Tuesday, February 08, 2011

My Review of Dexter's 5x06: "Everything Is Illumenated"

Written by Wendy West
Directed by Steve Shill

Dexter: “You killed somebody.”
Lumen: “Because you wouldn’t do it for me.”
Dexter: “But you called me to clean up after you.”
Lumen: “I didn’t know what to do with the body.”

You have to give Lumen some credit, she’s not naturally gifted in the complicated life of murdering and disposing of bodies, it’s all a bit new to her. And I bet Dexter wasn’t that impressive when he first started off too no matter how much he likes to credit himself as a neat monster though.

Lumen continuing her quest to seek out and kill her captors made perfect sense. I shouldn’t salute or encourage her but at the same time, it’s hard not to. Not only will she not be able to get any peace until they’re all dead but with them all alive, there’s going to be plenty of young women out there who won’t be as lucky as Lumen to be rescued by Dexter.

That being said, I can sort of understand Dexter’s irritation with her as well. The girl’s inexperienced and running high on emotion, so it means that she’s open to making mistakes. Last week she nearly shot the wrong guy but this week she actually shot one of the right ones and nearly let him escape.

Even though she was highly strung and angry, I had a gut feeling that Lumen was right about Dan the dentist, even if at the time she had no physical evidence to peg him as one of her attackers. Lumen’s instincts were right but unfortunately thanks to Dan’s brief time with a cell phone, the rest of her attack gang now know that she’s alive.

This also means that Dexter can’t just palm Lumen off back to her parents in Minneapolis either but that doesn’t seem to matter any more. Dexter started the episode off being put out by Lumen’s return in his life but the episode sure as hell ended on a far more interesting note. In other words, I think Lumen’s got herself a rather powerful ally in her corner now.

I loved the last scene in the bathroom between Dexter and Lumen. Both of them have been put in positions where their lives have taken unexpected turns and both of them have dark passengers to deal with as well. Dexter recognised that Lumen’s one has come out to play and until she kills all her attackers, it’s not going away any time soon.

I know there are a lot of things that should make me wary about anything possibly romantic happening with Dexter and Lumen but unlike some other series, I like that his guilt and grief for Rita isn’t being ignored. He’s doing his damndest not to fail again like he felt he did with Rita and in some ways, Lumen seems to represent a chance for him to atone for that in a way.

However, not just that, there’s an interesting connection between them as well. In four episodes, Lumen’s seen every facet of Dexter that very few other characters have managed to do. She’s seen him as a killer, as her saviour, as a man who’s lost his wife, as a member of the law and also as a parent and seems to accept them all. Bearing that in mind, it does make for an interesting dynamic.

I genuinely believe at this point that Lumen will be a rarity for this series – a character that sees all of Dexter without being evil or manipulative. At least that’s what I’m hoping for and if she can somehow survive the season as well, then that’s also a plus. Now all her and Dexter have to do is hunt and kill some evil rapists and they’ll be fine.

Well, I say fine but there is pesky Quinn and his new partner in crime, Liddy trying to research on Dexter. I’m betting that in the next few episodes that they’re going to be something of a hindrance to Dexter and Lumen but honestly, I don’t think Liddy is that effective as a character. Quinn might as well just kept his Dexter mission to himself for all the good that Liddy actually accomplished in this episode.

However the one thing that was interesting with Quinn this week was him admitting that he had feelings for Deb and her doing the same. I don’t hate them as much as a couple as I thought I would but given that Quinn’s hunting Dexter behind her back, I don’t know if he should get too comfortable with Deb. She might not be so forgiving when she finds out that he’s been lying to her all this time.

As for the Santa Muerte stuff, this was another slow progress for them. The Fuentes brothers are still on the run, the stakeout in Club Maya was pointless, apart from Angel managing to get a willing informant. It was one of the storylines I liked earlier on in the season but now it needs to sort of step up a gear because gory beheadings aside, it doesn’t feel like any real progress has been made and I didn’t need Matthews unwanted presence to highlight that. That guy’s become a real pain in the ass.

On a positive note, it’s nice that after spending a good part of the episode arguing it out, that both Maria and Angel actually sorted their differences out. I did get both points of views (Maria’s reputation, Angel’s pride) but to be honest, I’d prefer just to see both Maria and Angel just enjoy being married to each other. Is that too much to ask for?

Also in “Everything Is Illumenated”

What an odd title for this episode but at the same time, we did learn more about Lumen, such as her jilting Owen on their wedding day and the fact that she was mostly blindfolded when kept captive.

Dexter: “I’m always trying to keep the different parts of my life seperate. Being a father made that much more difficult and as a husband, I failed but I’m a very neat monster.”

Dexter and Deb discussed disclosing to potential buyers about Rita’s murder when the house was being put on the market.

Deb: “Quinn’s place is all Quinn.”
Dexter: “A vast, empty space?”

Dexter: “He said, ‘die-die’.”
Sonya: “Don’t be silly, he said ‘bye-bye’. Harrison’s first word.”

I have to admit that I did laugh during that scene but the writers really do seem to highlighting Dexter’s fears of Harrison being a killer a lot though.

Dexter: “This is the life Harry wanted for me, carefully divided.”

Angel (re Quinn): “Sounds like someone’s jealous.”
Deb: “Why on God’s green earth would I be jealous?”

I enjoyed seeing Angel and Deb giving each other romantic advice about Maria and Quinn. Those two are brilliant in little scenes like that.

Lumen: “What are you doing?”
Dexter: “Luminol.”
Lumen: “Luminol?”
Dexter: “No relation.”

Lumen: “How long have you been a cop?”
Dexter: “I’m not a cop.”
Lumen: “Then, what are you?”
Dexter: “Complicated.”

Before being interrupted by Lumen, Dexter was going to kill gay serial killer, Lance Robinson and then managed to use Lance and Dan’s dead bodies to solve a case and cover both himself and Lumen.

Dexter: “Lumen didn’t witness her mother’s murder but she was born in blood like me. Some experiences are so big, they change your DNA.”

Quinn (to Deb): “Morgan, I just said I want to be with you. What more do you want?”

For a moment there, Dexter wasn’t the only thinking of Rita when Lumen was relaxed in the bathtub. I swear that scene was uncanny.

Lumen: “I don’t even have a word for what I’m feeling.”
Dexter (to himself): “I do, it’s the dark passenger. I can’t get revenge for Rita’s death but I can avenge Lumen for what happened to her.”

Chronology: A few days since the events of “First Blood”.

An incredible solid and engaging episode, “Everything Is Illumenated” definitely amped up the dynamic between Dexter and Lumen and with more threats to come their way, I can say that I’m excited to see what happens next.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

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