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'Dexter' Season 6, Episode 6 Recap: 'Just Let Go'

by Alex Moaba, posted Nov 6th 2011 10:15PM
First off, let me apologize for whiffing on a key plot-point in last week's recap, in which I wrote that Mos Def's Brother Sam character had been killed. I missed the 'Next week on 'Dexter...'" tease, where they revealed he would improbably live long enough to have a cathartic deathbed conversation with Dexter. As it turns out, Sam didn't die in the shooting, and opened 'Just Let Go' in intensive care after being shot three times. Sadly, he passed away in this episode, but not before making one last-ditch attempt to save his friend Dexter's soul.

'Just Let Go' was sad on several levels, and not just because we lost a character who was a source of wisdom and strength for Dexter. After Sam's death, Dexter was faced with a crucial turning point in his constant struggle between darkness and light. I don't know why I was disappointed that he chose the darkness, drowning Sam's killer Nick even after Sam begged him to forgive him. But it was a sobering reminder that our hero is also a murderous sociopath, just like Professor Gellar and the others he's obsessed with.

Then again, avenging the murder of his best friend, even if it was against his wishes, grounded the episode solidly in the gray area of moral ambiguity that 'Dexter' thrives in.

Just as Dexter faced a crossroads in this episode, so too did Travis, as he was called upon to torture, brand and eventually kill Professor Gellar's next victim. "We're the chosen ones, the two witnesses," Professor Gellar said, before telling Travis that he's slacking off. Gellar can sense Travis is growing a conscience, making his victim bologna sandwiches while draining her blood. After visiting his sister at her art class for kids, and perhaps remembering his car-conversation with Dexter, he regains touch with his humanity and lets the woman free. Gellar won't be pleased.

We learned more details about Gellar's twisted ideology in this episode too, as Quinn and Batista analyzed his drawings and papers. His delusional prophecy is apparently based on the Enesserrette cult: he thinks that by murdering seven victims, he can bring about the apocalypse. As Quinn realizes that Gellar's former T.A.'s tramp-stamp may be an important symbol linking her to the symbolic crime-scene, everyone else will soon realize how big of an idiot Quinn was for sleeping with her and compromising the case in the process.

As Dexter struggled to keep his emotions in check after Brother Sam's shooting, he reached what he called "a fork in the road." In his kitchen, he had a deep conversation with his father's memory, as Harry helps him realize how important Sam was to him. "It's because he's traveled both roads that he understands the darkness in you ... and he sees the light," Harry tells Dexter.

Deb also had a break-through of sorts in therapy, venting about how uneasy she's been feeling since her promotion. Do what you'd normally be doing if you hadn't been made Lt., her shrink advises her. Deb throws a house-warming party at her new beach house, which Quinn comes to trashed, with a blond he just picked up at a bar on his arm. He proceeds to hit on Batista's sister and get punched in the face. You can't bring this guy anywhere.

Dexter and Anderson are investigating the Locos separately, and both initially finger Julio Benes' replacement as Sam's shooter. As Dexter is outside staking his place out, Anderson roll up and kills Hernandez in a shootout. "Justice has been done, but why doesn't it feel better?" Dexter asks himself. It's only later that, after reviewing the security footage from Sam's garage, Dexter notices that Sam's dog doesn't bark at the shooter. It turns out it was Nick, the gang-banger Sam tried to save, who gunned him down.



Later, Dexter's called to the hospital, as Sam has regained consciousness and wants to see him. He tells Dexter that Nick was the shooter, but Sam wants Dexter to deliver the message that Sam forgives him. It's not exactly what Dexter had in mind. "Just let it go ... you can't live with the hate in your heart," Sam tells him, seeming to make one last attempt to save his friend's soul. Dexter vows to try to let go of the darkness this one time, but it's a challenge that proves too daunting for him after Sam passes away.

Dexter leaves the hospital, and confronts Nick on the beach. To his credit, he tries his best to forgive him for the murder, but Nick laughs and gloats about getting away with it. Dexter becomes enraged, and pushes him into the water, giving Nick his final baptism, drowning him in the ocean. It's a less-thought out and more impulsive act than his standard meticulously-planned kills, but the only witness is his the ghost of his brother, the Ice Truck Killer, who gives Dexter a round of applause for turning back toward his dark-side.

Has Dexter abandoned his new-found humanity? I hope not, because watching his growth as a father and friend has been one of the more compelling things about 'Dexter' lately. But this felt like a harbinger of bad things to come.

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

What did you think of this episode of 'Dexter'? Sound off in the comments.

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Jea Tajala

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November 14 2011 at 6:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jea Tajala

Watch Dexter Season 6 Episode 6 If Dexter gets personal, but the new role of Debra as a lieutenant to leave feeling overwhelmed. He also discovers Quinn made a professional gaffe http://tinyurl.com/5u45txm

November 14 2011 at 6:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
agabrielsky5

Dexter is one of the best, if not THE BEST program currently on television!

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November 12 2011 at 8:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lisa Miller

I like that Brian refers to Deb as “the one that got away!

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November 12 2011 at 2:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rabbitdare

I do think the reintroduction of his brother is a cool twist and a major plot development. Definitely see the expanding storyline of the struggle his inner conscience is having with good vs evil this season. It was inevitable due to the whole fatherhood aspect.

Okay, this is just my take on this season but (spoiler alert!)......I believe we are going to see how Dexter's & Travis's inner struggles are completely mirroring each other. While Dexter is dealing with the turmoil of his own conscience/soul brought on by his relationship with Brother Sam, the same "good vs evil" scenario is going on with Travis. Since the second episode I have suspected Gellar is actually dead. He seems to suddenly appear and disappear all the time. Gellar also doesn't actually do any of the "work." He directs Travis and doesn't touch anything/anyone. This past weeks's episode where Travis has a fleeting vision of blood trickling down Gellar's temple has clinched my suspicions. The theory of two killers working together has been a red herring. Just as Dexter is now seeing his evil brother Brian who (from the preview) we see is riding shotgun with him in the car and "directing" Dexter, the same thing has been occurring with Travis in the form of Gellar. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that Travis is Gellar's killer just as Dexter was Brian's killer. Think back to the scene with Dexter in Travis's car and the conversation they have. I believe Dexter had the right killer but allowed him to slip through his fingers because he mistakenly believes Travis is being manipulated by Gellar. My kicker: Dexter releasing Travis the way he did has now placed him in the position of being Travis's own "Brother Sam!" As soon as Dexter lets him go, Travis is questioning/struggling with his participation in the killings and wants to stop.

As I said, just my own take on what is happening. Do you think I am reading too much into this? Anyone agree/disagree?

November 10 2011 at 9:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ben-Jamin Tomlinson

It's awesome that Brian returned, and I think the reason he returned is complicated. Throughout Dexter's personal history there have only been 3 to change his "beliefs" we had Harry who tried to get him "squared away", we've had Brother Sam who has tried to "show him the light", and then we had Brian for that brief period to "lead him into the darkness". Now that he has rejected Brother Sam's attempts to change him, he sees the only person (in his mind) who's darker then Dexter. Great episode, Great ending, even the filler with Quinn and Debra was decent, which is a big upgrade. Thus far, I think this episode is the best in the season, but we still have 6 more episodes.

November 06 2011 at 11:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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