Dexter 6.10 “Ricochet Rabbit” Review

Kevin Fitzpatrick December 4, 2011 38

Dexter - Ricochet RabbitDexter season 6 returns to launch its tenth entry with this week’s roller coaster ‘Ricochet Rabbit,’as our favorite serial killer works to correct his mistake and hunt down Travis Marshall before the Doomsday Killer can stage his next deadly tableau, as Deb continues fighting her demons in therapy. “Ricochet Rabbit” finally gets back to the Dexter we know and love, even with a few bumps along the way.

Obviously, after the shocking reveal of last week’s ‘Get Gellar,’there’s a substantial burden lifted off of Dexter‘s sixth season. No longer need those who put the pieces together early roll their eyes at how long the season dragged out the truth of Professor Gellar’s current state, and no longer must the writers concentrate on misdirecting viewers until the inevitable reveal. With that no longer hanging over, ‘Ricochet Rabbit’feels substantially more mobile and tense an episode of Dexter, though not without its imperfections.

Now that Travis has confronted the truth about Gellar and (presumably) left the vision behind, we see a much different character, far more menacing and confident. A free Travis gives Colin Hanks a much broader range of emotions to play, though it feels somewhat jarring to have the character we’ve watched all season gain such instant resolve and cunning. One could argue that the more confident and amoral side to Travis went into his projection of Gellar, and with Gellar gone we’re now seeing the complete picture of Travis’character. It also helps that we’re given some info on his background, the history of psychosis, medication, and possibly causing the accident that killed his parents. Either way, the narrative feels much more focused with its antagonists made whole.

There’s also a much stronger sense of scale to the threat, with Travis’and his ‘disciples’(including My Boys‘Jordana Spiro) latest ‘Wormwood’plan threatening to take out a good number of victims at Miami Metro with a chemical attack. Though obviously not intended as such given our familiarity with the characters and their message, it’s interesting to see Dexter exploring a bit of terrorism in this latest threat, given the size of the attack. It may not amount to anything now that Dexter seems to have foiled the threat before it even really began, but making ‘the end of the world’a little more, shall we say grandiose, does well for racheting up the tension in these last episodes.

Dexter - Ricochet RabbitI found myself annoyed by a sentiment Dexter expressed early on in the episode, how his failure to realize the true nature of Travis and Gellar somehow meant that he shouldn’t have listened to the wisdom of Brother Sam. It seemed rather typically Dexter to create a possibility for change through such an interesting character, only to awkwardly sweep the lesson under the rug. The same rings true of Dexter’s increasing tendency to question his relationship with Harry, asking questions about his father’s parenting that I’ve wondered since season one. Thankfully, the closing moments of ‘Ricochet Rabbit’make a nice beat of tying up both these questions, as Dexter finally accepts both his father and Brother Sam’s wisdom, that some things are too big, and simply must be surrendered control to.

On the flip side of redemption, Quinn continues train-wrecking his way through the sixth season in what I’ve come to refer to as ‘the world’s least interesting plot thread,’but ‘Ricochet Rabbit’may have put some light on the horizon. Whereas Quinn’s angsty spiraling lacked direction and purpose after his breakup with Debra, having Batista suffer the consequences of his partner’s absence could make for a rather heartbreaking turn. Of course we’d rather keep Batista as a character than Quinn, but killing Batista would admittedly make a fine way to drastically increase the stakes. One might even say he’s been positioned toward the chopping block all season, forgoing the Lieutenant position to be a kind of mentor to Deb, and we all know what happens to mentors on TV.

Surprisingly little movement on either the Louis / Ice Truck Killer hand or LaGuerta / Matthews threads, if only that Deb manages to put the pieces together on Matthews with a quick phone call. At this point the audience invests far more in learning about Louis, and why a seemingly innocuous character so obsessed with Dexter would keep such a dark token, though the fallout of either may be saved for next season given how little time we’ve left in season 6. Let the wild speculation commence!

