Dexter: This is the Way the World Ends

Dexter: "One thing I'm sure I have faith in is the staying power of animal tranquilizers."

Okay, that last scene had me yelling "Omigod!" This may not have been their strongest season, but it certainly ended with a bang instead of a whimper.

Deb caught Dexter in the act. Yes, he had a good reason to kill Travis, but how could he possibly explain away the table, the plastic wrap, the protective clothing, the specimen slide? There is no way that Deb can misinterpret what she saw. I cannot even imagine what the next scene will be, and how she will react. Homicide lieutenant or not, I cannot see Deb arresting Dexter, and we know he would never hurt her. What a way to get people to tune in next season, huh?

It was fun that she was on her way to tell him she loved him. Deb goes whole hog when she does something, so it was in character that she would go all the way when she decided that she loved Dexter. I still find it emotionally incestuous as well as uncomfortable. (Yes, let's give us Deb hugging a nearly shirtless Dexter. Shudder.) But the situation just changed, shall we say, dramatically. The man Deb thinks she loves is not who she thought he was, in a great big serial killer kind of way.

Dexter really should have tied Travis up and left him on the roof. Although Travis would have run his mouth... okay, dead and on the roof. But that would have been as impossible for Dexter as a chocoholic resisting a delicious truffle. Dexter can't resist a good ritual murder.

The seasonal religious theme was taken to its conclusion. The opening scenes with Dexter in the water facing near certain death could be interpreted as an eye for an eye, since, as Dexter conveniently noted for us, he was in the same water where he dumped his victims. Getting picked up by the Milagro (Spanish for "miracle," of course) was practically a sign that God wanted Dexter alive, though. And then there was Dexter's semi-sacrilegious diatribe about God and religion to Travis at the end. Dexter is as much a child of God as everyone else because Noah's Ark has room for lions, too, and if we didn't quite get that, Dexter was wearing his murder clothes under his lion costume. Light cannot exist without darkness. Okay.

For me, the most enjoyable conclusion of the religious theme was Dexter using a Bible to prop up Travis's head. And it was hilarious that Dexter's final line when he saw Deb was "Oh, God."

I had expected that someone Dexter cared about would die (Jamie was the obvious candidate since she was the most disposable character), but no one did. It was too hard to believe that the writers would take out a toddler, so putting Harrison in danger wasn't their smartest writing choice. I rather wish they had used someone else. Maybe the cop. Although that would have been hard to resolve.

(When the detectives were trying to figure out the dog-like thing in Gellar's drawing, I thought for a moment that Travis was planning to sacrifice the cat.)

As much as I don't want to admit it, I agree with those who thought that the writing this season wasn't up to par. Dexter found too many important clues too easily, and he was way too careless. It was too unbelievable that Dexter was the first person in the house so that he could obliterate his own likeness from the mural. It was too convenient that Dexter found and concealed that drawing of the Transcorp Building. And how did Dexter keep from injecting himself, when he obviously injected himself? How did Dexter get an unconscious Travis and Harrison down to his car? Are there no security cameras in the Transcorp Building? For that matter, how did Travis get all of that altar crap and Harrison up to the roof in the first place?

And the biggest thing – how come Deb didn't put together the photos of the Lake of Fire tableau with Dexter's missing boat and midnight swim? I kept expecting that was how the episode would end, that Deb would put two and two together and come up with Dexter.

Oh, well. Despite my complaints, I still find Dexter to be interesting and compelling to watch, and fun to review. I'm definitely on board for next season. Unless they find a way to screw up the massive cliffhanger they just left us with.

Bits and pieces:

-- Dexter never saw the ITK hand that Greene sent him, and now it's sitting like a time bomb on top of Dexter's refrigerator. And Greene is going to be consulting for Miami Metro next season. More set-up.

