Dexter: Monkey in a Box

"I never thought this day would come. You don't need me any more."

No more two-world-straddling. Dexter finally graduated to human being. His loved ones are now exactly that -- they're no longer just "cover". I've been getting such "normal guy" vibes from Dexter this season, and son of a gun, he really and truly doesn't need to kill any more. He doesn't even want to kill any more. And of course, that turned out to be a problem. Couldn't he have managed one more axe murder for the road?

I was pleased at first that Dexter was finally throwing a case to Miami Metro and specifically to his sister, but it absolutely drives me nuts when someone leaves a devious, dangerous killer alone because you know he's going to get away. Dammit. I don't think the producers of Dexter are going to piss off the fan base permanently by killing off Deb. But Saxon is on the loose and he's certainly going to kill somebody.

This episode featured lots of callbacks to earlier seasons. The deserted hospital a la Rudy/Brian was the big one; the photography during those scenes was very good, moody and blue, and the atmosphere was tense. Dexter seemed like a normal guy during his goodbye party, including some reminiscing with Angel about their first case together. And Valerie Cruz returned as real estate agent Sylvia Prado from season three, which was a nice touch. Someone that Dexter made a widow, so nice of him to throw her some business, huh? I thought Sylvia was going to be a Saxon victim. Not yet, fortunately. She's had it hard enough.

The best callback was Deb getting her old desk back, and I mean the first desk, not the latest one. Quinn even kept the engagement ring in his desk. Now that's romantic. Deb's bullet wound was even in the same place she was shot before, too. And we got one last night of Dex and Deb and steaks and beer, waiting for a killer to show up. I liked that they got him together.

What moved me the most, though, was "Harry" telling Dexter goodbye, that Dexter didn't need him any more. "Harry" has been waiting such a long time for Dexter to become a real, live boy. Did we finally get it just to see Dexter die or go to prison in the finale?

I always thought this show would end tragically, but I'm starting to think that I was wrong. Deb will live, of course. Saxon will wind up in pieces. And Dexter just might get the girl and live happily ever after. I might be okay with that.

Bits and pieces:

-- The title, and Harrison talking about his stuffed monkey, made me worry that Saxon was going to capture and imprison Harrison. Thankfully, no. As unrealistic as it is, Harrison needs to be a noncombatant. Rita's death, and the baby in the blood, was more than enough.

-- When Sylvia asked Dexter why he was leaving, he looked at the air conditioner where he used to keep his slides.

-- Dexter and Deb often wear the same color. They did it twice in this episode: first green, and then navy. Usually it's pink or blue.

-- The marshal and Elway have become serious trouble. Well, the marshal is probably out of the picture now. Elway is still serious trouble.

-- Some pointless but charming Masuka-Niki scenes. It's a nice way to leave Masuka. I've always liked him. Or more accurately, I've always liked how he grosses me out.


Masuka: "I could go for some hookers and some blow right now, but since this isn't the nineties … caffeine it is."

Matthews: "It's important to remember those who are no longer with us. Now who wants a drink?"

Deb: "You should go on one of those cooking shows, you know, the competition ones? You'd win."
Hannah: "Oh, I'd make sure that I did."
If someone had told me that Deb and Hannah would be joking about murder at some point, I never would have believed it.

Deb: "Nothing -- and I mean nothing -- is going to keep me from having one more night with my brother."

Deb: "There's a human being in there. There always has been. You just can't see it."

Good episode, nice and tense and penultimate, but I'm not quite sure how I feel about it. What did you all think?

Billie Doux is the founder of Doux Reviews and has been reviewing her favorite shows for quite some time. More Billie Doux.


TheDarkShape said...

I don't think Deb will live. Maybe it's because I don't trust Scott Buck and company at all, but I feel they're going to kill Debra and let Dexter off free and clear to go live with Hannah.

Henrik Bennetter said...

Haven't seen the episode yet, or read the review actually, but I have seen this:

This could have been.

Henrik Bennetter said...

Now I've seen it. The beginning of the season had me hopeful. Now... let's just say I'll be happy when it's all over. The writing has been really poor, almost apathetic. Have a look at the link in my previous post, that would have been "going out with a bang".
Great review as always. I'm still somehow looking forward to the finale but mostly because I want to see how everyone ends up. There's really no tension.

Francoise said...

Well,this one was slightly better, but I can't wait for it to finish. Maybe we will have the surprise of our life and understand everything that has happened this season, but I doubt it.
It's a shame, I really liked Dexter, now I have no feeling for him as he seems to become "normal"

Mani said...

Yeah, Francoise. Dex so boring and even dumber now, there used to be an explanation for it, but he should know better by now. This episode was okay, but with such actions as, hey, I'm a Federal Marshal, I'm going to come up on someone who's tied up, who's been all over the news and let him go so he can kill me, what do we expect? It's just sloppy, sloppy writing!

I'm really tired of Dexter making stupid decisions and letting people go once he's caught them. For heavens sake if you care about your sister, why would you leave her there alone with him? At least hide out of sight until the cavalry gets there before you leave.

The finale will tell us whether apathy won out in the Writer's Room. It's looks like Dexter the show is being buried Six Feet Under.

Lee said...

As far as wrapping up Dexter's story, I will be quite unhappy if he rides off into the sunset with Hannah. How in the world will be really be able to trust her?

The best ending for him, now that he no longer needs to kill, would be to stay in Miami with Harrison and Deb, meet a "normal" girl and have a "normal" life.

He deserves that.

Billie Doux said...

Yeah, I'm really not happy with Dexter ending up with Hannah. But I've been thinking about it a lot, and Dexter becoming a real human being and no longer needing to kill is something I've always wanted for him. Only a few days to go and we'll know.

Anonymous said...

At the beginning of the season I thought Dex would have to die, or at least ride off into the sunset to maybe die alone like Shane. Now I think they're setting up Dexter, the movie.

For that to happen, they need to keep Dex and Deb alive (they're the show!), but Hanna probably needs to die, and maybe Harrison and/or Jamie.

But it's just not as much fun now that Dex has become a real boy. Maybe losing Hanna will revert Dex into the old super-killer we know and love for the movie.

We'll know next week :-)

Francoise said...

I have a little niggling feeling at the back of my mind that Hannah did not return to be lovy dovy with Dexter but to actually kill him. After all he gave her up to the cops and she has killed all her husbands/lovers, so why not Dexter. She could try, and maybe succeed but I rather think that Dexter will win in the end against her (all wishful thinking)

Anonymous said...

What is the difference behind the scene between this and seventh season? It feels like the characters just drop so many brain cells over the course of a season. Normally when a show becomes this bad I would stop watching, but this being the last season of a show I love dearly (sans the atrocious this and sixth seasons), I feel like I have to send it off through the end, no matter how much apathy and sighs the show might cause in me.

Anonymous said...

I think this was the worst episode of the entire series, mainly because the characters are acting dumb and everything is all too easy. The writing is really bad.

Bea said...


I actually thought this was a particularly boring episode. I didn't feel any tension at all, and I hated Dexter's turning point. I didn't believe it at all, the way I've believed his "becoming more human" moments throughout the seasons, and it felt lazy to me. Maybe it has a lot to do with the fact that I just don't care for Hannah at all, whereas I've always cared for the other women in Dexter's life (Deb, Rita, and even Lumen are exceptional characters, and they have all helped expand Dexter's view on humanity one way or another, but I just don't know why the hell Dex's so obsessed with Hannah).

I just feel really... underwhelmed, I guessed.