Episode Title: "Sin of Omission"
Writer: Arika Lisanne Mittman
Director: Ernest Dickerson
Previously on "Dexter":
In the aftermath of Brother Sam's murder, Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall) had a bit of a mental breakdown and he started hallucinating a visage of his dead brother (and fellow serial killer), Brian Moser (Christian Camargo); who urged Dexter to kill anyone he wanted without feeling guilt. But first, Dexter blew off work for several days to travel to Nebraska because of the apparent return of Trinity. In reality, Dexter realized that Trinity's son, Jonah Mitchell (Brando Eaton) was following in his father's footsteps. But when Dexter was finally ready to kill Jonah, he realized that the young man still had remorse and he wasn't responsible for his sister's death.
Dexter found it within himself to let Jonah live and he symbolically killed his hallucination of Brian before returning to Miami. Meanwhile, Travis Marshall (Colin Hanks) attempted to break away from Professor Gellar (Edward James Olmos) after becoming disillusioned with the Professor's reign of doomsday inspired killings. With information from the woman that Travis set free, the police became aware that Gellar had an accomplice. And despite Detective Joey Quinn (Desmond Harrington) royally screwing up the case against Gellar by sleeping with a witness, Debra Morgan (Jennifer Carpenter) and the rest of Miami Metro seemed to be on the verge of identifying Travis and finding Gellar.
In the morning, Dexter stops by Debra's home with coffee and doughnuts as his way of apologizing for running out on his job for five days. Debra grudgingly forgives him as she relates the story about the victim that Travis set free; which Dexter interprets as Travis having second thoughts about being part of the DDK. Dexter also tells Debra that he has to go to Brother Sam's funeral before coming to work. At his sister's home, Travis makes breakfast for Lisa (Molly Parker). Outside he encounters Gellar, who threatens to sacrifice Lisa as the "Whore of Babylon" if Travis doesn't resume his work. But Travis rejects him again.
Travis tries to get Lisa to skip town with him for a few days, but she turns him down over her teaching commitments. At Brother Sam's funeral, Dexter is given Sam's blood spattered Bible per Sam's stated intent. At the museum, Dexter sneaks into the backroom and comes face-to-face with Travis, who recognizes his voice from the time Dexter nearly killed him in his car. Dexter offers to help keep the police off of Travis' trail if he leads him to Gellar. But Travis doesn't want any part of Gellar or Dexter and he tells him to leave. Shortly thereafter, Dexter is called into the scene of dead high end call girl.
At the crime scene, the new detective, Mike Anderson (Billy Brown) spots the second most evil person in Miami, Captain Maria LaGuerta (Lauren Velez) and he openly wonders why she's sniffing around the case. Although the prostitute clearly died of an overdose, Dexter and Vince Masuka (C.S. Lee) figure out that someone else was in the room and tried to revive her before staging the scene. Back at the station, Debra tells the assembled police force that she needs them all to help solve the DDK case. She hands out lists of 200 potential accomplices pooled from Gellar's former students. Debra even says that she's going to run down a few names herself.
Dexter finds Travis in a diner and he uses a few passages from Brother Sam's Bible to convince Travis that doing nothing to stop Gellar would be a sin of omission. Travis agrees and tells Dexter that he'll help him find Gellar once his sister is safe. Meanwhile, Debra meets Lisa while looking for Travis and she relates the potential connection between them while asking Lisa to call her when Travis shows up. Unknown to Debra, Travis spots her as she gets into her car. Back at the station, LaGuerta harasses Debra to close the prostitute death as an O.D., before LaGuerta reports to someone that "it's taken care of."
At Lisa's school, Travis tries to keep an eye on her when Gellar surprises him and knocks him out with a shovel. At the police station, Debra stumbles upon a pen from Dexter's bag that had the address of his hotel in Nebraska. Caught, Dexter confesses to seeking out Jonah to talk about Trinity; but this only alienates Debra. She points out that she lost someone close to Trinity as well and Debra is upset that Dexter didn't confide in her. They don't get much time to dwell on it before they are called to Lisa's school, only to discover her dead body trussed up as the "Whore of Babylon."
