Dexter Finale: Ready, Set, React!

If you have yet to watch the season finale of Dexter, run — don’t walk — away from this story. Seriously. Stop reading. Everyone else, you may proceed…

Before I get to a rundown of the key moments from Sunday’s Dexter climax, a quick note to check TVLine on Monday around Noon EST for a post mortem with exec producer Sara Colleton. If you have a specific burning question, send it to AskAusiello@TVLine.com ASAP.

Now for the episode’s highlights:

* Deb finally knows Dexter’s secret! In the final minutes of the hour, Deb — who just moments before confessed to her shrink that she’s in love with her adoptive brother — looked on in shock and awe as he murdered this season’s Big Bad, Travis (a.k.a. the Doomsday Killer).

Is Dexter ‘Incest’ Not Best? 

* Angel put in for basket-case Quinn to get transferred, pointing to the possible departure of Desmond Harrington.

* Prior to his death, Travis kidnapped Harrison and took him to the rooftop of a Miami high-rise to end his life. Dexter intervened just in the nick of time, knocked out Travis and dragged him from the scene before Deb and Co. arrived. That set up the climactic murder of Trav back at the creepiest abandoned church on the planet and Deb’s discovery that her bro moonlights as a serial killer.

But did the game-changing (and inevitable) Dex-Deb twist make up for what has arguably been a subpar season? And do you think there’s enough fallout to mine from the big reveal to justify Showtime’s recent two-season pickup? Hit the comments with your thoughts/theories/reaction!

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170 Comments
  1. Cat says:

    I was literally screaming while watching. Finally! Makes up for a sub-par season.

    • daward2 says:

      I am not one of those that say this season sucks because it’s not like 4 with Lithgow. That said

      OMG OMG OMG. I’ve been begging for this since the simulated “I’m going to cook steaks for Deb and tell her” scene in season 2. I just knew she was gonna walk in.

      Game on!

      • Daniel says:

        The only thing I feel lacking was the “aha” moment that caused Deb to return to the abandoned church. We know why Dex went there, but why did Deb?

        • jennifer griffith says:

          I think she went there because she knew that he would be there. He was supposed to be going to the church to do a final forensics sweep after Harrison’s pageant.

        • damian says:

          umm, to tell dexter that she loves him.

          remember, she sent dexter to do a final sweep after Harrison’s play

          She knew where to find him to tell him she wanted to suck his bro’s pecker

          • Daniel says:

            Thanks to Jennifer Griffith and Damian, I’ll rewatch the show–that sounds vaguely familiar. I think my dancing around the house while shouting and cheering caused me to forget everything I previously watched. Did something happen to Harrison? -.^

            And ew, gross: bro’s pecker.

    • Rico says:

      In the book debra caught him the first novel, I love the show and the thought that goes into it but I still do not understand what they plan to do with this.. The writers said we all sit and talk about how the show will continue and the day we have no idea it is over. Which means for all we know if they still have ideas it will surpass season 8 into season 9. I just do not see how they plan to continue and I am really looking forward to it even if this season imo was the wors I can not give up on my favorite show and never will until it ends. (will debra admit she is in love with dexter?) and how does debra continue as lieutenant knowing that dexter is a killer who has single handedly ruined multiple cases for miami metro homicide? There are so many questions I can’t wait september is so far away damnit lol.

  2. Aaron says:

    I’m calling BS on this season. Deb’s “breakthrough” felt forced. I was pretty sure the the season would end with her finding out his secret. But that confession left a bad taste just as the real dish was served.

    • evs says:

      I agree. I feel cheated.

    • johnny54 says:

      I think the therapist is manipulating deb on purpose, i saw some1 in another blog write maybe louis is ice truck killers son then maybe therapist is the mom, i dont know if the ages match up, the deb falling in love is horrible but lets give the writers the benefit of the doubt n see where they go w this

      • cj says:

        i think laguerta has the therapist in her pocket and after taking down matthews is ultimately trying to take down deb so angel can get the top job.

