Coincidence, Fate, and Control in 506: “Everything Is Illumenated” & 507: “Circle Us”

The Bodies

Dexter is determined to keep his life compartmentalized so that his after-hours vocation cannot bleed into his everyday life (and ultimately so that an accident like Rita’s never happens again). Although he believes that Lumen is no longer his problem, she calls him and tells him she needs help disposing of a body: she shot one of her assailants. Miami Metro is called there and nearly catches Dexter in the middle of his mess; however, he manages to weasel his way out of it as he usually does. Dexter promises to help Lumen avenge her attackers because he cannot “get revenge for Rita’s death.” Lumen even starts to become a partner to Dexter, someone he cannot help but get attached to. The Santa Muerte killers are tracked down in the Mayan Club and Deb finally shoots one in the head to put a stop to it.

Mistakes: Cleaning Up the Past/Present

“I’m a very neat monster.”

Dexter insists that his survival depends on separation of his hobby and his “life,” which is actually his facade. It is because Trinity found out about his life that Rita was killed. There was no way to keep his lives “closed off to keep the fire from spreading.” In order to protect everyone he loves, he has to be even more careful than he once was. Although he can never keep his two lives separate, for he is the shared entity, he can at least try. When he thinks Lumen has returned to Minneapolis, finding her sunglasses in his car (well, Deb finding them) doesn’t upset him so much, for she is “another part of my life, packed away.” Unlike his victims, however, Lumen is still alive and can move about as she pleases, which Dexter will discover when she calls up, looking for help in transporting a body.

“Life is the same way. It cannot be contained.”

Dexter’s sternness with Lumen is perceived as him being “very controlling,” which he is, but it is because Lumen has inconvenienced Dexter with the kill, and now with the responsibility of her. Everything she does leads back to Dexter. Lucky for her, he is great at staging stories and scenes, and is able to dispose of Lance (the homosexual predator) with Dan Mendell, the children’s dentist. Even luckier is that Masuka is able to “understand” and “explain” what happened at the crime scene to make it all look legit, or at least nobody wants to question for fear of getting too much detail.

Where Is Home?

Debra: “No evidence a family ever lived here.”
Dexter: “Or died here.”

As Dexter packs up the house Rita died in to be sold, Debra realizes that she will have to give up her – his – apartment. To each of the characters, home is where one’s loved ones are, and where one feels the safest. We see Dexter as warmer and more loving than ever, especially with Sonya and Harrison welcoming him each time he comes through the door. There is something soothing and genuine about the way in which Dexter treats his own son; as Sonya observes: “you’re really very good with [Harrison].” None of the interactions seem fake; it is Dexter’s duty to take care of Harrison. Although he may have failed Rita, he sure is not about to fail their son.

“Saint Brigid, circle us with your light, so that no darkness shall overcome our world.”

Although they had their differences earlier on, Sonya, the “Irish superhero nanny,” seems to be Harrison’s mother figure, and Dexter sees how “he’s always so happy in her arms.” Harrison’s purity and innocence, as accented by the statue of Saint Brigid, remind Dexter that he must behave if he is to live long enough to raise his child and see him out into the world. There is also yet another layer of calm in the apartment; although he does have his son, it’s like he’s virtually living alone again. Dexter does explain where he is going and what he is doing to Harrison, mainly because he doesn’t understand him, but also because Dexter used to talk aloud anyway. The issues will only begin to start when Harrison demands even more of his attention (for he’s just a baby now) and starts comprehending things. What will he see? What will he say? Will he understand?

Saint Brigid

Although Dexter is confident that he can do just fine as a single father (with the help of the nanny), for he is “father Dexter,” he does welcome Sonya’s introduction of Saint Brigid after some thought. Sonya insists that Saint Brigid is a comfort, and so Dexter figures he can’t go wrong if it makes his nanny (and child)  happy. Dexter is generally viewed as faithless (other than the faith he has in his father and the Code), and him throwing the statue into the toy box was a denial of God. There are times where the show bucks religion (as it did when we discovered a monster, Trinity, was conducting Christian services), but there are other times when the show embraces it. Dexter is taking a leap of faith with the nanny, and I also think that he could be taking a leap of faith with faith and prayer as well at this moment.

The  Barrel Girl Murders

Everything in Lumen’s plan to shoot one of the barrel girl offenders was “unanticipated.” Dexter critiques her sloppy shot as well as her plan to murder and then dump a body. Although he tells Lumen that she is “ruining [his] life,” he has to help her, for “I’m responsible for you. Everything you do leads right back to me.” He criticizes her for acting on a gut instinct (which Dexter does sometimes; however, he is wrong on occasion), for he has nothing to prove that she has the “right” man. When it seems as though Lumen has shot an innocent, they overhear Dan Mendell using Lumen’s phone to contact the other men, warning them that Lumen is back in town and ready to take them down.

“I can’t get revenge for Rita’s death, but I can help Lumen avenge what was done to her.”

When Dexter sends Lumen to his and Rita’s home after taking care of Dan Mendell’s (and Lance’s) bodies, he finds Lumen in the tub in the exact position he found Rita, dead. Surprisingly, the flashbacks are unbearable, but it’s interesting to see that these flashbacks have replaced those of his mother being dismembered in the shipping container (I’m sure it doesn’t help that the tub doesn’t drain properly, as Lumen points out. There’s a great fear that the blood will bubble up to the surface and things get ugly once again, as is evident by Dexter’s near panic attack). It is here that they discuss Dexter’s fatherhood and husbandry. Dexter’s plan to keep Lumen out of his life, for he doesn’t quite know how she fits in, complicates things. She first misunderstands his explanation of what he does for him being a cop. Despite his efforts to compartmentalize, he caves in and brings Harrison to see Lumen at the house.

