Dexter review, episode (11) Talk to the hand (Season [6])

By Time Spiral
Monday, December 12th, Tampa - **SPOILERS**

Read what happened previously on Dexter Episode (1) Ricochet Rabbit.

I'm expecting big things. The episode has not even started yet, and according to my last poll, most are expecting the final two episodes to really pull out some stops and redeem what has otherwise been reviewed as a poor season. I hear from the buzz around town that they're going to elucidate a long running storyline within the series and run with it until the final season of Dexter, which is rumored to be Season 8. I have my theories on what this storyline is, but I will keep them to myself.

Wow. I just finished episode (11), Talk to the Hand, and now it's time to dive right in. If you like my reviews, follow me on Twitter @TimeSpiraling.

Rate Dexter Episode (11) Talk to the Hand (Season [6])

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The Master Manipulator

Her husband has not returned. A police officer is bound by rope in her room. She's having second thoughts about Travis' plan and her involvement in it. She stands motionless in her living room staring at a picture. What have I done? she ponders to herself.

Sensing her acolyte's doubt, and having fully expected such weak-minded resistance, Travis walks up behind her. He speaks with conviction, a transfixing gaze, and is able to coerce Beth into being the vessel for Wormwood. He outlines the plan, makes sure she understands the targets, and releases her with her charge, and a wicked gas bomb strapped to her back.

You remember when Deb's team uncovered Travis' psych evaluation? I remember one of the attributes being listed specifically as, "a master manipulator." Ever since that, and the banishing of Gellar, we've seen Travis' character dramatically change for the better. Instead of him being lost, confused, and subservient, he is driven, calculating, and showing intellectual skills far beyond what we were led to believe about him. It's too bad it took so long to get Travis here. He is a force to be reckoned with now, much more than he was before when he was a pawn in his own delusional subservience.

Last week I said to myself, "there is no way that woman is sneaking in to the Miami Metro police department with that backpack strapped to her back. No. Way." I was also pleasantly surprised that Batista was captured by Travis! This had some real potential leading in to the following two episodes. Unfortunately, I feel like this development was bungled quite a bit.

As it turns out, Batista getting captured was just a plot device to give Travis a key-card into the police station. Otherwise, there was literally no way he could have got Wormwood past security. From Travis' perspective, he did not know that Miami Metro was the target until he captured Batista, but we know that was the writer's intention all along. So, with Quinn saving Batista so easily, and there being no consequences afterwards, and Travis escaping easily, we can see that this was just a plot-device to get Beth past security. Oh well ... Oh, and by the way, there is still NO WAY she is pulling off what she did, but whatever.

Dexter - sliding by, again.

Miami metro arrives at the Ricochet Rabbit scene (and by Miami Metro I mean Mike Anderson, Sweater-Vest-Guy, Masuka, Deb, and eventually, Dexter). Deb fills in the team that an anonymous tip led them to the Ricochet Rabbit and the true nature of Wormwood's threat; poison gas. After Masuka clears the boat they investigate further and find Doomsday Adam's body, and the makings of a terrorist attack. They have no choice but to alert the Department of Homeland Security.

Later that day, Dexter walks by a curious looking women sitting, waiting. He thinks nothing of it, but stores the image away. His goal now is to find Travis, and he thinks DD Adam is the best way to do it. Meanwhile, Beth has homed in on Deb and is ready to attack. Dexter's quick fingers turn up a picture of Beth and he jumps into action. Beth flips the switch. Dexter calls out. Deb ducks. Dexter grabs the woman. Deb calls for evacuation. Dexter slams the crazed suicide bomber into an isolation room. A puff of poison gas threatens his consciousness as he valiantly holds the door closed. Beth's final gasps for air spit blood all over the glass. She gurgles to the ground. Miami metro is safe, and so is Deb - Thanks to Dexter.

I found the entire Wormwood plot to be very unbelievable, which is unfortunate, because at the same time it is leading to some of this season's more redeeming qualities. Miami Metro would have certainly analyzed the anonymous tip, or at the very least listened to it. Dexter gets off with this one way too easily. The timing for Dexter and Deb to arrive, and Dexter to immediately find dirt on DD Adam, and then react to Beth's imminent attack was extremely thin. They don't question how he was the only one in the station to ID her as a threat, they just accept his super-powers. This whole season Dexter has been extra-sloppy, and I've been hoping it leads up to an event that puts him under the microscope by the authorities, but up until now, he just keeps sliding by.