-- Angel did his best to get rid of him, but Quinn is still hanging around with his situation unresolved. Ditto LaGuerta. Her sudden reversal and decision to support Deb was a bit unrealistic. Maybe she wasn't being sincere.

-- The "previously on" gave us yet another repeat of "Holy frankenfuck," which is my favorite Deb-ism ever.

-- Dexter killed a man in front of a crowd. Although it was probably the safest group of people to commit murder in front of.

-- Why did Travis pile up the wood in the living room if he wasn't planning to burn the house down?

-- Masuka doing Yoda. Shudder. He looks like Yoda.

-- In keeping with this season's incest theme, did anyone else find the parents and kids as mating couples on Noah's Ark a bit weird? The song they all sang was also pretty weird. Yes, let's have a bunch of kids singing about the end of the world.

-- I loved the Jamie moment with the knife. Oh, Dexter left a huge knife on the counter. I'll just shove it in a drawer. Didn't even occur to her to wonder why it didn't fit in the knife rack.

-- Seriously. What happened to the cat?

Quotes:

Woman: "You are very lucky God is looking out for you."

Maria: "Matthews put his dick before the Department."
Deb: "And you cut it off."

Angel: (to Quinn) "Why can't you put this much effort into actual police work?"
And so say all of us.

Dexter: (looking down at an unconscious Travis) "Is that my shirt?"

Deb: "It makes my whole life, every man I've ever loved, make sense."
Oh, Deb. No, it really, really doesn't.

Dexter: "I am a father. A son. A serial killer." Complete with genuflection.

I think I'll let you guys rate this episode. How many holy frankenfuck moments out of four? Will you be watching next season?

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

22 comments:

Josie Kafka said...

Eeerrmmm...(That's the best representation I can make of an awkward, Maude Simpson rattly moan.)

Lots of plot holes, here, which you pointed out, Billie.

But the incest thing makes me most uncomfortable. Did the writers feel like they needed Deb's feelings to be romantic in order for her discovery to really have impact? That implies that romantic love is the only one that "counts," whereas one of the great things about Dexter has been its emphasis on familial love being the one stable thing--whether it's Deb and Dex, Harry and Dexter, or Dexter and Harrison.

Really, though, I'm just not that happy with this season. Ever since an anonymous commenter posted that Gellar might be a hallucination on your "A Horse of a Different Color" review I've been uncomfortable with clumsiness of the overall writing (as well as some of the dialogue). Religion! Toddlers in Peril! Magical Negro! Incest! Parallelism! Pay No Attention to the Plot Holes Behind the Curtain!

I'll keep watching, because I'm invested in these characters and want to see what happens. But Dexter has lost some of its impressiveness for me.

(I think the cat is fine. Once he realized that his Mom and Dad had gone to the great catnip field in the sky, he decided to go on a walkabout. He will meet a lovely girl-cat and they will be adopted together into the home of a nice young family that just happens to have many balls of yarn sitting around the house.)

Billie Doux said...

Here's hoping you're right about the cat, Josie.

I don't usually read other reviews because I don't want to accidentally pick up on someone else's opinions, but I did go on a reading spree after I posted last week's. The Deb/Dexter incest plot is getting a ton of fan response, and it's about fifty-fifty pro and con. If the writers wanted to get people talking about the show again, they certainly succeeded.

natedagreat said...

I thought this season was probably as gud as the first and fourth, i really enjoyed it. alot of people online have been complaining about the about the plot holes left by the writers but you could probably say the same about most seasons of dexter. It isn't exexactly realisitic lol. I'm not really comfortable with the incest plot either. But ithas been in the works for quite sometime to be honest when i watched the first season i thought that it would be dexter who would be in love with deb. As he says in the pilot if he could love anyone it would be deb. Don't really like the plot line but it seems to me that it isn't something they decided to do last minute. can't wait for next season. As always great review

Cesar said...

