Randy Tepper/Showtime
October 25, 2010 at 06:07 AM EDT

In the past, I’ve always found it refreshing when Dexter would ignore the advice of his dark passenger. These moments reminded me that as much as his DP is part of his life, he is fully capable of setting it aside and acting on his own — however briefly. So when Dexter nursed Lumen back to health last week, I was proud of him for acting against Harry’s wishes. Unfortunately, as we’ve learned before, the actions that make Dexter a better person also make him a sloppy serial killer. I hate to say it, but Dexter would’ve been much better off had he followed Harry’s advice to kill Lumen. As we saw this week, she turned out to be the big cherry on top of Dex’s ever-growing fudge-me sundae of problems.

We opened this episode with, quite literally, the smallest of Dexter’s woes: Harrison. Despite his son getting a clean bill of mental health in a previous episode, Dexter once again found himself worried after Harrison caused playtime havoc (term used relative to children sitting under a rainbow parachute at mommy-and-me classes). Since Rita’s death, Dexter has become an expert in over-analyzing Harrison’s actions, so naturally he turned a simple act of toddler misbehavior — Harrison scratched another kid on the cheek — into premeditated assault and a sign of darker things to come.

“I want to believe that smile, that watching your mother die hasn’t changed you the way that watching mine changed me,” he pondered as the children played, officially making him the most adorably paranoid dad ever. Luckily, Harrison’s nanny would later put Dexter’s concerns to rest by telling him the story of her now-vegetarian Greenpeace-associated brother who used to bite others like a “bloody little cannibal.”

The same sense of ease wasn’t present at Dexter’s breakfast with Lumen. “Every time you see me, you look disappointed, like you were hoping to find an empty table,” she told him as he approached their meeting place. But what did she expect? Would anyone want the person who witnessed them committing murder hanging around? Dexter trying to push her out of town is the best scenario she could have hoped for. (The worst, of course, being that she would have ended up the same place Boyd Fowler did.)

But Lumen wouldn’t listen to Dexter when he told her that she needed to “get out of Miami to get past this.” He even gave her a plane ticket to Minneapolis. Yet she insisted that all she wanted from him was his help in searching for the men who hurt her. “I saw you kill Boyd. You knew what you were doing,” she said, in a very public place. But Dexter said killing the men would only open up a dark place in her. “Trust me,” he said.

“Trust you?” she replied. “I don’t even know your last name.” Touche. It was clear when she stormed off from the table that Lumen would take matters into her own unskilled hands. Dexter had hoped she would take his advice since she left the restaurant with the plane ticket, but deep down he knew the issue was far from closed. And he was right.

NEXT: An extra-marital affair? Or simply a matter of Internal Affairs?

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Michael C. Hall plays a serial killer who only murders evildoers in this gruesome drama
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