This review contains spoilers.
6.9 Get Gellar
This episode and my review of it reveals the answer to the real nature of Professor Gellar’s existence, and so if you’d rather not know, maybe never know, then don’t read it. But before I get to that, I’d really like to say how much more I enjoyed this story over the previous one, and not just because of the reveal it contained. â¨I find it hard to put my finger on why, but the writing in this one was so much tighter, and there were some excellent scenes with characters other than Dexter.
Strongest of these was undoubtedly the interplay between Debra and her psychologist, which drank deeply from the pool of Lt Morgan’s self doubt. Off this they bounced a lovely elevator scene with La Guerta where Debra came out all guns blazing, and amazingly, didn’t shoot herself in the foot for once. However, the consequences of her refusal to drop this particular case might be more serious than she’s considered, given what’s at stake.
Jennifer Carpenter’s really been great this season, and accordingly the depth of her character now seem substantially more than it was in the early Dexter stories. I don’t want her to become added to the body count, even if that’s what they appear to be preparing us for.
The other character progression of note was that given to Vince’s resident geek, Louis Greene. Until now a rather minor character, his pursuit of Batista’s sister Jamie ultimately delivered a blurry sex scene and a dramatic reveal of the evidence that Ryan stole and then sold on eBay in Louis’ apartment.
What’s tantalising about this is that it either means very little – that Louis is a collector of odd things – or it means he’s obsessed with the Ice Truck Killer in a very disturbing way. Given that I know that the lovely Brea Grant who played Ryan Chambers is coming back to the show briefly, it may be the latter.
Okay, I’ve put it off long enough: the big reveal.â¨I predicted that Gellar was dead in the church, and I was right, although I can’t really claim it took much guessing, really. What actually concerned me more was bumping into someone intelligent that I know on Monday who had been completely thrown by Gellar’s lack of corporeal existence. Given that it was pretty much signposted from the outset, clearly some people wouldn’t have got it had neon signs been placed in each scene with “warning, imaginary person” on them.
While I was fine with how it was all resolved, in the end I think the game went on far too long, and Dexter started to look rather dense as a result of it. Though I’ve give due to Colin Hanks, he delivered a very convincing duality when supported by the always brilliant Edward James Olmos.
But, and I need to say this, what could have been a very good episode was actually marred by some incredibly sloppy continuity problems. The first two came right at the start, when Dexter found Travis chained up in the Church. To free Travis from the chains, Dexter uses a small table and cuts it with a fire axe, except how does that actually free him? Padlocks on each wrist hold the chains in place, which magically disappear when the chain is cut. Okay, Travis had the key, but Dexter didn’t question this?
While I was still processing that one, Dexter finds a ticket with 2Lot on it, and pulls it out of the book without actually checking what was on the pages it was being used as a bookmark for. In fact, Dexter doesn’t even look in the book.
The worst and most obvious mistake came in the scene where Dexter was trapped in the elevator. He prises the door open to show only a solid concrete wall, but if you look at the top you can see the lip of the next floor and the light from the hallway. Dex then gets on top of the elevator car and the next floor is another seven feet or more up the shaft! On that basis, the floors would be some 12 feet thick, which they’re clearly not, as we can see that there’s a gap that’s less than door height between each set of doors going up the shaft.
I know I’m being exceptionally geeky here, but these aren’t the type of mistakes that normally appear on this show, so I feel duty-bound to mention them. Now we’ve got the Gellar question out of the way at last, I’m optimistic that the final three episodes could deliver some real surprises. Which is what we actually watch for, isn’t it?
You can read our review of episode 8, Sin Of Omission, here.