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For those of you keeping up with Dexter this season, it isn’t likely to escape you that one of the episodes that I’m about to talk about is a week old. Let’s ignore my lateness and simply move onto business. “Sin of Omission” was a big episode for Dexter, both for the character and potentially for the series itself. On the character side, Dexter had just about one of the most “human” episodes in the series’ run as he dealt with the fallout from his trip to Nebraska as well as his own emotions. With his sudden disappearance amidst the height of the Doomsday Killer case, Debra was pissed to say the least. So when her brother reemerged without plausible responses to her questions, things got interesting.
Whilst there was nothing direct about it, the way in which the inquisition was acted hints towards two things: one, that Deb is finally coming to accept that her brother isn’t normal and two, that Dexter felt genuinely bad for lying to his sister and putting her in an awkward situation at work. Over the last six years, Dexter has been humanized to a massive extent. He has gone from a soulless mass-murderer to a husband and father with genuine love for his family members, but one thing that has never really come to the surface is guilt. Sure, following Rita’s murder there was a certain quality to Dexter that wasn’t in line with his usual self, but it was anger at being outdone by Trinity more than genuine remorse.
Make of it what you will, but compounding that early scene with the penultimate one in which Dexter bails on his sister again in favor of going after Gellar, there really was a sense that things will never be the same. Whether Debra’s realization that her brother is really weird will materialize into her finally finding out the truth ("It’s really about time that someone found out that didn’t end up dead, right?"), it’s hard to say, but it puts us in an interesting place heading towards the season’s conclusion. Personal revelations aside, “Sin of Omission” was really all about Dexter getting Travis to turn on Gellar after previously sewing he seeds of doubt at their mission.
After telling Gellar that it was through in the previous episode, Travis’ strength of character was tested throughout the episode as he was constantly hounded by his mentor, as well as Dexter, to join their causes. After Gellar took his sister’s life in the next tableau, Travis agreed to work with Dexter as the episode rounded out, with Gellar escaping Dexter’s grasp and raising the stakes for what was to come. Other “highlights” if they can really be called that, involved LaGuerta knowing someone that was somehow involved in the death of a hooker, Quinn continuing to go off the rails, Batista threatening Lewis, and Travis’ identity becoming known to the police after his sister caught a major case of dead.
Now with the following episode, this past Sunday’s “Get Gellar,” I really only need to talk about one thing. With “Sin of Omission” I thought we were going to finally get an answer to that lingering question of the reality of certain things happening in the show this season, but it wasn’t until last night that we did. If you skipped my possible spoiler warning a few weeks back then you’ll have missed out on a few paragraphs of me explaining that in all likelihood, Professor Gellar wasn’t real, but now we know with absolute certainty that I was right. However, whether or not that is a good thing remains to be seen.
For starters, I feel fairly bad for the writing staff of Dexter, who tried something genuinely fresh as far as the show goes, only to have me and many other people tell the world about it weeks or even months ago. In the internet-enabled world, it’s pretty difficult to keep anything under wraps about television shows, but for the most part Dexter has done it. Julie Benz’s departure from the show was kept fairly quiet before the shocking end to season four and as a result, those twelve episodes are widely considered to be amongst the show’s best. Does the lack of secret keeping here completely diminish this season?
Yes and no. Immediately following the episode’s airing, I hit the internet to see fan reaction and it was fairly mixed. It seems that an awful lot of people really weren’t paying very much attention this year and were genuinely shocked by the events of “Get Gellar”’s final scene. On the other hand, the people that had coined onto what was going on were, like me, were fairly disappointed. The problem seems to be that for the most part, Professor Gellar is no Tyler Durden and Dexter is not Fight Club; we’ve seen this type of story done before and done very well, so when we see it again we expect it to be better.
With this split outcome, I can only hope that the writers aren’t discouraged from really trying something new again with season seven. I think the best course of action would be to have Deb find out about Dexter in a genuinely shocking end to season six and then spend early season seven dealing with the colossal aftermath of something so big. The more likely approach would be to revert to season one style storytelling again and have a “big bad” that remains truly mysterious for most of the season, but it is certainly not out of the question that Deb is going to catch a bullet like many people have been asking for, for a fairly long time. If Debra dies, Dexter will go postal and Quinn might start a murderous rampage just for fun, so there really are many avenues to follow. This show still has things to do.
Putting future seasons to the back of the mind, a couple of things about out current story still need to be addressed following the events of “Get Gellar,” the most important being that we’re supposed to believe that Travis doesn’t know that Gellar isn’t real. Logic would likely imply that Gellar didn’t put himself in the freezer that he was found in, so if Travis put him there, how does he not know that he’s dead? Secondly, LaGuerta’s mystery prostitute death witness is revealed to be Matthews and the two seem to have fairly dark intentions for Deb, so is this season about to take an insane turn in which at least one of, if not several members of Miami Metro are going to die or at least someone is going to lose a job or go to jail?
All we can say for sure is that if the writers have any kind of surprise left for us this season, it will be that some characters are not going to be with us next year. LaGuerta serves basically no purpose, everyone hates Deb, Quinn is a drunk and Angel seems to be a lot darker right now than he has ever been. Assign numbers and roll a dice? Pretty much anything could still happen.