Sweater-Vest-Guy! Oh boy ...

Do we call him Louis yet? Maybe. He's getting close to that. Sweater-Vest-Guy was called on to the scene of the Ricochet Rabbit (the highest profile case in the whole department) and is standing right there while Deb clues everyone in. He is also curiously the only one who knows where Batista is. He runs into Dexter at Miami metro and attempts another conversation, but Dexter will have nothing of it. Then, as the music shifts to an eerie cue, you see Sweater-Vest-Guy painting the palm of the Ice-Truck-Killer mannequin hand, packaging it carefully, then labeling it, in red ink, to Dexter Morgan.

Wow! They're actually going to make something of this. I'm very excited about this. So far his entire existence in the show has felt awkward at best, and while I, and others, saw the potential for his character to be more than meets the eye, when placed in the context of the rest of the season, we didn't expect anything to happen. Now it looks very feasible that Sweater-Vest-Guy is going to be a major story arc in the next season.

The Big Comedown, and an awkward appetizer course.

The Deputy chief is sitting across a fancy dining table from Deb. They both look over the menu and Deb reveals her class-level by balking at the prices. The DC brushes it off, casually, almost condescendingly. In a painfully obvious attempt at penetrating flattery the DC probes into the call-girl case immediately. Deb cannot handle it and calls him out. Following Dexter's advice, she is able to find compassion for the DC who has a long history with the Morgan family.

The next day Deb finds the DC waiting for her in her office, ready to damn her. Someone ratted out the DC and he of course thinks its Deb. The DC wishes her luck, even though he doesn't mean it, and storms out of the office (and off SHOWTIME's payroll).

If Deb's plate isn't full enough already, she is flabbergasted by her shrink's latest revelation. Deb struggles with the implications that she might be in love with Dexter, her non-blood related brother, and gets up an walks away.

The conspiracy winds down and we find out that LaGuerta's pulling the strings from the top. Deb's just a pawn, and she knows it, but finds there is nothing she can do about it right now. I'm surprised that they offed the DC so quickly, but this will allow for some extra tension between Deb and LaGuerta which, err ..., might be a good thing?

It looks like, much to my intense chagrin, that they might try to introduce a romantic interest between Deb and Dexter. OH NO! Please no! I cannot imagine this going well for the series. It is possible that they do this right, but I'm starting to doubt that. But at least they've already got the obligatory "what the f$#@?" dream sequence out of the way. I think they were hoping this would be a bombshell arc, but it already feels like a big-time fizzle in my book. Oh well, we'll see how this pans out.

In Season 6-esque fashion, there are some gems in this episode

The rainy day comes quicker than Dexter expects. Gellar's hand is about to come in hand (ha!). He's at a loss. He's afraid for his son (foreshadowing, anyone?), and decides his detective skills are not enough to track down Travis again (ouch ...). He needs to change strategies.

Keeping with the biblical theme, Dexter decides to baffle Miami Metro, reveal Gellar's true nature, all while sending a message to Travis. Knowing Travis would be keeping tabs on the news, to see the outcome of Wormwood, Dexter is confident that Travis will be enraged by this and be compelled to act out against him. With the trap set, Dexter attaches the sinker to the hook and line by sending Travis a video text message (!) revealing his boat, the Slice of Life.

Travis can barely contain himself. He steps back from his elaborate lake of fire wall-painting to consume the video text message. He knows he's being tested. He ends the message and turns to the wall. He starts to make some adjustments. It's time to change his plan.

Dexter was told that he cannot physically exert himself. He's experiencing some serious side-effects. But he doesn't care. Dexter must catch Travis! His plan backfires and in an instant he feels the M99 coursing through his own veins. He wakes up in a row-boat, tied up, surrounded by gasoline. Travis calls out to him from afar, piloting the Slice of Life. Dexter knows what is coming, and barely escapes certain death.

