Shedding light on Lumen and Dexter


Dexter is halfway through Season 5 and I’m dying to know what you think of Julia Stiles’ character, Lumen. (Spoilers ahead.)

I realize that not everyone has the stomach for Dexter, so here’s a little background. Dexter started the season in shock, not sure how to recover from Rita’s brutal demise. So, he did the one thing he expected to bring him back to himself — he found a “deserving” victim of his own.

What Dexter didn’t expect was that one of his victim’s victims, Lumen (Stiles), was still alive — and witnessed Dexter’s hobby in action. Over the past few weeks, Dexter has learned that Lumen was the victim not just of his target, but a series of men who raped, tortured and sold her. And Lumen wants revenge. (This clip is from next episode, but has no spoilers.)

This week, Lumen found one of her abusers and shot him, but had to call Dexter to help her finish the job. Dexter was in the middle of a kill of his own, but went to help Lumen and, after a few complications, found a darkly creative way to dispose of both bodies, courtesy of the police.

I’ve oversimplified the storyline, but Dexter has learned that Lumen is very much like him; she has been turned into a killer after experiencing brutal violence. He didn’t want a partner in crime, but he certainly has one, at least until he helps Lumen destroy her abusers.

Dexter and Lumen already have developed an interesting chemistry. Not romantic, but definitely familiar. When Dexter was figuring out how to take care of Lumen’s kill, they sounded like a brother and sister or husband and wife arguing over directions to a party. Yet the underlying strain was palpable — they were very close to being caught.

Back at the house, the comfort level between them was even more apparent. Dexter caught a glance of Lumen relaxing in the bathtub and flashed back to Rita in the same position, dead. After a mini-breakdown, he and Lumen sit on the bathroom floor and share their personal histories.

We don’t know if the bathtub was foreshadowing Lumen’s end or a new relationship for Dexter (romantic or not). Maybe Dex finally has a confidante that can accept him for who he is. Or maybe Lumen’s lack of experience in the art of killing will expose him.

One thing is certain: Michael C. Hall and Julia Stiles are doing amazing work in Dexter. I agree with my fellow blogger Lesley Goldberg that Stiles should get far more recognition for this role than she has so far. She and Hall both deserve Emmy nods.

But I want to know what you think. Have you been surprised at Lumen’s role in Dexter’s life? What kind of relationship do you predict for them?

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