Dexter Season 6 Episode 8 – Sin of Omission

Dexter0608-FuneralDexter has returned from his Hero’s Journey ready to save the day. In this case, Dexter’s target is Travis. After he attends Brother Sam’s funeral (which features a full reading of Psalm 23), Dexter muses to himself:

I didn’t kill Jonah when I had the chance. Did Sam somehow bring out a little bit of light in me? Did I pass that light on to Travis as well?

When he confronts Travis, Dexter believes he’s made some headway. Travis says:

What you said made me think… that I don’t have to do what he says.

Dexter reflects that Travis is a lot like him:

Travis has a Dark Passenger all his own. But unlike mine, his walks and talks and breathes and goes by the name Professor Gellar. And most significantly, his Dark Passenger can be killed.

Dexter0608-Bible

Dexter decides he’s going to save Travis. That he’s going to become, like Sam, a Good Shepherd. But can Dexter lead someone else to the light without standing in it himself? Can he point the way to the light from the darkness? He’s certainly going to try. Dexter’s reading Brother Sam’s bible, looking for answers and learning how to ask the right questions. By the end of the episode, Dexter muses that

I’ve gotten Travis to trust me. In my own way, I’m going to eliminate a small bit of darkness and let some light in.

Prophecies and Resolutions

  1. Dexter0608-Whore1Gellar used Travis’ sister Lisa Marshall as the Whore of Babylon. I’d say that’s a nail on the head.
  2. I predicted that Dexter would test-drive a belief in God. We haven’t seen that fully develop yet, but Dexter is reading a Bible, looking for answers and quoting the Bible. It’s not enough to award points yet, but it’s looking good!
  3. It looks like I was wrong about how Travis and Gellar would use their blood. Since the last three installments aren’t done yet, I’m waiting to award points, but it’s not looking good.
That means the score right now is Writers 3, JR. 4. But we still have four episodes to go!

First, the writing on Lisa’s forehead isn’t much of a mystery. According to Revelation 17:5:

On her forehead was written a name, a mystery: “Babylon the great, mother of whores and of earth’s abominations.” (NRS)

Dexter0608-WhoreForeheadIt’s tough to make out, but Gellar has carved the inscription in Latin. It reads

MYSTERIUM BABYLON MAGNA MATER FORNICATIONUM ET ABOMINATIONUM TERRAE

Dexter also notes that Lisa’s body didn’t have a number on it, indicating that Travis didn’t help with the kill. It also means we don’t know how much time Gellar has left to complete his final three tableaus, but it can’t be more than about a week.

Second, Travis is on a Hero’s Journey of his own, but with warring mentors. Though it’s hard to imagine, I think the next couple of episodes will result in Gellar’s fall – most likely he’s caught by the cops, and Travis will embrace his role as the second witness. Travis the Good Soul will become an Avenging Angel. And we’ll see Dexter the Dark Soul become a Good Shepherd. It’ll be a showdown similar to that between Dexter and Nick. But because Dexter has successfully completed his Hero’s Journey, he’ll be successful this time. Somehow, Dexter will ultimately save Travis.

Dexter0608-Whore2Finally, in my head, I know it will never happen, but the writers are teasing my heart again, making me hopeful that Deb will finally learn the full truth about Dexter. She’s getting more and more suspicious of Dexter. Now that she’s lieutenant, Dexter’s desire to kill Gellar and Travis directly conflicts with her job performance – specifically her kill ratio. Last, at the end of this episode, Dexter visits an old priest who tells him, “Anything you confess, God will forgive.” Could Dexter finally confide in Deb? Or will we get a rehash of last season where she discovers his kill table? Either way, it’s long past time for Deb to find out. And maybe part of Dexter’s redemption is to be known fully by his closest living family. Maybe he can finally stop committing the “sin of omission.”

BONUS Musing: Is Gellar Real?

In the comments a few weeks ago, one of my commenters suggested that Gellar is already dead, that he’s a figment akin to Dexter’s manifestation of Harry. I stand by my statement from that post – I don’t want that to be true. But we can at least say that the writers want to draw this tension out. We never see Gellar unless he’s in Travis’ company. And we don’t know enough about Gellar’s comings and goings to know whether he could know the things he seems to know. If it turns out that Gellar is a manifestation of Travis’ own mind, not only will I be very upset, but it’ll put a whole different spin on the final confrontation between Dexter and Travis. It’s totally plausible that Gellar is dead, which means that Dexter “saves” Travis by getting him to turn himself in. Dexter denies himself a kill in favor of a save (which is a sort of redemption for him) and Lieutenant Deb gets 4 (though by then it’ll be more like 12) murders cleared. Let me reiterate: I DO NOT want this to be the case.

What do you think? Can Dexter save Travis? Is Gellar Real? Will Deb find out? What will the final body count be?

Recommended Posts
  • Anonymous

    I haven’t seen episode 9 yet as I’m writing this. One thing I do like about idea that Gellar is a dark passenger/Harry figure is that it provides the opportunity for the season to end in a different way than all the previous ones. As you noted in a previous post, the main bad guy ends up on Dexter’s kill table every season, no exception. If Gellar is merely in Travis’ head, Dexter could “kill” Gellar while at the same time saving Travis, which would be a rather appropriate ending for a season about faith and redemption. 

    I really like the idea of Deb finally discovering what Dexter’s doing. I like the idea of Dexter revealing it to her, which I think would fit the theme of the season, but I think it could provide for an interesting next season if the final episode has Deb discovering the truth and wrestling with the implications.