Besides the obvious ridiculousness of the video text message, I'm loving the heated up exchange in the Dexter versus Travis storyline. I wish Dexter would have just keyed his Sign of the Beast tableau a little better and used that to guide Travis instead of sending that Video text. It almost made the whole 666 tableau completely unnecessary. Travis and Dexter already have a rivalry, he probably would have just responded to a phone call, or a text message and met you wherever. Oh well.

When Travis turned back to his painting I think we all knew he was about to paint Dexter's face. Wow! This is going to be incredibly damning if Miami Metro is allowed to find it. Dexter sending the video text simply cannot turn out good for him. That is incredibly damning evidence that he is up to no good. Then of course, Travis getting the best of Dexter in melee combat puts him in an incredibly vulnerable position. Basically, he cannot protect himself, or his son while swimming in a lake of fire.

Conclusion and looking forward

Season 6 is now in the highest gear yet. With Gellar gone for good, Travis has transformed into a tremendously capable opponent. In fact, he is just getting the best of Dexter at every turn and now it looks like Harrison is in the crosshairs. Talk to the Hand made some very weird turns, like much of the rest of the season, but in the same vein rejuvenated my interest in seeing the season finale.

They've materialized sweater-vest-guy, they've set up a cat-and-mouse finale, and they've put Dexter squarely in the middle of the DDK plot which is surely going to stir speculation about Dexter. Trinity singles him out, taking out Rita, he bcomes involved with Brother Sam, then Travis Marshall tries to kill him, steals his boat, and is going to attempt to kidnap Harrison?

The season finale is coming! Who will burn? Will it be Deb, Harrison, Travis, or as the credits role are we going to see Dexter in the hottest water of his life?

Be peaceful on your way,

Time_Spiraling

  • I'm going to be very upset if they try and tie Sweater-Vest-guy into the last episode of this season. Please, let this interesting development carry into the next season.
  • Is Rachel (Blonde chick) somehow tied in to the Sweater-Vest-Guy arc?
  • The shrink is telling Deb she want's to f$#@ Dexter and that's the one time Deb doesn't say f$#@. Pretty funny.
  • Illustrated Bibles? I don't think I've ever seen one of those.
  • Video text! Really, guys? REALLY?!
  • Miami Metro will not find Dexter's painted face ... sign.
  • Dexter's in deep trouble. Does Travis return the Slice of Life or does Dexter have to report a stolen boat?
  • They showed Dexter bleeding on the docks. Is that evidence found?
  • Has Mike Anderson really just been relegated to standing on the sidelines never to contribute anything, ever?
  • Fastest Homeland Security investigation ever? Yup.
  • See you next week!

Will Harrison die in the season finale?

  • Yes.
  • No.
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2 comments

JPVV 4 years ago

Your reviews are always great.

Things that bother me now:

- Dexter made the "anonymous" tip regarding the Wormwood threat. I remember in previous seasons all of them reunited listening to an "anonymous" tip over and over again. I think it was season 3. I mean, Dexter didn't even disguise his voice. Isn't it so convenient that NO ONE in the Miami Metro asked to listen to it? I mean... really? And he called from his cellphone.

- Then there is the thing of Batista. When Travis is about to kill him he says "Let me just say one prayer" and at the same time he tries to unravel the ropes. Isn't it too obvious what he's doing? I mean... Wow!

And on that same point.... so Travis was about to kill Batista, then he heard a noise, then Quinn entered the house (with ONE kick he knocked down the door......................), then Quinn goes into the room, which is FULL of smoke. Are we supposed to believe it all happened between the time Travis heard a noise and the time Quinn discovered Batista? Why didn't Travis just shoot him, instead of leaving a witness? WTF?

...

What disappoints me the most is that the dialogue is too cheesy. Dexter used to be more subtle. Now it's like they treat us like we're morons. That happens in the visual part of it as well.

For instance... the close-up to the backpack and the scary tune that says "This backpack is where wormwood is".

I mean... while the characters are talking (especially Harry) they are too explicative. Now even the direction itself is made for children. Yes, we know the wormwood is in the backpack, you don't need to make a special reference to it.

And Mike Anderson, true, it's a shame he isn't used more often.


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Time Spiral 4 years ago from Florida Author

Nice response, JPVV. Thanks for the contribution!

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