        • Mon says:

          VERY interesting thought that LaGuerta could be using the therapist. LaGuerta will forever be gunning for Deb, I don’t trust her as far as I could throw her. She’s evil enough to continue her vendetta against Deb any way she can. I just hope that Deb’s character doesn’t let her guard down and start to trust LaGuerta as it will be the end for Deb if she does.

  3. Micah says:

    Man, that finale turned from questionable to good in about the last 45 seconds. If Travis had made it to season 7, I thought I was going to have to skip it.

    Also, a great twist that Deb caught him in the act. I figured she wouldn’t catch on until season 8 (which should probably be the last season).

  4. Cameron says:

    A sub-par season of Dexter ending on a high note. My indifference to the fact tonight was the finale has changed, and now next season feels so far away. Cannot wait to see Deb’s reaction. Next season should be interesting.

  5. joe says:

    Finally! Deb knows who Dexter is and now the show can start moving towards its conclusion. That scene alone made up for the foreseeable twist of Geller being dead.d

  6. K_Double_K says:

    About time with the Deb story line, the novels got there in book #1.

    • Jeffrey says:

      Yes you are right. Deb knew this in Episode 1 (In the book). and it is about time.
      I am anxious to see if Deb eventually joins in the family festivesties. I think she will.
      I am glad there will be 2 more seasons of the crazy Morgans.

  7. Ashley says:

    I thought the ending was inevitable. Good though.. I’m glad they aren’t dragging the when will she find out angle any more

  8. TDS-Matt says:

    I saw it coming for the last 25 minutes or so of the episode (of course Dexter would take him there, Deb showing up, etc.), but still… cool. This was probably the only finale outside of The Getaway that I thought lived up to the whole season. Of course, this season was notably weaker than the others, so that bar wasn’t quite so high

    • Peter says:

      I saw that coming too, however I was a little disappointed in Dexter. Deb TOLD him to go to THAT CHURCH to do a forensic sweept at that particular time. There was no way that Dexter could know Deb would come by, but still, it was careless.

      That being said, I love that Deb finally knows and I hope she gets clued in and hears the WHOLE story. Its going to be a total mind f**k for her though, so I don’t know how they are goint to have her take it. Think about it: Dexter killing her “fiance”, he is really the Bay Habor Butcher, his full involvment in Rita’s death, the fact that she actually walked in on him and Lumen in the finale of season 5…So they did set the stage fairly well for her to believably cover up Dexter’s “hobby”.

      Lastly, maybe I was being dense, but neither I nor my wife saw the Geller thing comming. That was a total shock. I credit Colin Hank’s incredible performance for that. I would definitely rate this season much higher than 3 or 4 and very much above par since I have completely stricken the road trip episode from my memory (worst episode to date).

  9. Chelsey says:

    The whole in love thing threwme off, in a bad way. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

  10. Poodleshark says:

    A total game changer! Will she or won’t she rat him out? That is the question.

  11. Sarah says:

    After 6 seasons they finally did what we’ve all been waiting for!! I’ll admit having it come at the end of a, frankly, underwhelming season, it was certainly welcome, and now I’m very excited to see this play out in the next two years.

    One thing, though: I was certain someone promised a major character death this season. Where was that?

  12. Sydnie says:

    Seriously, I am gasping. My skin was crawling in a deliciously creepy way when Deb confessed her feelings. Part of me thinks that Deb loving Dexter will be the only thing that will allow her to listen to his dark passenger. Another part of me thinks that the only way Dexter can end is by Dexter either dying or by Dexter being with Deb and leaving his dark passenger behind. Gahhhhhhh gearing up for the 24 hour (24 epi) series finale. OMGZZZZ

  13. Maureen says:

    That more than makes up for a lackluster season. Wow! It will be interesting to see how this will play out with 2 seasons left to go.

  14. s says:

    Wow.. I don’t even care that Deb is ‘in love’ with Dexter because I don’t believe he feels the same way. He said he loved her but later on he calls her sis and I don’t think they’ll go there. I’m so glad she FINALLY knows though. lol

    • mike says:

      You made a great point regarding Dexter not being in love with DEB.. That reality takes all the power out of the brother-sister lovers scenario. It just adds up to zero if one person isn’t crazy about the other.

