‘Dexter’ Recap: A Horse of a Different Color

dexterS6:E4 On this episode of Dexter, something pretty crazy happened… or didn’t happen, rather. It turns out this was the first episode in the entire series where Dexter didn’t kill anyone (at least I think it was). It was pretty shocking, and if you weren’t careful, you didn’t even realize it. In any case, it subtly emphasized that Dexter doesn’t actually NEED to kill, and if anything, this is the first episode where that compulsion was nowhere to be found.

“Body parts…spectacle?” – Dexter

Thankfully, this episode began with Miami Metro addressing the fact that it has someone sending horses galloping down the streets with body parts hanging off of them. Once Dexter gets to the scene where the horses and limbs are, he notices the horses had the same O surrounding an A symbol printed on their faces that Omar the fruit vendor had carved into his skin, and Dexter is particularly impressed with how “imaginative” the perp is. It doesn’t take Deb very long to identify the body as Nathan, the man who Professor Gellar and Travis captured and forced to repent. Upon closer examination (as in Dexter taking a pair of tweezers and digging them around inside Nathan’s eyelids), Dexter recovers a thin slip of paper that has the number “1242” printed on it. This makes him want to go back and peek inside Omar’s eyelids, and to his non-surprise he discovers a similar piece of paper with the number “1237” printed on it. During the briefing, Dexter points out the numbers are five days apart, which is interesting because the victims were killed five days apart. This leads Dexter to assume the killer is counting towards something.

“There’s blood.” – Deb

Deb and her crew arrive at another crime scene – this time, it is a greenhouse. They enter with their guns drawn, but immediately put them down when they see a woman (Erin) who’s fastened into some kind of apparatus and hanging from the ceiling. She has a bear trap around her neck and is dressed all in white, with feathered wings attached to her arm. Deb notices there’s a trip wire, but she’s too late in warning the officers before they walk through it and the bear trap closes on Erin’s neck, piercing her jugular and killing her. Dexter notices a trail of blood leading to a closet and once he opens, it locusts come flying out and swarm around the detectives. They all flee the building and while the other cops are dusting the bugs off their clothes, Dexter sees an impressed Travis watching the scene unfold.

This might be the first episode where Dexter didn’t kill anyone. I didn’t even realize until the morning after the show aired, and I’m not quite sure how I feel about it. On one hand I’m all for Dexter exploring religion and trying to figure out what his future looks like, but I’m not comfortable with him doing it at the expensive of his graphic and meticulously planned kills JUST yet. The writers should know better than to pull a move like this – previously, Dexter has shown he’s capable of learning about himself through his kills and will do anything to make time for his habit, and so it seems out of place for his character to, all of a sudden, forget about satiating his urge completely. I guess the whole appendicitis thing takes precedence here, but that storyline and one-on-one time with Brother Sam didn’t seem worthy of sacrificing the episode’s execution. However, it was pretty clever the way the writers didn’t leave any time for Dexter to seek out a victim. It essentially proved that Dexter can go without murdering someone, which in the past he was never able to do. So there’s definitely some kind of transformation happening here.