Dexter Review: “Get Gellar”

With only a third of the season left to go, Dexter needed to start making big moves and big reveals rather quickly. This week had both, and I’ll save all the spoilers for after the jump, in case you haven’t seen the episode yet and don’t want to reveal any collossal plot twists.

Alright, are you ready for this? Prepare to be blown away.


I’m kidding of course, as this has to be the most anticlimactic reveal not only in Dexter history, but could probably make a shortlist of the worst kept television show secrets ever.

What a twist!

We’ve all be speculating about this since probably the second or third episode, and as each new installment premiered, we didn’t need nine weeks to figure out what was going on. There were a million small clues littered throughout the show, but the biggest by far was the simple and very obvious fact that no one besides Travis had seen or interacted with Gellar ever.

I went on to further speculate that Travis had in fact killed Gellar, and assumed his personality into his own somehow through a psychological process I’m not sure actually exists in real life. Multiple personalities is one thing, but can you really adopt another person completely into your psyche?

In any case, I was also right about that, as Dexter found Gellar frozen in the cellar, clearly dead for quite some time.

But now the question becomes what the hell are the exact specifics of Travis’ affliction? Does one half of his personality really have no idea what the other is doing? This is less schizophrenia and more like straight up demonic possession, as Gellar’s spirit takes hold of Travis at extremely specific and opportune times, like when he had to alternate back and forth to abduct the atheist professor while simultaneously trapping Dexter and not letting him know who was really doing what.

“Sorry about that, I had to lock you in there for three minutes while I ran upstairs, knocked out the professor and dragged his 250 pound body somewhere you couldn’t find it even though there was a really obvious blood trail.”

It would be an easier explanation if Travis was just pulling the long con, and wasn’t psychotic, but just a straight up killer pretending to have a split personality while really he was in control the whole time. That would be a much smarter explanation,but unfortunately it’s impossible as we’ve seen too many quiet moments where Travis has been legitimately fearful and remorseful, which means that half his brain really didn’t have a clue. And so we must adopt the Gellar personality assimilation at convenient times model, which is a clumsy solution to an even clumsier plotline.

I have no problem with this trick being pulled, even if we’ve seen it a dozen times before in Fight Club, A Beautiful Mind, Psycho and more. But the way Dexter set it up made it way, way too obvious for most of us jaded entertainment viewers, and so the big reveal hits with a thud. There was almost no tension at all this episode, as you knew what was coming. With three episodes left, I guess it’s good they didn’t save it for the penultimate chapter, so hopefully they can still do some interesting things in coming weeks. I’m curious to hear the “official” explanation for Travis’s condition, and what the final “end times” plan will be.

With the reveal being a dud, the most interesting part of the episode by far was the revelation that Lewis is a collector of serial killer memorabilia, having been the one who has purchased the ice truck killer hand off eBay when it was stolen.

Killer or creep?

Now, these sort of subplots have burned me before, as about four times this season, something has looked suspicious but panned out to be nothing. Is that the case here? Is Lewis just a weirdo with too much  money? Or does his obsession with serial killers run deeper?

It would be fascinating if this plotline ended up being a lead-in to the next season where Lewis is the big bad killer of the year, and Dexter must outsmart him. From what we can tell, he’d be a worthy opponent, though I’ve never seen the show do foreshadowing like this, so I sort of doubt this will be the case.

As the for the rest of the gang? Quinn is a disaster, Deb is a disaster, Batista is a has-been disaster, Masuka is creepy, what else is new? One of my biggest complaints about Dexter in general is that it has all these great characters but only uses them as furniture, since they’re only there to fill time and are almost never directly connected to the main plot unless they’re cleaning up a crime scene or fumbling an investigation. They need to be used as more than just props. Deb is ALMOST there, but the others aren’t even close.

Anyway, now I’ll stop gloating about being right, and we can see how the last chapter of this strange season plays out.

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  1. I have to think there is something pretty big coming out of the Lewis story line. The build up between him and Batista seems as though it’s foreshadowing that Batista’s sister is in for some trouble from Lewis at some point.

    Then again, we have been burned by these subplots as you pointed out. If it simply ends up as Lewis just being a creepy collector I’m going to be seriously disappointed.

    Oh, and you forgot to mention that we found out definitively that it was the Captain who was with the dead hooker. I guess it slipped your mind since that was yet another thud of a big reveal.


