Tuesday, 22 November 2011

DEXTER, 6.8 - "Sins Of Omission"

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Slightly better than last week's fiasco, if only because it returned to this season's storyline, "Sins Of Omission" didn't do much to quell my fears that Dexter is plummeting like a stone right now. The writers are still being cagey about Gellar's (Edward James Olmos) physical status, and it's gone past being a weird irritation. It's downright insulting to the audience, whichever way it resolves. Gellar's either a figment of Travis's (Colin Hanks) imagination, meaning the show's wasted precious time on a twist everyone predicted seven episodes ago; or he's a real person, meaning the season's wasted precious time inspiring a pointless debate that's grown to overshadow things.

In "Sins Of Omission" the show was back to recycling the same basic storyline it's been doing most weeks, only now we're at the stage of the season where Dexter's having to rush his plans because the Miami Metro are beginning to catch up to his own solo investigation. (This happens every single season.) More pertinently, Travis is still shunning Gellar, who's pestering him at home in an unintentionally hilarious manner (seriously, if there comes a time when we can be sure Travis basically whacked himself in the face with a shovel, I don't think I'll be able to stop laughing for a week.) The one idea in this episode I quite liked was Dexter's wondering if the late Brother Sam passed some "light" to him through his teachings (our antihero didn't kill Jonah last week), and Dex has in turn passed on that same light to Travis after their brief meeting (as he now knows Travis is doing his best to keep bad influence Gellar at arm's length). It was quite a nice suggestion, that's all I'm saying.

I also wasn't expecting Travis's sister (Molly Parker) to become the "Whore Of Babylon" in the Doomsday Killer's latest tableau, and it's even more unnerving to think Travis may have killed his own sister while in his "Gellar guise"—especially given their history together and Travis's apparently genuine love for the sibling who raised him as an orphaned teenager. Hanks didn't really sell the emotion of the scene where Gellar told him what has become of his innocent sister, but I never really expected him to because he's been utterly miscast as season 6's antagonist.

Debra (Jennifer Carpenter) realizing her relationship with Dexter is very one-sided was also quite interesting, as the shrink she's seeing appears to be making her see her family life in a different way. How long until Deb's head clears enough for her to realize what her brother's been up to all these years? In the short-term, Dex won't appreciate Deb making an effort to put aside her own concerns and start focusing to him, as you get the impression he's probably kept his killing a secret for long precisely because his sister's so self-centered.

One thing that deflated a lot of this episode was the return of so many of this season's awful subplots: geeky intern Lewis making moves on Angel's (David Zayas) cute sister Jamie (Aimee Garcia), only to heed her overprotective brother's warning to stay away (who cares about this, who?); Debra again locking horns with LaGuerta (Lauren Velez), which just makes me hate a character who was previously boring but harmless; and Quinn (Desmond Harrington) got drunk with Masuka (C.S Lee) at a strip joint (I forget why this scene even existed, unless there's a female buttock quota the show has to meet for cable).

Still, at the very least we've arrived at a point where Dexter's discovered Gellar's secret lair (an abandoned church) and has gained a willing accomplice in Travis to avenge his sister's ritualistic murder. But look, can we just admit Gellar's a dark part of Travis's psyche who comes out to play every once in awhile? It's getting silly now. The camera even treated Gellar like he's an apparition throughout this episode, and it's no fun being several steps ahead of every dimwitted character on the show. Question: how many episodes can they squeeze from the idea of Dexter and Travis trying to find a man who doesn't exist anymore? A better question: just how terribly underwhelming is the episode going to be when they finally reveal Gellar's secret?


  • I liked the moment when Dexter half-raised his hand at Brother's Sam funeral, signalling that Sam had changed his life.
  • The scene where Dexter had his sins absolved by retired priest Father Galway was an interesting idea, but very poorly handled. They could have got a lot of mileage from that moment but it was over far too quickly. Considering Galway's dementia, I was hoping Dexter would go into more detail about what he's been doing, safe in the knowledge nobody would ever believe Galway and the poor man would probably forget everything in an hour anyway.
written by Arika Lisanne Mittman / directed by Ernest Dickerson / 20 November 2011 / Showtime