I agree with Josie. The writing has been off this season and I also can't understand the need for the incest storyline... There may have been plot holes and stories that were resolved in a minute in the first four seasons, but I don't think there were quite as many as this year had, and there was more of the good stuff to distract us from it.

That said, I liked this episode, the acting is still amazing, specially Michael C. Hall and Jennifer Carpenter, and this last twist can lead to some very good stories, so I'll definitely keep watching.

Mark said...

I'm offended you wrote "And so say all of us." and not "So say we all." ;)

Seriously, amazing writing this year. My viewings of this show (and so many others) aren't complete until your reviews are posted.

Thank you for all of the time and hard work.

Until next year!!

Your Modest Guru said...

Probably my most anticipated Dexter kill since Trinity got trumped by that last scene. Seriously, I am very glad Travis is dead. Dexter villains are insane, but I think he topped them all. I couldn't believe it when he yelled at the old folks he killed.

I thought they'd explain the 'beast' wall by tying it into Dexter preventing Wormwood. I dunno, seemed like a good alibi.

Though still awkward and weird, the Deb/Dexter thing is growing more at ease. Mainly because Deb thinks its more bizarre than any fan. Her newfound love for Dexter is gonna make it even more complicated now that she's seen him kill. These next two seasons are going to be very interesting. I doubt she's gonna reveal her big secret to him too soon.

Glad neither Jaime nor Harrison died. Along with the opening scenes at sea, the father-son scenes were actually my favorite this episode. Still, are Astor and Cody at the bottom of the bay harbor or what?

We got two pretty good if not entirely coherent villains, some interesting developments, a lot of setup for the next season, a new tone for the series. I felt the religious theme this season was well utilized but still didn't quite gel. I enjoyed Brother Sam's plot line, as well as the crisis of faith everyone seemed to be having in one way or another. Even though I enjoyed it, it is probably the least of the six seasons for me.

Dexter still rocks though, as do your reviews.

Fishos said...

Hi Billie, first time posting here but we've had a few email exchanges here and there ever since your The Dead Zone reviews. You didn't like my Kill Kate petition IIRC. :)

Loved this episode/season, despite those problems you've mentioned. Ever since Lost's ending I never put too much trust in writers... sad, really. So I just enjoy the ride while ignoring the realization that this doesn't quite add up, as long as it doesn't breach a certain unreliability threshold.

One thing I found nice about this season, that I didn't find it too offensive, as an atheist myself. Because as we all know, there really is a god. And he really is looking out for Dexter. Because Dexter is god's main character, and god needs him to keep people entertained.


As for incest, personally I don't have a sister so it's hard for me to grasp the weirdness here. But it does seem like a thing to suppress rather than to embrace. That therapist is definitely not doing her job right, any sane/professional therapist would tell her to get a grip. Not that I'm against breaking taboos, but you don't encourage someone as emotionally unstable as Debra to go after a crazy fantasy. She has a lot of therapy work to do before she's ready to make such a decision.

Then again, this is not regular people we're talking about here... Deb is basically god's chew toy... her life is so fucked up that another one thing can't do that much extra damage.

By the way, I have a question. Is Miami really that scary? Because if murders happen half as much and are seen half as indifferently by people in Dexter's universe, I'll never visit there.

Oh, almost forgot: Great review! I can't not read your reviews after each episode. Too bad you stopped reviewing Terra Nova!

-Ido

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Billie, I look forward to your reviews after the show as well. Thanks for them.

One of the other ways they could mess up would be to have what Deb saw be Dexter's dream or something like that. I know he's kind of daydreamed telling her already, but sometimes when the writer's run out of ideas, the audience gets doo doo. After a show's been on a while it's like they stop caring about continuity, the audience, the stories, they just want to get the season over with as quickly as possible. In the beginning they had a goal and something to prove like Grey's Anatomy, now that they think their crap doesn't stink, they barely try.

Hey, at least everyone still looks good, especially Mr. Hall. The kid's cute, but as someone else said, he is not the most responsive child on TV.

