It may not be fair to write this, but I was disappointed in the season finale. Other than the scene when Deb shows up at Camp Jordan and catches Dexter and Lumen cleaning up after their latest kill, there was no suspense and nothing happened that was surprising at all…in fact it was quite predictable. Going into tonight’s episode, my husband and I talked about what we thought would happen. With Lumen I thought she would either take the blame 100% and go to jail or they would somehow get away with it and she would leave. (My husband, for the record, thought she would die.) With Quinn, we both thought he would get out of it somehow because the writers can’t keep doing this to Deb or he would get caught and go to jail (as this year’s “cliffhanger.”) And as the episode played out, we knew what was coming next…we knew when Lumen woke up, she was going to leave Dexter; we knew when Deb “caught” Lumen and Dexter, she would let them go; and we knew when Quinn got arrested and his shoe would have to go in for testing for the blood on it, that Dexter would fix it to not be Liddy’s and clear Quinn. Very predictable. And I why I say it isn’t fair to complain about the finale, is because it is next to impossible to compete with last year’s finale. It really isn’t fair to compare the two. But it’s also hard not too. And if I am really being fair, I didn’t expect this to be a BIG finale. I expected it to be more like the Season 3 finale “Do You Take Dexter Morgan” where Dexter needed to deal with the Skinner case wrap up, Ramon Prado and his wedding to Rita. In many ways, this is season finale was just like that. The main case is neatly wrapped up, the periphery issue is handled (Ramon and Quinn), and the happy personal celebration takes place to wrap the season up (the wedding and the birthday party.) And that’s fine. You can’t have EVERY season be a huge cliffhanger. Maybe part of my disappointment as well is that I was hoping Lumen would be hanging around.
So I want to talk about the one part of the episode that had me on the edge of my seat…Deb finding the camp site and walking in on Jordan’s body and “Dexter and Lumen.” I really thought that would be the BIG moment. During that scene as Deb was descending those stairs, I thought “Oh My God!! There is going to be a big reveal…Deb is going to finally find out!!!” I couldn’t imagine how they would get Dexter out of this. And then when Deb showed up in the room where Jordan’s body was and Dex and Lumen were cleaning the knives, I saw the plastic curtain. Now that was genius!! At first I thought, Lumen was going to come out from behind the curtain and take the blame for everything. But then when Deb started talking to them, I knew she was going to let them go. It goes back to the conversation she had earlier with Dexter when she explains how she understands what “#13” is going through having been in that situation herself where she was kidnapped and left to think she was about to die. I like the fact that they don’t forget what Deb went through with Rudy, the Ice Truck Killer, Dexter’s brother, in Season 1. Actually, all season long the writers did a great job building up to that scene that went down. Deb had to watch those rape videos several times, she has the conversation with Dexter where she talks about the vigilante theory and how in some sick, twisted way, it was pretty romantic that someone would help her get her revenge on these bastards, and you had the conversation tonight reminding you of what Deb went through herself being kidnapped and left for dead. Deb is a great cop. She would NEVER let a killer get away no matter how sympathetic. However, by the smart, slow build up the writers created with Deb’s connection to this case, it made perfect sense that she would empathize with #13 and let her go. I thought it was the best tension building scene of the night. You knew they were there and weren’t going anywhere any time soon because they still needed to take care of the body. You knew Deb was in the right location because you could see the rooms she was in, was the same as Dexter, Lumen, and Jordan. It was just a matter of, what was going to happen when Deb was in the room. It was handled really well and unfortunately (if you want to look at it that way) it was the best scene of the night.
As for the Quinn/Liddy storyline, it kind of went out with a thud. That SL (storyline) was really building to a big confrontation with Liddy vs. Dexter or Quinn vs. Dexter or Liddy and Quinn vs. Dexter and none of it really happened. Liddy kidnapped Dexter, he pulled a James Bond and threatened all the ways he will destroy Dexter to get his career on track and it ended up with Dexter getting the upper hand and killing him. When Quinn showed up and the blood dripped on his shoe, I got really excited thinking this was going to be a big blowup. Once the MMPD (Miami Metro PD)learned of Liddy’s murder and everyone went to the scene, I thought this was where the payoff was going to happen. Quinn’s deleting numbers from his phone, Deb is questioning Quinn, Quinn is questioning Dexter, and finally Maria questions Quinn about his relationship with Liddy and all the phone calls he made to him. Quinn asks for a lawyer and things start to look really bad for Quinn. Then his shoe gets sent to Dexter, Dexter tests the shoe, and the obvious part happens next…Dexter clears him and says the blood wasn’t Liddy’s. Next thing you know, Quinn is out of jail and all charges are dropped. What? That’s it? So the blood on the shoe wasn’t Liddy’s, but what about the phone calls? What about the surveillance video equipment being checked out in his name? It’s like the writers realized they went way too slow with this story and had to wrap it up too quickly. There could have been some really great stuff between Dexter and Quinn and the investigation into Quinn and whether or not Deb would stand by him, but the writers just simply didn’t have enough time to do the SL justice. For what was such a big SL this season, it really wrapped up poorly. Another disappointment in the episode.
