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SEASON FINALE RECAP & REVIEW: Dexter “Surprise, Mother Fucker” S7 E12

17 Dec

WOW!!!  There were many scenarios I pictured in my head about how this season finale of Dexter would play out.  I can guarantee you with 100% certainty that how it actually played out last night was no where NEAR what I thought.  There were many things building to a head this season.  Some things I thought would build little quicker and some things I thought would build a little slower.  But I never in a million years saw THAT coming.  And it really begs the question, where the hell does the show go from here?

If you’ve ever read any of my Dexter posts in the past, you know there is one character I absolutely love and is my favorite of all time and with every passing episode, his absence pains me more and more.  That would be one Sgt. James Doakes.  I’ve been refusing to believe for the past 4 seasons that Doakes is really dead.  I had it in my twisted little head that he somehow escaped that explosion (General Hospital style) and he is alive and well trying to remember who he is only to resurface when we least (or most) expect.   When I saw the title of the finale (sorry Mom for the language!) I thought to myself….HE’S BACK!!!  HE’S ALIVE!!!  I KNEW IT!!!!   Especially since there has been so much Doakes talk lately, I thought that he was absolutely coming back.  And I was right!!!   Well…..sort of.  He’s back but only in a flashback.  A recreated flashback I should say.  And even though it was not the reunion with Doakes I was hoping for, it was ok.  I was so happy to see my main man Erik King back that even though it was only for a short time, I’ll take it just to get my Doakes fill again!

So with my James Doakes/Erik King love out-of-the-way, let’s get into the meat of the episode.   What does what we witnessed last night mean and where does Season 8 go from here?  First I want to talk about Hannah. I know there were many people not too fond of Hannah McKay.  I didn’t hate her character the way some other people have.  I thought she was important for a few reasons.  First, it showed that Dexter could truly love again.  Second, it gave Dexter the chance to fully and completely be himself with someone.  We’ve never really seen that before.  The closest we got was with Lumen but he was very careful with her because he knew deep down that Lumen wasn’t a killer.  She was a victim seeking revenge for her crimes and that once he mission was complete, her “Dark Passenger” would be gone…and it was.   But Hannah was different.  Hannah’s a killer…just like Dexter.   So he didn’t need to lie or hide.  He could be himself with her in way he never could with anyone else, even Deb.  And finally, she brought some inner feelings inside Dexter out I’m not sure he knew were there.  I’m talking about the “Dark Passenger.”  One of the reasons we’ve always been able to buy into Dexter as a “lovable serial killer” is because he always had his code (always kill guilty people…never anyone innocent) and because we thought there was no other choice for him.  This is who he is.  He had a darkness in him that he can’t run from and therefore he needed to find a way to channel it.  But Hannah made him rethink that position.  Is it possible there is no “DP” at all and that Dexter is just a killer who likes to kill.  It puts Dexter in a completely new light.  It’s one thing when he’s doing it because he has no choice and the people he kills are bad.  It’s a completely different scenario if it’s simply for pleasure and because it’s a lifestyle he has chosen vs. one that was fated.  He becomes a much scarier individual because the code is now off the table, if that’s the case.   And if that’s the case, how does our perspective on Dexter change?  How does Dexter’s perspective about himself change?  We saw it with Hannah’s father.  While he was a complete scumbag, he wasn’t worth killing.  He didn’t fit the code.  But he’s not walking amongst the living anymore is he?   Dexter willingly broke his code to kill her father.  Or you could argue, he adjusted his code to justify killing her father.  That’s not the Dexter we’ve grown to care about.  So without his relationship with Hannah, these feelings inside Dexter and this turmoil about who he really is, wouldn’t have come to light.  It also bring an entirely new layer to Dexter’s character which is quite compelling.    The big question is, will Hannah be back?   She’s out and on the run and Dexter will be very well aware of that fact when he returns home.  How will this make him feel?   Because they were very clear with one another that while they both love each other very much and feel only they can understand one another, they also realize that because of who they are, neither one are ever really safe with the other.  I hope Hannah returns next season because I think those crazy kids can find a way to work their issues out!

I think the bigger analysis, is how did Quinn survive?  I thought for sure he was a goner!    No, I’m just kidding!!!  Obviously the bigger question is, Debra.  She had quite a finale didn’t she?  Her character has had such a transformation over the last seven seasons.  Where she once started as an innocent cop who just wanted to do a good job and make her dad and brother proud (and Jennifer Carpenter was not a very good actress) she is now a seasoned lieutenant who is very well aware of what is happening around her (and Jennifer Carpenter has become a very good actress.)   Poor Deb has had pretty much an insane ride on this show.  From falling in love with a serial killer (who happened to be Dexter’s bio brother) to falling in love with a FBI agent who is murdered right in front of her to falling in love with her adopted brother to finding out said brother is a serial killer to becoming a killer herself.   Just when you want to say you’ve had a rough life, take a look at the life of one Debra Morgan!

