If you’re not a fan of the show (or familiar with the premise), here is a quickie overview: Dexter Morgan is a Miami Homicide blood spatter analyst AND serial killer who has honed his expertise in the service of vigilante justice. We love him. In Season 5, Dexter inadvertently saves a young woman from a gang of sadists holding her captive. Enter Lumen, expertly played by Julia Stiles, the latest addition to a cast of narcissists, sociopaths and dysfunctionals.
Lumen relays her experiences with her captors to Dexter and enlists his help in revenge-murdering the pack of creeps who raped and tortured her. There is a lot of duality in the revelation of Lumen’s character so far – broken/empowered, victim/survivor, docile/dangerous. The complement to Dexter is believably developed: we excuse Dexter for being a serial killer because he targets the unforgivably evil and we excuse Lumen for being vindictive and bloodthirsty because she only targets her rapists.
TV fantasy-land aside – I think the show does an above-average job of accurately depicting the agony of rape trauma syndrome and PTSD. She expresses a heady mixture of anger, fear, and confusion. She obsesses about her bodily safety and is plagued with flashbacks. A standard airport security pat down, seen through Lumen’s eyes, is a surreal and belabored process that leaves her (and the audience) tense, panicked, and out of breath. In the real world, someone in her position needs extensive counseling and a loving and supportive social network. But this is Dexter’s world. Lumen will purge her anger and counsel her grief on a cathartic killing spree with the cops at her heels and Miami as the backdrop. I can’t wait.
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Kate is a public policy expert with a vintage dress obsession.