Episode Title: "Get Gellar"
Writer: Karen Campbell
Director: Seith Mann
Previously on "Dexter":
In the wake of the apparent escape of the Doomsday Killer (DDK), Professor Gellar (Edward James Olmos), Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall) realizes that his fellow serial killer has seen his face. Dexter also frees Gellar's former disciple, Travis Marshall (Colin Hanks); who promises to help Dexter kill Gellar in revenge for the murder of his sister. However, Travis' information is fairly unhelpful, as Gellar kept most of his plans to himself. Their only clue is the word "2LOT" on one of Gellar's paintings that depicts the next sacrifice. Dexter stashes Travis at a hotel and he soon discovers that "2LOT" is connected to the theories of noted atheist, Professor Trent Casey (Alex Hyde-White).
At her therapy session, Debra Morgan (Jennifer Carpenter) unloads about her dysfunctional family life and her former engagement to the Ice Truck Killer. Slightly horrified, the therapist suggests having more sessions per week. At the station, Sgt. Angel Batista (David Zayas) notes the absence of Detective Joey Quinn (Desmond Harrington) and he covers for him despite learning from Vince Masuka (C.S. Lee) that Quinn got drunk and disorderly at a strip club the night before. During the briefing, Masuka's intern, Louis Greene (Josh Cooke) offers to use his skills to track Gellar down now that he's updated his Doomsday blog.
Later, Batista finds Quinn passed out on the floor of his own place. They soon track down Quinn's missing gun and phone to the stripper he slept with the night before, who turns out to be much older than Quinn remembered. And also, not a stripper. Quinn and Batista end up coming to blows after pointed remarks about each other's lives before a bystander threatens to call the cops on them. Meanwhile, Dexter audits one of Casey's classes and the man is clearly a genius. Casey is also kind of an a**hole about the whole atheism thing as he blows off Dexter's warning.
Finally finding a use for Travis, Dexter brings him along on the stakeout of Casey's office hours. Travis spots Gellar entering the building, so he and Dexter follow. However, Dexter is trapped in the elevator while Gellar strikes. By the time Travis helps him get out, Casey has been taken and his office trashed. At the hotel, Dexter and Travis decide to lure Gellar out by having Travis ask for his forgiveness. The following day, Dexter returns to the college where the police have found Casey's body in his own classroom. Masuka accidentally triggers a tripwire, covering Dexter, Debra and the others present in Casey's blood.
In his hotel room, Travis awakens to discover that Gellar has painted a message in blood on the walls telling him to "Bring the false prophet to the church." In therapy, Debra flips out even more before the therapist urges her to take responsibility for choosing the dangerous men in her life. Debra takes the advice to heart and she finds herself able to stand up to the second most evil person in Miami, Captain Maria LaGuerta (Lauren Velez), when she pressures Debra not to reopen the case of deceased prostitute. In secret, LaGuerta meets with her boss, Captain Tom Matthews (Geoff Pierson); who is trying to cover up his presence with the dead prostitute on the night she died.
As Dexter calls Travis for an update, he says that Gellar contacted him. However, Travis neglects to mention the blood on the walls that he frantically tries to clean. At the police station, Louis comes through with an IP address, but it's an unsecured signal near a park… and the deserted church used by Gellar. Later, Louis takes Masuka's surprisingly solid advice to make his move on Batista's sister, Jamie (Aimee Garcia). But while Louis beds Jamie, we see that he purchased the severed arm from the Ice Truck Killing that was stolen from Masuka weeks ago.
At the church, Dexter sends Travis in the front while he enters in the back to surprise Gellar. While preparing the trap, Dexter tells his dead dad, Harry Morgan (James Remar) that he wants to give Travis the second chance that he never got. Meanwhile, Gellar is also offering Travis a second chance to join him. By the time Dexter gets downstairs, Travis is seemingly unconscious and Gellar is no where to be seen. However, Dexter spots a trap door and enters the chamber below. There he finds the frozen body of… Professor Gellar. As Dexter comes to the realization that Travis is the only Doomsday Killer, Travis gets up with murder in his eyes as he pulls out a large knife.
Congratulations to the writers of "Dexter"! It only took nine episodes to bring out the truth about Professor Gellar… the same truth that the majority of the audience had probably figured out about seven or eight episodes ago. Look, we've all seen "The Sixth Sense;" so the "he was dead all along" twist is still ruined for at least another ten to twenty years. Revisiting that trope on "Dexter" has largely been a mistake, because it was incredibly obvious. And the giveaway was simple. Gellar never spoke with or interacted with anyone but Travis.
It's also clear that Travis was positioned as Dexter's dark reflection. Which is to say, Travis also had a ghostly father figure telling him who and how to kill while also having a well-meaning sister who was clueless about his true nature. I know there are plenty of "Dexter" fans who would like Debra to meet the same fate as Travis' sister. But by holding out on the official Gellar reveal until this week, the series missed a chance to make a more direct parallel between Dexter and Travis.
The timeline for Travis/Gellar's actions this week is all kinds of messed up. Even with suspension of disbelief, there's no way that Travis could have arranged Casey's body in the short time that Dexter was trapped in the elevator… and also not have a drop of blood on him! And that doesn't even cover how Travis got the severed hand and blood back to the hotel when Dexter was his ride! That's really sloppy writing.
Although Debra can sometimes be one of the more tiresome characters on the show, I enjoyed watching her confuse Dexter with her "therapist speak." It was also good to see Debra finally standing up to LaGuerta. But making Captain Matthews the missing John is pushing believably again.
The only promising thing to come out in the subplots this week was the reveal that Louis has a much darker side than he's shown before, as evidenced by the severed arm from a victim of the Ice Truck Killer. Given how much money Louis seems to have, it wouldn't be surprising if he had hired Ryan to steal it in the first place. Given the way that Louis looks up to Dexter (and apparently the Ice Truck Killer as well), I wonder if Dexter has a future victim… or a new apprentice waiting in the wings. Masuka's relationship advice to Louis was also surprisingly solid and it had a truly hilarious moment when Louis looked offended at the thought that anyone could consider him a geek.
The other subplot with Batista and Quinn is beyond annoying. These characters wore out their welcome on "Dexter" a long time ago, and yet they still get their own spotlight scenes in each episode no matter how banal.
The biggest question for this season of "Dexter" is "Now what?!" So much of the first nine episodes hinged on the so-called reveal that Gellar exists only in Travis' head. If that was the only surprise the writers have cooked up for this season than that's already setting the audience up for a tremendous let down. I also have a strong suspicion that Dexter's pursuit of Travis will be stretched out for the three remaining episodes no matter how many times it should have been over already.
If history repeats itself on "Dexter," then letting Travis live this long will almost certainly mean the death of someone close to Dexter himself. Share your guesses about who Travis' next victim will be in the comment section below!
Crave Online Rating: 6.5 out of 10.