Nov 22 2011

Dexter Review: “Sin of Omission”

Published by at 12:00 pm under Reviews,Television

This week’s Dexter was the polar opposite of last week’s where Dex took a sidetrack journey to remove himself and the episode far away from the main plotline of the season. I still maintain that his adventures with Jonah and Brian could have been a season arc easily, but someone thought it best to condense it into one soul searching episode.

So now this week things were ALL about the main story, and while that’s normally my favorite type of Dexter episode, when it’s focusing on my least favorite killers in the show’s history, I’m not quite as excited.

Why don’t I like the Doomsday killers? It’s a combination of factors, but least among them is their whole end times shtick. I could have appreciated that, and they certainly have a unique style to their killings, but this season has been a bit heavy handed in the religion department. Not where like, I’m offended by it, but just in terms of the fact that it seems like they just picked an arbitrary theme and ran with it in all aspects of the plot from Brother Sam to DDK to Dexter’s impromptu confessional this week. What’s next year, illegal immigration?

“That James guy from the Bible says like, you shouldn’t let people kill other people or something.”

No, the first major reason I don’t like them is because it’s not as much fun when you see all aspects of the killers from the beginning. The show never has the camera on the killers this much. We saw nothing of the Ice Truck killer until the end, and Jordan Chase’s gang was revealed slowly. Yes, we saw a bit more of Trinity, but that was only because Dexter befriended him. Showing them from the get-go was a strange storytelling switch that I don’t think worked.

The second reason is one we’ve been discussing for a long, long while now; the fact that there’s a 98% chance that the Professor is merely a figment of Travis’s imagination. He did exist as a real person, but the running theory is that Travis had a psychotic break and killed him, and assumed him as part of his personality. Now he suffers from Tyler Durden-esque blackouts and commits these horrible acts while the rest of him struggles to cope.

The evidence for this? The fact that the show painstakingly goes out of the way to never, ever show the Professor talking to anyone but Travis, nor even having anyone else SEE him. This week we finally had Dexter stumbling upon the church lair, and looking at a balcony a mere moment after the professor darted away. And then he thinks he escaped out the window? Way, way too convenient.

He’s either Batman, or imaginary.

The evidence against? Just the fact that this would be a much more straightforward story if he was simply a real person and everything was as it seems. It he isn’t really there, we have a lot of very strange questions about Travis knocking himself unconscious, chaining himself up, being able to do two different voices and oh I don’t know, murder his own sister in cold blood without the faintest idea he did it. It’s going to require a LOT of explanation if this truly is going to be the big reveal, and it’s going to seem rather clumsy.

I know we all suspect this is the case here, but talking to people watching outside the site, no one seems to have any idea that the Professor might not be real. Perhaps I’m so jaded on plot twists that this seems so obvious to me, but maybe the average Dexter viewer just isn’t as clever as all of us. I’d love to eat my words and have them do a DOUBLE twist where the Professor IS real, but I don’t see it happening, and really, that would be sort of boring as well.

The only real mystery to me at this point is what exactly this end times plan is, as unless it’s a nuke going off in Miami, I’m not exactly sure what the Professor thinks he can do to help end the world.

“Shitballs Dex, I made you steaks!”

Meanwhile, in subcharacter land, Deborah is finally catching on to Dexter being a complete ass to her after six years, and perhaps it will lead her closer to his secret at long last. We can only hope. Masuka, Quinn, Batista, New Intern and Babysitter are nothing but time fillers now, and did anyone really think that the guy with the dead hooker was anyone other than Daniels? Who the hell else would it be? We don’t even know any other high up characters in this show? I secretly hoped it was LaGuerta herself.

I thought this was going to be the moment that we were confronted with the reality of the Professor’s unreality, but the show weaseled out of that reveal again. How will they escape it next week? I guess we’ll have to find out.





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13 responses so far

  • Patty

    I liked that you used the word Unreality. goosebumps i say, goosebumps.

  • PerryDigital

    Feels more to me like they’re playing with him being real or not. Not giving it away either way. Such as the shot with Dex’s brother killing someone then the camera panning to Dexter holding the axe. His brother and Dexter were clearly getting a bit Tyler Durden because he kept interacting with things.

    In short I still believe they might have a grander plan for all this.

  • Shiner_Man

    I think the big reveal is going to be when Batista and Quinn find the Professor’s dead body somewhere.

