S6:E8 More than anything, this episode was the beginning of Dexter and Deb's relationship officially changing. It starts off with Deb finding out where her brother disappeared to for five days, and getting extremely angry that he lied to her about it. But a visit to her shrink makes her start to believe Dexter never shares anything with her because she's always dominated the relationship with her problems, and so she tries to give Dexter some time to talk about whatever he wants -- but it backfires. Really hard actually, and things between the siblings seem to irrevocably change.
“I’m sorry I took off like that. I really needed to get away.” – Dexter
Dexter returns from his trip to Nebraska and knows one of the first things he has to do is apologize to Deb for taking five days off when she only offered him one. So he arrives at her house with coffee and donuts, and she yells at him for abusing her authority and leaving when she really needed his help with the Doomsday killers. But true to form, Deb accepts the donuts and her brother’s apology without giving his absence another thought. She then tells Dexter she and Batista met up with a victim named Holly Benson last week, who said she was released from some hideout when the younger of her two captives took pity on her and drove her to the ocean and released her. Dexter thinks this sounds like Travis but doesn’t say anything to lead Deb’s investigation in the right direction. He then goes to Brother Sam’s funeral, where one of the speakers there hands Sam’s bible to him because before he died, Sam said he wanted him to have it.
“You did the right thing.” – Dexter
After Dexter hears Travis let Holly go free, he goes to the art academy where Travis works and tells him he did the right thing by choosing to distance himself from Gellar. Dexter insists he can protect Travis from his old partner, but Travis says he told the Professor that he’s done working with him and that since it didn’t make Gellar very happy, it was best if he just keeps his mouth shut. Dexter asks for Travis’s help in capturing Gellar, but after Travis dismisses him he goes home that night and glances through Brother Sam’s bible. He reads a passage that states it’s just as bad to watch someone else commit a sin as it is to commit one yourself, and it’s called the “sin of omission.” Armed with new information, Dexter confronts Travis again to hopefully convince him to lead him to Gellar. Travis eventually agrees to take Dexter to the Professor, but clarifies before Dexter does anything he wants to get his sister, Lisa, out of Miami because he’s afraid Gellar will punish him by killing her. Dexter agrees to hold off on pursuing the real Doomsday killer until Travis gets his sister out of the way. Meanwhile, Deb drives over to Travis’s house hoping to find him there because his name came up in a search of students who studied with Gellar, but she only talks to Lisa – who maintains Travis’s behavior hasn’t changed at all since learning one of his old professors was a murder suspect. The casual questioning ends, and Deb has no choice but to drive off even though she suspects Travis’s sister is trying to protect him. The next day, Travis is waiting outside the school where his sister teaches waiting for her to come out so he can get her out of town for a while… but before he can meet up with her Gellar whacks him over the head with a shovel.
“Sorry Travis, we have work to do.” – Gellar
Miami Metro is called to a crime scene outside a school, and once Deb and her team arrive they find a naked woman propped up on a chair wearing an animal mask. Vince removes the mask and Deb is shocked to see the murder victim is Travis’s sister Lisa, and safety pinned to her body is the card she gave her the day before when she questioned her.. Dexter wonders whether Travis actually killed his sister or if Gellar was the one who did to punish Travis for leaving him. He examines some fabric found at the crime scene and is led to Father Nicholas Gallway, a retired Catholic priest who lives in a nursing home. As Dexter enters Father Gallaway’s room, his extensive Alzheimer’s means he demands Dexter confess his sins. Dexter tries to avoid doing so for a while, but then he tells the Father that he’s killed many, many people and after feeling like he shouldn’t have said anything about his crimes, he leaves. The nurse tells him on the way out that Gallaway still insists to be driven to his old church, even though it’s long abandoned. Dexter asks to be reminded which church Father Gallaway was associated with (because he only was allowed into the nursing home after professing he was an old friend of the Father’s), and the nurse told him he used to have ties with Santa Maria De Loretto, in Davie.
“Why do you have a pen from Nebraska?” – Deb
Deb comes into Dexter’s office to sign off on a blood report he wrote on the death of a women they found who they thought overdosed on heroin, and when she’s searching for a pen she reaches into Dexter’s bag and pulls one out that says it’s from a hotel in Nebraska. Dexter has no choice to confess he went to Nebraska when he took five days off from work and admit he met up with Jonah, Trinity’s son. When Deb asks him why he lied about his whereabouts to her, he says it was because he wanted some privacy to talk to Jonah about what it’s like to lose a loved one (Dexter lost Rita to the Trinity killer and Jonah lost his mother to the Trinity killer, who was also his father). Deb is enraged her brother refuses to share his feelings with her because she is so free to share hers with him, and is disappointed he forgot she also lost Lundy to the Trinity killer as well. Deb is so hung up on Dexter’s disassociation with her that she makes an appointment with her shrink, where she learns that Dexter might want to share things more with her if she didn’t dominate every single one of their conversations with her issues and instead, gave him some time to speak. The next day Deb decides to try out her shrink’s advice and that night, goes over to Dexter’s house with steaks in toe to surprise him when he comes home with a night of sibling bonding. But since Dexter just got a lead on where Gellar's church might be and intends to go over there and kill him, the minute he comes in the door he declines Deb’s invitation to reconnect but doesn’t give any reason as to why. Deb’s disdain for her brother grows, and it’s clear as he goes out the door that she’s almost to the point of wanting to spy on him just so she can know why he’s so secretive all the time.
“Sorry for the chain. I couldn’t risk you disappearing on me.” – Gellar
Travis regains consciousness in the church Gellar does his work in, chained to the floor. Gellar tells him their mission is too important for Travis to pull out of it now, and says he wants to cleanse Travis’s soul because by disobeying orders he indicated his soul is sinful. Gellar then brings up Travis’s sister, and says Lisa was punished for talking to the police and likening her to the whore of Babylon. Travis knows immediately that Gellar killed her for betraying them, and he cries. Dexter eventually arrives at the church hoping to confront Gellar, but instead he finds Travis in chains. Travis says the Professor killed his sister and then Dexter begins tearing through the church looking for him. He doesn’t manage to find anything, but Travis finally says he wants to help Dexter catch Gellar.
As I said in earlier, what struck me most about this episode was the onset of the demise of Deb and Dexter's relationship. For many years, critics have written and spoken out about how unlikely it is for Deb (a police officer and now head of homicide) to not pick up on how strange her brother acts sometimes (especially when he's sneaking off all the time). And so to me, this episode was all about how Deb starts to conceive of how Dexter might not be who he says he is. The idea he's this whole other person has finally crossed her mind and chances are that in the future, she's going to find a way to investigate him a bit. And the exciting part is the way Deb found Dexter's pen from Nebraska hints at the idea he's starting to slip up...which all killers do eventually, so it's only natural it would happen to Dexter. But hopefully he won't go down too quickly.