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Dexter

Dexter Review: The Beginning of the End

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Whoa. WHOA. For what has been a ridiculously slow season, the Dexter Season 7 finale, "Surprise, Motherf--ker," sure did end things with a bang instead of a whimper.

A moment of silence for Maria La Guerta, people. And Deb's soul. RIP to both of those things. Someone get Deb's therapist on standby.

Dexter Season 7 Finale Photo

There's no denying that Dexter Season 7 has been a labored, less exciting season than the previous six. There's been no single "Big Bad" for Dexter to hunt. Instead he spent the season both being hunted and searching for a human connection with Hannah.

But tonight's finale went a long way to redeem what was otherwise a slow run, at least in my opinion. Starting from the end, the discussion of tonight has to jump off with Deb and all she's dealt with this year.

Hannah's words to her in court were incredibly important. Deb is moral. Her world has rules. Cops are good and take down bad people. But that belief has been shaken for her and is no longer true for Deb where Dexter is concerned. Hannah called her out on her hypocrisy. Deb has carried the burden of protecting Dexter, and herself as an accomplice since she knew his secret. She's grappled with whether or not she's been doing the right thing this whole time and for a split second, I expected this episode would end with Deb arresting Dexter, or having another officer do it.

Deb's rules are all broken now, as Dexter's closing monologue aptly expressed:

"We all make rules for ourselves. It's these rules that help define who we are. So when we break those rules we risk losing ourselves and becoming something unknown. Who is Deb now? Who am I? Is this a new beginning? Or the beginning of the end?"

Was the fact that La Guerta had evidence tying her to the church burning the proverbial straw?

When given the choice between shooting Dexter or La Guerta, with La Guerta telling her to shoot Dexter and Dexter saying, simply, "do what you have to do," Deb shot La Guerta. Did she shoot La Guerta to protect Dexter or herself? Or both of them? Not only does Deb know Dexter's secret, she now has a secret of her own and that secret will no doubt be an integral part of the final season in 2013.

Dexter has played fast and loose with his own rules, too. In order to frame La Guerta for killing Estrada, he had to steal and plant evidence. When that didn't work, he was ready to forgo his code completely to kill La Guerta and frame her posthumously for the murder of Hector Estrada so that his sister wouldn't be caught and ruled complicit in his life.

But Dexter being sloppy, is really what this entire season has been about, hasn't it?

The rules that Harry created for him have kept him alive and out of jail this long. But that doesn't mean he's been safe. That doesn't mean he's been able to keep those around him safe. He admitted to Hannah that he would never be able to trust her and that, even though he loved her, he had to turn her in. It was the only way to be sure that Deb and Harrison would be safe from her. The fact that she escaped, and left a lone orchid on his doorstep, should prove interesting if she makes a return next season.

As the series has progressed, Dexter has increasingly made mistake after mistake and proven that he's not perfect. He's fallible. He can be outsmarted and caught.

This early seasons of Dexter dealt in large part with Dexter's attempts to fit in. The flashbacks to Doakes and the way he was always able to see through Dexter's facade were well-placed and well-done. He grappled with being able to make and maintain connections to other people, with Deb, and later Harrison, being the constants in his life, especially after Rita's death. Aside from Harrison, all of his interactions with others were a carefully scripted cover to hide his true identity.

What we've seen since then is, as Dexter said, that "somewhere along the line the fake life that [they] created for [him] became real."

And real life is messy and complicated, much like this mess that Dexter and Debra found themselves in tonight and in which they will no doubt find themselves in Season 8. My only question now: is it September yet?

What did you think of the season finale of Dexter? Where do you think Dexter goes from here? Argentina? Prison?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
  • 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (203 Votes)

Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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Don't cancel the show!!!!! There are very few good shows on T.V. and this particular show should stay!!!!! it's way to GOOD!!!!!! keep it going.

Sue-ann

TWO It was amusing to see "Deb on TV" finally succumb to the same temptation as "Deb in the books", and ask Dexter to kill someone. The two lines of story-telling seldom cross that way any more. I am going to be seriously sorry to see Dexter go after this upcoming season. I'd have been happy to have them do this forever. I hope Dexter ends the series a free man, but with the overly paternalistic culture of the USA, he probably will not. Crime is supposed to be punished, after all. It is the contemporary equivalent of the old three-feet-on-the-floor-even-if-they-are-married rules of the Hayes Office, in the heyday of Hollywood.

