Dexter—Season 5

dexter season 5 poster review episode guide list
8.5 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 8/10

Michael C. Hall, Julia Stiles, Really changes up series

A lot of suspension of belief for plot to work



Get ready for a whole new Dexter

Season 5 of Showtime’s Dexter starts out with the season cliffhanger death of Rita at the hands of the Trinity Killer (John Lithgow).  This really changes the dynamic of the show and puts Dexter (Michael C. Hall) in a new position.  He’s not only a single father, but now he has feelings of guilt that he is responsible for Rita’s death.  The arrival of a new series of killings and Lumen (played by Julia Stiles) gives the show an interesting direction and kind of does a change up by having Dexter being an instructor like his father Harry was to him.

It also is interesting to see that Dexter experiences real emotions this season (which kinds of goes against the sociopath idea since sociopaths are often detached and cannot empathize).  It remains to be seen if these new emotions will change the course of the series.

Like most seasons of Dexter however a lot of suspension of reality has to occur.  There are so many times that evidence would lead directly to Dexter (including cameras, records searches, etc.) and nothing comes of it.  The police are portrayed as research geniuses but can’t follow some of the simplest evidence trails.  There are some real issues with this in the last couple episodes of the season involving a stolen (& wrecked) car, a officer’s death, and the fact that Lumen rarely appears to be wearing gloves (and her fingerprints are on record since Dexter found her identity through them).  This doesn’t hurt a good show, but it sometimes dumbs down an otherwise smartly scripted show.

Dexter—Season 5 Complete Episode Guide:


“My Bad”

5.1       My Bad Airdate:  09/26/10

Dexter (Michael C. Hall) tries to cope with Rita’s death and comes under suspicion when he says he’s responsible at the scene.  Joey Quinn (Desmond Harrington) starts to suspect Dexter when he finds Dexter learned that Rita and the next door neighbor Elliot (Rick Peters) had been caught together by Dexter.  Dexter realizes that his whole relationship with Rita (Julie Benz) was based on a lies and that he killed a man on their first date.  Dexter is forced to tell the kids about Rita and Astor (Christina Robinson) tells Dexter that it is his fault their mother is dead.  Quinn and Debra clean up the murder scene and sleep together.  Dexter decides to commit suicide and destroys his criminal belongs to protect his family.  Dexter encounters a man at a boat gas station and kills him when he insults Rita.  Dexter realizes he has to fix things and attends Rita’s funeral.


Hello Bandit

5.2       Hello Bandit Airdate:  10/03/10

Dexter, Astor, Harrison, and Cody move in with Debra (Jennifer Carpenter) and find they are cramped for space.  Dexter meets with the FBI and the FBI report that the only person they are looking for in the Trinity Killer’s disappearance is a man named Kyle Butler.  Dexter rents a moving truck and becomes obsessed with it when he discovers blood in the back.  Dexter tracks the truck to an animal control agent named Boyd Fowler (Shawn Hatosy) and calls in an animal death to meet him.  Batista (David Zayas) learns that LaGuerta (Lauren Velez) has a small fortune.  Dexter breaks into Boyd’s home for evidence and follows him to a swamp where he makes a dump.  Debra investigates the murder of a woman and her husband and is advised by a local officer Cira Manzon (April Hernandez) that it could be part of a cult warning.  Quinn learns the FBI are looking for Kyle Butler but remembers Kyle Butler was a former murder victim.  Astor and Cody (Preston Bailey) decide to move into with their grandparents and Dexter tells Cody that he has to be with his sister.  Batista goes out drinking with Masuka (C. S. Lee) and gets in a fight when another officer says things about LaGuerta.  Dexter returns to the swamp and finds Boyd is hiding bodies.


“Practically Perfect”

5.3       Practically Perfect Airdate:  10/10/10

Dexter and Debra seek out a nanny for Harrison and hire a woman named Sonya (Maria Doyle Kennedy).  Dexter sees a counselor over Rita and is encouraged to find a way to express his energy.  Dexter forces a meeting with a Boyd and agrees to a ride around with him.  Debra searches for clues with Manzon in the deaths of the couple and meet with local venders about artifacts sound at the crime scene.  Dexter sets up a kill room and is warned by Harry (James Remar) not to get sloppy about his work.  LaGuerta learns about the fight and tells Batista that he’ll have to get use to hearing things about her.  Dexter goes on a ride along with Boyd and sets him up for a kill.  Debra and Manzon find their lead dead and realize it is another cult killing.  Dexter knocks out Boyd but Boyd hits him with a tranquilizer.  Boyd and Dexter are taken to the hospital but escape before they can confront each other.  Quinn talks to the FBI and tries to meet with the Trinity Killer’s family to find if Dexter is Kyle Butler.  Dexter gets Boyd at his home and learns Harrison is walking from Sonya.  LaGuerta learns that the man Batista fought is hospitalized and that he could be charged with assault with a deadly weapon.  Dexter kills Boyd and finds Boyd still has a woman (Julia Stiles) living as his prisoner.