You know the biggest thing I learned from this season? Harry was wrong with the way he raised Dexter and I think Dexter is starting to believe that as well. Dexter’s whole life, he believed he was a monster with a dark passenger inside him. The reason he believed that was because Harry told him so. I started to re-watch Season 1 a few days ago, mainly because I needed a Doakes fix, but it was fascinating to see the early explanation of how Dexter became who he is today and how Harry drove that. Granted, Dexter was killing animals and he was telling Harry how he didn’t know why he has the urges and didn’t know to how to control them. But it also looked like it bothered him. So Harry decides that, instead of taking this kid into counseling, let’s teach him to be a killer, that kills bad people and he develops a plan…the code. As Harry’s methods of channeling Dexter’s “urges” escalates from smaller animals to larger ones, it eventually grows to killing humans. And if you notice how that comes about, it is incredibly selfish. Harry lost a partner and the person who killed him, got away. This is when Harry comes up with the idea of using Dexter’s urges to eliminate “bad people.” And the first person Dexter goes after, a nurse at a hospital Harry is at who is giving him too much morphine and essential prematurely killing him. Harry tells Dexter that it’s time and tells him to go after her. Granted, the woman was awful, but the only reason she died is because Harry wanted her to, not Dexter. Once the first kill happens, we start to learn more about the code and what Harry wants Dexter to do. He also teaches Dexter that since he has no feelings, no emotions, it will be easy for him to have this lifestyle because he will never need to connect to anyone like “normal” people do. However, he still needs to maintain the appearance that he does lead a normal life, which is why he aligns himself with Rita because she was damaged like him and he wouldn’t have to do all the regular relationship “stuff” because of her troubled past.
In my opinion, Harry never gave Dexter enough credit for being human. He treated Dexter like a monster and therefore Dexter molded into the exact replica of what Harry was creating. But as Dexter started going through life on his own, without Harry, and as his relationships evolved, Dexter started to learn, as did the audience, that he isn’t the emotionless, robotic, “dark passenger” Harry wanted us to believe he was. If he was, he wouldn’t have fallen in love with and married Rita. And as much as I wasn’t a big fan of Rita’s in the end, I do believe Dexter loved her. He wouldn’t have had a son and fallen in love with him. He wouldn’t have befriended Angel and Masuka. He wouldn’t care so deeply for his sister. He wouldn’t have cared for and loved Cody and Astor. He wouldn’t have been so excited over finally having a “friend” who knew who he was that he could confide in like Miguel Prado. And he wouldn’t have fallen in love with Lumen and been so devastated when he found out she was leaving him because her dark passenger is gone. There were many times this season where Dexter put the needs of someone he cared about above his own wishes and needs and, in some cases, above the need to protect himself and who he is. And Harry tells Dexter “I had no idea you had this capacity to love.” Of course not. You never gave him a chance. This is why Dexter is one of the best shows on TV. It isn’t just a serialized cop show that happens to have the police station’s blood spatter expert be a serial killer. It is the psychology of Dexter and what made him what he is and why and how he deals with that, that makes this show so fascinating. And Dexter’s inner monologue has certainly changed from the pilot to “The Big One.” Dexter now knows that he can love, he can hurt, he can have his heart-broken, he can have compassion, and he can put other’s happiness ahead of his own. None of these things Harry taught him. Harry taught him to be cold, calculating, and distant. He told him he wasn’t capable of love and wasn’t built like other people. I guess Harry was wrong and with no disrespect to James Remar, whom I love as an actor, I am ready for Harry to be out of Dexter’s psyche, permanently. The revelation to Dexter that he isn’t necessarily the monster Harry made him believe he was, was in this season’s episode “In the Beginning” when he consumates his relationship with Lumen.
Speaking of his relationship with Lumen, I am so sad and confused. I really didn’t want to Lumen to leave and I was just as devastated as Dexter was when she broke up with him. I felt like she broke up with me!!! The writers did a good job of creating a believable and unparalleled relationship with Lumen and Dexter. In a strange and creepy way, it was incredibly romantic and completely genuine from both sides. Which is why her abruptly ending the relationship felt a little flat to me. It felt like, “ok, I got what I needed from you and now I’m out of here, see ya!” And to me, it cheapened what they went through and what they developed together. I think if they had captured and killed Chase last week and we had an episode to see Lumen struggling with staying in Dexter’s life while he still has his dark passenger while her’s is now gone, it would have felt a little more believable. I think the connection they developed was so strong and so deep that I don’t buy, after smiling and laughing on the “Slice of Life” that 10 hours later, she would just leave him. If anything, I would think that maybe she would want to stay and either try to live a life with him, knowing what he is or possibly trying to rid him of his dark passenger. Now if she does the latter, we have no Dexter and we can’t have that! But I think if anyone could relieve Dexter of his darkness, it would be Lumen. She opened up a part of Dexter he didn’t even know was in him and I think he liked the portion that was opened up. I really think, he would let her see if she could remove his darkness with her light. (For God sakes her name is Lumen, there is no better job for her!!!) What an incredible inner turmoil that would be to watch..Dexter fighting the lifetime urges of his dark passenger while wanting to change and suppress those urges so he can be a better man for the love of his life. So he can be a better man for himself and give himself the chance to be a normal, regular guy that Harry never did. Here is what I suggest….Dexter doesn’t have anyone else special in his life, romantically. But when everyone is ready for the final season, you bring Lumen back. Bring her back and have her whisk him off to Bali where they raise Harrison and she lets her light take over his darkness so he never needs to kill again. You like that idea? I know I do!
So that wraps up Season 5 of Dexter. I have no idea where they go in Season 6. They pretty much left the door wide open. I had the same feeling after Season 3 and they came out with The Trinity Killer in Season 4…the second best season after Season 1. Maybe we will get the same kind of intense season next year. See you in September 2011 for Dexter: Season 6. Until then, don’t do anything bad, you never know what handsome serial killer may be watching and ready to put you on his table!!!!