THIS WEEK ON Dexter: The Big One

When all is said and done, I enjoyed this season of Dexter. It started off weak as fuck, rallied for a good four or five episodes, and then last night, it ended. However, the more I think about the season, the more I’m not really sure what the fucking point of it was. You can disagree, and tell me there really doesn’t have to be a point, and maybe you’re right. But after twelve episodes, did we really actually go anywhere with Dexter? Take a ride on my disco stick and we’ll talk this one through.

Debbie Deb and the Grand Vigilantism
Last night’s episode asshole-clenching climaxed when Deb stumbled upon Dexter and Lumen as they cleaned up Camp Stab and Rape. I was certain at that moment that one of two things was going to happen. Either Deb was going to have Lumen and Dexter arrested, or she was going to realize it was Lumen and Dexter and let them go. You know, Huey Lewis and the News shit! The power of love! What actually happened? A cop-out that let her appreciate Dexter’s vengeful spirit without actually forcing her to confront him.

The cop copped out! Rimshot!

Also, maybe I’m making mountains out of mole hills, but I didn’t get what Deb at the very end of the episode when she said to Dexter “Yeah man, aren’t you totally relieved now that it’s all over?” Is she hinting that she knows about him? Or is it just a general comment on the whole situation? Or the rudderless season? Maybe Deb finding out about Dexter is the Jim and Pam moment of the show. Once they cross that threshold, it’s all downhill from there. The sociopathic equivalent of the Impossible Couple finally canoodling.

I made the mistake of actually reading criticism of the show before writing this (I usually blather first, read second), and some people are perturbed by how quickly Deb found Camp Rape and Stab. Really? The entire show has been running on magical IMPLAUSIBILITY DUST that powers everything. All the narrative mechanics and storyline happenings have been sprinkled by it for this season. That’s what happens when the showrunner of this Dexter comes from 24. Those screen writers actually pioneered implausibility dust.

Quinn Lives! Jesus Saves! Dexter Forges!
Speaking of going nowhere. What exactly happened between Quinn and Dexter last night? Nothing. Where exactly do they stand? Astute readers pointed out to my dumb ass last week that the blood on Quinn’s show was going to tie him to Liddy. I was so caught up in worrying that the blood was going to be traced Morgan that I didn’t realize the blood splatter was going to condemn him. Astute readers: 1, Me: 0. Speaking of implausibility dust: How fucking amazing is LaGuerta’s eye sight? She somehow saw the blood on Quinn’s shoe and immediately deduced that it was blood, and clearly it was going to be relevant to their search for Liddy’s killer.


So Quinn goes into jail and says he “can’t say” what he thinks happened to Liddy and that he was going to wait for his lawyer. Cue some really lame emotional scenes between Deb and him and I’m thinking he’s just going to spill all of his Dexter theory onto his lawyer and take it from there. Do you guys think that’s what he was going to do, and moreover, do you think he actually did that? Is this something we’re going to find out next season?

Or how about this, which I find more likely:

Conveniently, Dexter forges the blood sample to get Quinn out of jail. Okay. They just drop the charges, after the blood isn’t his. Right. Sure? However, doesn’t Quinn have to know at this point that Dexter killed Liddy? Why else would Dexter get him out of jail? And Quinn’s okay with this? He just spent an entire season and a half (at least) having a raging, bulging, blue-headed boner for catching Dexter. Now he’s cool though. Super cool.

If this isn’t resolved, they wasted a season on it just to back out of it. And if it is resolved, it was beyond convenient.

Women Man! Grateful for Fucking Nothing!
What do you do when you can’t bring someone back for another season? You change them entirely within the last ten minutes of the show. After Dexter helps Lumen with her catharsis, she gives him one last booty call and then decides while he sleeps that she can’t live with him. Man, chicks. Total heartbreak. I feel like there’s ways that you can justify her character deciding she needs to go home. Unfortunately, those ways are paper thin, and ultimately ridiculous in light of the realities outside of the show. Lumen is leaving because Stiles only signed for a season.

They might as well have fucking killed her. It would have been just as cheap, but more believable.

Lumen totally got Dexter. She saw the beast within, and she even appreciated why he had to kill. Understandably, she isn’t broken as fuck like Dexter. And because of this, after she sliced the last night (pun!) off her list of people who hung out at Camp Rape and Stab, she was done. Purged. I get this. But now she can’t be around him? She can’t love him? She now doesn’t understand him? I’m not buying it.

Therein Lies The Problem
The problem goes deeper though. Giving Dexter someone to achieve happiness with derails the show. The writers have made it obvious they don’t know how to handle Dexter in any other setting than lonely, brooding killer with a heart. They move him forward. Give him Rita, a family. Then they destroy it. Move it back. They move him forward. Give him Lumen, a woman who understands him and embraces his darkness. Then they destroy it.

You can swing this as some fabrication of the very life he leads, and I’ll swallow it to an extent. As long as Dexter continues killing as a means of catharsis, he is doomed to be alone. But the questions are then, does he really need to continue killing? Yes, in so much as for the plot of the show. But as a character? I’m not sure. Which brings me back to my original point, what did this season achieve?

Catharsis. They make it clear throughout the nineteen voice over monologues that Dexter puked up in the finale that he was justifying Rita’s death by saving Lumen from her demons. In case you missed it the nineteen times he said it, you can make one thing right by fixing something else. Which I guess is an entirely different debate, but let’s save that for another day. So we watched through twelve episodes of Dexter making penance for his inability to save Rita.

I get that. And I actually enjoyed it. A lot.

But I’m still bummed that at the end of the season it is again Dexter. Alone. By himself. Maybe he has to live that way. Maybe he doesn’t. I just don’t know how gratifying it can be when we almost positively know as an audience that the character cannot suffer too much development, lest he defy what constitutes the show.

Thoughts? Hit me.