“You sure know a lot about blood.”

Dexter finally recognizes after breaking into Cole’s house, and nearly getting caught, that Lumen “was born in blood, like me.” From here on out, he will accept her for what she is and even consider taking her on as a partner and sharing more with her, although he is desperate to take care of the kills on his own so as to minimize the risk and mess.

The truck accident, which brings in Cole and Jordan Chase, lets Dexter know that they are “on the run,” but also gets Miami Metro involved. Nothing like going against “my own people,” hence why he throws Boyd Fowler their way to derail them and buy them more time to avenge her attackers before Miami can bring them to justice.

The Bodies

A strange parallel emerges between Deb and Quinn and Dexter and Lumen; Deb and Quinn scrubbed Dexter’s bathroom, whereas Dexter and Lumen scrubbed Boyd’s attic to get rid of evidence that Lumen was ever there. The only real connection that emerges at the moment is the fact that there is tension between each of the couples, a pondering of how they will fit into each other’s lives (romantically).

An Illumenation of Dexter’s Choice in Women: Freudian Asides

Unbeknownst to Dexter, Lumen ran away from home on her wedding day for she feared commitment, just as Dexter did. She viewed the rape and attack as punishment: “This is what I get for trying to live my own life.” Similarly, Dexter feels that Rita’s death is his punishment for trying to keep up a heavily realistic facade while also being the great serial killer he is. They both have to deal with the consequences of being true to themselves, and it’s not the worst thing in the world to deal with those consequences together. As resistant as Dexter is to take her on as a partner, it seems as though Lumen understands him: it’s a partnership that could work. Seeing as Dexter helps Lumen avenge her attackers, it is safe to say that Lumen is a stand-in for Rita (who is a stand in for Laura Moser). The women in Dexter’s life keep dying and are dismembered and damaged (Dexter is beginning to sound more and more like Poe, except with fair-skinned, blonde-haired types).

“Truth is, I want to help her, for some very complicated reasons.”

It is not enough for Lumen nor Dexter to know that the justice system will handle the men that did them (and their loved ones) wrong. Lumen must see these men die by her own hands, just as Dexter needs to. Perhaps in taking on Lumen, he is trying to rewrite his histories with his mother and Rita. We know Dexter wishes he shared more with Rita and didn’t lie to her so much. Perhaps by being himself with Lumen he feels that he is doing all he can to help her, thus atoning for his wrongdoings while married to Rita.

It is interesting, however, that Dexter does begin to let Lumen into his life, for just two seasons ago after the slip up with Miguel, Dexter says:

“Truth is I’m not ready to share this part of me with anyone else just yet. I’m not sure I’ll ever be ready.”

Although he hasn’t told her everything, Dexter viewers know that they will get pretty involved as the season goes forward. So much for that.

A quick aside with Debra (for no Freudian section is complete with at least mentioning Dexter’s darling sister): Deb seems to have her tail between her legs when Matthews disses her plan for the Club Mayan operation. It’s as if her father is scolding her. Since we know how close Harry and Matthews were, it’s safe to say that this is a valid connection.

Stan Liddy and Quinn

We know Liddy and Quinn are allied by one thing: Maria LaGuerta, the Cubana picante who did them both wrong. Liddy begins looking into Dexter, and Quinn hired him to do. He’s just as suspicious of Dexter’s “squeaky clean” record as Quinn and Doakes was (he noted that the “porn” he had up on his computer in season two wasn’t likely, since he’d never rented a porn title  before). After looking more closely, Liddy discovers that he’s keeping a “blonde” (Lumen) at his house. Just when the information gets good, Quinn tries to back out, for now he’s romantically involved with Debra, “the target’s sister.” Because Liddy laughs at him, Quinn goes ahead and continues to pay him to do the dirty work. Who knows what Liddy will find out given that Dexter doesn’t know he’s being watched.

Dexter: A Comedy

  • Sonya: “Say ‘bye-bye’, Harrison.”
  • Harrison: “Die-die.”
  • Sonya: “His very first word.”
  • Dexter: [V.O.] “From the mouth of babes.”
  • Dexter: “It’s luminol . . . no relation.” [Explains what it is.]
  • Lumen: “Why do you have that in your purse?”
  • Dexter: “It’s not a purse.”

Dexter: “That’s either a saint, or the most boring action figure I’ve ever seen.”

Saint Brigid

Debra: “Shit a brick and fuck me with it.”

  • [Dexter shows her a picture of Jordan Chase and Vince and asks her if she recognizes “him.”]
  • Lumen: “No, uh, I mean that guy’s clearly a freak, but I don’t know him.”
  • Dexter: “Not the bald guy, the guy beside him. Jordan Chase.”


  • Debra: [V.O., on phone] “Would you please not wear that awful shirt with the patterns all over it? It really makes me dizzy.”
  • Quinn: “No, I, uh, only wore that as a joke.”

Awful Shirt

  • Lumen: “I thought I saw a shadow.”
  • Dexter: “And that made you come crashing through a window?”
  • Lumen: “I know. I know. I just had a feeling. It was some sort of lizard-brain thing.”
  • Dexter: “She’s starting to sound like me.”


And now to put a “number” on this episode. Dexterity (neat-handedness, puns, trickery, clever sayings, placements, etc.) will judge all of the small things that I pick up on. The higher the score, the more fun I had picking apart the episode for hidden clues. Entertainment (how much I laughed and enjoyed the episode) will judge how excited I was on average throughout the episode, as well as after it for the upcoming episodes. “Xtremity” (how dramatic, but also how believable the episode was, edge-of-the-seat, white knuckles, the “holy shit” factor) will judge just how jaw-dropping the episode was.

Dexterity: 8
Entertainment: 8
Xtremity:  8
DEX-Factor: 8


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s