While tonight’s Dexter finale didn’t deliver the jaw-dropping conclusion that last season’s did, there was definitely closure and some interesting developments.
Stake and Notify
Dexter and Lumen’s final dealings with Jordan Chase unraveled fairly quickly as the episode played out and I have to say, I wished we could've seen him squirm a bit more on that table before it ended. There didn't seem to be time for that, though. Dexter tracked down Chase by checking up on the property he owned under his old name. Jordan apparently took the name of the camp, which was the site of all of his crimes. The ordeal got messy when Dexter crashed his stolen car and was captured and briefly detained by Chase. In the end, Dexter used a hidden knife to stake Chase’s foot to the floor. The maneuver was quick and fairly brilliant, as it not only exacted a fair amount of pain but it also immobilized Chase long enough for Dexter to get the upper hand and turn the tables on the whole situation. Chase has only his ego to blame for underestimating Dexter in that moment, which turned out to be his undoing.
Dexter allowed Lumen to do the honors of killing Chase, who briefly tried to convince them that they were transformed. His motivational-babble did nothing but further infuriate Lumen, who stabbed Chase first, and then got to the part where she declared the kill in memory of his other victims. Seemed like a rookie mistake on her part in mixing up the order of talking and killing but the end result was the same. Chase was dead and her nightmare was over.
Nothing is as Simple as it Seems.
With the timing of the episode Chase's death appeared to happen too soon, but there was plenty to come. While Dexter was trying to find Lumen, Deb was busy trying to track down Chase, and after posting a Stake and Notify, she got the tip she needed to track him down at the camp. When she arrived, Deb found Chase’s body on the table and Dexter and Lumen standing behind a dirty piece of plastic sheeting.
It's important to note that Deb had recently rewatched the horrific rape videos of the women who came before Lumen; giving her a sense of the retribution victim number 13 would desire. The crimes Chase and his men committed were all fresh in her mind when she came across the body. She didn’t know that it was Dexter and Lumen on the other side of the plastic sheet. What she did know was that one of the people was one of Chase’s victims, and the other was someone who understood the nightmarish ordeal #13 had been through, and was willing to help her take these men out. Deb said as much as she had her gun drawn on them. Both Dexter and Lumen thought they were caught, but Deb surprised them by giving them the opportunity to clean up and haul out before she called it in.
Deb and LaGuerta may not see eye to eye on a lot of things, but Deb’s still willing to keep an open mind on her boss’ philosophies; and that apparently includes turning a blind eye on two murderers. Given that she’d been through a similar ordeal with Rudy (Season 1) and that she’d seen and heard with her own eyes and ears what was done to those girls, it really isn’t hard to see where Deb was coming from. What I loved wasn’t the choice she made, but how surprised she was by it, as though she learned something about herself that she never saw coming.
Her dark passenger: It’s vanished.
There was a moment when Dexter was looking at Lumen when they were on the boat, after dumping Chase’s body that I actually said, “It can’t end this way.” Call me a pessimist but my brain simply couldn’t accept that they were really going to sail off to happier times together. It’s not that I don’t want to see Dexter happy. I just didn’t see him and Lumen as the happy couple. Lumen packing Dexter a sandwich and handing to him while he heads out to stalk his next victim? Dexter waking up in the morning after and making pancakes for Lumen and the kids? I couldn’t picture it. So I can’t say that I’m all that disappointed that Lumen left.
Lumen seemed genuinely sad when she admitted to Dexter that the darkness inside her was gone. Dexter was notably surprised that she was leaving him. He came in talking about making breakfast and spending the summer with Astor and Cody and was floored when Lumen sadly told him that this experience was over for her and she needed to go.
Each season changes Dexter in some ways and sheds light on different aspects of his character in other ways. If we can learn something from Lumen’s story (aside from the obvious connections between her name and the theme of the season), I think it’s that there’s hope for Dexter. If Lumen’s dark passenger could vanish overnight, following closure to what’s been done to her, maybe there’s hope that Dexter’s might someday depart as well. In the meantime, the two shared a final moment after Dexter promised to carry Lumen’s darkness with his own. That says to me that whether or not there is hope for Dexter, he doesn’t see it. Though he did mention later in his closing monologue that he’s learning that nothing is set in stone, not even darkness. Considering his own dark passenger took residence when he was a toddler, it seems safe to say that it’ll take more than a few kills to satiate the thing but perhaps in time Dexter will find a way to release it.
I Owe You One.
It was widely theorize that the blood droplet on Quinn’s shoe would point the investigation of Liddy’s murder to Quinn and sure enough, LaGuerta spotted the droplet of blood while questioning him on the cell phone calls made to his phone from Liddy and the surveillance equipment signed out under Quinn’s name. There were just too many connections between Liddy and Quinn to go unnoticed but it was the tiny drop of blood that was going to make or break his case.
Dexter deciding falsify the blood analysis report to save Quinn was a mark of his feelings for Deb. I’m not going to say that he did it because Deb walked away from him and Lumen in the basement when she found Chase’s body. After all, he didn’t really owe her for that because she didn’t know she was doing him a (major) favor. In the end, I think he did it because he wants to see his sister happy and he served to gain nothing by seeing Quinn go to jail for his crime.
The bigger issue here is how Quinn and Dexter are going to deal with each other when the series picks up next season. Tonight, Quinn offered Dexter his appreciation for fixing the blood results but that doesn’t mean the matter is settled. If anything, the “I owe you one,” was Quinn’s way of saying he’s letting the issue drop. Still, we need to consider the look on Quinn’s face when he saw Liddy’s body. As I saw it, that expression was Quinn’s reaction to Dexter. He was seeing Dexter when he saw what happened to Liddy. Perhaps he’s simply too stunned to truly know how to process who the guy really is and make a call one way or the other. I don’t know but I think we’ll be getting more from Quinn on this issue once he has time to really deal with everything that’s happened. In the meantime, he and Deb look happier than ever, which is to say, they look happy together. I think that’s a first (not counting bed-time moments).
Even Masuka got a happy ending tonight in the form of a tall, leggy, cleavagey-woman in a dress way too sexy for a Baby’s First Birthday party.
Wishes, of course, are for children…
The episode ended on a note that seemed a bit on the fence, neither positive nor entirely negative. While Dexter considered what Lumen left him, which was eyes that saw him for who he truly is and a certainty that nothing is set in stone, not even darkness, he also admitted that wishes are for children. And the look on his face in the final moment, seemed darker than ever. So perhaps we can say that this season wiped some of the slate clean for Dexter, or at the very least, helped him through the grief period and reset him to an altered but fresh version of himself.