Fishos you're funny, 'God's chew toy' I give this epi 2 1/2 frankenfuck's.

edie said...

Glad I have somewhere to share opinions -
I watch the show because I love the acting. Billie, I completely agreed with your review. I do think the writing went downhill this season. The incest thing is awful. Dexter calls Debra "Sis!" Family means everything to Dexter and suddenly the writers decide to take his sister away from him? In a previous episode Quinn made a dirty remark about Debra to him and he replied, "I don't look at her that way, she is my sister."
And a shrink who encourages an unstable woman to pursue a relationship with her brother just because he was adopted should have her license revoked! And what ever happened to the story of Deb investigating Dexter's mother? I thought that was going to turn into something. Did the writers just forget about that?

Anonymous said...

The final scene was good and I wanna see season 7´s first episode. But the rest of the episode was clumsy, kinda forced and icky on the Deb/Dex front.
I´ve said this before, but I don´t buy how Travis is suddenly a master killer when he at first was having so many doubts.
I liked some bits of the season but after Brother Sam died, the season died with him and clumsiness ensued.
I´m gonna watch season 7 but not with the same enthusiasm as the other seasons.

Fernando said...

Terrible writing on this season finale! Geez, can there be any more plot holes in one single episode??

Anyway, the last scene is all we needed to see, and that was good. I loved both things, this is a bizarre, in-your-face show and it has to continue to be that way. Deb falling in love with his brother is awkward, yes, but that's awesome.

Now, what I don't get is how on earth they're going to keep the show for TWO whole seasons after this. 7th should be the last one, for me.

I only hope they don't turn this finale into an actual relationship or partnership between these 2. After that last scene, I finally decided what I had been thinking for a while, Deb or Dexter, one of them needs to die when the show ends. This is a dark show, it doesn't have to go with a bang, it has to go dark.

Your review, Billie, great as usual. :D

Billie Doux said...

Thank you all so much for the terrific comments. I appreciate the kind words, too.

Just a few things to address some questions and observations.

Astor and Cody are living with their grandparents. That makes sense, since Dexter isn't their natural father.

Fishos, I don't think crime in Miami is any better or worse than any other big American city. Actually, since Dexter lives there, it ought to be safer, shouldn't it? :)

Deb did finish investigating Dexter's mom. She told Dexter that she'd learned that the Ice Truck Killer was his biological brother back in season four, and comforted him. I think.

It's hard to keep track when a show runs this long. Reviewing something helps me remember a little better, but I still forget way too much stuff. Fortunately, you guys usually let me know when I forget something, so I think I'm pretty lucky.

Personally, I'm hoping that knowing they have two seasons to work with will give them time to fashion a terrific ending to the series. I would expect it to be pretty dark. It's a dark series. It better not end with Dexter living happily ever after.

Tim said...

Josie summed up exactly how I feel about this season, except she did it far more articulately than I could.

Thanks Josie. And thanks to you too Billie for your great reviews.

Patryk said...

The cliffhanger was awesome but as for the rest of the finale and the season I can;t say the same.

Season 5 ended with a bit weak resolution and Julia Stiles was awkwardly written out of the show, but there were eps that were just exhillerating to watch especially the ones where Dex and Lumen hunted the bad guys as a team. In contrast this season was the weakest of all Dexter seasons, but the ending leaves so much possibilities that it manages to save it from being a misfire.

I just hope that seeing a serial killer at work will cure Debra of her love. They just shouldn't be a couple. Even real life back me up here. ;)

I'm with Mark: You should have written so say we all. :D

Olga said...

well, not the strongest finale of all (except for the last 5 seconds) and not the strongest season of all. I usually watch episodes of Dexter on the edge of my seat... but not once did I feel that during this season (except for the last 5 seconds).

