Last night's episode of Dexter, "Nebraska,
" took Dexter on two trips. One was his actual road trip to Nebraska, to visit a real-life ghost of his past, Jonah Mitchell. The other was the mental trip he took with the ghost-projection of his dead brother Brian, who returned last week
to play the role of Dark Passenger in contrast to Brother Sam's role as Dexter's Light Mentor.
While the simultaneous season 1 and season 4 callbacks provided a nice change of pace from the frustrating slowness that is the Doomsday Killer storyline, neither trip really reached its full potential. Both trips were too short-lived and predictable, too hesitant to dip fully into darkness, and too obviously contrived as ways to advance Dexter's path toward the light.
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Last week I predicted that Brian would tempt Dexter, but that Dexter
would ultimately choose light over dark and banish his brother just as
suddenly as he'd accepted him last week. And that's exactly what
happened. So, while I was invested in the Brian storyline the entire
time (My favorite part? When Deb called and Brian said, "Ah, the one that got away." Get it, because he dated and ALSO attempted to murder her?! THAT is a great and clever and darkly perfect line!) I was also completely unsurprised, and mostly sad, when it ended
so quickly. The scenes between the brothers were easily the most
compelling character moments of the season so far, but they were also
just a sad reminder of better Dexter
days, and called attention to the fact that Dexter is missing a worthy foe/foil this season. AV club reviewer Joshua Ashton put it perfectly
: "There's still a vacuum where a villain is supposed to be, and the Doomsday Duo still isn't cutting it." Brian briefly occupied that vacuum with his evil awesomeness, but we knew it wouldn't last, and that sort of ruined the enjoyment, at least for me.
The hour ended back in Miami, back at baseline, back in the safe embrace
of Harry's code and Dexter's adoration for neat little voiceover
morals. The worst things Dexter did in Nebraska were banging a jailbait
convenience store clerk, stealing her gun, and stabbing a meddling
redneck out of self-defense. Maybe Brian didn't leave because Dexter
banished him. Maybe he left out of boredom.
Still, the sneak peeks for next week's episode indicate that Doomsday story may FINALLY get somewhere. Let's watch the clips and talk about them!
Episode 8 Promo: "Sin of Omission."
So Deb's hospital conversation with "the whore" pretty much confirmed that Professor Gellar is NOT, in fact, a figment of Travis's damaged psyche. The woman could hear Gellar, so unless Travis is also some sort of ventriloquist with multiple personality disorder, that means Gellar is a real flesh-and-blood human. Which is disappointing, because seven episodes in, the character has not done or said anything
that a human being would say or do. Gellar is a two-dimensional, over-the-top caricature of religious-crackpot evil. So unless Dexter
is going to take a super-sudden supernatural turn and we're going to learn that Gellar is actually possessed by a demon, I'd say this character is an unrealistic dud, and he deserves what he's about to get from Travis, who is seriously CRACKING: Sneak Peek #1: "Funerals and Doughnuts."
Bleep, bleep, bleep. That's the sound of Deb explaining what Dexter already knows about DDK: There are two of them, and they are "batsh*t." Sneak Peek #2: "Pathetically Mundane."
This Gellar guy is really chafing my hide now. Not only is he wreaking havoc upon Miami with his disturbing, nutso End of Days "tableaus," but now he's coming out against GARDEN GNOMES and HOME-COOKED BREAKFAST? What's wrong with garden gnomes and home-cooked breakfast?! NOTHING, unless you're a monster.
Stab him with a pitchfork, Travis!
The episode description for "Sin of Omission" tells us that "Dexter uses lessons he learned from Brother Sam to
follow up on some new leads in the Doomsday investigation," while "Debra butts heads with Captain LaGuerta over the case of a dead call girl." Great! Who doesn't love a LaGuerta storyline? (Oh, right, most of us.) But the Brother Sam's Lessons from Beyond the Grave stuff sounds promising. Tune in to Showtime at 9pm on Sunday to watch how the DDK case continues to unfold. Until then, share your thoughts with me about Dexter's trip to Nebraska: Was it an exciting roadtrip away from the norm, or was Dexter just spinning its wheels? (Image courtesy of Showtime)