It’s still hard to comprehend what went down last night because I still can’t believe it was Deb that pulled the trigger….literally.  I was pretty sure LaGuerta was going to die (check out my Dexter Death poll in my earlier post).  Why I wasn’t 100% sure?   Because she didn’t fit Dexter’s code so I didn’t think he was going to kill her. I was right…on both fronts.  She died and Dexter didn’t kill her…DEB DID!!!   I still can’t believe it.  Deb killed LaGuerta.  But did Dexter have a hand in it?  I think he did.

It’s obvious what was going to go down.  Dexter was going to shoot both Estrada and LaGuerta and make it appear as if they shot each other.  Enter Deb who spent most of the time trying to convince Dex not to kill Maria.  Unfortunately, while Dexter was begging Debra to leave and Debra was begging Dexter not to do this, Maria woke up.  I’m glad this happened because, like Doakes, she had her suspicions about Dexter and before she met her maker, her suspicions were confirmed.  But when Maria woke up she begged Debra to shoot Dexter.  I found this reaction from Maria interesting.  Instead of Maria telling Deb to call for back up or turn him in, she yelled at her to shoot him.  Hmmm.  Meanwhile, Dexter is telling Deb that it’s ok and that she needs to do what she thinks is right.  And with a tearful and pained look on her face, with the gun aimed at Dexter….BANG.    The shot goes off but instead she shoots LaGuerta.  In what I read this morning was an off the script scene, Deb runs screaming to LaGuerta and hugs her and tells her NO while Dexter watches in disbelief at what Debra just did for him.   It was such a powerful moment made even more powerful once learning that was all ad libbed by Jennifer Carpenter.

Deb and Maria had always had a difficult relationship.  At first, Maria didn’t like Deb because she was threatened by her.  She was the darling up and comer with a huge backing in Captain Matthews.  And as a result, she made Deb’s life very difficult resulting in Deb not trusting and hating her lieutenant.  Eventually, she made Deb detective…which is something she always wanted.  Their working relationship improved slightly but there were still moments of tension and distrust.  Eventually, Maria got promoted to Captain and in turn promoted Deb to lieutenant.   And as of late, they worked well together.  Their relationship came full circle last night.  It started with Maria holding Deb’s future in the palm of her hands and ended with Deb holding Maria’s future in the palm of her hands.  While Deb and Maria had their moments of angst, there is a part of me that always thought they did want the best for the other.  As the only other woman in the department, I think if anyone was going to succeed, Maria wanted it to be Deb and in turn, there were many times Deb viewed Maria as an asset and mentor.  That’s why it hurt Deb so much to do what she did.  Not only because she just killed someone, but because it was Maria.

I read an interview with one of the show runners who alluded to the idea that Dexter was very much in control of the situation with Deb and manipulated her into doing his dirty work.  It’s hard to argue with one of the men behind the show, but I’m going to anyway.  I don’t buy that.  I think Dexter was very distraught over the idea of putting Deb in this position and he was really giving her the ok to shoot him if she felt she had to do it.  He was trying to make it easier for her.  I don’t think he was trying to manipulate her into shooting Maria.  I really don’t. I think he was shocked when she did it because all things Maria said were true…Deb’s a good person, she’s not like Dexter, she’s not a killer.   But I guess that didn’t stop Maria from shouting at Deb to kill her own brother!  I guess she’s a killer if she’s saving Dexter but not Maria.  Anyhoo, Maria was right about Deb.  So I don’t think it ever entered Dexter’s mind that she would shoot Maria.   He was just as stunned as the rest of us!

So now what?   What does this do to Deb?  How does this impact her relationship with Dexter moving forward? How do they get out this?  I certainly think hearing of Maria’s death will bring Angel back from retirement and this will be his last case before he really does step away.   I guess a lot will depend on whether or not Season 8 is really Dexter’s last season.  Right now the show runners are planning as if it is.  But they did say if Showtime wants more, they can spin it and go longer.  As much as I would like to see more Dexter (if the quality holds up) I almost think you’re at a point of no return.  I think next season has to be the last because as many people as Dexter has been involved in killing, he can’t run forever.  At some point, it has to catch up and I think next season it will.   Otherwise, it gets ridiculous and there is no way we can trust any of these cops who would be so blind to what is happening right in front of them.

So what did you think of the season finale and season 7 as a whole?   And do you want next season to be the final season?   I can’t wait to hear what you think!!!

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Posted by on December 17, 2012 in Recaps and Reviews, Season Finales, Showtime

 

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