Dexter Finale Recap: So Much For My Happy Ending – Grade the Episode and Final Season
This is it, Dexter fans. Our favorite serial killer has slapped his last mosquito, squeezed his ultimate blood orange and flossed one final time. But did the Showtime series’ finale – especially its ending – serve as a fitting close for the lovable fiend? Let’s review what happened in “Remember the Monsters?.”
ALL ABOARD | “I always thought if I left Miami, I’d be running for my life, not running towards another one,” Dexter voice-overs as he and Harrison power-walk through the airport on their way to meet Hannah at the gate. But blondie’s nowhere to be seen, and when she calls from the bathroom, we find out why: Elway’s in the boarding area, and there’s no way the trio will be able to get on the plane without him seeing. So Dexter fakes a bomb with items he buys at a concourse magazine stand, then frames Elway as the threat. Upside: Deb’s old boss is taken away by airport security. Downside: The boarding area is now closed because of the threat.
As Dexter, Harrison and Hannah exit the terminal, Dex gets a call from Matthews: Oliver Saxon shot Deb, and she is really not doing OK. Dexter sends Hannah and Harrison off, telling her not to worry that the impending hurricane may mean escape via plane is impossible: “We’ll make this work.” (And I add: “By the way, could you maybe wear a less bright, sherbet-y dress and possibly throw a cap on top of those glowing blonde locks?” It’s been noted before, but it’s worth saying again: For someone trying to lay low, girlfriend stands out like a lighthouse in the gloom of the approaching storm.)
REGRETS, I’VE HAD A FEW | Deb is in a ton of pain as her ambulance speeds to the hospital. She tells Quinn she was sure she was going to die. “I thought I was getting what I deserve.” He’s perplexed, but he just strokes her hair and assures her that if she does enough good in the world, it’ll cancel out past sins. “Now that you’re back on the force, you’re gonna have a million chances to do good,” he says. (At this point, I think: “Bingo! They’re setting up a Deb-centered spin-off!,” and then I think: “And that spin-off – in which a tortured protagonist helps strangers as penance for wrongs she’s committed in the past — apparently, is Angel.”)
When Deb wakes, Jennifer Carpenter does a great job of conveying her character’s initial happiness at seeing her brother – that sweet, lopsided, fleeting smile — which is quickly covered by annoyance that he stayed behind on her behalf. “Ever since you found out who I am, I’ve screwed up your life,” he says, but she stops the self-flagellation by pointing out that her life isn’t “yours to screw up.” She absolves her brother of any guilt and instructs him “to go f—king be happy.”
I’m down with the sibling love here, but I just can’t believe Deb doesn’t lose her stuff when Dexter announces that he’s thinking of sending Harrison down to South America with Poison Ivy herself, then meeting them there after Deb is out of danger and Saxon is dead. It’s one thing to accept the fact that your brother is a serial killer. It’s a completely different matter to be on board with a murderer babysitting your nephew in a foreign clime. Whatever. There’s a literal boatload of other stuff that I don’t get later in this episode, so let’s move on.
Deb and Dex part, with him telling her, “I’ll see you soon.” In the hallway, he has a flashback to being in the nursery with Deb right after Harrison was born. “Everything’s gonna be so different now,” FlashbackDeb and her wig tell her bro. Back in the present, Elway’s now at the hospital; he’s of the opinion that Dexter (because of his involvement with Hannah) is partially responsible for U.S. Marshall Clayton’s death at Oliver’s hands. “Stay away from me,” Dexter growls violently.
Later, as Dex, Hannah and Harrison are about to hop an evacuation bus to Jacksonville (where they’ll catch a flight), our anti-hero says he has to stay behind to finish off Saxon. But by all means, lethal-woman-who-drugged-Dex-just-a-few-episodes-ago, take the child and leave the country! As his dad hugs him goodbye, Harrison whispers that he loves Hannah. “I do, too,” Dexter replies. (Side note: Oy.)
