'The Big One' - 'Dexter' Episode 5.12


Dexter Episode 5.12
"The Big One"
Written By: Chip Johannessen and Manny Coto
Directed By: Steve Shill
Original Airdate: 12 December 2010

In This Episode....

Dexter frantically packs his gear and is off to rescue Lumen when he is thwarted by a surprise visit from his family. Astor, Cody, Sonia, and everyone else from Orlando decided to move Harrison's party down to Miami. Astor and Cody want to spend the summer with Dexter, and despite his concern for Lumen, he is pleased. He begs off, claiming a work emergency. He does, in fact, go to work, to grab the property report on Jordan's holdings. Nothing there screams "torture chamber," so he calls in a request for property under a different name: Eugene Greer.

Before Dexter can escape, Laguerta calls a meeting. Liddy's body was found by a passing tourist who noticed the blood leaking out of the van, and she needs all hands on deck. Dex is antsy, does his analysis, and leaves, claiming he has to run some tests. In reality, the clerk's office called with the property report on Eugene Greer. Under his name, there is one property: Camp River Jordan. Duh. Dex steals a car and speeds off. Meanwhile, Laguerta has a few questions for Quinn at the scene. He doesn't have much of an answer as to why he was the last five phone calls in Liddy's phone. When Laguerta notices a spot on Quinn's shoe that looks like blood, he immediately lawyers up.

Jordan has Lumen in the trunk of his car. He comes to a stop light, and is approached by a guy selling oranges at the side of the road. The vendor recognizes Jordan, and hears the banging coming from the trunk. The light changes, and Jordan leaves without incident. At the first chance he gets, he pulls off to a secluded side road and knocks Lumen unconscious. When they arrive at camp, Lumen fights mightily against Jordan - even manages to escape for a minute. But ultimate, he wins out, and ties her up in the same room where she and the other girls were tortured.

In Dexter's haste to save Lumen, he is not paying attention, and drives into a construction vehicle. His stolen car flips, and Dexter crawls out through the smashed window with difficulty. This boy gets in a lot of accidents. Jordan is there waiting for him - it was a trap. He takes Dexter's kill tools and throws him into the basement with Lumen. Jordan is impressed with Dexter's tools - until he notices one is missing. Dexter used it to cut his binds, then swiftly stabs it into Jordan's foot, nailing him to the ground. Dexter chokes Jordan out. When he comes to, he is strapped down to a table, both Lumen and Dexter staring over him. He taunts Lumen, telling her how she has been transformed - she should be thanking him. Infuriated, Lumen slams the knife into Jordan's chest. "That's not just for me. That is for all the girls you tortured," she hisses as he slips away.

The street vendor reported his odd encounter with Jordan to the police, who brings the report to Deb. She checks up on it, and follows the evidence to the camp. She goes into the basement, where Jordan is dead and Dexter and Lumen are cleaning up. Conveniently, Dexter and Lumen are on the other side of plastic sheeting, so Deb cannot see who is there. She tells them to freeze, and Dex shows true fear on his face - fear that gets more intense when Deb announces that she knows who it is. "You are #13. I know what they did to you. It's a miracle you survived. I have to call this in," Deb announces, teary-eyed. A beat. "It will probably take the cops an hour to get here. If I were you, I'd be gone by then." It is revelatory for Deb, who goes to visit Quinn in the holding cell. She tells him that she is in no place to judge, not anymore. They reconnect, and have a touching moment despite the bars between them.

Dexter and Lumen dump Jordan's body in the ocean. With the last bag over the side, Lumen has dropped the last weight from her soul. She is joyful, she is light, she is free. Dexter pilots the boat home, looking at her with tenderness. The next morning, Dex slips out while Lumen is still asleep - or pretending to be asleep. He stops by Miami Metro to run the blood sample off Quinn's shoe, where Deb tells Dexter they found the torture chamber, but Jordan seems to have disappeared like the others.

Dex returns home with groceries and a jaunty step, to find Lumen awake - and tense. The feeling she had yesterday is gone. She woke up this morning realizing that her need to kill was gone. Dex begs her to stay - she doesn't have to kill. "But you do," she says. Her darkness is gone, and he is pleased for that, but he doesn't want to let go of the one person who knew him.

As the episode wraps up at Harrison's birthday party, it is a happy note, despite Dexter's sadness. Dexter manipulated the blood test so that Quinn is off the hook - he thanks Dexter, tells him he owes him one. He and Deb are back together, and happy. Batista and Laguerta are starting over. Astor has grown up a bit, and mended her relationship with Dexter. Even Dexter finds the positive side if things. Lumen gave him his life back and proved that he was human.

Dig It or Bury It?

It was a very emotional episode, and I kind of felt like it ended on a weirdly happy ending. Well maybe not happy... hopeful? The last 15 minutes of the episode were optimistic in a way that felt incongruous with the rest of the series. I am assuming that they wrapped this season before the official season six order came in, which is the only way to explain the neatly wrapped-up ending. It doesn't leave me with the same yearning after previous seasons. I hate cliffhangers, but I would have liked maybe a cliff dangler. Just a little something to keep me wondering.

The scene where Deb "catches" Dexter and Lumen was pretty intense. I really want Deb to know about Dexter at this point. I want her to be okay with his lifestyle, but feel guilty or uneasy about being okay with it. I feel like there is a good chance that is coming. This episode is just another nail in my "summer camp is evil" coffin. But come on, we all knew he was taking Lumen to the camp. That is his place of power.


"Jordan doesn't take a piss without a bodyguard holding his dick." - Deb

Flashback to the Future

Harry is desperately trying to put some order back in Dexter's life, trying to get him back on track. As Dex is heading out to save Lumen and kill Jordan, he reminds his son that the last time he was like this, his wife was murdered. When Dexter is on his way to the camp, he reminds Dexter that Jordan knows he is coming, and this is his home turf - he will be waiting for him. "Please, listen to me this time," Harry begs. It is at this point that Dexter crashes the car.

Body Bags

Jordan's death was surprisingly unspectacular. I kind of thought Lumen would toy with him a little bit. Not in a sadistic way, but in a "learn your lesson" way. She stabbed him out of anger, and while it was certainly cathartic for Lumen, I feel like Jordan got off too easy.


Lumen will be back. I am sure of it.