Dexter – Episode 8 “Sins of Omission” Recap and Review
Well Dexter fans, what a difference a week makes. While last Sunday I found myself sitting down at the edge of my seat as the show ventured down Dexter’s dark path in a way we haven’t seen before, the conclusion of “Nebraska” left us mid-season with more answers than questions as hitch-hiking Harry returned the show to its status quo. Not one to give up, I apprehensively sat down with the foreboding feeling the show had gone off the rails this season for good. Thus we begin “Sins of Omission.”
Tonight’s episode was written by Arika Lisanne Mittman (first time Dexter writer who did two episodes of Medium) and directed by Ernest Dickerson (season four’s “Road Kill,” last season’s “Teenage Wasteland” many episodes of The Wire and most importantly the 1992 film Juice). It’s really a shame that Dickerson’s tremendous talents were wasted on an episode so jarringly out of place with the season. His use of color and tremendous pacing could have made for just the momentum building over-the-hump episode this season needed to approach an endgame, but instead we face the same problem that caused the first half of season five to suck – a new writer who doesn’t grasp the intangibles of what makes the show fun. While we fortunately didn’t see Harry at all this week, Mittman’s dialogue kept the show going through the motions at a time when it really needed incentive to finish the season.
Professor Gellar continues to stalk Travis, now threatening him with his sister’s life. The day after Travis sees his sister speaking to Deb, Gellar knocks him out and later Miami Metro discover her dead and dressed in the tableau as “The Whore of Babylon.” Either Mittman is going out of her way to make us think that Gellar is really Travis’ dark passenger as a swerve, or she’s dropping balls in the most obvious way possible. Elsewhere Dexter attends Brother Sam’s funeral and receives Sam’s blood soaked copy of the Bible as a gift. He then (via a search engine reportedly more powerful than Google) uses a clue from the tableau to track down a retired senile priest in a nursing home, allowing him to discover Gellar’s whereabouts in an abandoned church. Dexter arrives and finds Travis chained to the ground, chasing after Gellar who apparently sneaks out the back way. Dex frees Travis and they agree to work together to bring Gellar down.
The only interesting thing going on in the show right now is Deb’s relationship with Dexter. When she finds Dex’s pen fron the rest stop he stayed at in Nebraska, she instantly puts it together (Lieutenant!) that Dexter went to Nebraska to talk to Trinity’s son. When Dex gives her the excuse he needed to talk to someone who lost a loved one to Trinity, Deb chews him out as she lost Lundy to Trinity and he could have talked to her. So, she goes to her therapist who advises her to actually attempt to talk to Dex about what’s going on in his life. I’ve had a theory, stemming from the finale of season 5, that Deb actually knows about Dexter’s dark passenger and how he’s been killing “bad people.” I believe she’s either in denial, secretly cheering him on and wanting him to hide it better, or is trying to get him to admit it himself. I’m calling it that by the end of this season she’ll either die and/or reveal to Dex that “she knows.” But back on tonight, it’s nice to see her actually showing her detective chops and not being afraid to bust Dexter’s ass in front of him.
As for all the other stories, we’ve devolved into the go-to romance with a dash of “who cares?” Batista’s sister is dating Masuka’s intern, which I didn’t have a problem with because I like them as actors and their characters bring a different dynamic to this season, but now Batista is trying to scare him off. WHY?! Not just asking why is he doing this, but after the boring mess that was Batista’s relationship with LaGuerta, why would this be deemed worthwhile to put on my television set? Speaking of LaGuerta, and again I do like Lauren Velez as an actress, but why is this character on my screen rehashing the exact same storyline since season three? She’s a corrupt boss who is bullying her underlings and manipulation her position in order to advance her career. It’s tired and reeks of the mundanity that the first half of this season worked so hard to get away from. Oh, and Quinn got kicked out a bar, far and away the least shocking thing he’s done and not worthy of the eighth episode of a descent at all.
As somewhat of a Dexter apologist who was ready to call this season my second or third favorite two weeks ago, I cannot believe how they’ve managed to undo everything that was making this season so good. Killing Travis’ sister, using the “super Google,” reintroducing the same dead end LaGuerta storyline are the type of cheap developments the show seemed to be getting away from. If Gellar is imaginary, this season is a toxic waste. If he’s real, we might get out first non-anti-climactic showdown in four years. I’m really hoping this is just a minor hiccup in an otherwise great season. The only bright spots this week were Deb and Dex’s disagreements and Dickerson’s great direction.
We give Sins of Omission a Two out of Five.
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