Dexter Review: “Nebraska”

This might have been my favorite Dexter episode of the season, but I’ll admit that isn’t saying too much as overall I’ve found this year to be lacking in many ways.

I enjoyed this week’s installment mainly because the focus was off of the Doomsday killers (now needlessly abbreviated to “DDK”) and onto a storyline far more interesting than theirs.

What we saw this week was an episode that could have been an arc that lasted an entire season. Dexter wrestling with his brother’s seducing him to go fully into the black and start killing indiscriminately. A revisiting of the Trinity case where Dexter discovers his son Jonah has now become a killer.

Seeing them team up for a spree would have been pretty damn epic.

I could have easily seen an entire season of Dexter wrestling with going out of control, and perhaps even taking Jonah in under his wing to some degree. But alas, it was only a fleeting moment, I think we’ve seen the last of both Jonah and brother Brian for a while.

Brian was a different sort of ghost than Dexter was used to. His father pops up to give him advice every so often, but Brian was far more active, helping unload body parts into the lake, telling him to flirt with girls, and finally actually stabbing someone in the chest, though it turned out it was in fact Dexter holding the pitchfork.

If he stayed around longer, I would think that it would be worth asking certain questions about his abilities, such as how he knew where that secret pot garden was in the cornfield, and why he led Dexter there. Also, I don’t think it’s the best tactical maneuver to stab someone in the chest with a pitchfork as they’re holding a gun in your face.

Dexter’s rarely seen “creeper” face.

I liked seeing Dexter unleashed, prodded by Brian, though they did take the character to a rather unrealistic place. Even under the influence of a dead brother, Dexter isn’t exactly the type to bang a random teenager in a gas station back room, nor shoot at signs on the freeway with a stolen magnum. It would have been cool to see how far he could take it, but I think this little joyride is over.

It was great that the show revisited Trinity, and I thought the explanation for why Jonah did what he did was well thought out. For a moment there, I thought they were going to go in a very ballsy direction, and have Dexter admit to Jonah he killed his father, and when Jonah ran away and later called to meet Dexter, he wasn’t trying to kill him, but rather the cops would swarm in as it turned out that someone else really did kill his family, and now Dexter has admitted to killing Trinity. Now THAT would have been a plot development.

Back at home, not much went on other than Deb continuing to struggle with being Lieutenant. It makes her a more well-rounded character, but after five episodes of tearing up in her office every ten minutes, I’m getting a bit tired of it.

Don’t do it, you’ll be stabbing yourself in the stomach!

Lastly, Doomsday was featured a bit, and the show is still pretending like we don’t know that the Professor is a part of Travis’s personality the same way Brian was a part of Dexter’s this episode, making him do bad things outside his normal range. I guess that with this personality switch he actually has to change his voice, as the escaped “whore” remarked that though she didn’t see them, one was old and gruff, and the other was young and kind. I can’t wait to hear Colin Hanks go all Norman Bates and try to do his best Edward James Olmos voice when he’s caught. How is this reveal going to be anything but goofy?

I have a theory that I’m sure many of you will agree with that coming up on the chopping block is Travis’s sister. That will probably be when the reveal happens as she pleads with her brother to help her, and he swears he’s not the one doing it.

Anyway, good episode, but still not a great season in my opinion.


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  1. The reasons you stated as to why you liked this episode are the same reasons it made me so angry. It was such a waste of something that could have been a very cool season long arc and a waste of the really cool ending of last week’s episode.

  2. Actually I gotta admit that this was my least favorite episode of this season. And I’m not sure if I’m in the minority here but I feel that this season is turning out to be pretty good. I was real disappointed with last season, to the point where I would say it was my least favorite season of the bunch.

    This episode had the opportunity of turning this season into something that has been beaten to death in television shows/movies/comics; the main protagonist kinda turns bad than comes back, as seen in: ex. Angel, Darth Vader, Dark Phoenix, Black Spiderman etc..etc. I’m glad that they handled it all in one episode, but in all the only thing that I liked about the whole episode was that Dexter met with Trinity killer son.

  3. Blah blah blah. I did not like this episode. The main reason I love Dexter is how real the show is. Other than the imaginary Dad, everything is pretty real. It’s fun to try and figure out cases and plots, but with all of this imaginary bullshit, it’s just not the same at all. I have no idea who’s real and who’s not.

    I was thinking perhaps Jonah had his own dark passenger and didn’t even know he was killing his mom, but that wasn’t the case. Again, I don’t even like to THINK those things. I am tired of thinking every murderer is a schitzo.

    God I do love Brian though, and I’m glad we got to see him again. Brian is a great character, but I am surprised Dexter was unable to keep his wits and not do completely ridiculous, off the ‘code’ teenage outbursts. Shooting and driving? Give me a break, I know it’s Nebraska, but Dexter, you’re better than that.

    It was like seeing a different side of Dexter, yes, but what I love about Dexter is his maturity and sexy-cool swagger. He just went off the deep end in this episode.

  4. I agree with the other three commenters. I get what they’re doing here, trying to show Dexter’s inability to postpone or deny his Dark Passenger, even just once. It just seemed so far out of character that it wasn’t really believable.

    And it seems to me that they’re trying to once again draw parallels between the season’s killer and Dexter – this time, having Colin Hanks with his OWN Dark Passenger but on the flip side, his sister – who looks to fill the same role that Deb, or Brother Sam this season does/did for Dexter – the person stopping him from losing it completely.

    In the first part of the season, Hanks was brushing his sister off, and now they’re reconciling a bit. Conversely, Dex has just lost Brother Sam, and is beginning to alienate Deb. I assume it must be intentional.

    The thing I’m most curious about is the Professor himself – assuming he is dead, who killed him? Why? And how?

  5. @ Bert….I hate you….lol, no I don’t but you just made this whole season cool (in a Fight Club kinda way). I’m not sure if you came up with that idea or not, but it’s the first I heard of it and it does seem plausible.

    Real plausible.

  6. i actually liked this episode, unlike most of these people, and here’s why: dexter was in a moment of weakness when the person he seemed to rely on as a way to part with his darkness permanently (brother sam) was murdered. he couldn’t even do what was last asked of him by brother sam and forgive nick (though he was a douche…kinda sad dexter didn’t get his blood slide)…so, naturally, his “dark passenger”, newly personified by his brother, has a chance to take over (like anyone’s vice could). and i like that they had his brother in the passenger seat on the trip as it was the literal expression of the dark passenger metaphor. and i’m glad that dexter thought of his son when almost killing jonah…having said that, i agree with a lot of y’all in saying that this could’ve been a season long struggle with the ddk as the background…the thing I don’t like about this season is edward james olmos….

  7. An outstanding review, Paul, but mostly because while you’re points are ultra-valid, I completely disagree with you 🙂 I’d like to see about getting you on a future episode review of The DEXTER Podcast. Did you have a few phone minutes to chat about coming on? Touch base when you can because – especially for this episode (directed by our in-house fiend Romeo Tirone) we were left with a strange “gooney” taste in our mouth muttering “we don’t understand” on many of the things inside this episode.

    Touch base, Paul! Thanks!

    Mike Wilkerson
    The DEXTER Podcast
    Each Episode Reviewed, Hour by Hour
    The 2GuysTalking Podcast Network

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