Dexter: Do You Take Dexter Morgan?

Dexter: "I promise to be the very best husband and father that I can be."

Let me say up front that I doubt any season of Dexter will ever be as amazing as the first. But this season was very entertaining and suspenseful and as usual, exceptionally well-plotted, well-written, and well-acted. This finale was satisfying. I wanted a happy ending for Dexter. It's so funny how I can't help liking Dexter, our friendly neighborhood serial killer. I've stopped trying to rationalize it.

Because of the overwhelming trauma he experienced when he was three and his extreme alienation from the rest of humanity, Dexter is emotionally stuck in childhood and takes small steps toward maturity. He worked through his early childhood issues in season one, and went through a rebellious adolescence in season two. This season was a teenage phase as well – the one where our friends, and their approval, becomes more important than anything else in our lives. Dexter's obsession with Miguel was a much bigger deal to him than impending marriage and fatherhood. But now it's over. Dexter learned his lesson. BFFs aren't for him.

And like most of us, when we grow up a little more, our parents seem to get wiser. This season, Harry was Dexter's imaginary friend and confidant, the voice of wisdom. When Dexter finally forgave Harry, I realized that Imaginary Harry was Dexter's way of resolving the whole Harry/Laura thing from last season. Dexter's experience with Miguel has allowed him to see Harry as a human being with flaws, no longer perfect. Which means Dexter feels comfortable going back to Harry's code again.

(I really liked Harry and Dexter scene with the tie, and then Dexter and Deb scene with the tie. Pretty much said it all. I liked Harry and Laura Moser at the wedding, too.)

There was something just too creepy, violent and horrible about George King, and I couldn't wait for him to be over. So I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the final Dexter/King confrontation. Dexter, tied to a table but completely unafraid, easily outwitted King by using the truth. Dexter knocked King mentally off balance before knocking himself physically off balance, getting loose the only way he could (which he aptly described as chewing off his own paw). It was actually amusing. I loved it.

I was also pleased and even touched by the way Dexter handled the out of control Ramon Prado. Instead of killing Ramon, which would be against Harry's code, Dexter showed depth and sensitivity as he talked Ramon down and told him exactly what he needed to hear. It was a nice thing to do. Of course, Dexter did kill both of Ramon's brothers, something that's easy to forget when you're watching Dexter being so kind to Ramon. I compartmentalize when I watch this show, much like Dexter does.

Interesting set-up for next season. How will Dexter cope with marriage and fatherhood? Will we find out about Rita's first marriage and why she lied to Dexter about it? Will Dexter have to give Deb his wonderful apartment? Where will he keep his slides? The most intriguing set-up was the hint that Deb may finally find out about Dexter's past. I'd like that.

Bits and pieces:

-- Dexter's wedding vows were perfect. He didn't lie about love or faithfulness or honesty; he just told the truth. He meant it, too.

-- Dexter saw Rita in her wedding dress before the ceremony. That's supposed to be bad luck.

-- Deb got her detective's shield. She's smart as hell and works her butt off, so she deserved it, Anton or no Anton. I also liked the way Maria gave it to her. When the series began, Maria was sort of despicable, morally gray, and hitting inappropriately on Dexter. Not any more.

-- Rita married John Alan Ackerman when she was sixteen, and divorced him six months later. A tantalizing tidbit. There really wasn't much about Rita this season except for pregnancy hormones.

-- Quinn got sliced up in the last episode, but seemed to be all better this week. I thought his wound was more serious. Plus, we got to the end of the season and the IA plot just sort of went away. Quinn is just another cop who works at Miami Metro now.

-- I was surprised that Angel and Barbara were still together at the end of the season. That was rather nice. Deb and Anton reconnecting was a surprise, too, and different from the two previous season finales where Deb lost her inappropriate mistake of a guy.

-- Miguel didn't beat up his own father, after all; Ramon did. Ramon spent his life covering for Miguel, and Miguel took all the credit. Maybe, once Ramon gets past mourning his brothers, he'll be ready to make a better life for himself with a lot less baggage to tote around.

-- This week's Most Obvious Symbolism was, of course, the blood from Dexter's hidden wound dripping down the back of Rita's wedding dress, where she couldn't see it.

Quotes:

Dexter: "Darling Rita. Once you were a dream and a prayer. Now our future is as bright as the sun glinting off the morning dew, and I vow that I... sounds like I'm marrying a unicorn."

Maria: "Reminds us what's important."
Deb: "Cupcakes."
Maria: "Abso-fucking-lutely."

Dexter: "Such a familiar situation. Such an unfamiliar perspective."

Deb: "You're completely different from me. You're laid back, and musician-y, and unambitious. You're like Valium."
Anton: "And you're like Red Bull."

Deb: "Me in a dress. I feel like a transvestite."

Dexter: "What do I have to offer a child? Just... me. Demented daddy Dexter."

I really enjoyed this episode. Was it a four? What did you think?

Billie
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Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.

4 comments:

Anthony said...

I have gotten a few people hooked on Dexter and we've all agreed that the last two episodes had a rushed feel to them. Though they certainly did wrap things up neatly. It'll be interesting to see what kind of father Dexter will become and how the writer's will choose to develop that.
I also liked the tie scenes...but I hated the use of Dexter's mom at the wedding. I couldn't help but wait for Anakin Skywalker to sit down next to them...just felt too Return of the Jedi for me.
The blood stain on the wedding dress was very awesome. Visually its such a representation of where they'll go next season and it reminds me of the brilliant use of images in the opening credits.

Anonymous said...

It was really good. Loved the way the Skinner got dropped in front of the police car. But I agree that they'll never top season one. I've also been wondering if they just wrote out Harry?

Anonymous said...

A great wrap-up to an otherwise awesome season. Billie, have you checked out True Blood yet? Let us know of your reaction if you have. :D

shawnlunn2002 said...

Interesting finale, not the best one but really well worth watching.

I'm glad that Deb got her shield and Anton. Heck, I enjoyed the conversation between her and Maria.

Dexter and the Skinner, not the best confrontation but I didn't really care that much that King was so easily killed. He's been a pretty impersonal threat to Dexter anyway.

Angel confessed about how he met Barbara to Maria.

Sylvia showed no grief for Miguel but Ramon behaved like a lunatic.

Good use of Harry in this episode.

Rita's been married before, interesting, 9/10.