June 30, 2013 by Susan Miller
Susan: The final season of Dexter starts tonight. Where do you think we’ll start? Where do you think we’ll end?
Steven: I think we’ll start in one of Deb’s classic pits of depression. So, she will probably be working out all the time and sleeping with the remaining male cast–including Masuka! In order to keep this story line plausible, though, I think we’re also going to have to see Deb change an awful lot. Deb-Deb just isn’t up to this Dexter kind of life. It will have to be like with Breaking Bad, where Walt transforms entirely once he crosses that thin line between cooking meth and killing rival dealers. If Deb isn’t doing something fairly terrible right from episode one, I don’t know if the writers will be able to sell it for an entire finale season.
Susan: I don’t know about that. Even Walt took a few episodes off after killing Crazy 8. Well, maybe it was just one episode off. Anyway, he had a break between killing the guy with the bike lock and blowing up Tuco’s den with the fulminated mercury. For Deb, I think depression is certainly plausible. But after that, where does her story really go? Is there another arc there? It seems like Deb might be stuck in Skyler mode, just pissed off and waiting around for Dexter to be caught or killed. I hope this season focuses on the noose tightening around Dexter’s neck. Will this be the year that Miami Metro finally wakes up and learns to be suspicious of Dexter? I certainly hope so.
Steven: It has to tighten this season! Right? As for Deb, I am also worried that the writers will just abandon her for the first half of the season, which is why I want her to be sick right off the bat. If they only used her as a plot point–to kill the troublesome LaGuerta–I will be disappointed. I see her becoming MORE like Dexter as the episodes pass. The trouble with Skyler is that she remains herself inherently while helping Walt carry out his plans. It limits her, keeps her from being dynamic and really committing. Did you ever see Unfaithful with Richard Gere and Diane Lane? I only remember that movie because it’s one of the first truly ambiguous endings I ever saw. In it, Lane is cheating on her husband (Gere), and when he finds out he confronts the French book-peddler, or whatever the other man did for a living. In confronting him, Gere accidentally kills him. Anyway, cut to the end, they’re driving out of town, and they pull up next to a police station. Her options are: (a) flee with her husband, becoming an accessory to murder, or (b) turn him into the police. These are the only two options. I feel like these shows often times refuse to make this decision. The pop the car in reverse for a few episodes or an entire arc, and then come back to the stop light. I understand their hesitation–making the choice would dramatically change the show. Old conflicts would fall away, arrows would begin pointing all in the same direction, and while realistic, it probably wouldn’t make fantastic television. Still, it’s bothersome.
With Dexter, though, they’ve arrived at the end game. Deb has put on Dexter’s guilt. Now she must decide: (a) or (b). Unfortunately, though, she will probably just spend the season conflicted about which option to choose.
Susan: I don’t think they’ll abandon her. I’m a little worried that she might kill herself or get herself killed, thus driving Dexter to be more careless than usual and then get caught. I don’t want to see Deb go, but I also don’t want to see a bunch of wishy-washy nonsense that we’ve seen before. Season 2 was my favorite season, because it was the only time that Dexter was really in danger of being exposed. However, they mishandled the end of season 2 spectacularly, which makes me really question their ability to close out the series. Hopefully LaGuerta’s death will light a fire under Batista and Masuka and old chief whats-his-name. Oh, and turd bucket Quinn is still around. (I had to google him just now. That’s how much he registers in my steel trap brain). If the first episode of this season tries to introduce a new big bad, I think we’re in big trouble.
Steven: I agree. I think business as usual would be a bad move. This finale cannot be a Dexter vs. Pscyho #8–or whatever number we’re on. This has to be the end of Dexter. Either he’s going to get caught or he’s going to reform and vanish. Anything else would be too open-ended to be considered a finale. The show has to say something in the end. Just writing about all of this is making me feel queasy. To the writers: Don’t screw this thing up, guys!
Susan: So let’s play writer for a minute. What would be the most satisfying way for it to end for Dexter, Deb, etc.?
Steven: I could see this going in the direction of Hannibal Lecter–Deb turns herself in along with implicating Dexter. Then Deb must help Miami Metro track Dexter down. OR right before a significant kill, Dexter has an epiphany, a real moment of clarity, and he turns himself in. (I think I like the latter more.) Finally, we see him in a maximum security mental hospital being visited by former chief whats-his-name and together they try to track down the next big serial killer.
I’ve played the tape out a few dozen times in my head and I can’t get away from the inevitability of Dexter being locked up. It’s the only just end, the only thing that will ensure he doesn’t kill again or drag more of his friends and family down with him. The only happy ending I can come up with is Dexter behind bars, finally rid of his Dark Passenger but still helping to put bad guys away.
Susan: Oooh, interesting. I had not thought about that angle. I would much rather Dexter end up in jail than dead. At this point, death seems like an escape, and I think Dexter deserves to be punished for his crimes. The most annoying thing (to my hideous, moral-less soul) about Dexter has always been his refusal to help Deb and Miami Metro with the cases they’re working on. Every single season he has the big bad figured out by episode 3, but he lets them keep killing people so that he can chop them up instead of handing them over to the police. In the first season, Dexter only carved up people who slipped through the system on a technicality and that was fine. But as the years went on and the writers got lazier, he just slowed everything down by being selfish and it was super annoying. So it would be really nice if he finally learned how to properly do his job while paying for his murdery ways in prison.
That, however, leaves Deb. Should she have to go to prison too? I say no, but that’s not exactly fair. And what’s to become of Harrison and Astor and Cody? If Deb is in jail, do they just move in with the nanny? That would be okay as long as she dumps Quinn before that happens. What should happen with Batista? Will he finally get the head job? Will he ever find love? Will Masuka fill Dexter’s role as resident blood spatter/vigilante serial killer?
Steven: Answers to all of these questions and more on the final season of Dexter!
We’ll be back each week with recaps of the final season. Hope you tune in with us.