Life is funny. One day you're tracking Miami's most notorious Christian extremist, and the next day you realize he's been dead in a freezer for the past three years. Poor Dexter! Dexter's really had a bad couple of weeks, you guys. This season promised to be an exploration into the nature of faith, and in particular the effects it may have on Dexter's Dark Passenger, but instead it's turned into a ten-episode (so far) testament that maybe Dexter needs a new hobby? Even HE seems to be sick of himself. There was a telling moment in "Ricochet Rabbit" where Harry literally pleaded with Dexter to just give up and call the police, and like a petulant teen, Dexter responded, "Why would I listen to you? I'm only here because of you and now I'm supposed to trust your judgment? I'll make my own decision!" Yikes, tantrum city. It's okay, Dexter, we know you're going through a lot, but you'll get through this.
By "this," of course, I mean Season 6, because WOW. Listen, I promise you, I'm not some angry Dexter hater. This year my favorite band Radiohead released a terrible album, as did Bjork. (I'd qualify these assessments with "in my opinion," but that should be obvious, right?) Does this recognition that King of Limbs and Biophilia were low points in their respective artists' discographies make me adore their other albums less? Absolutely not. It just means I know the difference between good and bad, and even the most capable, brilliant artists can sway between both extremes. Although, come to think of it, Season 6 of Dexter is probably more comparable to The Smashing Pumpkins' Zeitgeist in that it is both bad and was made by an almost completely different behind-the-scenes team than the original lineup. Anyway. Rock and roll metaphors, am I right?
"Ricochet Rabbit" picked up only moments after last week's "shocking" reveal that Professor Gellar is just a frozen corpse in a flattering cardigan. And because these days Dexter's M.O. is less about vigilante justice and more about stating the obvious over and over and over, we began with a truly embarrassing scene in which Dexter was locked in a basement while Travis had a long conversation with "Gellar" in full view of Dexter, which went something like this:
You're definitely still alive, huh?
No, I'm not. You killed me.
That's not true. You're alive.
No, I'm dead, look at this gaping chest wound. I mean, it is imaginary, but then again so am I.
But you're alive.
I'm dead, Travis.
You helped me kill those people.
No, you killed those people while I was chillin' in a freezer. Literally.
But you're not dead.
Yes I am.
Dexter, Travis is crazy.
I think Travis might be crazy?
Travis might be crazy.
Okay I guess you are dead. Whatevs, still gonna kill everybody.
Okay bye. It's been real. Except not at all.
Time to go kill everybody, which I realize I just said but I might as well re-state it.
See? Travis is crazy.
I can't believe Travis imagined Gellar.
I can't believe Travis IMAGINED Gellar.
I better stop Travis.
I better stop Travis.
You're doing it wrong.
So yeah, from here Travis decided to recruit some new minions for his cause, and like most criminal masterminds, he turned to the comments section of his blog? Where people apparently leave video comments in support of murderers? Amazing. It's like every week Dexter finds new and inventive ways to get the internet wrong. First the magical Google alternative, and now this. Quick question: Is getting the internet wrong even excusable in 2011? Or is this just another clue that this season was written by fifth-graders who perhaps lost their internet privileges?
Anyway, Travis recruited a husband-and-wife team and the three of them proceeded to recapture Holly, the intended "whore of Babylon" victim from a few episodes back. The newcomers assisted Travis in murdering the woman on her boyfriend's yacht, and then they set to creating their next tableau, code-named "Wormwood" which [SPOILER ALERT] involved gassing Miami Metro. First of all: Promises, promises, Dexter. Don't tease us with something that awesome when you KNOW it won't happen. But second of all: Whoops! Travis is officially a Christian terrorist now. He barely qualified as a serial killer before since serial killers are all about methodology and he was more about freaking people out. But now he's definitely firmly in the realm of terrorism. Suck it, Homeland! (Just kidding, Homeland, you are the only thing redeeming my Showtime subscription.)
In a similarly intriguing turn of events that will surely lead nowhere, Batista was captured by Travis and his female minion (the husband was killed by Dexter in a misunderstanding, obviously). Will Batista be killed off? Sure, if this was Breaking Bad. Unfortunately this is Season 6 of Dexter, so I'm guessing no, he'll be fine and back to marble-mouthed bantering with Quinn in time for Season 7. (Prove me wrong, please, show?)
Elsewhere, Deb's job got more difficult as she discovered that the dead call girl's final client was indeed her department boss, Matthews. LaGuerta continued being a total B about it, horning in on Deb's de-briefing and accusing Deb of not doing her real job. Can someone please gas that lady? Ugh, LaGuerta's the worst. At least that's one thing this episode got right.
Also, Louis finally worked up the courage to show Dexter his video game mockup, and here's where things took an interesting turn: It was a great scene! Seriously, credit where credit's due. Dexter was simply appalled that someone had created a video game in which one could choose to play as the Bay Harbor Butcher. The hilarious irony of Dexter pretending to be a "think about the children" type of parent was bested only by Louis's deeply hurt feelings in what was one of the cleverest scenes of the season. Dexter should totally become a public advocate against violence in video games! That would be awesome. I'm still very curious about where Louis's plotline is going, especially considering Josh Cooke is slightly too famous of an actor to be playing an intern. (He IS slightly too famous, right? I don't know, maybe I am biased because I went to college with him. He's handsome!) Some have speculated that Louis is maybe being set up as a future villain, but I predicted the same thing about Brea Grant's character at the beginning of the season and look where that got me. Either way, definitely curious about this plotline.
The episode concluded with Dexter finally realizing that he should stop interfering with police investigations as, uncharacteristically, Miami Metro was doing a surprisingly good job of uncovering Travis' lair and twisted psychology. Correct me if I'm wrong, but hasn't Dexter mostly preyed upon killers who've eluded justice? Has he ever actively sabotaged an investigation as much as this one? At one point he literally cut off Gellar's hand and added his finger prints to the crime scene in order to hide the secret that he'd been killed. Nevermind the fact that a frozen three-year-old corpse probably wouldn't leave usable fingerprints, but is Dexter seriously considering killing Travis and causing the DDK killings to remain unsolved? That's kind of monstrous, even for Dexter. Fortunately he did the right thing and called in an "anonymous" tip to 911... using his own cell phone. Oh, Dexter!
For better or worse, there are only two more episodes left of this season. Fingers-crossed that Dexter will pull out a genuinely surprising story turn. Maybe the gassing could actually happen? Maybe a main character actually bites the dust? Maybe another, much better villain emerges from the shadows? Any of these things could salvage Season 6 from the elephant graveyard of television misfires it'll most likely rest in. We'll see!
RANDOM BLOOD SPLATTERS:
... Are you sufficiently recovered from the shock that Gellar wasn't real?
... Is Travis the fiercest villain Dexter's ever faced?
... Do you leave lots of supportive video comments on the blogs of known murderers?
... Do you ever fall asleep in cars while sticking your feet out the passenger-side window?