Tonight’s episode of Dexter was truly an emotional rollercoaster if ever there was one this season. And between moments of horror, insane suspense and pure dramatic brilliance, we moved one major step further in this season’s story.

With all but one of Lumen’s rapists dead, I think it’s fair to say that Jordan Chase will be this season’s big finish. Unfortunately, if you’ve done the math, you’ll see that there are two episodes to go, which probably means next Sunday’s episode will be a slice of build-up torture for us as things come to a head from all directions.

“Despite having considered myself a monster for as long as I can remember, it still comes as a shock when I’m confronted with the depth of evil that exists in this world.”

Speaking of torture, we’ve spent weeks hearing Lumen reveal snippets of information about what was done to her. The more we learned, the more justifiable her rage and anguish became but tonight’s episode threw everything into harsh perspective as we saw (and heard) video footage of each of the thirteen victims being tortured and raped. Maybe I’m just sensitive but there were times during these scenes where I had to put my hands over my ears because the sounds of the women crying and screaming actually turned my stomach.

Dexter managed to put his dorky act to good use by knocking over the pile of home-video DVDs and snatching #13, which was Lumen’s video. Between that and pursuing Emily, the lead they got from Chase’s blood vial, they were able to get the names of the two unknown people in the photograph. The heavy-set kid turned out to be a pre-transformed Jordan Chase (more on that in a minute) and the other was Alex Tilden, a banker.

Tilden, played by Scott Grimes (Band of Brothers, ER, Party of Five) was Lumen’s first official kill and she handled it like a pro. From the chilling sight of her standing in front of the TV where her rape video was playing to the way she said “Thirteen” in response to Tilden’s plea to them to give him a number (monetary figure) in exchange for his life, she was like Dexter, cold, calculating and determined to see the kill through, which she did. Alex, Boyd, Cole and the Dentist are all dead. That just leaves Jordan Chase, the puppet-master.

“I’m glad you didn’t touch any of them, because this DNA test will clear you and leave you all to me, and to her. Your time is up.”

Another brilliant line by Dexter and though Chase gave no visible sign that he was shaken, I think he might realize he underestimated what Dexter is capable of. Jordan Chase seems to get off on manipulating people. Not only does that come through clearly in his work but we learned tonight that Emily was the first of the victims. When they were kids, Jordan convinced the rest of the guys to rape Emily in a cabin at camp. Not only did he continue to have some kind of warped, manipulative power over the group of friends (enough to get them to repeat the crime with thirteen other women), but he also maintains an emotional hold on Emily. While we thought it was Lumen showing Emily the video of her attack that got the woman to open up about what was done to her, it turns out Jordan was behind her confession.

Jordan attempted to get Dexter caught by convincing a shaken Tilden to stay put, knowing Dexter was on his tail. He tipped off the police about Tilden, making up some story about him calling the office looking for Cole and sat back, believing the cops would arrive at Tilden’s house to find Dexter and Lumen in the process of killing Tilden. That might have happened too, if not for Dexter and Lumen deciding the most secure place to set up the kill room was in the vacant house across the street. Of course, we only found that out after a very intense scene wherein we followed Deb and Quinn into the house only to find Tilden’s home empty.

While Dexter and Lumen did manage to get away with murder once again, Deb’s putting the pieces together. Not only did she spot one of Lumen’s footprints outside Tilden’s house but she also determined that the thirteenth victim may have survived and is the one out there killing her attackers. Well done, Deb! Of course, she has no idea that her brother is helping out.

“With Lumen I’m someone different. In her eyes, I’m not a monster at all.”

After his talk with Astor last week, which prompted the revelation that Lumen is helping him cope with Rita’s death, Dexter seems even more aware of this girl’s presence in his life and that came through loud and clear tonight. After seeing the look on Dexter’s face when he saw Lumen dressed in black and sporting her own pair of black leather kill-gloves, it seemed obvious that he was seeing her in a new light, so I wasn’t entirely surprised when the two crossed the friendship line at the end of tonight’s episode.

Do I see a future for Dexter and Lumen? No, not really. I think in all likelihood, their love making was another step further in the healing process for both of them. I continue to feel optimistic that Lumen will survive this ordeal and that despite what Deb says, a woman can move on from something as horrific as what was shown on the videos. Lumen is proving to be a very strong person and one that is capable of adapting and moving forward. Lumen and Dexter connecting on a physical level implies to me that sex hasn’t been completely ruined for her or at the very least, when there’s trust involved, she can move on from what’s been done to her. She trusts Dexter.

As for Dexter, I think it might be a completely different story. On one hand, it seems fitting that the first woman he sleeps with after Rita’s death should be someone that really matters to him. Then again, Dexter’s not exactly the one-night-stand kind of guy, so that seemed to be a given. On the other hand, his thoughts on Lumen not seeing him as a monster makes me think he’ll have a harder time letting her go than she will him when all is said and done.

Everyone Else

Liddy - Could he have been any creepier when he signed out that surveillance stuff from the police department? What a slime ball. More importantly, he forged Quinn’s name when he signed out the equipment. And even more importantly, he got video footage of Dexter’s apartment, which included Lumen practicing with Dexter’s knives and plenty of other incriminating stuff.

Deb and Quinn - They seem to be working together ok but their relationship came to a screeching halt last week and that’s where they were tonight.

Harrison - The baby is visiting his grandparents. I’ll miss the little guy but it was definitely smart on Dexter’s part to send him up north while he’s dealing with Jordan Chase.

Batista - Batista is still on Team Deb despite Deb being off filing duty. His comment to her about LaGuerta not mentioning that it was Deb who found the evidence on the barrel girls shows that he’s still unhappy with his wife. If I were being pessimistic with my predictions, I’d say these two might be over by the season’s end. I’d feel sad about that for Batista’s sake but I sort of love the idea of LaGuerta being a problem-character (or a source of resistance anyway).

Masuka - And for my Masuka-love, instead of a quote, I’ll give him props for having to endure watching all of those horrifying videos in search of clues and evidence. He usually seems so enthusiastic about his work but tonight we saw that even he has limits as to what he can enjoy.

Random theory of the night - I think Quinn might find out what Dexter has done. It seems likely to me that with everything Liddy has on Dexter, either Deb or Quinn (I’m going to go with Quinn because it feels too soon for Deb to find out) will discover what Dexter does in his off-hours and I think Quinn will choose to look the other way. Too optimistic?

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