Dexter recap: Primal Instinct
From the moment Jordan Chase and his caveman Cole came into the picture, we knew it was only a matter of time until Dexter would have to infiltrate the fanatical world of motivational speaking. Going against his primal instinct (which is, of course, to stay away from people who are crazier than himself) Dexter took the plunge this week and attended his first Jordan Chase seminar/convention of incredibly disturbing individuals. But it was all in the name of research for a job — which in this case was the mission to kill Cole.
Dexter wasn’t the only one out for blood in this episode, though. From the media to the mayor, people were looking for a scapegoat in the nightclub shootout from last week. LaGuerta was hard at work keeping up her bitch shield in order to avoid being blamed for the crapfest. As she threatened the squad with consequences, the team’s eyes fell on Batista, who was going to write up the report that either sent one of them to be crucified or stated the truth: LaGuerta was at fault.
Back at Dexter’s other job, Jordan Chase wrapped up his pep rally with some bleak words, “I have some bad news for everyone: You’re all going to die…” Slumped in his chair with disinterest, Dexter quipped back mentally, “Some of us sooner than others.” Then, Jordan continued, “…some of us sooner than others.” A startled Dexter readjusted his posture in time for the point: Instincts will help you get the life you deserve. Dexter operates rather similarly, except his instincts help him take lives that people don’t deserve.
During intermission, Lumen called to caution him. She had found out that Cole was a former marine who was discharged for beating a man to a pulp, and there was no telling what he was capable of. (And Lumen also mentioned that he was the one responsible for the slashes on her back.) Their conversation was truncated by Cole, who approached Dexter with an invitation to meet with Jordan in his suite. (Well, it was obvious that it was less of an invitation and more of a strong suggestion.)
Inside the lavish room, we learned a few things: For one, Jordan is the type of man who uses phrases like “stop being a piece of furniture.” Second, he had a keen interest in the Trinity case. “Fascinated,” really, and eager to learn more — not only about the case, but about Dexter’s coping mechanisms and healing process. If only he knew the truth. I’d like to see the motivational speech Jordan would write if Dexter told him about bludgeoning a man to death in a bathroom. “Take it,” indeed.
Dexter agreed to meet with Jordan later and talk about his situation. It would turn out to be good that he made this arrangement for a future meeting because Dexter would, in fact, plan on seeing Jordan again very soon…
NEXT: Deb learns that sometimes, you ought to keep your expletives to yourself.
Over at the station, LaGuerta had found the donkey on whom she planned to pin the consequences: Officer Manzon. Her reasoning was that Manzon’s career would be impacted by the fallout less than anyone else’s. Her approach pissed off Deb, who unleashed a string of comments with more “f—“s than actual words (in the way only Deb can deliver). In the tirade, Deb told LaGuerta that no one should be blamed and that the team should “weather the f—ing storm together” instead of ruining Manzon’s chances of a promotion in the future. Deb’s harsh exchange would come back to bite her. LaGuerta ended up using Deb as the scapegoat for the shooting, and Deb was suspended. At first, Deb thought it would be her word against LaGuerta’s, but then she learned that someone was supporting LaGuerta’s story. In other words: Oh, f—.
Lumen was having her own “Oh, expletive” moment back at Dexter’s house. Her Archie-comic-looking fiancé, the one she’d previously ditched at the altar, was in town and wanted to whisk her away on a trip around the world. The surprise? We’d learn later that she wanted to go.
Back at apartment, Dexter was getting crap from Deb about his Jordan Chase swag bag (specifically the “Born primal” onesie — which I kind of want). He didn’t reciprocate the harsh judgment, though, when Deb started talking about how she didn’t feel bad about killing Carlos Fuentes. She was given mandatory therapy sessions as a result of the incident, but admitted to Dexter that she was unfazed by it. “I always thought that if I landed a bullet it would bother me, it would be a burden to take another life,” she said, “I don’t feel bad.” Dexter looked at his sister with deep understanding. (Of course, she’d never know to what extent they were connected at that moment.) In the absence of his ability to tell her exactly how much he understood her predicament, Dexter opted for advice. “Dad once told me that some people deserve to die.”
The next day, Lumen was out buying supplies before meeting up with Dexter when she had a literal run-in with Quinn’s P.I. Liddy. He had staged a fender bender so that he could get her name and associated scoop, which he later dished to an increasingly disinterested Quinn. In fact, Quinn wanted to pull the plug on the whole operation, but Liddy wouldn’t hear it and threatened to tell Deb about the whole thing. With that, Quinn officially lost the upper hand on the situation — and a coffee pot to boot. (Side note: This was the first time I truly noticed P.I. Perv’s alien-blue eyes, and it made him even scarier.)
While this was happening, Dexter had returned to the event for more Jordan Chase wisdom — and to prep for the kill. When Lumen popped in with the supplies, she told Dexter about her former flame showing up and wanting to take her away. “Do you want me to go?” Lumen asked. “If you want to go,” Dexter said. The problem was that Lumen had found a comfort zone in Dexter and their mission. Still, the allure of a normal life was hard to resist. Something in Dexter’s face said he didn’t want her to go, but instead of continuing the conversation, he told her to stay the night because it was too risky for her to walk through the lobby again.
