Tuesday, January 25, 2011

My Review of Dexter's 5x04: "Beauty And The Beast"

Written by Jim Leonard
Directed by Milan Cheylov

Lumen: “How do I know you didn’t kill these girls?”
Dexter: “You don’t. It’s a leap of faith for the both of us.”

Hmm, it’s not everyday in which you’re put in a position where the most trustworthy person in your life happens to be a serial killer but unfortunately, Lumen’s life has been far from normal in the last while. Kidnapped, sold, tortured and presumably raped repeatedly? Who the hell would do that to Lumen or anyone for that matter?

Even before her reveal at the end of the episode, I already knew that it wasn’t just Boyd who was subjecting her to all this brutality but I did find it interesting how until then, it hadn’t occurred to Dexter that more than one person was involved in all the barrel girls and Lumen’s horrible fate.

So far, I definitely like Lumen as a character and even if I didn’t, it’s incredibly hard not to feel incredibly sympathetic towards her plight. Julia Stiles is definitely impressive and the way she’s playing off Michael C. Hall only means that this Dexter/Lumen dynamic is going to be one of the most memorable that the series has done so far.

Dexter was certainly in a pickle this week. He knew that morally he had no right to kill Lumen but at the same time, he couldn’t (or simply wouldn’t) let her die, even if holding her against her will wasn’t an obstacle for him. Plus, Harry’s narrations in this episode really annoyed the heck out of me.

It was like Season 4 again with all the unhelpful stuff with Harry. Would killing an innocent, traumatised young woman really have been the best option for Dexter? I’m glad he didn’t go there and instead made the effort to try and gain Lumen’s trust. Going to the motel to collect her things was a good start in that direction.

However much as I liked Dexter trying to be the good guy, I totally believed in Lumen’s reluctance to trust him at first. Why would she? She just saw him kill a man and given that Dexter knocked her out and held her against her will for most of this episode, he really did need to earn her trust.

Taking her to where Boyd intended to dump her body and talking to her about Rita’s death was an interesting way of gaining Lumen’s trust. Maybe it was too easy but given that she’s clearly being set up for a main arc here, perhaps it’s wise that Lumen did come around to putting her faith in Dexter after practically cutting him. He doesn’t want to see anymore innocent people getting killed and that’s good. Hopefully Lumen doesn’t become a casualty then now that she’s involved in Dexter’s life.

As for the fact that it was a gang of men who were holding Lumen against her will, I don’t need to be a genius to see where this plot is going to go. Given what Lumen’s been through. I actually both her and Dexter catch every single one of her attackers and make them suffer multiple times over. That might not be the politically correct solution but come on, it’s not like the law are going to end up solving Lumen’s dilemma.

Speaking of dilemmas, Lumen wasn’t the only woman to cause Dexter trouble this week. Sonya had every right to call Dexter out on lying to her and while it did feel a little easier for her to come back working for him, I am glad that she gave Dexter another chance. It turns out that lying to Sonya is definitely a big no-no in her book. Here’s hoping that Dexter bears that in mind next time he pulls an all-nighter.

Outside of Dexter’s crazy world, this Santa Muerte plot really is running longer than expected. I’m not actually complaining because it’s an interesting subplot but Deb really could’ve come off worse during her confrontation with the machete guy if she hadn’t been careful. I’m sure the unfortunate hostage with his throat slit will be fine but with the guy on the loose, Deb might want to watch her back for the next episode or two.

Someone else who should watch his back is Quinn as well. I know he’s trying to do his job but confronting Jonah in the manner he did was reckless and I’m actually glad that Maria busted his chops over. However even with suspension, I can only see Quinn’s pursuit of connecting Dexter with Kyle Butler going further and now that him and Deb have resumed sleeping together, it’s only going to get even further complicated.

Last but not least – this Angel plot already. Apart from causing strain between him and Maria and Lopez refusing to press charges, it really seems that it’s Jim who has his bee in his bonnet over Maria and Angel. We just managed to get Matthews off Angel and Maria’s backs and now we have to deal with this guy? Ugh!

Also in “Beauty And The Beast”

Julia Stiles is now listed as a special guest on the show, so that definitely proves that Lumen will be around for the rest of the season then.

Dexter (re machete guy): “Okay, what else?”
Deb: “Just machete. We’ve been up all night. We’re too tired to think. That’s why we called you.”

Deb had her own little freak out over Dexter and Harrison invading her personal space in this episode. I think she’s allowed at least one.

Masuka (to Dexter): “Good to have you back. In a supporting role. Assisting me.”

Dexter: “I’m reliable.”
Sonya: “Well, I guess we use different dictionaries.”
Dexter: “It’ll never happen again.”
Sonya: “Do you think?”

Is it me or has Maria Doyle Kennedy slightly upped her Irish accent for this show? She wouldn’t be the first non-American actor to do that for a US show and she won’t be the last either.

Maria (re Harrison): “He looks like his mommy.”
Masuka: “He’s got his daddy’s eyes.”
Angel: “And your penis size.”
Deb: “It’s much bigger.”

Dexter: “The babysitter doesn’t trust me because of the lies. Lumen doesn’t trust because of the truth. There’s a name for that. Oh right, Dexter Morgan.”

Lumen lied to Dexter about being called Rachel. Her full name is Lumen Anne Pierce and her family are convinced that she’s a runaway.

Masuka: “I’m willing to share. All you had to do was ask.”
Quinn: “Okay, I didn’t take your meds and I’m not getting down and dirty with Debra.”

Lumen (to Dexter): “I’m sorry I cut you. I thought you were a monster like Boyd. I thought you were gonna kill me or worse.”

Chronology: Exactly from where “Practically Perfect” left off.

Easily a good follow up episode with “Beauty And The Beast” but also a mixed bag as well. Harry’s appearances aren’t particularly being helpful with Dexter so far but the plots with Lumen definitely could be. Everything else also worked reasonably well this week.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

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