her housewarming party, Quinn shows up drunk with a girl he just met and after attempting to hit on Batista’s sister, Batista punches him in the face and they call him a cab. Quinn has never been this enjoyable of a character and Desmond Harrington’s performance has made for a delightfully entertaining self-destruction.
Over all, I am ready to shift into overdrive. All of those slower episodes we’ve had recently has been building up to next week and I’ve never been at such a loss for where the show could be going. Deb’s never been under more turmoil and didn’t cry all episode so she (and her new therapist friend) could be in a position to finally catch Dexter. Dex has never been so emotionally unraveled, closer to reforming than he’s ever been only to be completely inverted. Quinn is a human wrecking ball and who knows what Gellar’s punishment for Travis is going to be. Plus, with Rudy’s return, who else could be show up? Buckle-up kids, things are about to get awesome.
We give Just Let Go a Three Out of Five
So until next time…let’s agree to agree!
*She wasn’t quite as eloquent, I cleaned it a bit for the site.
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