NEXT: A truly terrifying encounter.
Despite Lumen’s presence, Dexter wanted to continue with the kill, so they prepared the room together. Like a well rehearsed ballet, they set out the plastic on the floor, covered major items with plastic bags, taped plastic tarps to the walls, and set out the pictures of Cole’s victims. “This is all easier with a partner…but a partner in what,” Dexter noted.
As Lumen looked on at their handiwork, it occurred to her that, for Dexter, the kill wasn’t about her revenge. “Boyd wasn’t your first,” she said. Before Dexter could answer, they heard a noise in the adjoining room, signaling Cole’s return. (Dexter looked more than relieved.) As he prepared the M-99, screams from the other room got Dexter on his feet. Someone was in danger — or so he thought. It’s funny how similar pleasure and pain sound. In this case, pleasure was the answer.
Dexter inched out of the room as quietly (and quickly!) as possible, only to return and find Lumen in the corner having a post-traumatic episode. She cried and covered her ears, trying to block the sounds of the woman’s shrieks (and it’s likely that people in the surrounding rooms were doing the same — but for different reasons). Dexter knelt in front of her, troubled and slightly fascinated by her reaction. With some hesitation, he reached toward her and covered her hands with his, creating a double barrier to block the sounds. It worked, and Lumen fell into a deep sleep unlike any she’d had since her abduction. By the time she awoke the next morning, Dexter had a new plan to kill Cole (“The screamer spent the night,” Dexter told Lumen), but Lumen would likely miss it if she was going to make her planned meet-up with her former fiancé. She decided on going anyway, but the plan went awry.
Dexter had determined that he would follow Cole on his rounds during Jordan’s speech and stick him with the M-99. But while he was at the event, Dexter got pulled on stage by Jordan (much to Dexter’s low-key-loving horror). As a result, he also missed his chance to snag Cole. More importantly, Lumen lost her escape path from the hotel.
Lumen had briefly stopped to watch Dexter on stage on a monitor in the lobby, and as she stood there attentively watching as Dexter spoke in haunting detail to the crowd about finding Rita dead in the tub, Cole appeared at her side (…and we shat ourselves.)
In a Terminator-esque chase, Lumen ran back up stairs to seek refuge, and Cole robo-walked after her. She got to the room safely, but before she could breathe easy, Cole busted through the shared door and attacked her. He easily got the upper hand and began choking her so intensely that he shook. Then Dexter came in and returned the favor.
Cole awoke strapped to the desk, and Dexter pressed him for information about the other men involved. Well, he pressed a knife against his neck, to be exact. Ultimately, a smartass response from the Duck Tales fan earned Cole a knife to the chest.
NEXT: Three major plot bombs get dropped. Plus, we recount the best lines from this week’s episode!
For a moment, I had thought Dexter would let Lumen do it in a sign of good faith. Instead, he gave her a better courtesy: the truth. “You said I’d done this before; that’s true. This is who I am.” After his confession, Dexter asked what he’s been thinking subconsciously about Lumen for a while: Could she handle the truth? Then, Lumen answered without words by taking the slide of Cole’s blood from his hand.
The final minutes delivered three major blows. The first: Officer Manzon was the traitor. Deb realized this after she saw Manzon moving her belongings up to the homicide department. When we first met Manzon, I had imagined her storyline developing in one of two ways: She was either being brought in to be a naive rookie victim or a lesbian partner for someone in the station. (Admit it, you thought the latter at least once. There was a vibe.) I never imagined she’d be a dirty turncoat.
The second plot bomb was confirmation that Jordan Chase was involved in the kidnapping/torture ring. (This was more news to Dexter than news to us.) Dexter figured this out when Jordan approached him as he was leaving the hotel (with Cole’s remains in suitcases — ha!) and delivered the line that continued to haunt Lumen, “Tick, tick, tick; that’s the sound of your life running out.”
The third development was also the largest. Just when we thought Dexter and Lumen had weathered the largest of their issues (trust, mutual understanding, and a kill), a new foe came into the picture — and he had nothing to do with Jordan Chase. It was Liddy. He had trailed them and took pictures of them dumping Cole’s body into the sea from the boat. Yes, pictures.
This season has hit its stride, readers! But that’s just my opinion; what’s yours? What did you think of the episode? Do you think the Jordan Chase plot is really coming together? Is Liddy turning out to be a bigger threat than we had counted on him being?
Less importantly: Should every episode open with a montage of attacking animals? Do you think Jordan Chase was delivering his speech at the beginning of the episode from the set of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire or The Singing Bee? How much do we love Batista for the “little sister” speech he gave Deb in the parking lot? And wouldn’t Cole’s security cronies know something was amiss because of the broken adjoining door in his hotel room?
“I’ve never been around so many people who made me feel normal. [Pause] Really normal.” –Dexter
“Jordan promises change, but he also accepts credit cards.” –Dexter
“If it’s working, who am I to poop on your parade?” –Deb
“Lumen — stupid f—ing name.” –Liddy
“Death was the only kindness you showed them.” –Dexter to Cole
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