  15. Sean says:

    The fact that Deb has suddenly fallen deeply in love with Dexter just before watching him murder someone probably points to her NOT turning him in. Way to zap all tension from a moment that should be exciting.

  16. Pedro Michaelsson says:

    Subpar season??? I haven’t found any spoilers here so how subpar was that for you not to figure out any of the twists? Lame on you, not on Dex!

    • JR says:

      Many people figured out the Prof. Gellar is a ghost twist before it was revealed. TV Line even asked the showrunner about it before that episode aired.

  17. Scott says:

    First scene of the next season Dexter chases down Deborah and kills her. Just saying… Fist rule of the code is to not get caught. Her character is getting a little loopy now which means they’re about to write her off. Dexter kills her and the crazy Miami manhunt pursues. There was one moment in this season where they allude to Dexter killing Deborah. It HAS to happen.

    • diko says:

      Dexter never killed anyone that he loved or cared. Remember Lumen? She knows his secret but Dexter trust her and let her go. I feel the same way for Deb.

      The most interesting part is not what Dexter will do about Deb, but how’s Deb gonna handle this truth.

    • Annika says:

      Scott, what the heck are you smoking?!

  18. kit says:

    I personally liked this season. Didn’t see Geller’s premature death coming at all. I was floored when Deb confesses her love for Dexter, didn’t see that, either. Maybe I’m slow, but it worked just fine for me. Deb finally catches Dexter in the act. What’s next for the next two seasons?

    • Richard says:

      yah TBH I didn’t see the whole Geller being dead thing coming at all either but I have this habit of going online to discuss recent episodes and alot of people were talking about the show hinting he may already be dead. I was like “WTF are these noobs talking about?” I thought he was alive and then BAM!!.. I took an arrow to the knee.

  19. Jeffrey says:

    This website blows

  20. Buffy Freak says:

    The last five seconds were pretty cool. But they don’t make up for a really lousy, even-worse-than-Lumen season.

    • Richard says:

      Indeed… I’ve heard of filler episodes but filler seasons is really pushing it.

      • mike says:

        You are EXACTLY right when you refer to the 2011 Dexter as a filler season!!! Your point explained why I felt let down by this plodding, boring and intentionally misleading season. I like it better when Dexter identifies vicious criminals in the police files and just kills them. That never gets boring. My secret wish is he gets disgusted listening to a long winded Gloria Allred diatribe and nails her after she walks out of the TV station. Dexter “Do it for NICKY, Meg Whitman’s whiny housekeeper that Gloria threw under the bus !

    • GK says:

      Lumen season was one of the real highlights of Dexter.

    • Nadine says:

      I actually enjoyed this season a lot, but the Lumen season was the worst.

  21. Christy says:

    O M G. I don’t think I can wait til next season! This episode was a long time coming…..i can only wonder what deb is going to do. Based on the fact they just renewed for two more seasons, I’m gonna bet that she accepts it. Although those therapy sessions will REALLY be needed now!

  22. s says:

    Are you for real? Dexter would NEVER kill Deb. I don’t care if she knows he’s a killer or not he’d never kill her NEVER He’d rather go to prison

  23. Lori Smith says:

    Season 7 will open as “Answer to a Prayer” Deb has a trigger involving a church. She will black out and Dex will get her back to his place. The arm Brian used is there for some reason – his brother, her ex lover who tried to kill her. Needless to say Deb’s love life is really gonna be screwed now LOL She isn’t going to remember what she saw and Dex will solve her trigger that will make him the hero all the more. Looking forward to the way this will come together next season. A true cliffhanger if you over look the obvious

  24. J says:

    Deb being in love with Dexter is so gross and not ok and a total jump the shark moment. if they end up together that will be horrible
    that said cool ending

  25. Beth says:

    Loved the ending! And call me crazy but I don’t mind the romantic twist between Dex and Deb. I still don’t think they will actually go there but we’ll see.

