Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My Review of Dexter's 5x12: "The Big One"

Written by Chip Johannessen And Manny Coto
Directed by Steve Shill

Lumen (to Jordan): “That’s not just for me. That’s for everyone you ever hurt, even Emily. Do you hear me? Do you hear me?”

While Lumen might have decided not to pursue a hobby in serial killing any time soon, it’s nice that her last kill happened to be the man that turned her life into a living hell. It wouldn’t have felt right from a narrative standpoint if Dexter had been the one to kill Jordan and I applaud the show for allowing Lumen to be the one to end Jordan once and for all.

I guess with Lumen spending most of this episode in captivity, it really could’ve gone either way for her. Dexter for the second year in a row could’ve been unable to save a woman he loves from being brutally killed or somehow Lumen could triumph over the monster keeping her prisoner. I was delighted that we got the latter outcome.

Over the last ten episodes, the writers had done such great work with Lumen as a character, I think it would’ve been a slap in the face to have killed her off and thankfully despite Jordan’s attempts to immolate both her and Dexter, it was him who ended up being hacked to pieces instead of them.

Jordan definitely became sloppy in this one. By getting his hands dirty and underestimating both Dexter and Lumen, he more or less signed his own death warrant. Certainly deluding himself into thinking he knew the ins and outs of their relationship was one thing but his belief that he enhanced Lumen was a step too far.

Lumen certainly seemed to take no actual pleasure in killing Jordan and that was instrumental in her later decision to leave town but the fact that his death got rid of her dark passenger was something that I actually expected to happen. Lumen does have a connection to Dexter but her bloodlust isn’t anywhere near his and deep down, I suspected that Dexter actually knew that as well.

On any other show, the second Dexter smashed a plate would’ve been a worrying sign. I knew he wasn’t going to kill Lumen but I certainly felt bad for him when he realised that their relationship was over. As breakups, Dexter certainly got a clean one with Lumen and for him, he should consider that a breakthrough.

Over this entire season, Dexter and Lumen have been portrayed as two broken people brought together but I genuinely think their feelings for each other were/are real and I’m not saying that from a shipper perspective. Lumen could easily change her mind, come back next season, be in a relationship with Dexter and not die horribly but if this is the last time we’ll ever see her, then I can live with that. Dexter probably will too in his own way.

His sadness about breaking up with Lumen aside, it was nice that he focused on the positive things as well. His conversation with Astor at Harrison’s birthday party made him realise the positive influence that Lumen had on his life and also opened up the idea that he can be seen as a human being rather than a monster.

As for Deb, well her story was also very interesting as well because while Dexter embraced his humanity, Deb had to compromise some of her own moral code when it came to Jordan. She pretty much allowed Dexter and Lumen escape (unaware of who they were) and get rid of Jordan’s body. I can see that coming back to haunt her next season.

But at the same time, Deb also tried her best to be as impartial with Quinn as possible. For all she actually knew, he could’ve killed Liddy but thanks to Dexter, Quinn didn’t have to spend too long in jail to stew over. I should complain that the writers took an easy way out with the Liddy situation but given that he was one of the few weaker elements of the season, I can live without Liddy’s death being a source for future’s storylines.

Also in “The Big One”

The reprise in this episode literally had clips from all the previous episodes this season as well as clips from last season’s finale, “The Getaway”.

Jordan (re Lumen): “She means a lot to you, doesn’t she?”
Dexter: “Yes.”
Jordan: “Must be terrible for you. Going through this again. Losing your wife, the woman you loved and now Lumen. I imagine it seems to be some terrible curse.”

Jordan took Lumen to the River Jordan camp to kill her. At least we know were he got his new name from.

Dexter: “You think they’re looking at Jordan?”
Deb: “Who else would it be? It’s what this guy does for a living. Tells people what to do. He tells them how to live their lives.”

Jordan: “You remember this place. Should feel like home. Well, don’t worry, it’ll all come back to you.”
Lumen: “What are you gonna do to me?”
Jordan: “What do you think? What choice have you left me, the both of you?”

Dexter crashed his car whilst getting to the camp. Is this going to be a recurring trope for the series now or just with Dexter?

Quinn: “I think I better keep my mouth shut.”
Deb: “I’m not asking you as a detective. I’m asking you as someone you live with. Someone you said you loved. I think I deserve to know what the fuck is going on.”

Jordan: “So you were listening.”
Dexter: “I heard the words but to be honest, you have to consider the source.”

I liked that Cody and Astor are coming back to Dexter for the summer and I also liked that Maria and Angel were on better terms with each other too in this episode. Harry wasn’t as well utilised but he served his purpose too.

Dexter: “You’re right about everything, you’re right. We’re not the same.”
Lumen: “I’m so sorry.”
Dexter: “Don’t be, don’t be sorry, your darkness is gone. I’ll carry it for you, always. I’ll keep it with mine.”

Chronology: From where “Hop A Freighter” left off.

For some people, “The Big One” being more of a low key ending might not have been the most satisfactory way of ending the season but for me, I thought it was a perfect way to wrap up the year and with a sixth season due for 2011, it’s nice that Dexter’s story isn’t over just yet.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

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