A quick review of tonight's "Dexter" coming up just as soon as I buy you a knife...

Season five had found itself a nice little groove in the last few weeks, but "Hop a Freighter" erased a lot of the goodwill that recent episodes had generated.

It's not that it was bad, but rather that it was predictable in that way that "Dexter" seasons always are. And it dashed any hope that the slightly tweaked format of the season would lead to a significantly different ending.

Specifically, I don't think they could have come up with a less inspired, less interesting means of dealing with the Liddy problem. Dexter has barely found out that someone associated with Miami Metro is watching him, and has no idea that it's Liddy, and then within the space of about 10 minutes, he's taken prisoner by Liddy, finds out everything Liddy was up to and most of what Quinn does and doesn't know, and manages to put a knife through the guy's heart. Bing, bang, boom; complications (almost) all gone, and there's so much other plot swirling that I doubt there will even be much time for Dexter to grapple with the idea that he killed someone who was a dirty cop but not really within the boundaries of The Code of Harry. The only thing that could have been more formulaic would have been Dexter securing Liddy to a table with plastic wrap to do the ritual first, but whatever the show gained in tension by sticking Dexter in that van was lost by how quickly and lamely they dispatched with the season's biggest wildcard.

With Liddy out of the picture, there are still some question marks about how the finale goes - Does Lumen get killed? Get on a bus? Somehow stay? And is Quinn now permanently on the side of the angels? - but overall the events of this episode were a reminder of how much I need to lower my expectations with this show.

What did everybody else think?

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