  26. CouchPotatoCop says:

    Dexter sucks. Glad the season is over.

  27. D says:

    This was not Dexter’s season…it was deb’s..maybe that’s why people think it was so disappointing…look back from this season’s first episode and track it….it’s her season..great season..

    • GK says:

      You hit the nail on the head! This was Debra’s season since the beginning!

      • Julianne says:

        I love Deb. She balances Dexter’s iciness with her passion perfectly. If Dexter could sit down and talk Deb through his evolution as a serial killer, particularly the part where their father trained him, I think she could handle it. She would be shaky as hell but I think she could come to terms with it.
        I am also very interested in Debra exploring her feelings for Dex, though once she knows the real him.
        I just hope Dexter does not try to minimize what she walked in on, he is the one person she trusts, I think it is time he started trusting her.

  28. John says:

    Deb does NOT know Dex’s whole secret! She only walked in to see him kill Travis, not in time to hear him refer to himself as a serial killer. Dex will likely spin in it as a one-off thing when he explains it to her.

    • Kris says:

      A one off? Really? Why would she believe that at all? If you remember Season 5, she finds Jordan Chase taped to a table, just like Travis is now. She is not dumb. She will put 2 and and 2 together and she will realize that Dex is the man who helped out number 13 and will probably figure out that number 13 was Lumen. Then she will think back to how number 13 DVD was damaged, that had to be Dex. I am sure she realize alot of things that didn’t make sense before will make sense now, such as why Miami Metro’s stats are so poor. Dex kills them all off!

      • jennrae says:

        I’m sure Deb is going to think back to every time Dexter lied to her, all the times Harry chose to spend time with Dexter over her, and it will all make sense. If nothing else, it may help her with her Daddy issues, to know why Harry always seemed to favor Dexter.

    • Peter says:

      Deb has made her career by not ignoring inconsistencies. There are several problems with the “One off” theory, the least of which is why does Dexter appear to be so incredibly well prepared to murder, dismember, and dispose of a person? I like the black out theory since there was that bit at the beginning of the season about Deb having a ‘freak out’ moment in that same church. This would, however, be disappointing. I like Deb knowing about everything, it pains me to see Dexter constantly lying to her and shutting her out.

  29. Lauren says:

    I’m with John. She saw one kill, of a serial killer they’ve been trying to catch. So easy for Dex to explain it as a one time deal. Deb does not know the whole truth unless Dex spills it.

    • Jeff says:

      She’s a cop. She will ask the tough questions…. And I don’t think he’ll lie to her. I think she will reveal her dark secret to him, that she’s IN love with him… At which point he’ll come clean and confess that he is a vigilante serial killer. She might even put 2 and 2 together and somehow realize that he was the same guy helping out Lumen.

      • Nick says:

        Yea and not only that, she will realize that he is the bay harbor butcher which will mena that she will realize that Doakes was NOT a murderer. Another dilemma, does she clear Doakes’ name or let Dexter get away with it? And if she lets Dex get away with it, will he keep killing? Will she help? What will this mean for her open/closed case statistics and her job as lieutenant? So many questions, why did they wait until the end of the freaking season to let this happen?!?!?!?!

      • rob says:

        I think she will realize that travis is tied up in the same way she was in season 1 (therefore, dex came close to killing her), that the cut on his cheek is the same as every bay harbor butcher victim (both from season 2 and from the two coyotes in season 1 that ended up in the junkyard), and lets be honest… the guy is wrapped up in plastic! shell find out about his dark passenger, which will hopefully make her question her “love” enough to get rid of it. the writers will see all the neg reviews the incest-y thing got and turn it another direction. other than that, GREAT SEASON. i loved it personally.

