Dexter Review: “The Angel of Death”

The further we get into this season of Dexter, the more unsure I am of how I feel about it. I liked the idea of the Doomsday killers at the start, but the further we go, the more I’m not sure if the decision was right to show so much of the plot from their own perspective.

There’s just something about knowing exactly what they’re up to at a given moment that takes the air of mystery out of things. Yes, at this point, we’re still wondering what exactly it is they’re building towards, but at this point, everything else seems to be known, who they are, how they’re selecting and posing their victims. I don’t know, they don’t seem to be the most interesting killers we’ve seen on this show by far.

I thought for the past few episodes that it might be the case that there would be some grand twist where the Professor was all in Travis’s head, and he was really acting alone with only the ghost of his former mentor influencing him.

Is he real or a charming ghost?

But now? I’m torn, and it really does seem like they’re just two people, student and teacher, committing these crimes with no further complication. Between phone conversations and  nightclub outings, he seems like he has to be real. I would say the only pieces of evidence to the contrary are the fact that in five episodes, no one but Travis has addressed him directly, and the brief moment in this week’s episode where Travis sees blood on his brow.

This is Travis “seeing” that he talks to God, as he relays to Dexter later, but I have  secret theory that perhaps Travis bludgeoned him to death or something similar, and the professor lives on only in his own mind, guiding him to commit these crimes.

The point is that I think this could go either way at this point, but since there’s been so much speculation, it’s not exactly going to be a Tyler Durden-esque surprise if it does turn out to be the case. In fact, the only real mystery I’m interested in with these two is what this “end times” event is they’re all anticipating, and/or are going to create themselves when the clock hits 1260.

What, are they going to detonate a WMD or something?

I was a little surprised that Dexter let Travis go when he had him hooked after two stupid strokes of luck, finding him first in the crowd, and then in that video. Is Dexter really that strict in the code where he would turn loose the accomplise of a mass murderer? I guess he’s trying to track him, but if my theory pans out and Travis IS the sole killer, he’s going to look rather silly.

I’m not sure if there’s any greater significance to this new TA that Quinn banged. The book Batista found in her apartment essentially proves the professor’s guilt, if he is still in fact alive, but I thought the TA might prove to be more relevant. What was that weird tattoo she had? Coincidence, or something to come back to?

Also lacking greater significance was Ryan, Masuka’s hot intern that many thought, myself included, would turn out to be a serial killer fetishist and possible copycat killer herself, but I guess she really was just trying to pay the rent, and this year Masuka is just the proud owner of the “stupid irrelevant plotline” that crops up once a season. Batista and his undercover hooker anyone?

You’ll be OK, Sam.

I was really sad that Brother Sam got shot, as he honestly feels like a more authentic character than literally any of the old staples of the show, Dexter himself included. He pointed out something about Dexter that I’ve been saying for years. That Dexter isn’t the monster he claims to be, and in some sense, the darkness he carries around is actually light.

Yes, he’s a mass, mass, mass murderer, but in the cosmic justice sense of the word, he’s a hero. He kills killers. That may be illegal in today’s society, but 2,000 years ago, he would have been the greatest lawman around. And when you look at the rest of his life, he literally has zero other creepy or psychopathic tendencies. He was genuinely a loving husband, and most definitely still a good father. He’s a great brother, and has friends. His biggest crime is being occasionally socially awkward, which will send him into a big monologue about how he doesn’t have emotions, but that’s clearly bullshit.

I believe Brother Sam will live despite his three bullet wounds, and Dexter will probably try to hunt down his killer, which will inevitably some disgruntled gang member. I just hope Sam sticks around to make Dexter realize he’s not this “monster” he’s always alleged himself to be.


Similar Posts


  1. The way Geller was nonchalantly walking around in public, checking out the paper with his face plastered on the front page? The way he only interacts physically with his environment when he’s alone with Travis? The way none of the victims ever look at him? The waitress ignoring him? I think the only twist that could come at this point is if he DOES end up being real. And yeah, crazy TA lady be crazy, mark my words.