“Beauty and the Beast”

5.4       Beauty and the Beast Airdate:  10/17/10

Harry debates with Dexter on what he should do with the girl.  Debra calls Dexter for the murder and Dexter plants evidence to determine who the girl is.  Quinn is rejected access to the Trinity Killer’s family but follows the FBI to their safe house location.  Dexter learns that the girl is named Lumen Pierce but that she hasn’t been reported missing.  Sonya tells Dexter that she can’t work for him if he spends nights out and quits.  Dexter tracks down Lumen’s hotel and learns Lumen ran away from her home.  Batista gets the officer to accept his apology but learns he’s still under investigation.  Dexter goes to Sonya and convinces her to come back.  Debra gets a lead on suspects from a cigar butt found by Dexter, but the suspect Carlos Fuentes (Joseph Julian Soria) escapes after slitting the throat of a hostage.  Lumen tries to escape into the swamp, but Dexter tracks her down.  Quinn tries to question Jonah Mitchell (Brando Eaton) about Dexter but is arrested by the FBI.  Dexter takes Lumen to show her the bodies of Boyd and tells her that she will have to trust that he isn’t going to hurt her.  Quinn is suspended by LaGuerta and spends the night with Debra.  Lumen tells Dexter that she believes him but that Boyd wasn’t the only one who tortured her.


“First Blood”

5.5       First Blood Airdate:  10/24/10

Lumen tells Dexter that she has to stay in Miami and that she wants the men who tortured her dead.  Dexter searches for clues to Boyd’s accomplices and goes to his house for evidence.  Debra gets a lead on Fuentes and tries to track down a tattoo on his hand.  Dexter finds Boyd’s house was broken into by Lumen and that Lumen is going after Boyd’s friends without him.  Dexter tracks down one of the men targeted by Lumen but discovers she picked the wrong man.  Dexter stops Lumen from killing the man, and Lumen says she’ll go home.  Batista accuses LaGuerta of having an affair but doesn’t realize she was picked to go on an undercover officer sting to bust Stan Liddy (Peter Weller).  Debra and Manzon search for another lead and find another murdered couple.  Lumen goes to the airport but finds she can’t leave when she melts down during a pat-down.  Debra learns the tattoo is a stamp and that that it is a symbol for a club.  Quinn contacts Liddy and asks him to investigate Dexter.  Dexter tells Lumen about his family, and they both decide that they wish they had different lives.


“Everything Is Illuminated”

5.6       Everything Is Illuminated Airdate:  10/31/10

Dexter prepares to sell his house, and Debra gives him back the apartment.  Dexter finds a new target (Chad Allen) who hunts men in the internet.  LaGuerta and Debra are criticized for the stakeout on the club and learn that the search is going to be shut down.  Liddy looks into Dexter and learns Quinn is dating Dexter’s sister.  Dexter knocks out his target but has to go help Lumen when she shoots one of her attackers.  Dexter finds Lumen’s victim is gone and learns that Lumen has no real proof of the attacker’s guilt.  Debra gets called to a crime scene, and Dexter gets the call that he is in the crime scene.  Dexter and Lumen find the Dan Mendell (Sean O’Bryan) and confirm he’s the guy when he calls for help.  Dexter kills Dan but is forced to tell Lumen to run when he learns Debra is getting closer.  Dexter’s victim wakes up in the car and tries to escape.  Dexter manages to kill his victim and sets it up to look like the two men killed each other during sex.  Batista finds a person who knows the Fuentes brothers and tells LaGuerta that she can get the Fuentes brothers to the club.  Dexter sends Lumen to his old home and finds her in the bathtub where Rita died.


