Dexter 6.08 “Sin Of Omission” Review

Kevin Fitzpatrick November 20, 2011 18

Dexter - Sin of OmissionDexter season 6 returns to slice up its eighth entry with this week’s return-to-form ‘Sin of Omission,’as our favorite serial killer gets back on track and finds himself fighting to keep ahead of Miami Metro in tracking down Travis Marshal and Professor Gellar, while Deb grows frustrated at her brother’s increasing distance. “Sin of Omission” gives us some good forward movement in the narrative, and offers welcome relief from the distracting “Nebraska.”

I was admittedly hard on Dexter last week for the vastly unnecessary detour to ‘Nebraska,’the lazy way Brian Moser (Christian Camargo) tacked on to the story, only to disappear by its end. Those criticisms were founded however, as ‘Sin of Omission’quietly sweeps the entire ordeal under the rug, failing to even mention Brian, or even address Harry’s thoughts on the subject. With Dexter back in Miami and back on the trail of the Doomsday killers, we can all forget about that entire cornpone mess of a storyline.

And that’s the question that continues to occupy people’s minds and remains unanswered by the end of ‘Sin of Omission,’the reality behind our season 6 big bads. Dexter appropriately hits the gas on that front by killing off Travis’poor sister Lisa (Molly Parker) as the Whore of Babylon, putting Travis at the top of Miami’s most-wanted list, and having the disillusioned killer agree to help Dexter hunt Gellar down.

But that’s the real trick, isn’t it? Even after Dexter manages to track down the church Gellar and Travis operate out of, his careless approach tips Gellar off to Dexter’s presence and the professor flees. That is, of course, assuming that the Professor even exists, and Dexter‘s writers honestly assume they can still fake us out with this teasing!

For an otherwise solid episode, that’s what ‘Sin of Omission’lets down on the most, as there’s no reason to keep dragging out the truth, especially with Dexter figuratively (and literally) catching up to both Doomsday killers. Honestly at this point, it feels as though the only possible way to salvage the reveal is for the Professor to in fact turn out very much alive, and a real threat to the other characters. At the very least, it would help alleviate the logistical questions Gellar being imaginary keeps creating.

Dexter - Sin of OmissionFor now we keep our trust in the writers to deliver on the DDK story, trust being the operant word of the day ‘Sin of Omission” provides for us. Much as Dexter ruminates on how easily children trust, and contrasts the notion with Deb’s attempts to reconnect with her brother, he also manages to cultivate trust from Travis, bringing in his own words a little bit of light out in him after all.

I very much like the parallels ‘Sin of Omission’creates between Dexter and Travis, both killers struggling with light and darkness with their respective ‘dark passengers,’and looking to protect their sisters from the awful truth of their violent nature. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Dexter finding aspects of himself in others, and I certainly wouldn’t expect Travis to last beyond the season (even with Dexter‘s recent renewal for seasons 7 and 8), but for now they’ve created an interesting dynamic in having Dexter provide a sort of mentorship to Travis.

‘Sin of Omission’also very much continues the trend of Dexter season 6 becoming all about Deb, as we’re privy to much more focus on the dynamic between the two, after they’ve been very much kept apart in episodes past. While we certainly don’t always need to see it, therapy has been good for Deb’s character, and pointed out some of the more self-involved and groan-worthy behavior she exhibits.

Last year’s season finale flirted strongly with the idea of cluing Deb in to Dexter’s true nature, separated from his kill room by a mere plastic sheet, and with the amount of attention placed on their relationship this season I should hope the writers build toward finally addressing the elephant in the room. If indeed seasons 7 and 8 are to be the last we see of Dexter, there’s ample room to explore, and develop Deb’s discovery of the truth, much as the Dexter books have already gotten out of the way.

Dexter - Sin of OmissionAnd now…the other guys. It’s not that Dexter‘s side characters don’t have a place in the narrative, but by this point in the season we’re hard-pressed to care about Batista disapproving of his sister Jamie’s taste in ‘intern puppy dog’Louis Greene, or Quinn’s latest spiraled descent into pathetic misery at a strip club. ‘Nebraska’managed to put an effective cap on the end to his and Deb’s relationship, so why bother continuing the thread of his depression? Unless Quinn earns himself a big win, or finally bites the dust this season, we’ve simply no incentive to follow along. At least the writers finally dig LaGuerta out of the hole she’s been in this season by actually affording her something to play besides a thorn in Deb’s side, so for the moment I’m intrigued to see what they do with the idea of LaGuerta covering up murders for an unseen figure.

Though I still miss the character, at least ‘Sin of Omission’does well to continue measuring the impact left on Dexter by Brother Sam in spreading light against his dark passenger. There’s a playful experimentation in Dexter finding answers to his problems in Brother Sam’s bloody bible, and it’s good to know that the show still finds ways to explore the goodness in Dexter even after Brother Sam’s death. The story feels back on track with ‘Sin of Omission,’though truthfully anything after the pointlessness of ‘Nebraska’feels like a welcome relief.

