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October 13, 2015

'Dexter' Season 6, Episode 2 Recap: 'Once Upon a Time... '

by Alex Moaba, posted Oct 9th 2011 10:40PM
'Dexter' opened this episode by extolling the importance of ritual, which for our beloved serial killer of serial killers involves reading Harrison a bed-time story and then promptly slicing a bad guy's throat. All in a day's work.

This was a low-kill count episode (just 1!) that instead focused on introducing Mos Def's Brother Sam character, setting up new developments for Deb and conflicts at Miami Metro, and letting the religious creepiness of Travis and Professor Gellar simmer on low heat.

Brother Sam, played by Mos Def, is a deep-thinking, soulful former criminal who's used religion to rehabilitate his life, and his auto body shop to watch over a "flock" of others trying to do the same. Dexter starts off skeptical of him, and spends a lot of he episode tracking him to see if he's still a killer.

Sam doesn't hide much below the surface, though. "I once killed a man and walked off scott-free. For that I need to pay," he tells him, after they chat for approximately two minutes.

Just when Dexter finds out Sam isn't still killing, a gang led by Julio Benes comes to Sam's shop looking for a fight. Brother Sam stares down the barrel of a gun, and Dexter flashes his Miami Metro ID like a badge and the thugs back down. Through the incident, Dexter acquires a new kill target in Benes, and maybe, a new friend in Brother Sam. The pair, who both struggle with urges to do bad things, develop an instant chemistry. Let's hope they'll team up to battle Travis and the Professor later in the season.

Dexter goes on to quickly dispatch Benes with surgical cut to the throat, in a strange kill that didn't feel quite earned. There was no chase and no fight; Benes just miraculously ended up on his table. Then again, we're way past quibbling with the believability of Dexter's kills and ability to stay one step ahead of the law. But in terms of drama, this part of the episode felt like empty ritual.

Meanwhile, the Deb-Quinn proposal storyline got closed as abruptly as it was opened. On the same day Deputy Chief Matthews tabbed Deb as the new Lieutenant of Homicide, passing over Batista in a move to get back at La Guerta for strong-arming him, Quinn proposed to her over pancakes. "What the f--- is going on today?" Deb very Deb-ly wonders.

She comes over to Dexter's place to drink a few beers and to crash on his couch as she mulls her big decisions. It's tough to tell sometimes which sibling has more Harry-issues: Deb or Dexter. Obsessed with her job and driven to make Harry's ghost proud, she chooses her career over Quinn.

Finally, there was more murderous religious weirdness between the Professor and Travis, our evil serial killers of this season. First they unloaded some mannequins into a temple. Then the Professor guilt-trips Travis, after he had the audacity to eat ice cream with his sister, by sticking a hot-brand against his own arm. He atones for his sins by bringing him a second victim, who he bashed over the head with a rock after pretending to have a sprained ankle on a running trail. I don't know if the strange tension between these two characters is sexual, spiritual or if they just got close by stuffing snakes in a dead guy's stomach cavity, but there are layers upon layers of strange working here to make these villains creepily compelling.

What did you think of this episode of 'Dexter'? Let us know in the comments.

For more info on 'Dexter,' check out Showtime All-Access.

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You mentioned 2 kills. I realize the one Dexter kill, but am trying to remember the 2nd. Yes, Travis hits the jogger in the head - but in the previews for next week, did we not see the same jogger being held captive?

October 10 2011 at 10:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Sean's comment
Alex Moaba

That's a good point. I think I missed the preview for next week and assumed the jogger had been killed. I'm going to amend the recap. Thanks.

October 10 2011 at 11:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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