    • johnny57 says:

      deb saw the plastic wrap w the ice truck killer and with jordan chase (take it!!!), so she will put that together and if she passes out (which is what im guessing cause she keeps having panic attacks) I will be super pissd, i will keep watching since i went this far but it will be the biggest show disappointment ever, u cant leave a cliffhanger like that for almost a year then just kill it with a faint, that will ruin the show

  30. Lee says:

    LOVED Deb finding out in the end. Didn’t love the Deb/Dex romance thing. He’s her brother for Christ sakes (pun intended – religious season). The ending was great though…Quinn probably isn’t coming back next season, which is shame because I liked him. In one episode, they actually said: “Quinn’s not here, but Mike is, so we’re OK.” Mike is his replacement. DUR! lol.

  31. Auds says:

    In both the books & the TV show, all I wish for is Deb’s death. She is literally one of the most obnoxious fictional characters of all time, on par with Bella Swan. Deb somehow having feelings for her adopted brother is just GROSS & the writers of this show have completely ruined the storyline from the books – which was amazing. So sad, too bad.

    • jim says:

      You’ve got to be kidding me. Deb was one of the best, if not the best, part of this season. She’s never going to be killed off. Sorry you’re so pressed.

  32. Lisa says:

    Deb seeing Dexter kill Travis made up for a predictable season, but as other smentioned already, we will have to see how much she really learns about Dexter next season.

    I thought the whole Deb./Dexter love thing was forced and doesn’t quite sit right. Odd and creepy actually since they are “family” regardless on not actually being blood related.

  33. Amoree says:

    Informal Poll: Who here wants to date his or her brother or sister?
    I’ll go first: Not me!

  34. Paul Schmidt says:

    Why all the hate about this season? I think this season was pretty darn good!! The finale was mind blowing!!! Dexter always satisfies my inner serial killer. Great show, great writing, although, please bag the insestual story line please. First we have insest on Boardwalk Empire with the late Jimmy and his mother and now this! Knock it off guys it’s gross, yeah, you’re grossing me out dude.!

  35. Mohr says:

    i dont think this season was sub-par at all. but i do think this season was Deb season! and side note is it just me or was the laguerta “looking out for Miami metro” foreshadowing on deb possibly helping Dexter in the future?

    • melissa says:

      I agree! This clearly was Debra’s season. It was great seeing her evolution as professional and personally, but let’s be honest, this season is sub-par. This whole incest thing is really pissing me off.

  36. Paul says:

    I love Dexter, but this season really suffered from poor writing. A few high points, sure, but overall this was not good.

    I’m really hoping they pull it together for the next season and ditch the whole Deb in love with Dexter plot (which now she’s seen him commit murder, shouldn’t be too hard).

  37. S. says:

    Great point about the “good for miami metro”. It definitely gives Deb another reason not to turn him in, in addition to Dex being her brother and her new found (icky) love for him. This was not my favorite season but the show is still good. I seriously hope they drop the incest thing quickly. Dex will not kill Deb; next season will focus on her internal struggle with not turning him in.

  38. Caya says:

    Okay, I have an adopted sibling and let me tell you, the fact that Dexter is adopted DOES NOT MAKE IT ANY LESS WEIRD. It’s gross. Seriously? Good twist at the end, but the sibling thing is just not okay.

    • Richard says:

      I’m not sure if your adopted sibling is the boy or the girl but keep in mind Dexter is an (almost) emotionless killer and that his sister was a neglected child who was almost murdered one season, had her boyfriend killed another season, and has had all types of disgusting things happen to her throughout most of them. (Blood falling from ceiling all over her). They aren’t exactly living the good life. If you and your adopted sibling went through the same thing you might think differently. Not saying that you haven’t but I’ll assume the best for you.

  39. Big_PD says:

    Seems ironic that a month after Michael C Hall and Jennifer Carpenter were divorced – that her character would confess her love for him :-)

    Talk about a twister pair :-)

    • Traceyo says:

      The divorce only became final about 10 days ago, and the show wrapped filming in early October. Post production takes quite a long time.

  40. Noelbelle says:

    Am I the only one who thinks that Deb finding out about Dexter will force her out of love with Dexter? I think part of the reason why Deb thought she loved Dexter is because of the person she thought he was. Now she’s about to find out things about him that were not consistent with the Dexter she thought she knew. Deb is sort of the moral compass of the show. I think she’ll cover for him, but I think it’s definitely going to affect her feelings toward him.

