Randy Tepper/Showtime
November 01, 2010 at 07:34 AM EDT

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.)

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