Episode Title: "The Angel of Death"
Writer: Scott Reynolds
Director: SJ Clarkson
Previously on "Dexter":
Travis Marshall (Colin Hanks) and his mentor Professor Gellar (Edward James Olmos) killed a man, cut up his body and sent it into downtown Miami as an elaborate take on the four horsemen of the apocalypse from the Book of Revelation. The new homicide detective Mike Anderson (Billy Brown) and Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall) were the first to the see that the so-called "Doomsday Killer" was communicating to the police and the public through their actions, although their fellow officers scoffed at them. However, Sgt. Angel Batista (David Zayas) and Detective Joey Quinn (Desmond Harrington) got baked together and eventually stumbled upon Gellar's potential connection to the crime.
Meanwhile, Vince Masuka (C.S. Lee) realized that his beautiful new assistant, Ryan (Brea Grant) stole a severed hand from the Ice Cream Truck killer case and posted it to an online auction. To keep it out of the public's hands, Masuka put in a massive bid and dismissed Ryan. Elsewhere, Dexter's son, Harrison suffered a medical emergency and Brother Sam (Mos) stayed with Dexter at the hospital to support his new friend. Earlier, Dexter's sister Debra Morgan (Jennifer Carpenter) screwed up during her first press conference, but the public decided that they liked her candor.
As for Travis, he managed to bring home a waitress he liked, only to be forced into using her for Gellar's plan. When the cops arrived at the next crime scene, Debra's men accidentally triggered the trap that killed the waitress and unleashed a horde of locusts. Dexter spotted Travis at the scene watching his handy work and he recognized a fellow killer in his eyes.
At the police station, Dexter notices that the wings attached to the waitress' body were constructed in a way consistent with ancient art restoration. Masuka then calls him into Debra's latest briefing as she explains that Gellar is their primary person of interest. Rather than share his insight and lose his potential kill, Dexter tells Debra that he found nothing significant in the wings. Meanwhile, Masuka has a new intern with impressive computer skills, whom he tasks to help hide the theft of the Ice Cream Truck killer evidence. Before leaving, Dexter also runs into Brother Sam, who mentions that someone shot up his shop.
Brother Sam also makes plans to come visit Dexter and Harrison later that night. Meanwhile, Dexter pursues his lead at a local art institute and he is directed to watch an instructional video in which he spots Travis and recognizes him from the crime scene. Around the same time, Gellar and Travis hunt for their next victim, "the whore of Babylon." But because Gellar's face is now plastered everywhere, he leaves Travis to do the kidnapping alone. Travis does find and stalk a young woman, but he is chased off before he can get away with her. At Dexter's home, Brother Sam arrives and the two men bond on Dexter's porch.
Dexter even opens up to Sam and tells him how he witnessed his mother's murder at a young age which infected him with darkness. However, Sam insists that Dexter also carries the light from his mother; which is also evident whenever he talks or thinks about Harrison. The following day, Dexter waits outside of Travis' house and slips inside to investigate. He finds Gellar's Apocalyptic books and a Bible from which the numbers found on the victims correspond with missing page numbers. Certain that he's found his man, Dexter departs. Elsewhere, Quinn and Batista look up Gellar's former T.A., Professor Clarissa Morris (Mariana Klaveno).
Clarissa admits to having inappropriately dated Gellar when she was younger, but she insists that he can't be the Doomsday killer and doesn't seem very helpful at first. Regardless, Quinn is very taken with her and gets her to meet him at a bar where he goes home with her over Batistia's objections. Later, Travis gets in his car and finds Dexter waiting for him in his backseat. Dexter accuses him of being the Doomsday killer, but Travis says that he wasn't strong enough to do what needed to be done. And he places the blame/credit on Gellar. Thinking that Travis can lead him to Gellar, Dexter lets him go but keeps his car.
Travis calls Gellar and insists that he is too sick to meet, but Gellar accuses him of trying to run from God. The next morning, Travis is surprised that Dexter has left the car back in his drive way and he goes off unaware that Dexter is following him to get to Gellar. Back to Batista, he goes looking for Quinn at Clarissa's place and he stumbles upon a journal written by Gellar that corresponds perfectly with the Doomsday killer's methods to date. Unfortunately, Quinn just slept with the star witness and this is bound to backfire horribly on everyone in the department.
And in Brother Sam's auto shop, Brother Sam himself is surprised by a gunman who shoots him three times and leaves him for dead, with only a dog to watch over him.
In the history of f***ups, I think that Dexter letting Travis go in this episode is akin to letting Trinity slip out of his grasp from the fourth season. The only question is who among Dexter's friends and associates is going to pay the price?
"The Angel of Death" tried to fool the viewers — just as Dexter and the Miami PD have been fooled — into believing that Gellar is the threat. Some fans have even pointed out Gellar's use of a phone in this episode is proof that he is physically around. But keep in mind, Gellar has spoken to no one on this show other than Travis nor does anyone look at him when he appears in public with Travis. He just isn't there folks.
From the evidence found in Clarissa's home, Gellar's Doomsday theories are clearly what is driving Travis to commit horrific acts of murder. But Travis himself can't actually bring himself to do it, so the Gellar inside his head acts in his place and seemingly absolves him of the responsibility. We're looking at a "Fight Club"/"Psycho" situation here; where we see Gellar too because all of Travis' scenes take place from his point of view. As far as he's concerned, Gellar is the driving force in his life.
If Gellar has actually been dead for years, as I suspect, it may not be as effective a surprise as the show's writers seem to hope. I have to give credit to them for laying out the clues, but it seems pretty obvious. Some of Gellar's actions in this episode seem to be trying to put that genie back in the bottle by having him physically interact more with Travis; but when you're as cuckoo for cocoa puffs as Travis is, it probably all seems real.
Regarding Brother Sam, Mos has done a good job of giving us a truly reformed criminal whom even Dexter has come to genuinely like. If the cliffhanger here means that Sam is dead, he's another in a long line of Dexter's friends who end up dead on this series. I highly doubt that Sam would condone Dexter's methods for dealing with criminals, but what he had to say about Dexter's relationship with his son had some truth in it and it actually seemed to reach Dexter. Plus, Dexter must really trust Sam at this point to share the story about his mother's murder.
The new detective, Mike Anderson has also seemingly been the first character on the cast to recognize that Dexter's skills would make him an excellent detective if he had chosen to become one. But how long until Anderson follows in the footsteps of Doakes and realizes that Dexter's insights come from a much darker place? Also, could Anderson and Debra just be friends instead of another inter-office romance on this show? They look good together, but we've been down this road many times before.
One last note for the week, Quinn seems like a fairly decent detective and not necessarily a bad guy… but what a moron. Even if Debra had agreed to marry him, I doubt he could have kept his pants on for long around Professor Morris. And his decision to sleep with her may be almost as damaging to the race to stop Travis as Dexter's ill-advised choice to let him go. Be that as it may, I'm finally starting to get excited about the direction for this season.
Crave Online Rating: 8.5 out of 10.