    I’m reading some very interesting theories getting thrown around the interwebs right now about Lewis. There are two things that people are pointing out.

    1. Dexter has remarked numerous times about how some of the kills are looking very Ice Road Truckeresque.

    2. Lewis’ suggestion that Dexter use a different search engine seems very out of place now. They’ve also shown Dexter using the search engine in recent episodes.

    Could it be that Lewis is an admirer of the Ice Road Truck killer and has figured out that Dexter is his brother? Is Lewis tracking Dexter’s movements through the search engine he suggested (he is a computer genius right)? Could Lewis actually be part of the DDK killings?

  3. agree with shiner man…lewis hasn’t sit right with me since he first appeared…he’s too obsessed with dexter…he’s always asking for opportunities to watch him work, he’s dating the baby sitter, has the ice truck killer arm AND they mentioned in the last episode that the ice truck killer’s “methods” have been used in 2 separate tableaus…coincidence? i think not….

  4. I think Lewis is making that video game and is making Dexter it’s main character. Lewis is going to start paying closer and closer attention to Dexter and find out something. Or be interested in the Ice Truck Killer now that he randomly got the arm (Or not random-ly, is hot-blond in on it with him, and babysitter a pawn to get closer to Dexter?) and find out more about the things Dexter kept secret.

    This is way more interesting than DDK atm.

    Shiner_man has some interesting theories about the search engine. Lewis is probably tracking all of his searches.

  5. I’m going to post something I posted on another forum a few days ago.

    “There are many different layers, and types of viewers, which could explain why this might not have been obvious. I can think of 3 off the top of my head

    Some people are too smart to have picked up on the twist. What do I mean by this? This type of person can rationalize, realistically, most of what happened so far as being completely plausible (note: not necessarily 100% realistic, but plausible). For instance, the argument that Gellar was a wanted man and wouldnt be walking around in public is a silly one, because blending into a crowd is one of the simplest things to do. Most people barely give you a second look, let alone a first one, and they rarely ever pick up on any critical features nor give your face enough time to process. Yes, this is the case even when the public is alarmed. Studies on “Change Blindness” really help to further this point. I feel like this kind of person can generally enjoy certain plotlines in movies and tv that people with less critical thinking skills would call “impossible” because they can’t rationalize why, how, or if something would go the way it was shown. This person would have viewed the show and said “There’s something off about Gellar, he could be alive or could be dead…but its impossible to tell thus far.”

    Then there are some people who aren’t looking to pick out twists. In other words, you have a person who could be fairly intelligent but then simply immerses themselves in the world and experiences it basically through Dexter’s eyes. These types of folks watch the show without trying to “figure out” where the show is going. This type of person probably didn’t realize the identity of the ice truck killer in season 1 because they were just “going with it.”

    There are also some people who watch a show with a specific intent in mind. In other words, they watch the show with the desire to “figure it all out.” These people tend to think they’re the smartest of the bunch but, in reality, they’ve simply set a different goal for themselves than the other two. In movies and tv shows where twists are common, they try and watch the show from the “I’m going to figure out the twist before they get me!” perspective. These folks were able to discover the twist fairly quickly, but unfortunately I feel like these folks also have the least enjoyment while watching. Once they figure out the twist, they feel like they’ve cracked an important puzzle and they spend the rest of the season lamenting over the fact they figured it out and that it “can’t be true!”

    At any rate, I would be hesitant to chastise any one of these viewer types because they all have merits and problems. Me personally? I think it was relatively difficult to figure out one way or the other. It seemed plausible that Gellar COULD be real, but at the same time it was also plausible that he wasn’t real. I didn’t think that either side presented any evidence that couldn’t be explained away rather easily.”

    I personally think that the real test of Dexter fans is to figure out where these more vague plots are going. For example: We all knew Lila was going to turn out bad. That wasn’t the hard part. Guessing that Lila was going to kill Doakes? That was a bit more difficult.

    I personally predicted that Lewis had purchased the hand almost immediately after the episode where he scrubbed it from the internet records. Something in the way he looked just made me think he was the one who bought it. I gloated over that one a bit. I also predicted, (and I think this was rather obvious) that Captain Matthews was the one Laguerta was covering for. Still, I was told the Gellar theory way too early for me to know for sure whether or not I would have guessed it on my own. I think I would have, but I’ll never really know.

