Dexter is always going to be one of those shows where the most interesting stuff is happening with the main character himself.. all the side characters and supporting people exist mostly so the show doesn't follow Michael C. Hall around for 50 minutes. Not that all the supporting characters are bad... Deb has always been good, and Quinn is becoming more interesting... and Masuka is fun as well at times. However, while the show does good with the supporting characters sometimes, tonight, it felt like nothing much.
This episode just might be the best one of the season so far. It had good acting all around, and one of the most tense middle acts the show has had in a long time. While I usually assume that Dexter will not caught when a commercial leads me to believe otherwise, I truly thought Deb would catch him in the act today.. but I'm getting ahead of myself. The episode focused on Dexter trying to get back into some sort of routine now that he assumes Lumen is gone. He finds a man named Lance who lures men to him under the false pretense of sex or a good time, and kills them. However, Dexter's kill is interrupted by Lumen, who informs Dexter that she's killed one of the men responsible for her rape.
It's here that the episode gets so much of its power. Dexter and Lumen are forced to track down the man she shot (who was actually alive), and along the way, Dexter slowly grows more and more irritated at how unstable she seems to be. Meanwhile, while Dexter and Lumen deal with that, Dexter has Lance in the back of his car and Deb is on the way, with homicide and the police, to investigate the same area him and Lumen are. For nearly a half hour, we're left to wonder if Deb may actually catch Dexter here. And the writers do a great job of making you believe it could happen.
The side-plots were the usual stand-still. It's a shame, because I'm actually interested in a majority of what's going on with the other characters. For instance, Quinn's investigation into Dexter seems to be getting dragged out until the end of the season.. it's a good plot, so focus on it! Instead, we get a couple of short scenes between Quinn and Peter Weller's character, where Quinn learns that Dexter seems to be too clean, much like a drug dealer. And the Santa Muerta case, which was picking up momentum as of late, had no updates. Just a few scenes of the group hanging out inside of a club, waiting for the brothers to show up. Boring.
But the episode ended on a fantastic note, with Dexter and Lumen having a heartfelt discussion about their lives in the same room Rita died. It's nice to see Dexter is still affected by her death, and I knew he would give in and help Lumen. I wasn't sure how I would enjoy Lumen as a character this season, but it's easy to overlook her irrational decisions: she was an abused woman who needs help, and Dexter can see that. I look forward to seeing where this season will go in it's second half, because the first half, despite being somewhat slow, was a great set-up for where we're at now.