Dexter: Do You Take Dexter Morgan? (season finale)
by Debra McDuffee, posted Dec 14th 2008 11:52PM
(S03E12) This was a really interesting finale for Dexter, unlike any they've ever done before. I'm not sure how well-received it's going to be amongst the Dexter fans; I'll be anxious to read the comments.
Me? I really liked it, and I think the growth that Dexter experienced as a person was really important for him. All along, I've posited that Dexter, though he thinks he's a deviant, is more like everyone else than he realizes: same insecurities, same fears. To see him overcome some of these and accept happiness was profound.
Everyone has secrets and they need to be respected. That's the theme of this episode. After the jump, we'll see how the different secrets played out in tonight's finale.
Rita was married before Paul ... interesting. I wonder if this will be more significant next season, or if it was introduced just so that Dexter could see that it is OK to keep some secrets. It's another way that Dexter realizes he is just like everyone else -- sort of, as he says -- because we all have secrets.
Deb's and Batista's Secrets
Deb's sleeping with Anton could have bit her in the butt tonight, and cost her the detective badge. Instead, it played out a bit differently. Batista realized that he couldn't un-recommend Deb when he had his own secret about how he met Barbara. His confession to Maria invoked her response that some secrets are OK to keep. TMI, Angel!
Wow. I never would have guessed that Ramon was covering for the deviant Miguel all this time, and when Dexter found that out, he was already thinking like the good father he wanted to be. "You don't always have to destroy a wounded animal. Sometimes you just remove the thorn."
This was a satisfying and humane ending to the Prado brothers saga. You had the feeling that Ramon and his family were going to break the cycle and be OK, and we didn't have to have Dexter kill all three of them.
Again, some secrets just need to be respected, and Dexter helped Maria see that no good would come of exposing Miguel as Ellen's killer. Sometimes we need to live with our secrets, even if we are driving over a highway named after them every day.
OK, not much of a secret that Harry was boinking his CI, Dexter's mother. But that was the whole reason Dexter couldn't forgive him, and he finally does this episode. Dex gets that Harry was doing the best he could, and that is just what Dexter was doing this whole season, as he tried to have a friend and confidante, and now move on with a life with Rita and the kids.
It's huge that Harry's imperfections helped Dex realize that he can feel, and that he wants to be a good father to his son and protect him, just like Harry did for Dexter.
I will say that the Skinner thing was a bit anti-climactic, though I get that this season wasn't really about the Big Bad. The Skinner turned out just to be another killer, and now he's gone, and that's OK. Dexter knew just how to set him off balance; he saw the Skinner's need for control right away. Dexter was never scared, and neither was I as a viewer. In fact, this was probably one of the least tense episodes of Dexter ever, and I still loved it. That's good television.
"Dexter Morgan, family Man."
We end this episode about secrets and this season about humanity with Dexter promising "to be the very best husband and father that I can be; a completely, utterly honest vow."
Dexter also says, "All of my previous attempts at human connection have ended in death, and now I have a partner for life; how did that happen?" Dexter realizes that he has nothing to offer a child except himself, that no one is perfect, and that he chooses happiness and admits that life is good. This is a huge leap for Dexter, who against all odds, has realized that he is a part of humankind, not just a deviant killer.
I like that they took this path -- a lot. They could have just as easily reverted Dexter back to his first season, introverted self, after what happened when he bared his soul to Miguel. But we've already seen that Dexter. Instead, now we'll get to see Dexter grow, see new aspects of him, watch as he integrates Dexter Morgan, family man with Dexter Morgan, serial killer. Season four's going to be fun.
- I love the initial aerial shot of Miguel's body being discovered; so artistic, with the green grass and blue water and juxtaposition of the peacefulness of the scenery with the violence of the death. So thoughtfully shot.
- Deb: "Me in a dress; I feel like a transvestite."
- The scene between Deb and Maria when she gave her the badge was nicely done. Maria definitely learned this season that a personal life beyond work is important, and it was good to see that Deb somehow gained this perspective as well.
- All the theories of conspiracy and manipulation that we had for this season, all a waste. Well, not really, because it was fun to speculate. But season three was all about human connections, human flaws and just plain old humanity, and how Dexter fits into all of that. He's one of us, "dark passenger" included.
Last week, I was wondering how they'd wrap up so many loose ends, thinking that they'd have to leave a few for next season. They left virtually all of them. My predictions for season four: Deb will find out that Dexter is Harry's biological son; We'll delve deeper into the mystery that is Quinn; Batista will find out some things about Barbara that surprise him; Masuka will have a girlfriend; Maria will also have a personal life and not put work first.
What did you think? Are you satisfied with this finale and with season three in general?