And Another Thing…

  • Is it weird that I find Lisa and Travis’relationship creepier than Travis and Professor Gellar? Perhaps they’re just awkward people, but the brother-sister dynamic feels pretty forced.
  • Sloppy Dexter Behavior of the Week: If Travis’art facility was secure enough to be locked down, wouldn’t they have cameras that catch Dexter ominously hanging around the hallways? And why doesn’t Travis’co-worker care that there’s a random man both loitering outside, and then in the room? Why have such telling-if-overheard conversations with Travis at a populated diner? And what of Father Galway, who suffers from dementia to be sure, but could easily repeat what Dexter told him to a concerned nurse?
  • That poor girl playing the dead hooker at the crime scene. Presumably the casting call read, ‘Wanted: attractive blonde to lie naked face-down in blood. May be uncomfortably groped by Michael C. Hall.’
  • Let’s assume for a moment that Gellar is real. What would have attracted people’s attention faster? Young white guy leering at a children’s playground from behind a wall, or old Spanish guy standing in a more public view of the playground clutching a shovel?
  • Speaking of which, nothing really telling this week for either theory on Gellar. Knocking Travis out and chaining him(self) up, evading Dexter and us not witnessing Lisa’s murder all suggest imaginary, but could just as easily have actually happened.
  • I was hoping that Masuka and Quinn might run into former intern Ryan (Brea Grant) working at the strip club to give the scene some significance, but that’s also wishful Brea Grant nudity thinking.
  • Really, the arguments between Dexter and Deb are so much more intriguing when placed in the context of Michael C. Hall and Jennifer Carpenter’s real-life divorce.

What did YOU think?

  • Aso513

    Am I the only one who thinks Quinn was the guy who called Laguerta to make sure he got away with everything involving the dead hooker?

    • Joe Chaos

      It is detective Matthews who called about the dead hooker.
      Laguerta found his name in a hooker’s list of clients, and blackmailed him into getting his job

      • http://www.tvovermind.com/author/tvkevlance Kevin Fitzpatrick

        Maybe! I'm hoping it isn't Matthews, seems like it's too easy, and why hide the reveal?

    • http://www.tvovermind.com/author/tvkevlance Kevin Fitzpatrick

      It's possible, LaGuerta may have switched from prosecuting Quinn last season to getting away with things to save face in the department after her promotion, but it's unlikely. The reason Quinn wasn't at the scene was probably drunkenly courting strippers somewhere.

    • bill909

      Bautista makes the most sense based on his reaction to Quinn's tix offer, the rough attempt to revive and clean up scene, and history with LaG. Matthews too obvious I hope. And Quinn may catch the blame for the coverup crime due to blackout.

      • http://www.tvovermind.com/author/tvkevlance Kevin Fitzpatrick

        Batista? Unlikely. And why would she call him from the phone, when he was likely standing 10 feet away?

  • odiJ

    I for one think Travis and his sister had some incestuous deal going on following their parents' death, hence Travis' issues and their wierd relationship now. Maybe he/they even had a hand in the deaths of the parents?

    • http://www.tvovermind.com/author/tvkevlance Kevin Fitzpatrick

      hopefully in the four episodes left we'll get to explore Travis' backdrop a bit, but Lisa was the one I found creepy, so obsessed with having a nice relationship with her big brother.

  • Eric

    What was with the “EliotSearch?” There’s something up with the new intern, and I don’t trust him.

    • Cherry

      It’s just you looking the bad thing! it’s on Fb, Masuka’ Intern Program. Just write this : eliotsearchengine.com ;)

    • Cherry

      Oh, and this is not a real search engine…….

  • Joe Chaos

    I meant whatever position Matthews is now

  • Dwaylin

    The one thing, if perhaps the only thing Nebraska accomplished in my mind was. The writers showed Brian drinking a beer, picking up things, the pitchfork for instance. Then with the camera swoop around stabbed dope grower showed Dexter being the one who did the deed. I believe they realized at the end of the season with the geller is imaginary hook that they would be hammered with the faithful viewers complaints over geller drinking coffee, or holding the hot iron, or painting. So my thoughts on Nebraska were just them giving themselves a loophole.
    And my thoughts on who Maria called I believe it was the deputy chief. Seeing how we saw her blackmailing him to get the captain job over hookers earlier.

    • http://www.tvovermind.com/author/tvkevlance Kevin Fitzpatrick

      True, Brian/Dexter stabbing the guy was a definite way to highlight how an imaginary character could interact with the physical world. I just really hope we're being misdirected about Gellar being imaginary, they've made it SO obvious. I like it better when TV defies expectation.

      And everyone seems to agree that the one on the other end of the phone is likely Matthews, but why go to the trouble of hiding it? It's not like she interacts with anyone else on the show, really.

  • Ryan

    Let’s not forget the other man in Marias’ life who likes hookers. Bautista. I’m just saying.

  • Mike

    The writers left us a smoking gun proving beyond any doubt that Gellar is all in Travis' head: If Travis had really been whacked with a shovel hard enough to knock him out for several hours, don't you think that would leave a mark? Broken nose, lump, or at least a big red mark on the forehead? For now I'm going to hold on to faith that the writers know what they're doing and are leaving us explicit clues, not just blatant plot holes.

    • http://www.tvovermind.com/author/tvkevlance Kevin Fitzpatrick

      You make a good point, and Dexter certainly observes the separation in the kills by saying "This one was all Gellar," but hopefully the writers are more clever than Gellar simply being imaginary.

  • Silvia

    Someone knows how is called the song when masuka and quinn are in the strip club??

    Thanks!