Debra instantly recognizes Lisa from earlier and Masuka even finds Debra's card pinned to Lisa's body. She orders an APB on Travis. Meanwhile, Dexter picks up a label from the scene that appears to have come from a priest's robe. Elsewhere, Travis finds himself chained to the ground as Gellar reveals that his sister was used as the "Whore of Babylon." Gellar menacingly puts a rebar in the fire and tells Travis to reconsider his position on helping him before he returns. In therapy, Debra lashes out at Dexter for treating her "like s***," but the Therapist points out that Debra tends to talk mostly about herself (TRUE!). So, she suggests that Debra let Dexter do the talking for once.
Dexter finds the priest who once owned the robe in a local retirement home. The priest insists that Dexter confess his sins and he is momentarily shaken when Dexter admits to many counts of murder. But when the Priest's dementia kicks in, he absolves Dexter of his sins. Then Dexter learns that the priest's former church has been abandoned for 20 years. Dexter rushes home to say goodnight to his son, but he finds Debra there cooking dinner for him so they can talk. When Dexter tries to say that something came up, Debra is livid at the way he pushes her away. And more than a little hurt.
At the abandoned church, Gellar burns Travis until he hears Dexter pull up outside. When Dexter enters, Travis silently indicates that Gellar is hiding in the balcony, but when Dexter goes up there, Gellar is gone. Returning to Travis, Dexter listens as the younger man pledges to help him kill Gellar.
It's hard to see why the writers of "Dexter" are dragging out the reveal that Gellar exists only inside of Travis' head. Almost the entire viewing audience guessed that several episodes ago. Maybe the writers are holding out for a cliffhanger ending in which Dexter suddenly realizes the truth moments before Travis knocks him out. But this charade has gone on long enough.
This episode tried to dispel the theory of Gellar's non-existence by having Travis knocked unconscious and chained within the church. Even so, Travis could have easily chained himself and the knockout via shovel could simply be the way Travis conceptualized Gellar taking over his body. The thing I missed the most about this episode is that we never see Lisa pleading for her life as her brother kills her. Hopefully that will be seen in flashback, provided that the real Gellar is as dead as he seems to be.
There could be some fun in the Dexter and Travis team up, since they're very much alike. But I still think that Dexter's biggest mistake this season was not killing Travis when he had the chance. Although, leaving a pen in his bag from a hotel he shouldn't have been to is a pretty close second. Debra is completely right about Dexter shutting her out, but she's still operating on a flawed premise. Dexter isn't human… or rather, he doesn't have conventional human feelings. It's kind of a miracle that he has any love for Harrison or Debra. But when it comes to talking about his problems, that's what the hallucination of his dead father is for.
Debra's therapist was right about one thing: Debra talks about herself a lot. For someone who complains about Dexter treating her badly, Debra is pretty self-centered as well. And when it comes to Quinn, I believe that Jerry Seinfeld would say that Debra's "a bad breaker upper."
While we're on the subject of Quinn, I have to ask why the audience is expected to care about so many meaningless subplots? Will Jamie find out that Louis was threatened by Batista? Will Captain LaGuerta's underhanded attempts to close a case be exposed? And will Quinn pull out of his personal and professional nose dive?
Who. Gives. A. S***?!
There's a reason that this show is called "Dexter," and the title character is still much more interesting than everyone else in his supporting cast. The rest of the characters seem to eat up valuable story time that could have been put to better use. I don't know if the writers understand this, but we only care about the ancillary characters to the extent that they affect the overall story or Dexter himself. Somehow I don't think that Jamie and Louis are going to be all that important unless Louis' digital version of Dexter also turns out to be a virtual serial killer.
In short, "Dexter" needs focus. And it's troubling that it still hasn't found that with 2/3 of the season already over.
Crave Online Rating: 6.5 out of 10.