Episode Title: "Ricochet Rabbit"
Writers: Jace Richdale & Lauren Gussis & Scott Reynolds
Director: Michael Lehmann
Previously on "Dexter":
Now that Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall) has opened the freezer and found the body of Professor Gellar (Edward James Olmos), there can be no mistake: Travis Marshall (Colin Hanks) is the only Doomsday Killer. Unfortunately for Dexter, Travis is awake again and armed with a large knife. Travis blocks the trap door to prevent Dexter's escape from the church basement. And soon enough, Dexter witnesses Travis talking to his hallucination of Gelllar (whom only Travis can see and hear). The Gellar manifestation says that Travis killed him while attempting to prove that Gellar was impervious to harm by God's will.
Unable to accept that he killed Gellar, Travis blames Gellar's death on Dexter, or "the False Prophet" as he calls him. Travis also says that he will find new disciples. Realizing that Travis can't be saved from his own dark passenger, Dexter resolves to kill him after he breaks out of the church basement. But first, Dexter cuts off Gellar's hand and spreads his fingerprints around the church to make Gellar appear to be part of the killings… just to give himself more of an advantage to catch and kill Travis himself. Meanwhile, Travis visits Gellar's Doomsday blog and spots a potential recruit in a man calling himself Doomsday Adam.
Travis also finds that Dexter has used Gellar's account to post a message that his actions were "the Devil's errand." Travis seethes at the insult and leaves a message to "the False Prophet" that he isn't fooling anyone. Eventually, Debra Morgan (Jennifer Carpenter), Sgt. Angel Batista (David Zayas) and the rest of Miami Metro stumble upon Gellar's abandoned church and Debra has a bit of a freakout. Fortunately for her, Dexter appears outside and calms her down. Meanwhile, Detective Joey Quinn (Desmond Harrington) wakes up after passing out drunk in his car and he slithers over to the crime scene.
Inside the church, the detectives catch the word "Wormwood" as the next clue in the DDK case. Dexter also finds one of Travis' prescription bottles, but Debra grabs it from him before he can use it as his exclusive lead. Dexter also notices Travis' new blog post mentioning his plans to "correct a mistake." At the police station, the second most evil person in Miami, Captain Maria LaGuerta (Lauren Velez) shows up to take over Debra's DDK briefing, but Debra skillfully steps aside and then takes over the briefing again once LaGuerta stumbles over the latest leads of the case. Dexter also realizes that Travis' mistake was letting the girl, Holly escape from him.
Elsewhere, Travis visits the home of Doomsday Adam, aka Steve Dorsey; who is there with his wife, Beth (Jordana Spiro). At first it seems like Beth is afraid of Travis, but she and Steve are true believers of Gellar's Apocalypse. And Travis is all too happy to accept their help and test their commitment. At the same time, Dexter begins tracking down Holly. He eventually finds that she is hiding out at the yacht of her boss/lover. However, Travis, Steve and Beth arrive there much faster and they restrain Holly before taking the boat out. At the precinct, Batista catches Quinn sleeping on the job and he berates him before Debra asks about their progress.
Dexter's attempt to locate Holly's yacht is interrupted when Batista's sister, Jamie (Aimee Garcia) and police intern, Louis Greene (Josh Cooke) make plans to go out. While Jamie is in the next room with Dexter's son, Louis shows Dexter his new homicide video game that allows the player to become famous serial killers in the world of the game. Dexter fakes a human reaction and tells Louis that it's a bad idea, disheartening the budding psycho. Louis leaves without taking Jamie on their date, so Dexter is free to stalk and kill again. On the boat, Travis goads Steve into helping him kill Holly, but Beth seems reluctant and she holds back.
At the precinct, Debra figures out that her superior, Captain Tom Matthews (Geoff Pierson) was the man who was with a prostitute the night she died. Meanwhile, Dexter manages to track down the yacht and hopefully take Travis by surprise. At the same time, Louis shares a video blog by Doomsday Adam with Batista, who agrees that it's a solid lead. Batista can't reach Quinn, so he goes to Dorsey's home by himself and introduces himself to Beth. She explains that the blog posts are a performance art joke. Batista nearly buys it until he spots Gellar's Doomsday books on their shelves. So, Travis knocks out Batista and takes his presence as a sign that they should unleash Wormwood on the Miami Metro Police Department.
On the yacht, Dexter overpowers and kills Steve, but he laments that he has no idea where Travis is. Dexter's ghost dad, Harry Morgan (James Remar) yells at him to call the cops… and Dexter refuses to listen until he sees that Travis has the ingredients for poison gas. Dexter calls 911 to alert them to the yacht, giving into the belief that the cops may be able to find Travis where he couldn't.
I have an inescapable feeling that "Dexter" may have finally found a story that it just can't execute. The Doomsday Killer arc was already overly extended by Dexter's sojourn to Nebraska. Bringing in new acolytes for Travis at this stage in the game is a little too late. Also, Beth and Steve both came off as fairly ridiculous additions to the series. But apparently Beth is the only one sticking around at the moment.
If Travis' scheme leads to the death of Batista or multiple fatalities at Miami Metro, then maybe some of the excesses of this storyline can be forgiven. However, Showtime apparently gave away Batista's fate during the previews for next week's episode. The bigger point here is that "Dexter" needs some serious stakes, and the threat to the supporting cast may finally give the show something that it's lacked all season. On a side note, if any of these serial killings were real and the cops were really as inept as they are on "Dexter," the people in Miami would be scared out of their minds all the time.
Gellar's final confrontation with Travis was a little unintentionally funny as the hallucination explained exactly how Travis killed him. But if that's the last time that Gellar appears this season than "Dexter" just wasted Edward James Olmos on a part that was a red herring… one that wasn't even that effective! Travis himself has become more and more of a cartoon, losing the slight traces of remorse that made him interesting earlier in the season. Somehow I doubt anyone is going to look back on this story and say that the Doomsday Killer was on par with the Ice Truck Killer and Trinity.
It doesn't seem likely that Louis' subplot is tied into the main story, but if he was the one who planned the theft of the hand from the Ice Truck Killer case than he's been around since the beginning. The twist that Louis is creating a serial killer video game wasn't bad. And given how thorough Louis has been with his research, it may not be a coincidence that he's so intent on gaining Dexter's approval for the project. Could Louis have guessed that Dexter was the Bay City Butcher? If not, he may be budding killer himself. After all, Louis seemed crushed by the idea that anyone could fault with his serial killer game idea. If Louis was a rational thinker, he would have come up with that possibility already.
The newly assertive and fairly well-adjusted Debra is a nice change from earlier this season. However, Debra's therapy scenes are constantly changing the focus of the show, making Dexter seem like a sidekick on his own show. Likewise, Quinn's decent into drunken incompetence wore out its welcome weeks ago. Maybe Batista's fate will snap Quinn out of that funk, but I don't really care either way.
That brings us to the bigger problem facing "Dexter." When a show becomes as bloated and pretentious as "Dexter" has become, it's difficult to remain invested. There are a lot of great dramas on Sunday nights. But "Dexter" may no longer be among them…
Crave Online Rating: 6.5 out of 10.