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Last week’s Dexter wasn’t exactly what you might call groundbreaking stuff. Sure, the idea that two serial killers are actually the same guy was a fresh approach, but so many people saw it coming that the effect was next to nothing when it happened. It is because of that fact that “Ricochet Rabbit” had an awful lot riding on it. It’s not just that the fate of the season depends on how the writers are going to wrap things up, but also that, given the show’s past ability to shock us into loving it, we’re all kind of sitting around waiting for the real penny to drop. Undoubtedly, the writers will have approached this story with the hopes that somehow no one would notice what was coming, but at least some of those that did are likely wanting something more to turn them around.
Based on a slightly less than subtle sub-plot that has come into the show over the last couple of episodes, as well as the promo for next week’s “Talk to the Hand,” it seems we’re going to get our wish (although this isn’t really what I had in mind), but we’ll come to that later. As for “Ricochet Rabbit” itself, the episode wasn’t half bad. Last week I called for a resolution to the question of how Travis doesn’t know that Gellar is dead if he’s the one that killed him and to my surprise, we actually got sort of an answer. Although it’s not that clear, the idea seems to be that Travis is so far gone mentally that even though he has seen Gellar’s dead body and actually remembers the moment that he “killed” him, he believes that because they are God’s two witnesses, God made Gellar impenetrable to biblical swords, so the violent stabbing didn’t actually do any damage.
Although it was a bit of a cop out to say the least, the early scenes of the episode worked well enough and if you just sat back and accepted what came to pass as perfectly acceptable, then everything that has come before it worked with Swiss watch precision. With Travis rationalizing his insanity as the false prophet Dexter having been Gellar’s killer, we then jumped straight into Dexter having a realization of his own: that religion and serial killers really ought not to mix. The episode’s core then fell to Travis trying to get back on the righteous path as Dexter tried to find him before he could. Unlike earlier in the season, we actually spent a fair bit of time on the darker side of darkness as Travis recruited two of Gellar’s devout followers to his cause in an effort to make the apocalyptic process run smoother.
With religious nut-bars in tow, Travis sought to erase his past mistakes by finishing killing the girl that he let go when he began to question his mission. Although it isn’t particularly clear how Travis knew where to find her, once he did, let’s just say that he’s back in the swing of things. As Dexter spent a more realistic amount of time trying to track down the girl, Deb and the rest of Homicide hopelessly looked for leads into who might be the victim of the next tableau: Wormwood. Having little to go on, Angel was forced to ride solo to question a suspect as Quinn continued his downward spiral, and unbeknownst to Detective Batista, he was right on the money. At episode’s end, Angel finds himself unconscious after having been knocked out by Travis, who sees his arrival as a sign from God that Wormwood should be delivered to the Homicide department.
Although still a step behind Travis, Dexter finally catches up to one of his new sidekicks whom he unceremoniously kills in the belief that he is the man he’s looking for. The episode rounds out as he searches for clues and rebels against Harry, coming across the leftovers from Travis’ latest creation in the process. Seeing that the Wormwood weapon has the potential to kill more people that anything that he has ever dealt with before, Dexter is left with no choice but to call it into the police (on his own cell phone and barely disguising his voice I might add!!). Now, ordinarily that’s where I’d leave things and make some generic “I hope it gets better...” statement, but the aforementioned sub-plot needs to be dealt with this instant. If you haven’t the faintest clue what I’m talking about then you also probably didn’t know that Gellar was dead the whole time, but I am of course referring to the major incest vibe coming from Deb right now.
Over the last few episodes, Deb has been seeing a shrink, first on a professional and now on a “I’m an emotional wreck” basis. Pretty much all she ever talks about is Dexter to different ends, but whatever the subject, the thoughts generally close with the notion that Debra’s life is all about her brother. He is referred to as her “calm place” which sounds sweet to some extent, but in this episode in particular she just takes it a bit too far. It’s now all but clear that Deb’s love for Dexter is not normal. Nothing about the Morgans is ever normal, but at this point it’s beginning to feel like she is actually in love with her brother. Whether this is part of a Psych 101 class and the attention that her father never gave he is manifesting in a weird way I couldn’t say, but if people are still waiting for a genuinely mind-numbing twist to this story, I would probably tune in next week.