Dexter, Review Episode (9) Get Gellar (Season )
By Time Spiral
November 28th, 2011, Tampa - **SPOILERS**
Read what happened previously, on Dexter Episode (8) Sin of Omission (Season ).
The episode is titled "Get Gellar," which could essentially serve as the title track for the entire season at this point. I'm ready for the big reveal. You don't title an episode "Get Gellar" without the focus of that episode being the season's big reveal. Did we get it? Yes we did. For Dexter Episode (9) "Get Gellar" of Season (6) we see a surprising amount of air time given to the sweater-vest guy, Quinn being a total idiot (sigh), the return of Harry in a meaningful way, and a strange series of events between Dexter and Travis.
Were you surpsied that Gellar has been dead this whole time?
The Elephant in the room
Travis lays on the stone floor of the church lair, unconscious. Dexter quickly looks around, no Gellar, and tries to rise Travis. Click! Something switches on. A soft droning rumble is heard. Dexter disengages his M99 and goes into detective mode and starts looking around. He finds a trap door and descends into the basement level of the lair. The rumbling is louder. Is it a generator? Some wicked machine with a victim in it? A bomb?! No ...
Sometimes you can just tell what is going to happen by the way a scene is shot. You see Dexter walk down the stairs with a large meat freezer framed squarely in the middle of the shot. At that point the Gellar mystery was confirmed. It is official: Travis see's dead people. *Sigh*. A pesky compressor fan clicked on revealing the secret location of the big reveal for Dexter's Season (6). We're left with the chilling shot of Gellar, long dead, and well preserved.
Something needs to be said. Don't forget about the The Fog of War.
I'm going to spend some time talking about this. You can skip this whole section if you're only interested in the episode review.
I was openly on the other side of the fence for this one. I thought Gellar being imaginary and part of some psychological sickness was just not a great idea and was seemingly a little too obvious (for those in the online community anyway). So, I thought the writers were producing red-herrings and leading us silly reviewers in the wrong direction. I was genuinely disappointed when we learned the truth.
The blogosphere will definitely begin deluging the writers and producers for Dexter season (6) with how disappointed they are in the fact that Gellar is not real. Some will hold their predictions in the air as trophies, e-peens, and general I-told-ya-so's for all to see and bow down to. But, as viewers, and as reviewers, we need to remember that there is no fog of war for us (Fog of War just means 'limited vision'). We can see everything. We know things the characters do not. We are expected to know things that others are not.
Some have argued that Gellar being dead was way too obvious and that it is unbelievable that Dexter would not have realized this yet. It's almost as if these same people think Dexter watches each episode as we do, instead of remembering he only does what he does in the episode. The fog of war exists for these characters, and that is an important part of the action and suspense. Psychological conditions, such as the one that Travis must have, are fairly rare, and it is entirely plausible that Dexter and the Miami Metro team would have suspected a flesh and blood Gellar.
I think the online review community has done this season of Dexter a disservice in criticizing each episode through the lens of knowing Gellar was dead. They imparted that seemingly obvious bit of knowledge on the characters and the community then condemned them all to "stupidity" for not already knowing. I'm not saying this season has been great, but I think the community has spoiled a decent reveal for a lot of people and have brought down an unfair amount of negative criticism on an otherwise undeserving primary story arc.
Even though any old jackass can write up series TV reviews, me included, doesn't mean we're totally absolved of any responsibility to the community. Obviously this is a "values issue" but I think we may have fallen out of step a little bit for this season.
Deb, her team, and the Bowls of Wrath
"Maybe we should meet more than once per week?" says the strangely alluring psychologist to Deb, who then chuckles in agreement.
Deb does some heavy lifting this episode breaking down walls and barriers and deciding to make some pretty major life changes. Kudos to the shrink, because inspiring this type of motivation in a client is very difficult, especially with someone carrying baggage like Deb is. We see Deb approaching Dexter differently and we see her stand up to LaGuerta in a meaningful way.
We'll have to wait and see how this "LaGuerta helping the DC out of situations via conspiracy" subplot turns out, but I'm guessing they're just throwing LaGuerta a bone, and some lines. This will be nothing substantial, although it could be for Deb!
The Bowls of Wrath produced a pretty cool scene with the entire squad getting covered in blood. There was a great shot of Dexter, fuming with rage, wiping the could-be-diseases-ridden blood from his face. The tableaus have been increasing in complexity, and difficulty, making the suspension of disbelief a little harder each time (but they have all been really cool).
One of the things I was looking forward to, with this season, was Quinn picking up on Dexter's trail. Them using Deb's character to stress Dexter's relationship with his professional life, and that playing into his dangerous double-life. So far they've relegated Quinn to comedy relief, along with Batista. It's a shame. Oh well.