  2. Crazy sauce as that would be, they aren’t the same person. Travis’s sister is played by Molly Parker. Crazy TA lady is Mariana Klaveno, who also played Bill’s maker Lorena on True Blood, btw. Unless Travis sees her one way and the whole world sees her another, ala American Horror Story.

  3. I also think it’s interesting that “Gellar” paints these masterpiece paintings when Travis is the one with the masters in Art/works in art restoration. Not to say that Gellar couldn’t possibly have artistic talent, but we know that Travis does.

    I think the fact that they’re all ready on to Gellar helps support the idea that he isn’t really there. They’re all looking for him, they know his name…and we’re not even halfway done with the season yet. I think the true twist will be the complete and utter depravity of Travis. I don’t think the “what” is important – A LOT of people support the “gellar isn’t real” theory so they haven’t necessarily done a good job at hiding it if it turns out to be true. No, I think the “why” is gong to be the big shocker. Why did Travis associate with Gellar in the first place? Why did he turn against him? Why is he trying to bring around the end of the world? I think we’re going to be shocked to find out what a nutcase Travis really is.

    This episode wasn’t as riveting as the last one was, but I enjoyed it for the information we received. I think Dexter letting Travis go will be a big mistake. I am really enjoying this season so far.

  4. Also that tattoo on the TA’s back looked like it matched a symbol on a book binding on her bookshelf when Batista was snooping. It seemed to stand out specifically, so there definitely might be something there.

  5. @Ian: I thought I noticed that too… The camera zoomed on her tattoo as she walked away, so it seemed obvious that it served some purpose… Then I thought I saw the same thing as Batista was looking at the bookshelf, but he passed right by it. I’m sure he’ll have a Eureka! moment at some point in the near future, which links the TA to Travis/Gellar then they’ll do the “reveal” that has already been revealed to 95% of viewers that Gellar is dead and is functioning in Travis’ head right now.

    Have to agree with Paul that I miss the mystery associated with the goings-on of the season’s killer like there was with the Ice Truck Killer is S1. They show far too much of Travis/Gellar’s plotting and intentions. The slow-reveal they did with Ice Truck and Trinity throughout S1/S4 was far more effective.

  6. @Mark glad to see you caught that too, I’m not just crazy (well I’m not crazy for THAT).

    What you guys are saying kind of feeds into the point I was trying to make. I agree that the mystery is lacking (god I loved the 1st season) but they have put so much into showing what Travis/Gellar is/are doing that I think (HOPE!) there’s something even deeper going on, and this is all just misdirection…

  7. I believe that the shooter of brother Sam is actually someone from the shop, perhaps the “rescued” kid from the last episode, since the dog, that is vicious to all outsiders, did not react at all.

  8. I just don’t see how people are still believing they are the same.

    First, the symbol on the TA’s back was om symbol, which is Hindu. The book on the shelf I believe was Arabic writing, it looked a lot like my Koran… I think this shows us she’s very into all religions?

    As Ian pointed out, the masterpieces are by Geller, not the ‘art historian’. Well, from someone who went to art school, most art history majors are not artists themselves, just enjoy it. This is likely what drew Travis to Geller in the first place.

    Dexter could not kill Travis because he had NEVER killed anyone before, he broke down at the thought and always Geller had to take over. It’s not in Dexter’s code, of course he couldn’t kill him.

    I’m not so certain of this season either…

  9. “I believe Brother Sam will live despite his three bullet wounds, and Dexter will probably try to hunt down his killer, which will inevitably some disgruntled gang member. I just hope Sam sticks around to make Dexter realize he’s not this “monster” he’s always alleged himself to be.”

    It’s funny, because you couldn’t be more off on every count.
    Don’t get discouraged, as I actually did agree with you as well on these points. Kinda glad that the writers for Dexter still got some kick in them.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.