Dexter 5.07 “Circle Us” Review

This week’s Dexter was a stronger entry than last week, but still left me a little “meh”.

Dexter (Michael C. Hall) finally accepted Lumen (Julia Stiles) as a true partner but the whole process had that déjà vu feeling all over again. Once again, we see Dexter try to push someone away, only to finally accept that maybe having a (girlfriend, wife, child, friend, fill in the blank) isn’t such a bad idea after all. My issue with Dexter’s relationship to Lumen isn’t only that it feels repetitive, it just lacks any real depth to this point. It’s easy to understand the “why” but harder to feel it between them. Maybe they just don’t have the right chemistry on screen together.

It was fairly obvious Lumen was going to have to come in and save Dexter’s hide from the suit man. Dexter is not a show that, historically, has defaulted to these kinds of tropes. I’m still waiting to be surprised this season. Something that’s taking far too long seven episodes in.

Jordan Chase (Johnny Lee Miller) is the one element that, to this point, is keeping me truly interested. Not the character himself, but the “why”. I want to know what’s behind the barrel murders. I want to know the shared history between our killers. It’s a solid enough mystery from a psychological point of view that will hopefully have a huge payoff.

Meanwhile, the Fuentes brothers are just kind of…there. The botched arrest attempt gave us a nice moment where Deb (Jennifer Carpenter) had to confront her fears and Maria (Lauren Velez) got to screw up royally for all to see, but do we really care about any it? I think the problem with this storyline is that right now it’s completely separate from that of Dexter’s. Most likely the two will end up meeting somewhere in the middle in an interesting and exciting way, but until then, it just seems superfluous and somewhat boring.

Thematically, the “Circle of Light” prayer was interesting if not still abstract. Which darkness is Dexter asking to be protected from? His own? The Chase cult? Lumen’s? It was a strange moment, watching him pray, even if it was only for the benefit of his babysitter.

Dexter has been my favorite show on television since it began, so it pains me greatly (this hurts me more than it hurts you, Dexter) to feel like this season is coming up so short. Whereas every previous year had multiple “oh wow” moments this far into a season, I can’t think of one such moment from this year. Its best episode was its first, dealing with the aftermath of Rita’s death. But since then, it looks like what’s old is trying badly to be new again.

Grade: B-

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2 Comments

  1. Anonymous
  2. Chuck