'Teenage Wasteland' - 'Dexter' Episode 5.9


Dexter Episode 5.9
"Teenage Wasteland"
Written By: Lauren Gussis
Directed By: Ernest Dickerson
Original Airdate: 21 November 2010

In This Episode...

Dexter has his meeting with Jordan Chase. It is uneventful, until the locker room, where Dexter spies a vial filled with red liquid, dangling from a necklace. He makes another appointment with the intention of stealing a drop from it. On his way home, he calls Lumen to tell her. She hears someone at the door and begins to panic. Dexter promises to be there in a few minutes, and to hide in the bathroom until he got there. The intruder makes it in before Dexter arrives. It is Astor. Astor and her friend Olivia took the bus down from Orlando. They are both tarted up and drunk out of their minds. Dexter will deal with them in the morning; all four of them, plus Harrison, will be staying at the house tonight. Astor refuses to believe that Lumen is Dexter's tenant.

Lumen stays with the girls while Dexter goes to his second meeting with Jordan. In the locker room, he sneaks a drop of blood from the vial with a needle while Jordan is in the shower. When Jordan gets out, he notices his locker slightly ajar. He examines his vial, and sees nothing out of the ordinary... until he notices a rogue drop of blood.

Dexter barely has time to send out the drop of blood to the lab for analysis when he gets a panicked call from Lumen. She went to the store to get the girls some aspirin, and when she got back, they were gone. They even left their cell phones behind. Dex races home, and is none too pleased to find next-door-neighbor Elliot helping out. Mr. Neighborhood Watch did, in fact see a white panel van in the driveway - even got a partial plate. Thinking he is dealing with a child abduction, Dexter calls the police. Lumen is worried that the abductors will link back to her, and she will be caught, but the only thing Dexter is worried about is Astor.

The cops bring in the driver of the van, and Dexter attacks him before he can explain. The man is Barry, Olivia's mom's live-in boyfriend. Barry tracked Olivia to Dexter's house through her cell phone GPS. Dexter gets a phone call. The girls have been picked up for shoplifting. Deb accompanies Dexter and Barry to bail them out of mall jail. Noticing Olivia's genuine fear of Barry, he volunteers to take the girls back to his house while Barry gets his van out of impound. Dexter is too busy with Astor to remember that Lumen is at his house, which leads to an awkward introduction between Lumen and Deb. Like Astor, Deb doesn't believe Lumen is Dexter's tenant. Dexter tries to talk to Astor in the living room while Lumen oversees the packing in the bedroom. Astor, naturally, doesn't want to talk. Things change when Lumen comes in to tell them about the bruises she saw on Olivia's abdomen, courtesy of Barry. That was why they ran when the van pulled up. Astor was just trying to protect Olivia. She thought they would be safe in her own home, but didn't tell Dexter because she thought he wouldn't care.

Dexter, of course, cares greatly. He meets up with Barry, alone, and casually walks him into an alley. He beats the crap out of Barry, describing in detail what each blow was doing to his body, and what Barry's own blows had done to Olivia's. He tells Barry to dump Olivia's mom and disappear, so she would never even think of crawling back to him. Dexter drives the girls back to Orlando the next day. Barry is gone, and Olivia thanks Dexter sincerely. At Astor's stop, he tells her he is proud of her for helping a friend. He promises that Lumen is not his girlfriend, but a friend in need. She is happily surprised when Dexter tells her he loves her, and invites him in to see Cody. They walk in hand in hand, their relationship renewed.

Deb has been assigned to the file room for a few weeks, until the Fuentes mess blows over. She is not happy about it, but notices an irregularity in the Barrel Girls case. Boyd's DNA was a match, but there were at least four other DNA samples taken from the girls; one of which had enough markers to belong to Cole. Deb brings it upstairs to Masuka and Batista, who agree that the case needs to be reopened. When Batista draws the short straw and has to bring it up to Laguerta, she is furious, and thinks that Deb is just doing this to get back at her for the Fuentes case, and refuses to reopen it. Deb is furious and tells Laguerta that it is not her who she is punishing - it is any other girl who falls victim to the Barrel Boys. She finally agrees, but only after slipping in a remark about how Quinn was put on suspension to protect Dexter.

Deb naturally confronts Quinn about it. They were already on thin ice when Quinn accidentally-on-purpose let slip that he loves her. Deb didn't say anything back because she was afraid that she might feel the same way. Quinn admits that he thought Dexter might have been Kyle Butler, but the lead didn't pan out, so he dropped it. Deb is incensed. Quinn decides he is sick of Liddy, sick of this whole, crazy hunch, and tries to fire Liddy. He refuses to back off, and when he makes veiled threats about telling Deb the truth, Quinn makes his own threats.

We have not forgotten about the blood vial. Dexter gets the results back - the blood belongs to a woman who is still alive. But Jordan knows. He calls Dexter's house. Lumen answers, and recognizes the voice. She tries desperately to hold it together, but when he says "Take care, Lumen," she loses it.

Dig It or Bury It?

This episode was heavy on the family melodrama, yet with Dexter I never mind it. It is all so well tied-in with his dark psyche that it just works - even makes the show more gripping. It never strays into soap opera territory. It was sweet to see Dexter truly scared. I'm glad that Astor is rekindling her relationship with Dexter. I can already see where season six is headed - the kids are moving back in with Dexter, and I wouldn't be surprised if he tried to rehabilitate himself. Even though it was a gripping episode, I am ready to get back out the revenge track next week.

Out of the Mouth of Masuka

When discussing with Batista and Deb who will be the one to tell Laguerta the Barrel Girls case needs to be reopened: "If I reopen it, I may as well put my balls in a vice. And not in the hot way."

Flashback to the Future

Harry is back! He first shows up when Astor and Olivia first show up. He is trying to convince Dexter to send the girls away, that he can't be a killer and a dad. He comes back after Dexter beats up Barry. Dexter is on the defensive, but Harry is proud of him. "You protected Astor - you put yourself out there for another person," he tells Dex. "I assumed you were a monster, when you were capable of so much more."

Body Bags

No deaths in tonight's episode, but Dexter had "the look" in his eye while beating up Barry. But that would not be an eye for an eye; Dexter will not break the code.


Lumen wants to be the one to kill Jordan. This makes Dexter apprehensive, but gives her instruction - while Liddy spies on them. Meanwhile, further investigation into the Barrel Girls case reveals more victims - and videos detailing the atrocities that were done to them. If Deb sees Lumen's video, it is all over for her and Dexter. But Deb already has a hunch that there is a vigilante on the loose... and she doesn't seem too broken up over it.