Sue-ann

I got the season seven DVD's yesterday and stayed up all night watching them. I liked season one the best, season two--the last three episodes--next best, and I was lukewarm about Trinity all along. I find season six somewhat appallingly written, but well-acted. I have never been a particular fan of the over-the-top histrionics of Jennifer Carpenter, and I don't appreciate the filthy mouth of Deb Morgan. I say that to illustrate why I wasn't particularly concerned with Deb's soul-searching over her own and Dexter's actions. I have always found her tiresomely naive for a cop. The stand-out point of the season for me was Dexter's ability to form a relationship with a woman who was not a clingy nag like Rita, nor a wounded soul like Lumen. The Dexter of the television series, unlike the Dexter of the book series, has shown an ability to grow into a human, and that has been fascinating to watch. It was amusing to see "Deb on TV" finally succumb to the same temptation as "Deb in the books", and ask Dexter to kill someone. The two lines of story-telling seldom cross that way any more. I am going to be seriously sorry to see Dexter go after this upcoming season. I'd have been happy to have them do this forever. I hope Dexter ends the series a free man, but with the overly paternalistic culture of the USA, he probably will not. Crime is supposed to be punished, after all. It is the contemporary equivalent of the old three-feet-on-the-floor-even-if-they-are-married rules of the Hayes Office, in the heyday of Hollywood.

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My hat off to the writers and producers of this series. I love the suspence and dexters character. I love how he reasons what IS RIGHT AND WRONG. Imagine if their is a real
dexter. oolala

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I JUST WANTED TO SAY...
PLEASE KEEP RUNNING DEXTER, FIND SOMETHING TO RUN THE STORY!!! I DO NOT WANT THIS SHOW TO END!!

Sookie00

I just watched the season finale and I'm shot, I never expected that Deb would shoot La Guerta, I thought that she would either shoot Dexter (only to hurt him but not kill him) or that she would let him deal with La Guerta.
But it makes sense though, they both look after each other, always. I think they can both only go down now, like Deb said, it's never gonna end. I think if Dexter has been sloppy it's cause he usually plans everything and things got out of his hands as soon as Deb witnessed Travis'death at the church. I sooo sooo so feel for Deb, I don't see how she can possibly live with that.

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Just one thing. I'm guessing that Matthews becomes complicit next season in one way or another. I'm thinking that's the only way that Dexter and Deb get away with everything.

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This season was anything but slow! In fact, it was way too fast and hectic! Too many story lines, as if they were forced to get everything settled in time for the final season, wrapped up with a tidy little bow! Too disjointed! Issak (easily the best foil for Dexter since Trinity) should have been around to the end; the plot for Quinn and Battista were just windown dressing heading toward the tidying up plots, although I have a feeling Battista will now put his retirement on hold to track down Maria's killer, because he never stopped loving her; Hannah's situation was convoluted and I didn't really like it. They needed to get Dex to expose himself to his human side again, while trying to play off some kind of jealousy feelings from his sister, all the while she is killing people with poison, and putting Deb in the predicament of proving she's a killer..... Messy! (OH, YEAH, ALWAYS GOOD TO LEAVE A KILLER IN A HOSPITAL BED UNGUARDED! LOL) A killer right under their nose the whole series, with a wife and children eventually, never home at strange hours, leaving work for hours on end - the most inept homicide squad in the history of law enforcement, but hey, it's TV! lol Great series, but I just hope they end it well. Do Deb and Dex hook up and live in Argentina? Is Dex exposed to the world, but the public shows support because he's only really killed bad people who've escaped justice? Lots of ways they could go, but I'll trust the writers to finish strong - they've been pretty good so far!

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Eu simplesmente amei o episódio, fantástico, fiquei sem fala e sem ar, durante toda a temporada fiquei falando pro Dex ter cuidado, que ele estava se desviando e se tornando relaxado, mas como se diz "você consegue enganar a todos por muito tempo mas não todo o tempo". A série precisava de um terremoto e foi o que aconteceu. Adorei o choro compulsivo da Deb, me comoveu, como ela vai se comportar depois disso? não sei, o Dex? também não sei, o que sei é que todos devem ter muito cuidado com a Hannah, ela se tornará mais perigosa que o Dexter e todos os "maus" juntos. FELIZ NATAL

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I think most are a bit harsh on the reviewer. I didn't take what she said to mean this season was slow as molasses. It wasn't. All other seasons of Dexter were him following his code and fulfilling his Dark Passenger's wants. While showing us Dexter not 'truly' living a real life, but showing a facade that only few saw through. They died as a result of that. This season was slow in the sense that instead of Dexter being at the forefront and everyone else just extras in his play, everyone had spotlights on them. Sure, there was killing on this season, but it was mostly to 'scratch an itch' or for the overall theme, 'survival'. Most of this season was filled with dialogue that gave the characters a much richer, deeper root into Dexter's world. Can't say as much for Quinn though lol. This season was about development and discovering.