SAXON, SAXOFF | But where is Dr. Vogel’s crazy-eyed son Oliver Saxon during all of this, you ask? He’s scaring the shih tzu out a veterinarian, whom he forces to stitch up the gash in his arm and then drive him to the hospital… where he slices out the guy’s tongue and then slips into the facility, undetected. Dexter follows a minute later. He stops the killer just outside of Deb’s room, but before Dexter can go all Dark Passenger on the guy, Batista steps into the frame and trains his gun on Oliver’s head. Uniformed officers follow, and a handcuffed Saxon is carted away.
Yay! Deb is safe! Deb is also not in her room. Odd. And Quinn is crying. This isn’t going to be good, is it? Long, tragic story short: Deb had a stroke. For the rest of her life, her doc says, she won’t be able to “think, reason or even know that you’re there.” Dexter has another nursery-set flashback, in which Deb says Dex has always taken care of her. And back in the present, he goes about doing so for the last time.
Under the pretense of performing a gunshot residue test, Dexter comes face-to-face with Saxon at Miami Metro. There’s some introspection about how Dex’s life is “a trail of blood and body parts” and how everything that’s happened is Dexter’s fault, but it really all comes down to Michael C. Hall’s excellent delivery on the line, “I’m here to kill you with that pen.” Though Saxon sticks him with the Bic first, Dexter rips the writing implement out of his own shoulder and jams it into his opponent’s neck. Oliver bleeds out instantly, then Dexter hits the panic button and tells the officers that come running, “He tried to kill me.”
Dex is unrepentant while watching the surveillance tape of the encounter with Batista and Quinn. Though Angel is conflicted, Quinn is much less so. “I’m glad he’s dead,” Deb’s honey says, adding that he wishes he’d done the deed himself.
GOODBYE, DEB (SNIFF) | At the hospital later, Dex steals into Deb’s room and apologizes for the terribleness he’s brought down upon her. I don’t care what Deb said earlier, Dexter – though she’s certainly made some mistakes in her time, your sister’s life would’ve been much better without you in it. (I know, I’m terrible. Yell at me in the comments.) “I can’t leave you like this. I’m your big brother,” he says brokenly, and it’s really upsetting to watch Dexter wrestle with such strong emotions. (What? I may not dig most of Dexter’s actions in this episode, but I do feel for the guy.) He hesitates for a moment, then turns off her ventilator and tells her he loves her as she dies. Two things: 1) The scene is really sad, and 2) so… maybe not so much with the Deb spin-off, eh?
Hospital staff is busy evacuating patients before the storm hits, so Dexter draws a sheet over his sister’s body and just wheels her out the door, picks up her corpse and loads it into his boat (moored right outside, naturally), then takes off. Good job with the Armageddon clouds gathering in the background, Dexter effects team, but it can’t distract me from the insanity that absolutely no one noticed a Gap model making off with a dead body and then motoring off to sea?!
DEXTER DIES… OR DOES HE? (NO, HE TOTALLY DOESN’T) | Having successfully eluded Elway (with help from a well-placed syringe), Hannah has made it to South America with Harrison. They call Dexter, who’s sailing into the storm with Dead Aunt Deb riding shotgun. “I just want to tell you one last time that I love you,” Dexter tells his son, then tosses the cell into the sea after they hang up. Thunder and lightning surround him as he strokes Deb’s face, then drops her off the side of the boat. (Do any of you feel kind of sad, but nowhere near as wrecked as you thought you would be? If so, you’re not alone.)
“I destroy everyone I love. I can’t let that happen to Hannah, to Harrison,” Dexter voice-overs. “I have to protect them – from me.” And then he surges Slice of Life into the heart of the hurricane, which smashes the boat to bits and allegedly kills its captain… or at least, that’s the story that Hannah reads on the Internet soon after… and realizes that she’s now Harrison’s mom. (Until Elway or a U.S. Marshall catches up to her, that is. C’mon, you know it’s going to happen someday.)
But wait! Moments later, we find ourselves at a lumber processing center. A bearded man is working there, and that bearded man is Dexter! We follow him to his sparsely decorated home, where he sits at a table. Will anyone (living) at Miami Metro ever figure out that he is the Bay Harbor Butcher? Will anyone learn the truth about what happened to LaGuerta? We’ll never know, because Dex looks directly into the camera… and then the screen goes black.
Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the series’ final episode? Grade the FINALE and the FINAL SEASON via the polls below, then back up your pick in the comments.Follow @kimroots