    • Richard says:

      I don’t think it will force her to fall out of love with him. I think it adds more suspense to how next season will start. Keep in mind Deb has been surrounded by death pretty much every season. If she’s not about to be murdered then its her current BF getting murdered or some buckets of blood falling from above all over her. I’m not sure how it will pan out but I doubt they will immediately throw the Deb loving Dex idea out the window.

    • Jeff says:

      Remember she also covered for him and Lumen and let them get away, and she stated earlier that what the guy was doing for Lumen was romantic in a way. She will turn out to be ok with it, and her brother Dexter as well. She will understand why he does it, and that he’s not the run of the mill serial killer. And she’ll still love him, and I believe will confess that love for him at some point. Whether it takes off or not is anybody’s guess… And my guess is no. I doubt Dexter has the same feelings for her.

  41. S. says:

    That is the logical conclusion… It was just illogical that the writers went there in the first place.

  42. Mark says:

    Pretty good season. I think the subpar of it was the beginning was WAY to slow and had no idea where it was heading. Last 3-4 episodes were EPIC tho. I just cant beleive that i now have to wait 10 months or what ever till the next season GOSH!!! YOU CANT END A SEASON WITH SOMETHING SO EPIC…. im gonna think about this for the year…. argggg

  43. M says:

    I love how just after Dexter told Travis that God had nothing to do with this then stabbed him, he saw Deb and said, “Oh God”.

  44. Michael says:

    I thought it was a good season with the whole end of the world idea considering people are freaked out about 2012. I think deb will understand dexters code considering her dad taught it to dexter and will now understand why they were so close. She will prolly be mad that all this time it was dexter messing up the closed case percentage. Maybe next year he kills and turns them over to deb so she will get credit. Overall I was happy about season.

  45. Brendan says:

    Okay, it bugs me when people rag on a show for characters doing things that are perceived as wrong. Life is messy, people do things that are “icky,” “weird,” and “gross” (to quote the most common descriptors in the above comments). That’s part of the storyline, the fact that something is wrong just adds to the complexity of the drama, and it can make for great television.

  46. Richard says:

    This entire season of Dexter disappointed me but has also got me REALLY EXCITED for next season. The whole bible thumping was kinda lame. As for the finale… it was really predictable aside from the fact Deb walked in on Dex. That was the only cool thing about the season and really had nothing to do with the season at all. It was a good ending don’t get me wrong but the entire season in general was lame. Actually I thought it was pretty boss when Dex harpooned that guy on the boat. “This man is robbing us but I have nothing.” “That’s OK. I can give him Death.” Lulz. Dex’s knockout punch on Trav was pretty boss too. Last but not least is the whole Deb loving Dex thing. I thought it was so stupid of an idea and I still do but I’m glad its there because it adds more suspense knowing she loves him and now also knows hes a killer. WHAT WILL SHE DO? IDK but next season I’m super excited. I know there is only 2 season left and I hope these last 2 get darker and darker. While I love Dex it’s just not a fitting ending to see him ride off into the sunset for me. He needs to die in epic fashion. Make it happen.

  47. Jenny says:

    I really hate the whole Deb/Dex love thing, but I’m soooo glad that Deb found out! I was hoping for that since the beginning of this season! It sucks that I basically have to wait a year now! Man, this is gonna be torture!!!

  48. tron2 says:

    I agree about Deb falling out of love after walking in on Dex killing Travis. She sees him as the only good thing in her life and now he’s not much different than what has caused her traumatic experiences in the past. Count on her to be even more confused next season.

  49. S. says:

    I think the bigger problem with Deb being in love with Dexter is that it doesn’t add anything to the show. It’s “icky” for no reason… Their genuine brother/sister relationship is much more meaningful to the show. Whether she turns him in, looks the other way, or starts to help him will be based on her sisterly love for him not this “weird” notion put in her head by her therapist.

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