Second, as exciting as his physical confrontation with Speltzer in his RV was to watch, it raised the most questions of all. One, why would Dexter not be prepared for the possibility of a run-in with Speltzer by carrying one of his syringes with him? Two, how would a cramped and messy RV make for a suitable kill room? Three, as skilled as Dexter is, he’s just one man, so how is he able to fend off Speltzer for so long in a confined space when it was just established that it took four officers with night sticks to beat him into submission?
That’s not the end of the questions surrounding Speltzer, either. There’s also the matter of Deb charging him, shoes in hand, when he shows up at the funeral of the women he murdered. Her rage is understandable, but getting in the face of a known murderer who almost added you to his tally just days prior? No matter how mad she was, that reeks of of stupidity on her part. He could have treated her to a repeat of the other night’s events. That too would have been an idiotic decision to make, but Speltzer was never exactly shown to be smart. He also could have worked more legal wizardry and went after Deb as he had those four cops.
Thankfully, though, this was at least all in service of a greater goal, that of convincing Deb that what Dexter does is right or, at worst, necessary. It was a rough time getting there, but hearing her say she was glad to see the smoke from Speltzer’s body rising up into the night sky made me happy. At this rate, Deb could be Dexter’s Hannah McKay, which would be a fascinating dynamic as long as they leave their “love” out of it, before the season’s up.
But that brings me to another question: what is Hannah working at with Dexter? Like with Louis, it doesn’t appear as if the writers know quite where to take her plotline, at least not yet. Will she become a second Lumen? Or is there more to it and her? At this point, with how little we know, anything’s possible. Whatever the case, the mystery’s going nowhere, so they better make some headway in that department soon.
Though, that tentativeness by the writers was nowhere to be found in this season’s main plotline, that being Deb and Dexter’s relationship. In one scene, Deb called Dexter out on nearly everything viewers had been talking about so fervently the past couple seasons, asking questions that needed to be asked like if he really did love Rita, if he can love at all, and how he can so selfishly keep Harrison in harm’s way. Deb putting him on trial like that made for one of the best moments of the season thus far, ignoring the hint at the possible semi-incestual relationship with Dexter telling Deb that he loves her.
Through his struggles to hold up to Deb’s probing, Dexter proves that he isn’t in control despite his claims to the contrary. That’s precisely the focus of this season, how far and how fast things can spiral out of his control, and it’s looking like the answer is “pretty far and pretty fast.” He can continue asserting that things are no different than before, but they most certainly are. As I said in an earlier review, the calculating Dexter is gone and in his place we have an unsure, bumbling mess of a character who knows nothing, not even his own son.
Harrison’s growing up, something Dexter’s missed out on. He tells Deb that no one’s taking Harrison away from him, except he’s already given him up. It’s a wonder Harrison even knows him as more than a strange man who shows up and, for some strange reason, calls himself his dad on occasion because Jamie has essentially played the part of a single mom, raising Harrison more as his babysitter than Dexter has as his father.
To Dexter, he’s still the young kid who needs to sleep with a security blanket which he holds onto “for Harrison.” But Harrison, unbeknownst to Dexter, is growing up and Dexter’s only recourse is to cling to that security blanket and, through it, the son he thought he knew.
However, he’s not able to cling for very long before he’s forced to do what he said he wouldn’t, send Harrison away to spend time with his grandparents and older brother and sister. It’s only a precaution, with Speltzer after him, he says, but one has to think it had something to do with Deb laying out for him how he puts everyone around him in danger. If it was merely a precautionary measure, why didn’t he take it when Harrison was threatened by the Trinity Killer or, better yet, after he was kidnapped by Travis? Sure, it could be a matter of the straw that broke the camel’s back, but I’d say it’s more than that.
Dexter, deep down, knows that Deb is right, that his son isn’t safe as long as he does what he does. Moreover, one could go so far as to say Harrison is less his child than Astor and Cody. With Rita, Astor, and Cody around, he at least kept up appearances as a father. With Harrison, on the other hand, he’s more the babysitter than Jamie, who apparently cared for Harrison 24/7 during Dexter’s forced stay at Deb’s place.
So he sends Harrison to get the care, love, and, most importantly, safety that he won’t get in Miami, not with him around. It’s the last thing he has complete control over. He might fool himself into thinking he can make Deb do and think whatever he wants, but all he can do with her is hold out hope that she comes around because, in the end, it’s up to her. He can help sway her one way or another, but that’s it.
He better hope that she’s on his side now, though, because it looks like starting next episode he’s going to need all the allies he can get.
Bits and Bobs:
- When Isaac decided the bartender would be their fall-guy for Mike’s murder, I just expected they’d have him do the jail time. Guess I underestimated just how sick a man Isaac is. Using his family against him like that made it clear the depths to which he’ll go to avenge the death of Viktor, who was apparently his lover. Louis’s murder helped to establish that a little, but this really drove it home.
- Batista doesn’t get on Quinn’s case about dating a stripper who’s part of an ongoing investigation? Not just that, he also seems proud of him? For someone smart enough to sense that there was something off about the bartender’s suicide, he can be pretty dumb.