Dexter recap: The Lumen Condition
In 'Everything Illuminated,' Lumen takes revenge into her own hands, while Dexter's frustrations -- and his sympathies -- grow
We always knew that Dexter’s reluctance to help Lumen take down her captors wouldn’t last forever, but I had hoped she’d be out of the picture by the time he finally came around. Exactly how Dexter would have pursued these baddies without her help, I’m not sure, but a person can dream, right? After tonight’s episode, though, the prospect of getting rid of Lumen anytime soon seems about as likely as LaGuerta wearing something other than an ass-hugging floral skirt or Deb maintaining a successful long-term relationship. Lumen’s likely continued existence on Dexter is disappointing for a number of reasons. Most important of them? The storyline we’ve been building on — a network of bad men doing terrible things — is pretty strong stuff; beyond providing an initial connection between Dexter and these villains, though, Lumen’s involvement hasn’t paid dramatic dividends.
When we opened tonight’s proceedings, Dexter had thought his Lumen problem was over, especially after he hand-delivered her to the airport. Our protagonist had gotten on with his life. He was almost done boxing up his old life with Rita, preparing to settle down back in the apartment (only after Deb insisted he take it back), and excited about getting back to a “manageable” life, which included his now-talking son (first word: bye bye…or die die). He was even back on the hunt. His latest target was a sicko who had been soliciting men online and killing them. Dexter seemed at home on this hunt; it was supposed to be a by-the-book kill. Thanks to Lumen, that changed very quickly.
She called in a panic, telling Dexter she had killed one of the men who hurt her and that she needed his help with the body. With his perv killer on the table, Dexter had to make a decision on how to deal with the situation. So he loaded the vic’s plastic-wrapped body into his car and prayed the M99 would last long enough for him to clean up Lumen’s mess.
LaGuerta also dealt with the aftermath of cleaning up someone else’s mess this week as the Chief accused her of neglecting the Santa Muerte case to get her husband out of hot water with IAB. She didn’t take the confrontation well and unleashed her frustration on Batista, who fired back, “You weren’t looking out for me out of some sense of compassion. You were taking care of yourself. God forbid your name should lose some of its shine.” By the end of the episode, he would give her a mea culpa gift (in the form of a new informant), and they would make up, closing the book on yet another episode-long lovers’ spat. At this point, we’re one cheesy theme song away from this duo starring in a half-hour sitcom. Are we ready for them to become interesting again?
Slowly gaining steam is the situation with Quinn, who continued to work with the former narcotics officer to find out more about Dexter and “bone the target’s sister.” But it’s more than boning at this point, isn’t it? While staking out a club to try to spot the Fuentes brothers, Deb became jealous when she saw Quinn getting way too friendly with a blond bimbo with “fun bags” aplenty.
NEXT: Lumen is silenced. (Alas, not permanently.)
When she later confronted Quinn about it in her very-Deb way (“I’m not sure it’s in the job description that you have to put your face in Boobie McGee’s t–s.”) he told her that it meant nothing because he was interested in her. “You’re the one who keeps putting the brakes on,” he said. That’s when Deb’s guard came down. “If this is going to end badly, will you just please tell me now.”
Deb has slowly opened up to Quinn — and he has to her — which is going to make their inevitable demise all that much sadder. I mean, she continued to care for him after he wore man-glitter. That’s love.
Over at the warehouse where Lumen had lured her victim, Dexter arrived to find the situation was worse than imagined. Lumen led him inside where she shot the man, but there was only a pool of blood where she had left the body. So not only was she inept at planning a kill, she didn’t know how to check a damn pulse, either. Dexter was annoyed. “You killed somebody,” he said. “Because you wouldn’t do it for me!” she replied. “But you called me to clean up after you!” he struck back.
The best thing to happen during this interaction was Dexter getting to work after asking Lumen to stop talking. (I wish the silence part had lasted longer than it did.) Dex’s expertise surprised Lumen, and our guy finally had to admit that he worked in law enforcement (but stopped short of revealing it all). As they tracked the man’s movements using blood drops, Lumen described her method of capture. She had dressed in a disguise and waited at the bar she was previously taken from until one of the men showed up. But because she had been blindfolded through most of her ordeal, she relied on sensory memory to identify the man. A horrified Dexter concluded, “You shot someone based on a feeling and an odor?” Exactly. She didn’t know his name. She didn’t check his wallet. She didn’t take his phone. She defended herself, saying, “I’m new to this!” But all it really did was prove the point that she had no business executing a revenge plot in the first place. Then the situation went from bad to f— us in both ears.