  6. Also, I wanted to comment. If you took the search engine he specified and typed it into the web browser, it went to the Facebook page for Masuka’s Intern program. Not sure if it’ll turn out to be anything more than that.

  7. I picked up on Lewis being Geller but didnt catch the little clues like him not talking to other people and the only person that “heard” him was blindfolded. I doubt Lewis is faking the skitzo act seeing as that he freed one of his victims and that victim put the cops onto him rather than just an End of Days expert working alone. The one thing that doesnt click for me is that before Dexter gets stuck in the elevator, doesn’t he see Geller walk into the building and thats the reason he exits his car as Im pretty sure Dexter says, “Theres Gellar.”Also I have to agree with others about Lewis not working alone as how would Lewis have been able to kill and drain a body completely of blood and set up the elaborate kill if he was constantly around Dexter when the 2LOT professor was snatched.

  8. You don’t even have to enter your searches into the “new search engine”. If it contained a trojan, as soon as Lewis typed in the address, he could track not only what Dexter is searching for, but what he has on his computer, what his passwords are, and basically everything he needs about him.

    He could them cross reference that information to ITK/Brian Moser, and find out EXACTLY who Dexter is. Point of fact, Lewis is going to have to take a ride of the gulfstream, it’s just a matter of when.

  9. @sylky, it was definitely travis that said “there’s gellar”. i thought the same thing you did, so i went back to check and it was not dexter who said it

  10. Dude, it’s not Geller’s consciousness inhabiting Lewis’ body (ie. possession), it’s a part of Lewis unconsciousness manifesting itself as Geller TO Lewis. The Geller character we know is Lewis’ interpretation. Just like Dexter and his dad. Or Bates and his mom. Or when any of us dream about having a conversation with a person we know in real life.

  11. The funny thing is, you can tell this Season isn’t that great because most of the commentors don’t even bother to get Travis Marshall’s name right and are calling him “Lewis” for some reason.

  12. You nailed it! The show as a whole has been getting worse since season 3 and hopefully this season makes the producers and writers realize it as well. The problem is they are just delaying the inevitable of Dexter being either caught or killed. The fact that each year they say no there is no big bad killer this season and then proceed to have ANOTHER serial killer every year is just stupid. I also thought the same thing about Lewis and was much more interested in that than the whole “DDK” BS. I think if it turns out that he is a serial killer stalker or maybe even knows more about Dexter than we are aware of at this point can turn into something very fun to watch.

  13. The biggest shock in today’s episode was how completely Dexter fell for it.
    Lazy writing.
    Dexter is a blood spatter analyst and couldn’t follow a blood trail.
    You’d think he’d at least have a second look.

    And that campus didn’t have any surveillance cameras and/or the police didn’t review the footage? Rubbish.

  14. This season has been a bust from the start that’s why I suspect Deb will find out about Dexter this season, it is the ONLY thing the writers have in their arsenal that will cause a frenzy amongst fans.

    In my mind it plays out with Travis on Dex’s killing table and right when the knife cuts into the chest and Dexter still holding on, Deb walks in, gun drawn…Dexter looks up at her and and his face changes from murderous joy to shock. Deb starts to shake, gun points down, then back to Dexter….and she manages to say “Dexter…”.

    Black screen, credits roll, EVERY FAN TUNES IN NEXT SEASON.

  15. Travis is just a different version of Dexter, which i think is interesting. Dexter’s father raised him to be a killer, and Travis’ father figure (he was raised by his sister) Geller, taught him to be a religious zealot/killer.

    The only differences are Dexter was taught at such a young age so he thinks it’s innate in him, and Travis was taught in college so it seems more like it’s his choice to have a dark passenger.

    Remember, Travis isn’t the only one who is having his actions controlled by dead people. Dexter may not black out like Travis, but he definitely takes advice from his dead dad, and also his dead brother a couple episodes ago.

    This parallel between the two is what I find most interesting about this season.

    Also, can’t believe it, but Deb in therapy and struggling as Lieutenant has actually made me like her!

    Also, Dexter of the past would never take stupid risks like going to that school, which no doubt had security footage of him.

    Also, I was thinking last night “i wonder if I would have predicted Gellar being dead if i didnt read unreality’s theories about it. It seemed obvious, but i am not sure if it would have been if i didn’t have the idea put into my head by you…

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