Dexter: Born Free (season finale)
(S01E12) What an absolutely spectacular show. It's going to be a shame if Michael C. Hall doesn't get the Golden Globe because he certainly deserves it. It's funny because at the beginning of the season I said I was going to have a hard time picturing him as anything other than part of the Six Feet Under ensemble. Now that season one of Dexter has come and gone, I can't imagine how Hall ever played the role of David Fisher for five seasons because this is the show I associate him with. He owns this role.
The finale picked up right where last week left off, as Rudy (or should I say Brian?) took Deb out to sea, only to throw her into a gas-powered raft and head back inland. But Dexter, not one to sit around, was quick to find Rudy's clues and figure out where his sister was being held. From the lyrics of "Born Free" by Andy Williams to the Barbie at Rudy/Brian's apartment wearing a "Home Sweet Home" apron, everything pushed Dexter towards finding out where he came from. Where he was born.
Initially, this led Dex to the ship yard and the precise container where his mother was butchered. In the only flashback that Harry was in, we saw him pull Dexter from the container, covered in blood. Once Dexter snapped out of his little daydream, Doakes was right in front him. He had followed him to the shipyard. Now the sergeant has been on Dexter all season; he's always suspected him of something. Even at the end of the episode, he followed Dexter as he visited Rita. Best guess seems to be that Doakes' suspicion will play a major part in the next season, as he seems convinced that Dexter had something to do with Deb and Rudy/Brian.
Here's a tiny problem I had with the episode. After Angel wisely found Rudy's records at the county psych ward, the team determined that his real name was Brian Moser (give yourself a pat on the back if you were on the "they're brothers" bandwagon). If they could figure that out so easily, then what was stopping LaGuerta, or anyone, from reading his whole file and realizing that he had a murdered mother and a brother? I know Harry sealed the documents of the Laura Moser's murder, but there still had to be something that listed family relations. I just had trouble with no one making the connection between Dexter and his new found brother. Seems like that should be easy to stumble upon. It actually would have made sense for Lt. Pasquale (who apparently isn't going to be a pain in the ass) to make the connection and not realize it because she's unfamiliar with department personnel. That way it would still be waiting to be discovered sometime next season. Although, I suppose it still could be.
Whatever, moving on. The entire set-up of Paul trying to sway Rita all episode was very well done. It's almost as if she refuses to believe that she may be in a bad relationship again. But between Paul's endless insistence that Dexter set him up, to the visit from Paul's NA sponsor vouching for him, to Rita' discovery of Paul's shoe (after he told her about it), the seed of doubt has been planted. This just sets up a confrontation between Rita and Dexter next season. She's stronger now and I don't think she'll hesitate in bringing it up.
Then, of course, there was the family reunion. Dexter's arrival at his childhood home (now owned by Rudy/Brian) was very cool as he recalled a day when he, his brother, and his mother played hide-and-go-seek in the front yard. Anyone else notice Laura's multi-colored fingernails? That's where it all comes from. Even from the very first kill, Dexter's brother was trying to get him to remember his past.
As I and many others speculated, Brudy (I'm merging the names) really had only two options: kill Dexter or convince him to join forces. Looks like Team Moser was what he always had in mind though. As far making Deb their first victim, it made sense. Brudy was just jealous of the life that Dexter got and killing Deb was the symbol of that life dying. Dexter's decision to set Brudy's death up as a suicide made sense, too. Nothing crazy, just logical. It was all really well written. How great was Dexter's set up to catch him though? "Your work is so good, you even fooled yourself."
Some of the revelations that came up with were really well thought out, too. Dex was so torn up about killing his own flesh and blood, so much so that he admits it was the first time he ever wanted to let someone go. I especially liked Brudy's belief that you can either be a killer or a hero. You can't be both. I beg to differ. I'm a big Dexter Morgan fan, I do appreciate his work, and I can't wait to see what's in store for him in season two.