Someone had seen Lumen walk into the warehouse and called the cops reporting a possible homicide. The police were en route to their location. With time short, Dexter sped up his tracking and finally found the injured man hiding under a grate in a building behind the warehouse. In a shocking move, Dexter started to help the man, intending to save him after finding out he was a family man/dentist. “I don’t know who this man is,” he explained to an outraged Lumen. At the height of an intense argument between the man and Lumen, Dexter’s phone rang. It was Harrison.
“I know you’re working, but I thought you might want to take a break,” SuperNanny told Dexter. Surprisingly he did. So they sang to Harrison. “Lost my partner, what’ll I do? Skip to my Lou, my darlin,'” he sang, ironically. Then he asked the nanny to stay longer. (Bets on how many episodes until nanny calls CPS?)
NEXT: Naked man running.
Back in the room, Lumen stirred up more trouble by threatening the man with a high-heeled shoe. (!) She wanted the names of the rest of the men who had tortured her. An angered Dexter then charged at her and threw her against a wall. “You’re ruining my life!” he yelled. “They ruined mine.” He hushed her before she could say more because he heard whispering from the other room. The man had called someone using her phone. “She’s alive, you hear me? The last f—ing bitch is alive,” he said into the receiver, confirming his involvement. “They’re going to find you,” Rapist DDS told Lumen. Then Dexter snapped the guy’s neck.
“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,” Dexter pondered as he observed his current predicament.
Deb arrived with Masuka on the scene just as Dexter left the back room to get his car, and they wasted no time following the same trail Dexter and Lumen had followed just minutes before. Dexter and Lumen were running out of time.
After Lumen finished cleaning up the back room, Dexter sent her to his old house to clean up and wait while he dealt with disposing the body. The body became secondary, however, when a new problem arose: This week’s homicide project (aka the man Dexter had loaded into his car) was awake…and running away.
In an intense scene, the man ran naked toward the front of the warehouse just as Masuka and Deb rounded the corner. Dexter trailed behind the man, running with every fiber of his being. He reached him just in time to strangle him and haul him back into the room with the other body. By the time Deb and Masuka got to the back and spotted his car, Dexter strolled out of the room nonchalantly. He had arranged the two bodies to make them appear to be the result of a sex romp gone homicidal. Masuka’s sick imagination filled in the blanks.
Later, Dexter met up with Lumen, who was eerily asleep in the bathtub when he arrived. Being in the house had not seemed to bother Dexter before, but when he found himself hovering over the tub fixing the drain, he was overcome with emotion and had a minor panic attack (in what was an extremely well-directed scene, I might add).
The vulnerability was not lost on Lumen, who proceeded to open up about her own past, revealing that she had walked away from an apple-pie life looking for adventure. “Then, everything happened, and I actually thought ‘This is what I get for trying to live my own life,'” she told him. “Tonight, I felt this peace; it’s because he’s dead, and I know it’s not going to last. When it wears off, I’m going to find the rest of them because it’s the only way I’ll find that peace again. I don’t even have a name for what I’m feeling.” But Dexter did: The Dark Passenger.
NEXT: The best lines of dialogue from ‘Everything Is Illuminated’
“I can’t get revenge for Rita’s death, but I can help Lumen avenge what was done to her,” he thought before asking, “How many more were there?”
What troubles me is that this is the same note we left off on in episode 4, when Lumen said “there were others.” Two episodes later, it’s gone in a circle. Will we finally meet these “others” next week? Will we finally learn more about this group of terrible men? I hope so. If not to speed up the show’s seemingly slower pace, I hope we get a move on so we can bid adieu to Lumen.
What about you, readers? Do you wish we had more action regarding the group of rapists and less Lumen? What did you think of the episode in general? Does C.S. Lee deserve an Emmy nod if only for his crime scene visual? And is a new informant better than a puppy?
Deb: No evidence that a family ever lived here.
Dexter: Or died here.
“It’s Luminall…no relation.” –Dexter to Lumen
Lumen: Why do you have that in your purse?
Dexter: It’s not a purse.
“Hey, f—wad, taking the scenic route?” –Deb to Dexter
Dexter: “I remember your first words: shoes. You were very girly once upon a time.”
Deb: “That’s funny. I always remember my first words as being, ‘Hurry the f— up.‘”
“I have two words: autoerotic mummification.” –Masuka
“By the way, I wouldn’t touch the nozzle of that hose.” –Masuka
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