“Circle Up”

5.7       Circle Up Airdate:  11/07/10

Dexter and Lumen go through Lumen’s attackers, and Lumen recalls “Suit and Tie Guy” and “Watch Guy”.  “Suit and Tie Guy” has the bodies moved from the swamp but his truck is hit by a car.  The police are called in for the bodies, and Dexter realizes that the driver was the “Suit and Tie Guy”.  Liddy learns about Lumen, and Quinn sees Dexter with Lumen at the crime scene.  Dexter learns that the truck is registered to a motivational speaker named Jordan Chase (Johnny Lee Miller) and realizes Jordan Chase is the speaker that Boyd listens to.  Jordan and his assistant Cole Harmon (Chris Vance) come to the police, and Jordan volunteers his assistance.  Lumen is able to identify Cole but unable to identify Jordan.  Dexter decides Jordan needs revenge and decides to set up Boyd as the real killer to keep Cole out of jail.  Cole and Jordan are cleared of suspicion but realize that someone else did it.  The Fuentes brothers go to the club and a gunfight breaks out in which Debra kills Carlos Fuentes.  Dexter breaks into Cole’s house and is saved from Cole by Lumen.  Lumen and Dexter learn that the men have known each other for years, and Dexter realizes he’s working with Lumen as a team.  LaGuerta finds herself criticized for the club shooting but denies any wrongdoing.


“Take It!”

5.8       Take It! Airdate:  11/14/10

Dexter attends one of Jordan’s seminars and watches Jordan and Cole.  LaGuerta finds herself hounded by the press and learns that charges might be brought against her.  Dexter is spotted in the audience and is asked to meet with Jordan.  Jordan tells Dexter that he knows about the death of his wife and is interesting in talking to him about loss and his program.  Lumen gets a call from her former fiancé Owen (David Paetkau) and learns that he wants to meet her Miami.  Dexter tells Lumen that it is time to go after Cole and that they’ll have to do it in a hotel room.  Owen tells Lumen that he wants to be in her life and travel.  LaGuerta turns on Debra, and Debra tells Quinn that she’s going after her since she called the raid.  Liddy sets out to get more information on Lumen and intentionally gets in a car accident with her to get her identification.  Dexter and Lumen set in the room next to Cole but are unable to catch him when he has a woman with him.  Liddy threatens to tell Debra about his investigation unless Quinn keeps paying him.  Dexter is unable to go after Cole when Jordan pulls him onstage to talk about Rita’s death.  Cole spots Lumen in the hotel and breaks into room to kill her.  Dexter saves Lumen, but Lumen and Dexter aren’t able to get anymore names from Cole before killing him.  Dexter admits to Lumen that he is a serial killer and wonders if Lumen can accept him.  Debra learns that Manzon sided with LaGuerta but Batista tells Debra that he’ll side with her.  Dexter meets with Jordan and learns that Jordan is “Watch Guy”.  Lumen accepts Dexter and helps him dispose of Cole.  Liddy gets pictures of Dexter and Lumen together.


“Teenage Wasteland”

5.9       Teenage Wasteland Airdate:  11/21/10

Dexter meets with Jordan for a private session and tries to find evidence that Jordan is part of the group that killed the girls.  Dexter sees Jordan has a vial of blood but that he’s beefed up his security.  Astor breaks into the house with her friend Olivia (Tabitha Morella) and finds Lumen.  Dexter tries to talk to Astor, but Astor thinks Dexter is sleeping with Lumen.  Debra is put into the file room until her hearing but finds that Boyd wasn’t the only one who assaulted the girls from the barrel.  Dexter gets the blood but is suspected by Jordan.  Astor and her friend disappear, and Dexter is forced to call her in as a missing person.  Dexter meets with the police, and the squad learns that Dexter is spending time with Jordan.  Astor and Olivia are found as shoplifters, and Dexter has to introduce Lumen to Debra.  Lumen learns Olivia is being abused.  Debra learns that LaGuerta doesn’t intend to reopen the case of the girls with the barrels and learns that Quinn was suspended when he tried to go after Dexter.  Quinn admits he tried to investigate Rita’s death and that he though Dexter might be Kyle Butler to Debra.  Dexter beats Olivia’s mother’s boyfriend (Daniel Travis) and warns him never to go near Olivia again.  Liddy tells Quinn that he’s onto something big and refuses to drop the case against Dexter.  LaGuerta reopens the barrel girl case and hopes she can get Batista back.  Dexter tells Astor that he’s trying to help Lumen and admits it makes him feel better.  Dexter learns the blood is from a girl who is still alive and wonders who she is.  Jordan calls Dexter’s home and reveals to Lumen that he knows who she is.


