Dexter episode recap: The Winners and Losers of ‘Helter Skelter’

By 11.26.12


When last we left Dexter, there were confessions of love, poetic ruminations on love, and more. Let’s see what’s next in this week’s episode, “Helter Skelter”.

LOSER: Youth swimming lessons

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On Dexter’s boat, Hannah reveals that she was taught to swim when her dad threw her in a pond and let her struggle for her life. It was her first taste of being close to dying. That was probably a lost chapter of Dr. Spock’s parenting books.

WINNER: Strange bedfellows

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The Koshka Brotherhood sends two top hitmen after Isaak so he makes an appeal to Dexter to help save his life. Why Isaak fears two hitmen or why his solution would be to use Dexter are both befuddling. But after Dexter initially rebuffs his overture, Isaak kidnaps Hannah and leaves her with his assistant to die if Dexter doesn’t help him out.

The situation leads Isaak to try to understand Dexter further, including why he kills people if it’s not for money or brutality. Dexter doesn’t take part in the Dr. Phil-styled sharing session. Is it me or does everyone seem to “get” Dexter at overly insightful levels this season in ways that hadn’t happened any other year? Seems a little forced.

LOSER: American reality TV

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Hannah’s captor Joerg tells her that if she tries to scream or escape, he’ll hurt her. He then encourages her to find something for them to watch, but “none of that American reality shit.”

WINNER: Leisurely target practice

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Dexter uses information from Isaak to track down the first hitman, Oleg, a former military guy with a passion for using sniper rifles to take out his target. Dexter then sneakily stabs him at a shooting range amongst several people. So Dexter is now just killing guys in broad daylight. Apparently Harry’s Code was written on a cocktail napkin.

LOSER: The fielty of Ukrainian sex slaves

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George, the strip club manager, being the respectable gentleman he is, forced Nadia the stripper to have sex with him because Quinn wasn’t returning his calls. Quinn then gives George a violent beat down and tells George that he’s done doing his bitch work. I see no way this won’t cause more problems for Quinn and Nadia, no siree.

WINNER: Bribery

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Captain Matthews, deposed from his position by LaGuerta amidst her power move in whatever previous season that was, initially refuses to help LaGuerta find out who’s really the Bay Harbor Butcher. But Matthews changes his mind, offering to trade reinstatement (so that he can get a higher grade of pension) for some intel on the names on LaGuerta’s suspect list. This B-plot just keeps on trucking at a leisurely pace.

LOSER: Ceremonial tossing of weapons off the side of a boat

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Isaak and Dexter throw their respective weapons off the side of the boat where they dispatched hitman number two to show each other that they weren’t a threat. But as Dexter hoses the blood off the floor, George the strip club manager takes out his Quinn-induced rage on the unarmed Isaak, shooting him in the gut.

Isaak then asks Dexter to, presumably, take his dying body to where Viktor was thrown in the water. More talk about love ensues. The talk and situation with Isaak gives Dexter the courage to tell Hannah how he really feels about her and he admits that when he’s with her, he feels “safe.”

WINNER: Fire as a murder weapon

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Sort of dickish fire investigator Phil is helping Miami Metro scope out a couple of murders that were committed by lighting the victims on fire. Something seems off about him, which means he’s probably the one killing the people. Seems a little late in the year to be introducing another archvillain, especially after dispatching Isaak as nothing more than a means to guiding Dexter’s emotional compass, but we’ll see how it plays out.

Tough to lose Isaak as a character since he really brought an interesting dynamic to the show. But his whole emotional touchy feely thing probably would have worn thin if it dragged on any further. I’m sure Dexter could use a life coach or therapist, but it doesn’t necessarily lend itself to compelling TV. The show’s going to have to put in some work to make these last three episodes stand out. Let’s hope they’re up for the challenge.

TAGSDexterDexter recapsTV recapsWinners and losers

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