This review contains spoilers.
6.8 Sin of Omission
I apologise for being a little slow this week with my Dexter review, but I’ve spent much longer than normal thinking about it. But before we get into why that is, I should mention that the show has been extended for another two seasons, blessed in a way that only Dexter appears to be these days. While I welcome that news, I do think they might need to reshoot the titles, because Michael C Hall is starting to look increasingly different from the brazen young man that appears in the current intro.
But back to Sin Of Omission, where Dexter tries to bring Travis back towards the light, even if he’s not entirely sure which direction that might be. The best aspects of this episode are a series of critical character meetings, which are neatly staged. The one that really stood out was the cameo by veteran British actor William Morgan Sheppard, who delivered a very memorable Father Galway.
At its heart, this scene was all about the power of confession, and how Dexter gains absolution from a man who can’t recall he’s talking to a murderer even before Dexter has left his side. It was powerful stuff, and I also really enjoyed the opening salvo in a sub-plot that has Debra about to join the dots on her brother’s real pastime. The writers still hate La Guerta, and now they’ve made her an accessory to a potential homicide, as if that annoyed pout that she wears wasn’t bad enough. What’s the possibility that the other person present at the death of that prostitute was her boss? Joey is an idiot, it’s confirmed.
The problem for me was the rest of it, where we played the increasingly tedious game of ‘Professor Gellar, real or imaginary’. Many people felt that Dexter (the show) jumped the shark during the Lumen plot last season, but I wasn’t one of them. However, I’m beginning to wonder if that shark isn’t at least manfully straddled by the whole Gellar game, which reached new levels of misdirection this week. The final scene, where Dexter find the abandoned church and finds Travis chained up was a huge tease, as you really thought that the truth would out, but no – it was more of the same smoke and mirrors.
I’ve watched the ending multiple times, and at no point does Dexter actually see or hear Gellar. He heads to the back of the church quickly, but a man at least 20 years his senior manages to move fast enough to get though a small window, climb down the church and escape down a path so as not to be seen. That would suggest he wasn’t there at all, but then, that’s the game we’re playing.
I’ve come to the conclusion that the writers have fallen in love with that really eerie scene in the original Halloween, where the killer is seen down a pathway from the road, and then appears a block away at a junction in a very supernatural way. A great scene, in a marvellous movie, but what’s that got to do with Dexter?
Two episodes ago the Gellar hand was entirely overplayed, and frankly, if they’ve wasted a good proportion of the series creating the impression that he doesn’t exist, and that isn’t the case, then I for one will be massively annoyed. To be honest, unless the resolution of this problem is somehow much smarter than whether he’s real or not, then I’m going to be disappointed anyway.
I think Gellar is dead, probably encased somewhere in the church, which is an expensive set that will get reused for the dramatic reveal of Travis’ Bates Motel moment. Accurate or not, I just hope they don’t try to keep this going until the 12th episode, because some viewers will shoot the TV at that point in frustration.
I’m hoping that I’m going to be shocked by the Gellar revelation when we finally get it, but I’ve put aside a huge groan on the basis that it seems more likely I’ll need it.
Read our review of episode seven, Nebraska, here.