Dexter - Ricochet RabbitOn another note, there seemed to be a recurring beat throughout ‘Ricochet Rabbit,’notably that tense or moody scenes would end up undercut by a quick gag, as if to say that things were taking themselves too seriously. Whether it was Harry’s joke about Travis talking to someone who wasn’t there, Deb’s ‘Holy Christ on a stick,’Dexter finding a drawer full of sex toys or the cute meta talk about a sister not realizing her brother’s dark nature, it seemed as though we could almost read the producer’s notes on the script, ‘NEEDZ MOAR LULZ.’I made a point of noting how the structuring and direction of ‘Get Gellar’seemed a little off, but the episodes share neither directors, nor writers. With all the showrunner shakeup Dexter‘s been through, perhaps we shouldn’t show surprise at its occasionally uneven tone.

All in all, it’s good to have Dexter back in form, even if we only have three episodes to the season unburdened by all that pesky ‘Professor Gellar isn’t real’tomfoolery. If ‘Ricochet Rabbit’can deliver, we should be in for a decent close to the season.

And Another Thing…

  • While I like the new Travis and his disciples, I hope we haven’t seen the last of Edward James Olmos. Like Brother Sam before him, the character went out rather unceremoniously.
  • Knowing nothing about science, can any biology buffs chime in on how well Professor Gellar held up in the freezer for three years, and whether Dexter’s fingerprint planting would actually work? And color me intrigued by the ‘rainy day’Dex might use Gellar’s hand for, though with the next episode named ‘Talk to the Hand,’we won’t have to wait long.
  • Seriously! Video comments, y’all! Get off your apocalypse blogs and show TVOvermind some love!
  • I’m pretty sure that when someone passes out in a car with their feet hanging out the window, and beer bottles littering the scene, someone’s going to report that.
  • Perhaps Travis did the research when he captured her the first time, but how did they find Holly Benson so quickly, when it took Dexter some serious sleuthing?
  • Why would you call the episode ‘Ricochet Rabbit,’and not ‘Wormwood?’So much cooler.
  • I want to live in the Dexter world, if only for computers and phones that pull up websites in zero seconds flat, or print giant color photos in an instant.
  • I’ll excuse Louis’weird overreaction to Dexter criticizing his game, but Jamie wouldn’t even go after him, or ask Dexter what he said to make him run off like that?

What did YOU think?

  • Eric

    You would think Deb and others are bound to hear that 911 call. Dex could have at least disguised his voice a little.

    • Hunier

      I thought the same thing at that moment, it's another act of his amazing sloppiness.

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

        It IS sloppy, but at best it's circumstantial evidence that a caller "sounds" like Dexter. Not saying it isn't laziness on both his and the writer's part, but it isn't enough to put him away.

        • http://twitter.com/marcypeeples @marcypeeples

          It is sloppy and it's not the only time he's been really sloppy this season. He kept a pen from the motel where he killed a man, which Deb found.

  • dmso

    The Geller twist was so obvious and they cheated so badly with it (as you've pointed out on this blog). I also knew Batista would be killed/captured/etc. when he couldn't get through to Quinn. This season has been a disappointing train wreck.

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

      It's had a few bright spots. Do you think Batista's really in danger?

  • Saint923

    The Louis situation is very unsettling to me. Strictly for my love of the brief, but adorable Harrison scenes. When Louis reacted the way he did to Dexter’s opinion of the game I felt almost certain that he got involved with Jamie for the soul purpose of getting close to Dexter. If this is in fact the case can we expect some harm to befall that sweet little boy? I hope not. I’m quite fond of the character.
    As for Debora being pregnant? Oh god I hope not. What a boring plot advancement that would be. Do I even need to say why? I think not.
    As for the Travis/wormwood situation… I’m not sure how I feel about that. On one hand we go from blood, guts, and snakes in bellies to.. Poisen gas? -_- On the other however it does pose a very real threat, although not really considering they’re targeting Miami metro, headquarters for all the main characters. Not to mention little miss hesitant is the one delivering the “wormwood”.
    As for the Quinn situation, sigh, something more interesting than having nookie with a wilder beast needs to happen. Perhaps he needs to slap around a stripper in a drunken rage and get kicked off the force? Not that that would happen in real life, he’d just get transferred. Not that I would mind either way, as long as we can stop wasting precious moments of those fifty-three minutes that I look forward to each week.

