Stars: Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, Lauren Velez, Desmond Harrington, C.S. Lee, David Zayas, James Remar, Aimee Garcia, Geoff Pierson, Colin Hanks, Billy Brown, Josh Cooke, Jordana Spiro, Rya Kihlstedt
Writers: Manny Coto & Tim Schlattman, series based on the books by Jeff Lindsay
Director: Ernest Dickerson
Network: Showtime, Sundays @ 9 PM
Release Date: December 11, 2011
DEXTER has been known for its intriguing twists, and “Talk to the Hand” has a few, starting with Dexter’s (Michael C. Hall) notion to call out the annoying religious maniac Travis (Colin Hanks) by playing his game.
Deborah (Jennifer Carpenter), Dexter and most of the team are at the crime scene at the Ricochet Rabbit yacht, fishing the body of Travis’ most recent victim out of the bay and finding the corpse of Travis’ disciple David, who was actually killed by Dexter (but only Dexter knows this). Deb starts to wonder where Batista (David Zayas) is – he’s being held by Travis and the late David’s wife Beth (Jordana Spiro). Beth prepares to bring a canister of poison gas, whipped up by Travis and dubbed Wormwood after the poisonous Biblical star, into the Miami Metro Homicide Division.
Deborah finally reaches Batista’s partner Quinn (Desmond Harrington), who knows that Batista went alone to David and Beth’s apartment. Quinn gets there just in time to stop Travis from shooting Batista, but Travis gets away and nobody knows where Beth has gone with the poison gas.
Beth in fact is waiting for Deborah at the Homicide offices. When Deb gets there, she agrees to see the woman who claims to have evidence about “Wormwood” (the police know about this, but the public doesn’t). Fortunately, Dexter recognizes Beth from her photo on the Internet and manages to shove her into a locked room just as she detonates the gas. The building is evacuated and Dexter is hailed as a hero – the only fatality is Beth. However, Dexter was close enough to the gas to have the after-effects of nosebleeds and sudden weakness. Dexter being Dexter, he refuses to go to the emergency room.
Dexter knows that Travis sees him as the false prophet, so he stages his own tableau, pouring blood over an angel statue in a public place, scrawling “666” on the angel and staking Gellar’s detached hand onto the exhibition. This also lets the police know that Gellar is dead; they assume (correctly) that Travis killed him. This also means they’re even more likely to assume that Travis killed David.
Dexter packs little Harrison and babysitter Jamie (Aimee Garcia) off to a hotel for their own safety. From his own boat, Dexter videophones Travis. Travis takes the bait, but this backfires when the after-effects of the toxic gas kick in, weakening Dexter at the worst possible moment. Travis believes he has set Dexter ablaze in a “lake of fire,” but Dexter escapes. Even so, the bay is lit up by a ring of flames.
In other news, Deborah is taken to supper by her mentor, Deputy Chief Matthews (Geoff Pierson). Deborah tells Matthews she knows he was in the room with the prostitute who died of an overdose. Matthews tells her his side of it, which is that the woman overdosed without his knowledge and he was unable to save her. Deborah decides not to pursue the investigation – but in the morning, Matthews bitterly accuses her of betraying him. He’s been told to resign by the chief. Deborah realize that LaGuerta (Lauren Velez) set Matthews up, and then set up Deborah so Matthews would think she was the one who told the Chief.
Despite her angry denials to her psychiatrist (Rya Kilstedt), Deborah is also having “complicated” thoughts about adopted brother Dexter – including a romantic dream.
Finally, Masuka’s lab assistant Louis (Josh Cooke) thanks Dexter for being honest about Louis’ videogame – which Dexter hated. Then Louis sends Dexter a surprise package – the Ice Truck Killer arm that Masuka’s previous assistant stole from the evidence room.
This last subplot is so bizarre as to be truly intriguing – what’s going on here, who’s involved and will it continue into next season?
As for Deborah, on the one hand, this is a little weird. On the other hand, as Deborah’s psychiatrist points out, it’s not biological incest – Deborah’s father adopted Dexter when he was three. On the other, other hand, this is an issue that’s hardly coming out of the blue. On the other, other, other hand, this octopus of an emotional conundrum, if it continues, looks like it may be the strangest thing that’s happened yet to Deborah or Dexter, which is saying a good deal.
Finally, there’s Dexter, who just never seems to learn lessons like not to go up against another psycho serial killer when he’s not in tip-top physical shape. Come to think of it, only a crazy person would do something like that – oh, wait, Dexter is a compulsive serial killer. Never mind.
It seems a little like there was meant to be more resonance in Dexter casting himself in the role of the Devil within Travis’ apocalypse fantasy. For Dexter, this seems just another maneuver, with no greater meaning regarding his self-image. It makes for a striking visual, but it doesn’t seem to affect our protagonist at all. Having Travis paint Dexter’s face into one of his apocalypse murals also contributes quite an image, but it seems like the most likely fallout from this will be someone from Homicide wondering why Travis has fixated on Dexter, not Dexter contemplating his place in the divine scheme of things.
Still, “Talk to the Hand” has a lot of impact. We work up legitimate concern about Batista and everyone at Miami Metro, and after those rescues, we are left wide-eyed about Deborah’s slowly surfacing emotions and Dexter’s fiery run-in with Travis.
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Article: TV Review – DEXTER – Season 6 – “Talk to the Hand”