Dexter: Surprise, Motherf...!

Dexter: "Normal reasons. I've never killed for normal reasons."

This entire season, I kept thinking Dexter would get caught – mostly because it began with Deb catching him in the act. Instead, it was Deb who got "caught," turning to the dark side and committing a murder for Dexter's sake.

Deb is a cop, a good one. It's all she's ever wanted to be. And she just killed another cop, a co-worker, whose only crime was being good at her job and caring about someone she once loved. Deb was devastated by what she did. It was like the death of her conscience, the death of herself. She gave up everything for Dexter, lost herself in him, and I just hated seeing it happen.

And yet, it felt like the next logical step in this story, because Dexter has changed, too. He always knew that someday, he might have to run, but when it came down to it, he couldn't. He chose taking down LaGuerta and breaking Harry's code instead. Dexter is no longer a slave to his Dark Passenger. He used to be a killer pretending to be a man, but now he's a man who is also a killer.

I loved that they brought Doakes back, because I always enjoyed Doakes. It was a return to the first season, an illustration of how Dexter used to be and how his donuts and his nice guy mask hadn't worked with Doakes – appropriate, because we had reached the point where it no longer worked with Doakes's lover, Maria. Truthfully, even though they were both aggressive and often unpleasant, Maria and Doakes shouldn't be dead. They absolutely didn't deserve it, and Dexter and Deb both know it.

So I was wrong. Hannah did poison Deb. Did she? Really? It just doesn't feel right. And what were they doing with Hannah in this episode? I kept thinking, is Hannah going to pop up at some point? Is she going to try to kill Dexter, Deb, Harrison? There were a couple of deliberate reminders of Hannah when she wasn't on screen: Deb sitting pointedly next to the flower Hannah gave Dexter; Dexter working at his computer right in front of the flower. And in the end, all Hannah did was leave a flower at Dexter's door on her way out of town. Are they going to bring her back next season? Hannah is certainly a wild card, and I liked her a lot this season, much more than I expected to. Brava, Yvonne Strahovski.

The final scene played out with New Year's fireworks exploding in the background. It's a new year and a new beginning for Deb. It was also an echo of the first season finale where Dexter, in his imagination, walked through a crowd alone, being congratulated for "taking out the trash." This time, Deb walked through the crowd with Dexter, in his murder clothes, right behind her. And Maria was not "trash."

I want to see next season right now. Will it indeed be the last? Will Dexter and Deb ever be lovers? Or will she end up killing him, as Maria begged her to do?

Bits and pieces:

-- Maria arrested Dexter and paraded him through his own precinct in front of his sister and his friends. That was actually rather cruel, but Maria was upset, I get it.

-- Hannah biting Dexter's lip and drawing blood was unsettling. Probably part of the reason I kept expecting her to pop up again and do something fatal, sort of like Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction.

-- Dexter did finally kill the last of his mother's murderers. I thought the scene where he asked Estrada why he'd killed Laura and how he felt about it was fascinating.

-- Maria had a video of Deb two blocks from the church, filling a gas can. Won't that survive Maria? I suppose Deb can cover her tracks, though.

-- Thankfully, nothing with Quinn in this episode, except him sorta kinda hitting on Jamie at the retirement party. With Maria dead and Angel retired, will the cast be completely different for the eighth (and we hear, final) season?

-- There was actually a funny moment, when Dexter and Deb were in his car and she heard Estrada waking up in the back.

-- "Harry" was placed in scenes in a way that he actually startled me, not once but twice.

Quotes:

Dexter: "We both knew it would come to this: one of us dead or behind bars."
Hannah: "Yeah, But I always thought it would be you."

Doakes: "Surprise, motherfucker!"

Angel: "Maria, if anyone can work their way out of a jam like this, it's you."
Actually, if anyone can work their way out of a jam like that, it's Dexter. And he did.

Maria: "So what's your advice?"
Matthews: "Get on your knees and start kissing anything remotely resembling an ass."

Deb: "You are a liar and a killer."
Hannah: "But not a hypocrite."

Maria: "I think I'm not the only one who made a mistake trying to protect someone they care about."

Deb: "This is never going to end."
Dexter: "Yes, it will."
Next season, I assume.

Masuka: (picking up a long john) "The kind of donut you choose says a lot about a man."

Dexter: "Who is Deb now? Who am I? Is this a new beginning or the beginning of the end?"

This season has been excellent. It surprised and entertained and it took the story to a whole new place. Four out of four donuts,

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

15 comments:

Henrik Bennetter said...

I agree, on all points, and sure hope the last season will be a hell of a ride.

celticmarc said...

WHHOOOAHHHHH

A spectacular end of an epic season....

celticmarc said...

And again, (almost) the first thing that I see this morning is your (excellent) review. I'd promote you to Captain, but I want you alive for a LONG time...

celticmarc said...

A vintage comment

Doakes always scarred the *bleep* out of me. So therefore, kudos Mister King.

