Dexter: Brother/Sister Issues

A lot of critics and fans have been getting down on this season of Dexter, while I’ve enjoyed the past couple episodes and the season as a whole so far. Sure, it’s no Trinity season, but if I were to rank the seasons this would probably fall someone in the middle of the pack. That said, I can’t say I was particularly thrilled with the news that Dexter has been renewed for another two seasons. Despite liking this season so far, even I can see that the show is on its last legs. The only way another two seasons can be warranted is if they are clearly moving towards the end game, and as of yet there is no confirmation that the eighth season will be the last. I think Dexter needs a gamechanger if it’s going to run for such a long time, and I’m hoping that Dexter’s struggles with light vs. dark this season will ultimately move the series in that direction.

What I liked most about “Sin Of Omission” was how Travis’s relationship with his sister mirrored that of Dexter and Deb’s. When Deb interviewed Travis’s sister Lisa, she talked about how she’d raised Travis since their parents died when he was a teenager and, because of that trauma, he was rather closed off. Sound familiar, Deb? I talked earlier about Dexter needing to prepare for the end game, and I think it’s always been clear to people that this is it – Deb finding out about Dexter. Right now, she can’t even fathom the idea of Dexter killing her. And would he? Brian wanted him to, and Dexter refused. But merely finding out that her brother is a serial killer is enough to destroy their relationship – a relationship that Deb is already realizing may not be as close as she thought it was.

Poor Lisa. Travis turned her into the Whore of Babylon, and even went so far as to place the tableau on the playground at the school where she taught. I will say, the Travis/Gellar thing is starting to cause some problems for me.

I think it’s interesting that Dexter (and Miami Metro) still do not know that Gellar is dead, and Travis is the one committing all these heinous murders. Of course, I am working under the assumption here that we, the viewers, know Gellar is a figment of Travis’s troubled mind. Not knowing that Travis=Gellar means that Dexter is screwing up. He’s had a few opportunities to kill Travis but hasn’t, because he’s waiting for what he thinks the real deal is – Gellar. Dexter is willing to let Travis go in the same way he was willing to let Trinity’s son Jonah go, because he doesn’t think they are truly monsters. Is this Brother Sam’s influence? Possibly, but it has clouded Dexter’s vision. He felt bad for Travis, who was so worried Gellar would harm his sister, and that meant he can’t see what’s right in front of him.

However, I think the show would be more compelling if we knew for a fact that Gellar is imaginary now. It’s become pretty obvious, so why not make the viewers privy to the internal struggle that Travis is going through. We are at once seeing things from Dexter’s perspective and not seeing them from Dexter’s perspective. Depicting a power struggle between Travis and Gellar is only compelling if we think Gellar is a real villain. But showing us Travis’s internal struggle, letting us see him kill his own sister under the influence of a figment of his imagination, that would be compelling. Then we would see Dexter act, see him try to protect Travis, knowing that he’s got it all wrong. I think that would make this storyline much more interesting.

If the writers really didn’t want us to know that Gellar isn’t alive, then they should have made that detail harder for us to figure out.

As I said, I really enjoyed how the storyline with Travis and his sister complimented the deteriorating relationship between Deb and Dexter. Deb was angry that Dexter took off for five days, and rightly so. It looked like she gave her brother a vacation in the middle of a serial killer case that has the city up in arms. The only thing worse was people knowing that she didn’t give permission for Dexter to go on vacation. Then things got worse when Deb spotted a pen from the motel in Nebraska where Dexter had stayed. Very, very sloppy, Dexter. Not only did that mean Deb realized that Dexter went to visit Jonah, but it could eventually lead her to the fact that the motel manager was murdered while Dexter was there. For now, Deb is just upset that Dexter drove to Nebraska to talk to a stranger instead of confiding in her, but this could get much, much worse.

Meanwhile, Deb is facing another problem – LaGuerta. She pressured Deb to write off a dead prostitute as an overdose (which it was, originally) when the forensics report clearly indicated that someone had been in the hotel room with the girl and tried to cover up his tracks when he couldn’t revive the girl. It turned out that LaGuerta wasn’t just trying to keep the department’s numbers down, she was doing a favor for someone – probably Matthews. I like LaGuerta in this role. I think the show encountered problems with her character when she was involved with Batista, someone we like, and they were asking us to sympathize with her. She’s much better as a villainous, power-hungry bitch who is used sparingly. I know Deb won’t ignore the forensics report, so I’m interested to see where this will go.

OK, that was a lot of opining on one episode of Dexter, so now it’s your turn. What did you think about “Sin of Omission”?


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