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

      Well, the Tableau does mention "poison," even if not specifically gas. And as Dexter said, they're not exactly going for a literal translation. Personally, the painting seemed like fire to me, but gas is just as interesting. And you're right, less annoying Quinn stories!

  • Hunier

    Definitely better episode than "Get Gellar" was, I love the way Dex and Harry discuss Dexter's fate, even though they say same things all the time. But it's good, it shows Dex in a way I always liked him – he has something to say, he's agressive sometimes and he acts logicaly. We didn't see the last thing very often this season. And I must say, that Quinn's storyline maybe is a little boring and should end few episodes ago, but it's not like he's all over the episode, besides in this season everything seems to have a meaning, so, maybe something will happen to Quinn?

    I loved Debra in this episode, her conversations with a therapist, with Dexter, her handling LaGuerta, really, everything in her. It's one of the greatest things in this season, building Debra's character. Even though I never liked when other characters take almost as much time in the episode as Dexter (but in last seasons were like a huge "DEAL WITH IT" sign).

    I'm not really confident in this idea of making last episodes "Speed"-like, realy it only lacks Steven Segal now. But, fortunately, it works a lot better than "let's save lumen" last year. "Dexter" is going towards a fantasy year after year, so even a bomb inside Miami Metro doesn't surprise me. Hell, it can actualy work well for the season.

    About Brother Sam and Dexter's thoughts at the beginning of episode – does anyone else feel annoyed, how history repeats itself time after time? "Maybe I can have a friend/partner, no I can't, so maybe a family, oh, no, I can't, I know that now, so, maybe Lumen, nah, I understand, I can't change who I am, I have an idea, maybe I'll go to church, nope, I'm a serial killer". It's like Dexter's having problems with his memory. Season 5's conclusion was, to me, "Dexter cannot be human-like and he understands it finally". This season he asked this question for a hundreth time and the answer was still the same.

    Last thing: I hate it how writers totally forgot, that it is a show about a serial killer. Dex didn't kill anybody for a long time and he doesn't seem to mind, instead he drives around Miami and saves ppl. When he's talking with Harry about his nature he's so full of sh*t, I mean what darkness is he talking about, he's a good father now, doesn't kill anyone, and obviously he doesn't need to. What's wrong with them? (writers)

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

      I think the question of religion (at least in the beginning) was more about something for his son than saving himself, but that message has become lost a bit. And I really like the introspection they've given to Deb this season. Almost like they're PREPARING her for something…

  • Joe Chaos

    I read online somewhere, that this season’s ending is supposed to create a situation that will take the final two seasons to resolve.

    • Hunier

      I read it's more like it's a starter to a storyline that will be resolved at the end… so something must happen, something that changes the rules. Someone imprortant dies, someone finds out something or anything like that I guess ;)

      • Joe Chaos

        I guess we will find out in 2 weeks.
        Haha

        • Hunier

          Well, season 5 finale was suppose to be "The Big One" and we were told that we will see why the title. I still wonder why the title, so we should trust producers or writers ;]

          • Joe Chaos

            I believe it was called that because of Harrison’s first bday

          • Hunier

            Is this like an expression? Cause I'm from Poland ;)

  • http://twitter.com/marcypeeples @marcypeeples

    I'm a little confused wasn't Holly the one who was kidnapped by Travis when he rammed into her with his car? Then she was bound, gagged, forced to drink blood and tortured for days. And now – a week or two later – she is skipping on to a yacht, pouring herself a drink while cheerfully chattering on her cell phone about how she's going to crash on this boat for a few days by herself. Does anyone else find that completely implausible?

    • Hunier

      Lumen was multiply raped by many guys for a couple of weeks blindfolded and tied to a chair and then she had sex with Dexter, who she met 3-4 weeks ago, so I'm guessing everything is possible in this world ;)

      • http://twitter.com/marcypeeples @marcypeeples

        Good point!