    I feel like I can see the way this season ends already. Dexter finds out Travis did all of this because of his “dark passenger” and he lets him go because he wants to give him “the light” brother Sam tried to give him, yadda, yadda, yadda, there is hope for Dexter to be good and he may forgive himself and find his own inner light.

    It just seems very predictable at this point. I hope I’m wrong though.

  • PrintLn

    Any thoughs on who’s blood is Dexter covered in, on the promo?

  • nigel beanspoon

    daniels?…matthews? anyway, i think it might be quinn…why wasn’t he at the crime scene? plus he’s been having a hard time (to say the least) and he wouldn’t be able to tell deb that so he told laguerta…also, this season is WAY better than the damn jimmy smits season!

  • http://www.mandyatlarge.com Mandy

    Great review and great responses so far! Shiner_man might have something with the Quinn hypothesis. I think Dexter will end up being some sort of “angel” to Travis, who knows how he will set him free.

  • Nick D Pags

    Can’t wait to see Matthews on Dexter’s table.
    Probably the most interesting thing about this season.

    Does anyone else feel like Bautista is about to feel some nerd wrath?

  • Wermine

    I always thought Deb as very straight forward, confronting person. Why didn’t she just put Laguerta on the spot and say “You know who was on that hotel room. Tell me, please.”

  • MrSelfdestruct

    I am liking this season so far. These two last seasons aren´t as good as the previous one (especially season 4), and I think that´s because the showrunner from the 4 first seasons left after the fourth one. On top of that I´m pretty sure these each of the two last season have had different showrunners. But I find them pretty enjoyable.
    But I disagree with this being the first time we get to see the killer(s) from the beginning. With Trinity Killer, we got to see him from episode 1, quite a while before Dexter takes interest in him (after Debra gets shot), tracks him down and makes contact; I think it took like 4 episodes, and we witnessed him killing three people

  • http://mandyatlarge.com Mandy

    @MrSelfdestruct — Yes, we saw Trinity, but it wasn’t the same way we see Travis. We just saw Trinity in the acts, but had NO idea of his inner workings; his motives, his background – all of that was a mystery. With Travis, his life has been laid out before our eyes. We see his struggle, his weaknesses, and motives. We know he was a mundane college kid who was drawn to Geller because of the excitement. He got so caught up in Geller’s teachings, they became his reality. His schizo mind let Geller take completely over and now he is struggling to keep control. While the background was needed to show just how crazy this person is, it doesn’t leave much mystery to the viewers, and THAT is why Paul is not happy with it, and I agree.

    The only ‘new’ developments in the DDK cases are new victims. We are not surprised by any of them, except for their crafted brutality, but we all see them coming a mile away. At least with Trinity, there were new developments, new twists, new patterns to learn for the kills.

    A major draw of Dexter is the mystery, but this season is lacking.

  • Cally

    Hope you saw this week to see you were correct in thinking Gellar wasn’t real. It was almost too obvious especially when Dexter’s brother came back into the picture. I don’t know how they are going to explain the chaining up, the killing of his sister, etc. but it better be good. This season is good, I think, but I think as a new & prominent serial killer, the viewers were expecting something just as good as Trinity. This season is way too predictable (except for the trip wire in the green house…that was just…crazy) & I hope they end it in a better way than Dexter just killing Travis.

  • stev0

    Personally, I think a season on religion has been much needed. Dexter has always been a deeply religious person, he’s just always used a different lexicon. The whole show has been about the subjectivity of belief and how it changes. This was shown right from the beginning with Dexter’s ‘code’ which frames the way he envisions and acts within the world. This is the nature of religion.

    This season is addressing the current problem with Dexter’s ‘code’: killing is losing its sense of purpose. Dexter is seeing this very much so through the lens of the future. Being a loving father he wants to ‘give’ to his son something ‘better’ than killing. And in envisioning his own future as the pathetic “tooth fairy” he begins to question his purpose as a serial killer. They show this very blatantly when he drops the blood samples, solidifying the loss of order. He’s losing faith in the code.

    Dexter needs more than to survive now. He’s becoming more cognizant of his ability to connect with the world around him. He needs a code which can give him meaning beyond killing.

    So, I get how everyone might think the plot execution is predictable but I’m finding value in the meaning of it all.

  • What?

    Well they did it. Gellar was imaginary…what a twist! A lame one I (as well as you) saw coming a mile away. I was really hoping for a double twist where it turned out he was real but no dice. That’s really my only gripe for the season, I am actually enjoying it.

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