Spoilers after the jump.
Strange, strange episode but once again, Travis and Dexter's stories inform one another. Last week I suggested the ability for Dexter to compartmentalize his true life and his exterior was rooted in his sister but it seems it's more simple than that; Deb's existence grounds him and curbs his most animalistic instincts. After murdering Nick last week, it's almost as though a portal is opened within him allowing the Dark Passenger to take over.
In this case, it takes the form of dead brother Brian whose encouragement of Dexter is less of what the real Brian would have said and more just what Dexter wishes he could do, such as forgoing the need to be careful and disciplined. So goes the saying though, discipline is the bridge between plans and achievement. Something like that.
His sudden departure from Miami throws up a red flag for everyone who knows of it, which could lead to danger and will certainly be hard to explain. His wild pursuit of
Critically, he's led by his subconscious to believe without conducting due process that Jonah was performing a copycat kill. It's not until he is forced to face the guilt of the young man that he is able to discover the truth, a truth he may have discovered were his investigative work in the house more diligent. Making the connection between Jonah and his own son, he remembers his responsibilities. if he were to keep going with Brian, what would become of Harrison?
What will happen even if he goes back? Or rather, what will happen now that he has? He has not been careful around him in the past, talking too much, showing him odd things. We thought he had learned this lesson back in the second episode of this season, but there's a danger of conditioning him to believe this killing thing is all normal and just, the way Jonah was apparently conditioned to react to extreme situations with extreme anger. What of the spared Jonah? Perhaps a trip to Portland? Dexter tells him to forgive himself, as he runs over the phantom Brian - at that moment he seems to finally forgive himself for having killed his brother to protect his sister.
Travis's life with his own sister also stabilizes him and keeps him apart from Gellar; at least that's how it seems. Travis watches Gellar continue his work but is it for real? We saw the apparition of Brian kill the Shady Lane guy as Dexter looked on, all just a figment of Dexter's imagination. It's still entirely possible Gellar is all in Travis's mind. The kind of seductive pull he seems to have on Travis is certainly not something evidenced in any other connected to the Professor to that extent. I do wonder what happens at home with Lisa and Travis, what their past holds. He is obviously a very damaged guy, and it's curious that the phantom of Trinity and Dexter randomly telling the story of his second birth would come up at this point.
This show makes you suspicious of everyone. Is Lewis, Masuka's intern, hiding secrets? He seems almost too awesome, too on-point. Close proximity to Jamie brings him in close proximity to Harrison. Deb is able to resist areunion with Quinn and will presumably pour herself into the Doomsday Killer case as her career depends on it, but what now for Quinn? He might be able to put his wayward rebounding to one side but he still yearns for someone to make him feel relevant.
This episode was pretty out of the ordinary and a little tough to buy into at times. While we've often dealt with the metaphysical, it's never been as jarring and reality-blurring as it was in this episode, a dramatic shift in pacing that made for hard watching at times. At least Dexter got lucky with the random stranger lady, the second time this season he's stumbled into a lewd encounter. A few more of those and perhaps he could apply his predatory instincts into a different field.
"Dexter" airs Sundays on Showtime at 9:00pm EST.