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

          Holly also mentioned having a son in her pleas to Travis, but she's hardly of the highest moral standing. And not only were her injuries minor, we can't be sure of exactly how much time has past. Given a few weeks, she might have gotten over a few things, or at least enough to function.

          • http://twitter.com/marcypeeples @marcypeeples

            It definitely hasn't been long enough for her to be acting so flippant. And yes, what about Holly's son? The writers went to the trouble to specify that Jaimie had a few hours to herself while Harrison was in daycare to explain why she could be with Lewis in a donut shop earlier in the episode, but nothing about Holly's absent son or totally dramatic recovery. There have been a lot of details that don't make a lot of sense this season.

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

            I stand by what I said last week. A wizard did it.

          • Hunier

            There still is a possibility that she lied, "don't hurt me, I'm a mother of 4, I'm needed" etc. Which is even more possible since Holly is a… well, kind of a slut. :O

          • http://www.facebook.com/kristopher.bras Kristopher Bras

            whatever anybody says, this is completely implausible. its nice that people want to explain things for the sake of the show, but come on. She should be under police watch.

  • Lucas

    In the episode Holly got released, didnt she say there were two people, one being stronger and meaner (Gellar) than the other (Travis)?

    • http://twitter.com/marcypeeples @marcypeeples

      She said it sounded like there were two people but she was blindfolded the entire time so she never actually saw anything.

      • Hunier

        She called Travis "The younger one" so it could be confusing. I mean, was Travis imitating Gellar's voice while talking to the wall?

  • Hunier

    Hey, one thing: does anyone else have a strange feeling, that in the last scene of a promo of next ep, when we see Dex and Deb it looks like… well, like he's gonna kiss her? o.O

    • Hunier

      And about Dex carelessly calling the police: it's not only that he didn't change his voice, he USED HIS CELLPHONE.He always uses payphones on ocasions like this, now he acted amazingly idiotic o.O

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

        With all the digital evidence Dexter leaves of his wrongdoings, at this point we have to more or less assume he has a few technical safeguards in place. It's suspension of disbelief, the show would be even more ridiculous if it were 12 hours of watching Dexter erase phone records.

        • Hunier

          PS to my comment (oh, the scene I mentioned wasn't the last scene of the promo, I don't know why I said that.)

  • Saint923

    I think I have a simple explanation for all the silly mistakes Dexter has been making. See, my opinion on the matter is that they have to allow the character to be “sloppy” as to keep people from actually learning how to be a serial killer. You can’t just make a show about a serial killer and not have him make rookie mistakes. Otherwise all sorts of average intelligence psychopaths would be running around killing people and not getting caught simply because they have classic cable.

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

      Responsibility in TV writing! I like it! But Occam's Razor, I imagine the real explanation lies in laziness and earned credibility from 5 seasons of premise-building. Luckily, we have shows like Breaking Bad to teach us how to be criminals.

      • Saint923

        You’re probably right.

    • Saint923

      Oh?

  • Hunier

    That's a great explanation, but well, we still have a couple of seasons that teach us well ;)
    It's rather obvious that it's because writers are getting lazy, but… well, it all changed when Rita died, maybe we can explain it this way for the purposes of this conversation ;]

  • http://www.facebook.com/kristopher.bras Kristopher Bras

    I liked the episode. It moved along at a good pace and more good dialogue. Batista was a surprise to me, but it makes sense that Quinn's irresponsible behavior would ultimately affect the main plot of the series.
    My only criticism? Some of the "one night only" actors that have been appearing on the show have been TERRIBLE, which is such a contrast to the main players they are sharing scenes with that it is distracting.
    Notable in this episode are Steve (one of the disciples) and the daughter of the man Holly is sleeping with who answers the door when Dexter comes calling.

  • Hunier

    Hey, I noticed something. Maybe it's not a big deal, but when Travis was at the stage where he believed that he didn't kill anybody, that Gellar does the killing, there was a scene in the first episode, where Trav is going to kill the fruit vendor with a machete and show made pretty it clear, that he didn't just captured him, he was the one that killed him. And we see it with Travis, so we see it with his eyes. So why was he so sure he didn't kill anybody few episodes later and angry about him being weak?