I felt very unease every time Deb was so awkward around Dexter all of a sudden and way to much. I really hoped they wouldn't go there. I was so invested into their sister-brother relationships and I feel very uncomfortable with all this "in love" thing.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if anyone here has watched the show 'Heroes', but when I started watching it I watched religiously and with fervor, looking forward to every episode because it was that new and clever. Then it lost its way and became just another TV show.

When I started watching 'Dexter' I was like Olga, on the edge of my seat after each episode. I was so glad I had missed four seasons of the show in order to be able to look forward to each episode without having to wait for it.

Now I cringe at some of the writing and direction of the show. I still like it, but I just don't 'love' and look forward to it anymore. I still hope for some glimmer of its old self as we were promised by the producers, but except for the epi where Brother Sam's killer was offed and 'Nebraska,' it seems they've forgotten what made the show great. I'm sad about that, but life goes on.

Harry Earle said...

Funny how during a season that was all about Dexter finding his way and his purpose, the writing Gods are losing the plot, or just tearing great big holes in it.

I can't deny being thrilled about Deb discovering Dex, or being morbidly intrigued by her sudden realisation of love (Weird), but aside from that I was mildly bored. I never thought I'd say that about a Season Finale of Dexter. Sad times. Must try harder next year, writers!

But not you Billie, you always put so much effort into your reviews and it really shows - even though I waited 2 weeks to watch this episode I was reading your review less than a minute after it ended!

Anonymous said...

A very disappointing ending for a very disappointing season. Or, really, a very disappointing finale, since the ending was good. It was about the only good thing in the entire season, and to any of my friends asking about Dexter S6 I'll just say "watch the last 20 seconds and forget about the rest".

The writers went on a holiday and never came back. I think Quinn all over this season was an exact metaphor of what the writers have been doing: coasting it up and living like there's no tomorrow.

And Deb "loving" Dexter after two idiotic remarks and two hugs?. Please. Completely unbelievable and out of character, and also completely uncomfortable. "-Hey, he's not your blood. -Oh, that makes everything OK!". Yeah, right.

I'll probably watch S7, but I'll do it after reading the reviews. I've lost my faith in the people behind the show, and they'll need to work VERY hard to restore it. And I doubt they're going to even try.

Minus ten frankenfucks out of four.

Roman said...

There is nothing I can say, that hasn't been said already. The season was bad, the finale was bad, but the last scene may lead to something interesting. Deb catching Dexter in the act was obviously the main goal of the season, which means if the writers really wanted it to happen, the reveal should've been on the season 5 finale. The whole religion angle wasn't interesting, and was just gimmick plot filler to lead up to the reveal. I'm not happy, but like Billie said on her year end review, I've stuck with the show for six seasons, so I'm in it till the end.

Panda said...

I've been watching this season over the few weeks, and I'm all caught up now.

What an ending. I had no idea how they were going to avoid this whole incestual thing with Deb, but her seeing what she did was the best way to do it. And it was the first massive OH MY F***KING GOD moment I've had in ages. Seriously, I was yelling it at the TV, my sister came to check on me after.

Easily the best cliffhanger since Rita's death, and in a way it almost trumps it. Though, that might be because I knew it was coming back then. Both have such huge implications. I honestly haven't the faintest idea of where they could go from here. One things for certain, there'll be a lot of cursing involved on Deb's part. While I'm talking about Deb, I've actually really loved all her character work this season, she's really transformed into the series greatest character, after the man himself.

I kept wondering about the cat, too! I'm a massive cat person, or just animal person in general, so I can't take them being hurt in any way, so I spent half the episode praying it would be OK. I even stopped watching Prison Break after they killed that guy's cat.

Have to agree with all the plot holes though, they can take a lot of an episode's power away, and there were a lot more than usual this season. The entire season has been a little shaky, but I'm sure as hell not going to be missing next season. Not after that. Wow. Great review, Billie.

Sammy said...

