'Dexter' Recap: The Angel Of Death

Oct 30, 2011 | 6:05pm EDT

dexterS6:E5 Tonight's Dexter gave us more insight into the dynamic partnership between Professor Gellar and Travis. We learned that Travis is too weak to carry out Professor Gellar's complete orders and he doesn't really believe in everything the Professor tells him. Instead, Travis just listens and tries to believe Gellar's teachings until it comes time to act, which is when his conscience gets the best of him and prevents him from doing anything illegal or harmful to another person. This was also the second episode where Dexter hasn't killed anyone, and that in itself signifies something drastic is happening this season (even though we may not understand what's going on right now, we have to assume the writers wouldn't have Dexter stop killing if they didn't have a good reason).

"It's him. It's the face I'm looking for. That's how he knew how to create those wings." - Dexter

This episode took off with Dexter examining the wings from Erin's crime scene, and finding a trace of glue that had some sort of ancient religious significance. Dexter analyzes its chemical composition and it leads him to learn it is mostly used in artwork restoration. He heads to the local museum and sits down to watch a video about how the facility restores art and while watching the movie, he recognizes Travis as the guy who lingered around the greenhouse where Erin was killed and watched as the locusts flew out into the sky. And after learning last week that Professor Gellar taught art history, Dexter puts together that Gellar must have met Travis at the art institute and made him his accomplice based on his submissive personality.

"It's time to do a little hunting." - Professor Gellar

Late one night, Professor Gellar decides it's time he and Travis find another "whore" to sacrifice for their cause. So they go to a bar to pick an unsuspecting and intoxicated woman to kidnap, but their plan is interrupted when Travis spots Gellar's face on the front page of a newspaper. Gellar takes a little bit of pride in the attention, but acknowledges it would be better if Travis captured someone on his own so they could avoid recognition. Travis doesn't feel like he can snatch a girl by himself, but he has no choice and has to try when Gellar leaves. Travis goes to the marina and lingers a while until he encounters a girl who looks unsteady on her feet. Travis grabs her, but he's not in an incredibly isolated area and so a few guys see what he's doing and come to the girl's rescue. He has no choice but to run away, and when he meets up with Professor Gellar again that night, he is clearly ashamed in his inability to follow Gellar's instructions and disappointed in his failure. Gellar apologizes for giving him a task he wasn't ready for and the next night, they go out together. They come across a couple who look a little drunk and as Travis begins to get out of the car to grab them, Professor Gellar tells him to hit the gas and run them over. Travis does as he's told and once the man and woman are on the ground, Gellar instructs Travis to retrieve the girl and bring her into their car. Travis obeys.

"It must be hard for you to leave him and do what you do." - Brother Sam

Brother Sam stopped by Dexter’s house to say hi to Harrison after his surgery and once Harrison is asleep in bed, Dexter and Brother Sam sit out on the balcony and drink beers. Dexter is surprised when Brother Sam says it must be hard for him to leave Harrison to “do what you do,” because the phrasing sounds like Brother Sam knows Dexter is a serial murderer. Brother Sam clarifies that he’s referring to the gruesome police work Dexter does, and his nerves ease a bit. Surprisingly, Dexter is so relaxed he reveals he saw his mother murdered in front of him, and that it’s affected his life and made him the “dark” person he is today. Brother Sam laughs and reminds him “there’s no darkness that the light can’t overcome.” The next day, Dexter breaks into Travis’ house and sees he has a degree in art restoration from the University of Tallahassee, which confirms his suspicions that Professor Gellar met Travis at the art institute. He also stumbles upon The Book of Revelation and as he’s glancing through it, sees that the page numbers are missing for pages 1232, 1240 and 1244 (which, you’ll recall, are the same numbers on pieces of paper that were found inside Omar, Nathan and Erin).

“You have, like, 8 other women in this bar you could fuck.” – Batista

Batista and Quinn ride up to Tallahassee to visit one of Professor Gellar’s former TAs to see if she can provide them with any information about their primary suspect. At first, she is hesitant to reveal any details about the man who helped her all through graduate school and with finding her job. The detectives assume they aren’t going to get anything useful out of her but since they have to spend the night before going back to Miami, Quinn asks her out and after $80 worth of drinks, they sleep together. The next morning, Batista goes over to the TA’s house to pick up Quinn and as he’s waiting for his partner to get out of the shower, he roots around some old boxes with “GELLAR” on the front of them and finds notebooks that seem to be plans of the murders he is currently committing.

“I want none of those things, Travis.” – Dexter

As Travis is walking towards his car and gets in, nothing suspect seems to be happening – until we hear that familiar snapping of twine and the smack it makes once Dexter flings it across Travis’s neck. And we’re overjoyed because we haven’t watched Dexter kill anyone in almost two weeks and so this situation looks pretty promising! But after Travis explains that Gellar is the one who actually hears God and that he just follows Gellar’s instructions, Dexter realizes Gellar is using Travis because he has a personality that is very easy to manipulate. Travis even says he’s saddened by how God speaks to Gellar instead of him, and this is when Dexter releases his grip and lets Travis out of the car – but not before encouraging him to seek spiritual guidance from someone else. And as he’s walking home, it was surprising to watch Travis call up the Professor and say that he isn’t really feeling well and that he is going to have to go home and rest instead of meeting up with him to continue their planning. Gellar replies that he hoped Travis wasn’t getting scared of the word of God, and reminds him of someone else who feared God’s command and how he ended up dead. Travis promises that’s not what’s happening and hangs up. The episode SHOCKINGLY closes with someone walking into Brother Sam’s auto body shop and shooting him.

After last week’s episode, I was disappointed Dexter didn’t kill anyone. I believed his character wouldn’t just stop killing because he had a kid in the hospital. But then I realized two things: one, that Dexter had never been in the position where he cared about someone’s well-being more than satiating his habit, and two, that the writers must have a pretty good reason for Dexter not killing anyone. And then when this episode ended without Dexter adding to his blood slide inventory, I realized that it’s probably in my best interest to stop harping on the fact that Dexter isn’t killing anyone and trust that the producers are working on something that will make everything worth it. But I’m going to be very disappointed if nothing significant comes of this, because it will mean the showrunners take us all for fools.

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