Dexter series finale recap: Our Take on That Shocking, Strange Ending

The series closes with a surprisingly lovely, bold and moving hour. Here's what 'Remember the Monsters?' got right and wrong
Ep. 12 | Aired Sep 22, 2013

Dexter (Michael C. Hall) unexpectedly spends the entire series finale sitting in this chair staring into space.


We learn Deb had a blood clot. Massive stroke. She's now basically brain dead and on life support. She is, for all intents and purposes as a functioning human entity, GONE. And it happened off screen. This is a very bold choice and the more I thought about it the more I liked it. It's completely unpredictable and the way this plays out is very non-traditional -- you find out about her fate like the way a relative of somebody who's in the hospital might find out, not like a person who's watching a TV show where the camera always stays with its main characters when they're in jeopardy.

Dex is stunned. Quinn is crying. We're told it would take a miracle for her to improve. "I've never seen a miracle," Dex says.

We get another flashback, to Deb asking Dex if he remembers the monsters -- scary shadows on her bedroom wall when she was a kid and how Dex explained them away "in your dorky little voice." It's a effectively poignant flashback.

Hannah and Harrison are sitting on a bus waiting to leave Miami. Harrison is bugging Hannah, wanting to know about Argentina. Look Harrison, it's a place your dad thinks you'll be safe because the country doesn't have a lot of treadmills, okay? "I like penguins," Harrison contributes.

But danger -- Elway on board! He sits next to Hannah. He explains, as the bus begins to leave the curb, that their next stop is Daytona and when they arrive they're going to get off the bus together and he's going to bring her to justice and--

Wait, what? Why isn't Elway taking them off the bus right there in Miami? Why go with them to another city? It's not like they're on a plane that just left the runway, they're on a bus! Oh Dexter, I'm gonna miss your plot holes!

So we think: Hannah is gonna kill this guy. She gets out a thermos of tea and offers Elway some. "How stupid do you think I am?" he asks. Then she stabs his thigh with some sort of injectable that sends him to dreamland. Aww, she's learning not to murder too, just like Dexter. How sweet!

Now we come to my favorite sequence of the finale, my favorite sequence of the season, my favorite sequence of the past several seasons of Dexter:

We see Dexter, who is just cold dead deep anger at this point. He's never wanted to kill anybody so bad and now he apparently can't. In the interrogation room, Saxon asks "Who's Deb?" and Quinn loses it. Yes! Real raw emotion on Dexter! Saxon wants his attorney. I don't believe Batista and Quinn wouldn't beat the living crap out of Saxon just on principal, but they restrain themselves.

After they leave, Dex goes to visit Saxon with a lab kit. He calmly takes a seat across from Saxon as he goes through the motions of a lab test. Notice what you're feeling right now? It's suspense, big time. One major reason for that is not what's in this scene, but what's missing -- no voiceover. Without voiceover, without Ghost Harry, we don't know what Dexter is going to do.

NEXT: Miami Metro glimpse Dexter's dark side

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