I just started watching Dexter a few weeks ago, and about halfway through the first season, I started reading your reviews after every episode. Very enjoyable: it's almost like actually discussing it with another person. No one I know ever watches the shows I do :P.

Anyways, keep up the great reviews! I will be back here when season 7 comes out. It's a bummer I have to wait so long after I pretty much inhaled the first 6 seasons all at once.

For the Dexter/Deb incest plot, I am really uncomfortable with that. It is not just being biologically related to someone that makes you not sexually attracted to them. Doesn't matter if you're adopted or even just raised together in a community setting: because of something called the Westermarck effect, we are not sexually attracted to other kids we're raised alongside. It seems wrong and unnatural and unrealistic. I liked that Deb and Dexter were super close as brother and sister. I don't like that Deb now thinks she loves Dexter in a romantic way. It's just creepy.

As for the last scene, we still have 2 seasons to go, so it seems unlikely to me that Deb will turn Dexter in...She's not an idiot, though. She'll know from his whole setup, from the way he talked to his victim before killing him, that it's not his first time. If she sees the blood slide and the cut on the cheek and even the plastic wrap, she may put 2 and 2 together and realize he's the Bay Harbor Butcher...Which may lead her to believe he killed Doakes.

Even though she let the vigilantes go last season, I can't see her embracing her brother as a vigilante, incest love or no. And I think Dexter really never wanted Deb to find out about him. Not because he didn't want to get caught, but because he didn't want her to see the dark side of himself.

As for the writing, I personally think the ball was kind of dropped last season, and that this season was pretty similar. That's not to say I didn't enjoy it -- plot holes or no, I was still highly entertained.

Although as an atheist, I must say that some of Dexter's lines in the first half of the season sounded a lot like what someone who believes in God would write for an atheist character, so it was kind of unrealistic. And that atheist professor that was killed was a jerk. I actually have a pretty positive opinion of religion. I like it a lot, as a philosophy, and I went to church every Sunday for the first 18 years of my life and probably would do the same for my kids, if I had any. But I digress.

You keep saying the first season was your favorite, and I agree it was good, but in my opinion, nothing tops the second season. I just loved Dexter scurrying around trying to stay one step ahead of Miami Metro. My favorite serial killer on the series by far (other than everyone's favorite friendly neighborhood serial killer) was Trinity. John Lithgow is awesome, though I admit I kept thinking of him as Dick from 3rd Rock. It made his scenes that much creepier :).

CyberYork said...

Just watched Season 5 & 6 almost in a row. What a ghoulish and grisly (in a good way) ride. And I loved most of it.

I enjoy your reviews, Billie. Although I often disagree with your criticism, I agree in most of your ratings.

But to give an example, I don't see so much "plot holes" in the last to seasons as you do. Yes, they haven't shown us how Dexter covered up his tracks when killing in Nebrasca. They haven't shown us what he did about the security footage at the Marina. But they told us how Dexter used to work. he cleans up behind and dumps dead people into swamps. As we know that the writers don't have to show us that over and over again.

I wasn't surprised when Travis became a master serial killer after he gave up his hallucinated Professor Gellar, because he already was one. The part of him that had second thoughts just went silent.
I wasn't surprised when Lumen left Dexter after finishing the mastermind behind the hideous crime she had to suffer and getting her revenge because Dexter told her to leave before it was too late for her and because staying would have meant to support Dexter in deeds that have nothing to do with that. So leaving at this point was a logical option and a good conclusion. Imho.

I'm looking forward to how the story between Deb and dexter develops now she have seen him killing a serial killer. I'm confident that the writers won't take a lame conclusion to that scene. Because as you rightly pointed out - it has to happen at one time in the general story. So now they have two seasons left to reveal us where this is going to.

I'm not sure how Debra will react. But giving the shit she's been through I wouldn't be surprised if she covers Dexter to help him finding a way to get rid of his dark side. Which maybe ends in Dexter's final sacrifice for her or Harrison in Season 8.