The Sweater-vest guy, Louis, right?
Is it time we start calling him Louis? No. He's the sweater-vest-guy just like that one girl was the cute blonde chick. You can always tell what the episode is going to be about based on what they choose to show you in the "previously on Dexter ..." I knew right away that we're going to spend some time with the sweater ves- err... Louis character.
I'm watching the Sweater-vest-guy (Oh well. Sorry, Louis!) and Batista's sister kissing, then banging in his bachelor pad thinking, "why do I care about these two characters?!" Even after they panned over the coveted mannequin hand that he plotted to attain, I still came to the conclusion that I did not care. I see the potential for a twist, conspiracy, maybe even a Dexter kill here, but I also saw potential in that blonde chick that never panned out.
Trust, and Hope - An infectious mark left on Dexter by Brother Sam and Lumen.
Dexter discovers Travis chained to the floor of his lair. Finding a suitable weapon, he breaks Travis free from his shackles. Knowing that Deb and her team is closing in on Travis he decides to hole him up in a nearby motel.
Through some careful detective work Dexter dredges up some information on one professor Casey and his connection to the atheists interpretation of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. Dexter attempts to warn Casey to no avail. So instead he scopes the layout and enlists Travis to help him cover Gellar's likely escape routes.
The first attempt at Gellar is foiled. He expected Dexter's move, somehow, and was able to capture Professor Casey for his Bowls of Wrath display. Dexter is not overly discouraged, and chocks it up to "Gellar expecting him." He doesn't appear to suspect Travis of malfeasance and charges him with a plan involving taking Gellar in the lair.
Dexter sets up his kill room while Travis distracts Gellar. But when Dexter is ready to strike he finds an unconscious Travis and no Gellar. A quick survey reveals a trap door and a noisy meat freezer ... Gellar is stuffed in the freezer like an unbutchered animal. Travis awakens and realizes that Dexter has discovered his secret.
It all comes back to earlier in this season when Dexter dropped his box, broke some of his slides, and sent his life spiraling into chaos. We're being shown, instead of being told, that Dexter is way out of his comfort zone. He's making mistakes. He's breaking the code. He's confused about what he wants and is losing his ability to govern his dark passenger.
We've seen countless errors, an unruly trip to Nebraska with his dead brother Brian, and now we've seen him instantly trusting in Travis, as he did with Lumen, hoping to find some measure of peace by assisting Travis, as he did Lumen. He is taking small steps, while fumbling in chaos, to see if peace, and being a role model, is possible, first by imparting that possibility on both Lumen and Travis.
This is, of course, going to come crashing down on him in a big way. Travis is a psychotic, and very ill, religious zealot serial killer. He's left a trail of "Dexter" everywhere, and is about to sabotage the only hope he may have left remaining to act as impetus to be a good father to his son. He's either going to have to snap out of it, and put his life back in order, with the code, or take the extremely painful process of moving through his mistakes, which could put himself, Harrison, and even Deb in grave danger.
We're in the home stretch.
There are only a few episodes left and now the Sh@# has really hit the fan. How is Dexter going to come out of all this chaos? He's eye-hole deep in attributes he has no familiarity with - trust, hope, and redemption. He's finding himself driven by emotions otherwise alien to him, like a moral allegiance to Brother Sam, and more importantly, what believing in Sam's message could mean for Harrison.
So many people have been utterly critical of this season, and much of it is justified criticism, like the barrage of careless mistakes Dexter made in this episode (which I will leave to the other reviewers), but are they missing the point? Are they missing the picture that Dexter is hurting - struggling - to try and live in a world he is seeing through different eyes?
He's in deep trouble right now, trapped in the basement level of Travis' lair. Travis is fully aware of his identity, and now is at large in Miami. How does Dexter get out of this one, which essentially hangs Deb out to dry?
Be peaceful on your way,
- Is Quinn's character gone for good? To be put on the back-burner of lame comic relief?
- Should we start calling the sweater-vest guy Louis, or is he still sweater-vest guy?
- What type of sickness if Travis afflicted with? It definitely appears to be Dissociative Identity Disorder (a.k.a. Multiple Personality Disorder).
- How did Gellar get in that Freezer if Travis thinks he's still alive? It doesn't appear like we've met Travis' other personality yet. Has his other personality assumed the role of Gellar?
- Will Deb be a detective in the next season, as a result of the LaGuerta/DC conspiracy against her?
- Will Dexter give up Travis to repair his relationship with Deb?
- Will Deb, Quinn, or even Mike Anderson, ever pick up Dexter's trail leading us into new territory for Season (7)?
- See you next week!