The Dexter series finale is many things at many different times. It's often boring, it's often predictable and it often seems like the "right" ending. So overall, it's an okay finish to a horrible season of a show that should have ended a long, long time ago.
Dexter winds up paying for his crimes -- but Deb, of course, pays for them the most. And what could have been an ambiguous ending (is Dexter truly done?) winds up still being an ambiguous ending. (What is Dexter thinking in those final moments?)
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Of course, a majority of the episode involves finally getting Saxon, who himself is out to finish the job with Deb after shooting her last week.
After getting stitched up by a local veterinarian, who he then later kills to create a distraction in the hospital, Saxon makes his way towards Deb's room, where no guards are posted -- we'll find out why moments later.
Dexter grabs a fork for a weapon, but he doesn't need it because Batista is able to stop and arrest him. Both Batista and Quinn interrogate Saxon later, but don't get anything useful out of him. Under the guise of needing to perform a test, Dexter gets in to see Saxon in his jail cell.
Dexter places a pen on the table and tells Saxon he's going to use it to kill him. Saxon grabs it first and stabs Dexter in the shoulder. Dexter grabs it and then stabs him in the neck, killing him. He takes a moment and then pretends to freak out before hitting the alarm.
Both Quinn and even Batista are suspicious by all of this and yet they do nothing about it. While Quinn's got other things on his mind, it seems a little too convenient and too easy for Dexter to get away this easily. Then again, Saxon was one of the least interesting villains the show has ever had, so if we the audience don't care, why should Batista and Quinn?
When Dexter isn't trying to kill Saxon for what he did to Deb, he's trying to plan his escape with Hannah. Elway comes close to foiling it a number of times during the episode, but thanks to Dexter getting him added to the no-fly list and Hannah later using horse tranquilizer on him -- no, really, she just happens to have some on her -- when Elway catches her and Harrison on the bus to Daytona, he's never able to capture her.
Hannah and Harrison wind up making their escape to Argentina, with Dexter supposedly on his way.
Deb's death strikes an emotional cord. It's supposed to, and if the show didn't telegraph that it was going to happen over and over again, it probably would have hit a harder one.
(Deb got to have a heart to heart with Quinn in the ambulance, she got to say goodbye to Dexter in the hospital room and Dexter flashed back to the first time she got to hold her nephew -- of course she was marked for dead.)
It's an interesting and ultimately fulfilling way for us to witness Dexter's last kill. It's a mercy kill of his sister. He calmly removes all of her tubes, and since the hospital workers are busy evacuating because of the incoming hurricane, no one comes in to see what he's done.
(I kind of think it would have been amazing that, for all his kills, this was the one that Dexter could have been caught performing.)
However, it probably would have been better had Dexter and Deb not found their way back to each other earlier in the season. Had they remained near enemies as they had at the beginning of the season, and had there been just a tiny bit of remorse from Deb one last time over killing LaGuerta, then perhaps this would have been a phenomenal moment.
Instead, it feels right, but not perfect.
And then, as many have predicted for years, Dexter dies as well. After dumping his sister's body into the water as he did with so many of his victims, Dexter heads towards the hurricane with his boat. He says -- via voiceover -- that he left Harrison and Hannah because he destroyed everything he loved.
After the Coast Guard finds his destroyed boat and Dexter's death reaches Hannah in Argentina, I start to get suspicious and assume we're heading for a Dark Knight Rises type ending.
And we do. Dexter is alive, but bearded, working in a lumber yard. We end the show forever on his face, looking forlorn and contemplative, as he sits in an empty house surrounded by almost no possessions.
What's on Dexter's mind? Everything he's lost? The urge to kill?
We'll never know.
(Image courtesy of Showtime)