Sin said...

He didn't walk through the crowd alone in the s1 ending, he was already with Deb.

Billie Doux said...

You're right, Sin. But I think it still works as a metaphor because this time, Deb wasn't imaginary -- she was totally with him.

topher darling said...

Again, a solid acting job by Jennifer Carpenter. It gave me chills when she was hugging Maria & telling Dex that she hated him.

The last scene with the two of them walking thru the party was disturbing since Dexter was still in his kill gear, leading a vacant looking Deb around after she killed an innocent for him. It really made him look villainous and I've never viewed him that way before.

Jul said...

it's been an excellent season and the finale didn't disappoint. wow. and again, wow.

Mani said...

Not flawless, but still an interesting and very riveting season and season finale. Even though I knew Dex had to remain alive for the next season to happen, I still was on edge about what Deb would do after Dex said 'Do what you gotta do." She made a tough choice. They still used the "I love Dex" angle, but they smoothed it in so that it wasn't the focal point. Well done. I also liked Quinn and Harrison's parts. The boy actually talked!!! Most of finale was done well, I have no major complaints.

Oh, and you're right, Billie. Hannah and doing the poisoning doesn't feel right. Maybe she ordered it done, I don't think they said whether Deb had the accident on the way to Arlene's or on the way back home, so it's possible that Hannah's friend did it on her request. Ah, speculation.

Anyway, I can't wait to see what they do for the last season, hope it's a blast.

Anonymous said...

Jennifer Carpenter once again blew me away! And I actually saw a making of where the showrunner says that Jennifer actually improvised the "oh, my god" line and then hugging her. That makes that scene so much better in my eyes and also much more devastating. I feel sad for Deb.
I liked the flashbacks and they also showed me how sometimes, I don´t want to root for Dexter at all. When Dex is all excited like a kid in a candy store showing Doakes the crime scene, I was a bit angry with him because the whole Dark Passenger excuse is just that, he loves to kill.
Also, Dex also manipulated Deb throughout the season. Deb was trying to help him and he just kept putting his needs first. I guess that what happened here was a wake-up call for him. Not only was he willing to kill an innocent like Laguerta, he corrupted an innocent person, someone who always looked up to him.

I honestly don´t know how they´re gonna fix their relationship because this was a point of no return.
I don´t know how but I´m dying to find out.

Mani said...

I really enjoyed the revised "flashback scenes" particularly the one with Dexter excitedly describing the crime scene on the dock. Every time they showed one I almost couldn't tell whether it was an actual past scene or a present scene, why? Mostly because of the difference in how MCH's hair was styled and his stubble...clever.

Josie Kafka said...

What a great season; such an improvement over last season!

The final scene was fascinating, and the first thing I thought of wasn't the first season (although after reading your review it's clear to me that's what they're visually alluding to), but the ending of one of the Hannibal Lector books or movies. Sorry to be vague, but my memory is a little spotty and I don't want to be too spoilery.

Anonymous said...

It was a good season, but I have to say that I would have loved to see more of Isaak being badass and less of Hannah.

The relationship with her made me like Dexter less, something I have never expected could/would happen. I especially didn´t like that Dex dismissed the feelings he said he had for Rita and Lumen and the way Hannah was able to play him. Somehow I think that during the years we lost too much essential characteristics of Dexter.

I have never been a fan of LaGuerta and I advocated that she has to go because she annoyed the hell out of me, but when it finally happened and of all things by Deb´s hands, I realized that at the moment I cannot stand Dexter at all and that I would have liked to keep LaGuerta around to chase Dexter.

Seeing Deb like this was hard to watch and I hope that she will not break completely. Hopefully she can recover and will be able to emancipate from Dexter.

And please, give Quinn a relevant story or get rid of him!

Mani said...

I wonder if Dexter will turn himself in to protect his sister or if they'll do what he does best, try to create a truth that will protect them both...Dexter had to change or the writers weren't going to be able to find good stories to tell. Most of the time the industry tries to have criminals, even ones with a moral compass get their comeuppance, either blatantly or subtlely.

They can't have them live happily ever after or some people might think it's okay to try the same thing. It's going to be interesting to see what they do to Dear Dexter.

Nicole3938 said...

I am so excited for season 8. Having them premiere early is like an early christmas present! This season was my favorite. They touched on everything I hoped they would. From how Rita died, to his relationship with Lumen! THey also did it without making us wait the whole season to do so! The fact that Deb found he was a serial killer by episode 2 was awesome! Just glad they didn't drag it out but yet kept the momentum going was also awesome. I really liked Issac and was glad he didn't end up wanting to kill Dexter. I am amazed by Deb in this whole season. I really like Dexter with Hanna and certainly hope she returns next season. I have no idea where they are going with this next season but I hope they keep up the momentum. I've been reading blogs that suggest that season 8 may not be the end. I sure hope not!