“In the Beginning”

5.10     In the Beginning Airdate:  11/28/10

Dexter sends Harrison to stay with his grandparents and moves Lumen to his apartment.  The police investigate Cole and learn he’s missing from Jordan.  A search of Cole’s home finds DVDs of the victims and Dexter has to switch out Lumen’s DVD while Masuka screens them.  Debra realizes that someone is targeting the men from the tapes and tells Dexter that there is a vigilante.  Lumen goes to Emily Birch (Angela Bettis) and learns that she was friends with Jordan and his friends when they were young. Emily reveals Jordan led the attack on her and identifies Alex Tildon as the fifth man.  Debra and Quinn go to see Alex Tildon (Scott Grimes) and Tildon denies knowing any of the suspects other than Cole.  Liddy spies on Dexter and Lumen using police equipment and learns they are breaking into a house.  Jordan meets with Emily and learns Emily told Lumen everything he told her to.  Jordan submits himself to DNA testing and warns Dexter that Lumen is toxic.  Liddy monitors Dexter and Lumen and finds them practicing killing.  Jordan sets up Tildon when he learns Dexter and Lumen are there and contacts Debra.  Dexter and Lumen drug Tildon in his home and prepare him for execution by Lumen.  Debra and Quinn go to Tildon’s home but don’t realize that Dexter and Lumen are using the house for sale next door.  Lumen kills Tildon, and Dexter and Lumen sleep together.


“Hop a Freighter”

5.11     Hop a Freighter Airdate:  12/05/10

Debra and Quinn go to Jordan and try to find his connection to the missing men.  Dexter and Lumen try to get into find Jordan and Lumen tries to get him to use him as bait.  Dexter spots Liddy’s camera when it is picked up on the baby monitor but thinks Jordan is responsible.  Liddy tells Quinn that he needs his help for a bust and that Quinn can’t refuse him.  Dexter discovers the camera are from Miami Metro and questions who is watching him.  Debra reveals her vigilante theory at work but LaGuerta doesn’t believe it.  Dexter learns Quinn checked out the material but doesn’t realize Liddy did it under his name.  Debra and Quinn question the wife of Dan Mendell and learn that Jordan Chase use to be Eugene Greer.  Dexter learns Quinn thought he was tied to Rita’s death, and Debra broke it off when she learned.  Dexter and Lumen wonder what to do about Quinn.  Quinn admits to Debra that he loves her and that he wishes he hadn’t betrayed her.  Debra learns Chase is planning to leave the country and decides she has to stop him.  Dexter stakes out the surveillance van but is jumped by Liddy when he’s expecting Quinn.  Emily contacts Lumen and tells her that Jordan knows he’s after her.  Liddy contacts Quinn to meet him and tells Dexter that he’ll allow Lumen to be free if he gives a full confession. Lumen goes to Emily and learns Emily set her up.  Dexter overpowers Liddy and kills him before Quinn arrives.  Dexter is forced to leave Liddy to go after Lumen.  Jordan kills Emily and Dexter finds Jordan and Lumen are gone.  Debra stops Jordan’s plane and finds Jordan didn’t make it.


“The Big One”

5.12     The Big One Airdate:  12/12/10

Dexter tries to locate Lumen but is interrupted when Astor, Cody, their grandparents, Sonya, and Harrison show up to surprise him.  Dexter learns Astor and Cody want to stay with him for the summer and manages to get away to search for Lumen.  Dexter goes to the office and learns that Debra wants to catch Jordan because he reminds her of Rudy.  Dexter tries to get information of Jordan’s past as Greer but is called in to investigate Liddy’s murder.  LaGuerta learns Liddy contacted Quinn and Quinn is forced to surrender to police when LaGuerta sees blood on his shoe from the van.  Debra tries to talk to Quinn and Quinn refuses to tell her his connection to Liddy.  Dexter steals a car and tracks Jordan to camp.  Dexter is forced to have a car accident and captured by Jordan.  Debra learns a street vender spotted Jordan and decides to investigate it.  Dexter overpowers Chase and frees Lumen.  Lumen kills Jordan and Debra interrupts the clean-up.  Debra doesn’t see Dexter or Lumen and allows them to escape before she calls in the scene.  Debra tells Quinn that she doesn’t know what he did and that she will support him.  Dexter and Lumen dispose of Jordan’s body and realize they succeeded.  Lumen tells Dexter that she has to leave, and Dexter realizes that the darkness inside her is gone.  Lumen leaves, and Harrison birthday is celebrated.  Batista tells LaGuerta that he wants to start again, and Quinn thanks Dexter for clearing him from Liddy’s murder.  Dexter tells Astor that he helped Lumen and wonders if it helped make up for what happened to Rita.

Related Links:

Dexter—Season 1 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Dexter—Season 6 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Dexter—Season 7 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Dexter—Season 8 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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