The Dexter season finale is finally here, petering out in a mixture of nail-biting suspense and blah blah blah meh-ness. We do get some closure on certain issues, but there are plenty of loose ends to be tied up next season, and some boneheaded moves on Dexter’s part that show just how much the man is slipping in his advancing age.
Anyway, at least we get to mock Travis one last time, and that’s solid entertainment, so let’s get this started!
Admittedly, this was not in the plan.
When last we saw him, Dexter was in a bit of a pickle. Specifically, he was adrift at sea, having a slumber party with the sharks and stingrays and such, floating above the severed body parts of his many victims. He spends quite a bit of time out there before the piece of lifeboat he’s clinging too says fuck it and sinks. Dexter is inches from drowning, thinking only of Harrison and everything he’ll miss if he dies, when he’s rescued by a boat full of Cuban refugees, headed for the golden land of opportunity and silicone that is South Florida. They drag him aboard and are headed for land when the one of the guys pulls a gun and starts shaking down the refugees for the combined 43 cents they brought with them. Dexter isn’t about to go down like this, so he does what he’d normally do when faced with a threat: he impales the dude on a fishing spear and feeds him to the sea, scaring the shit out of everyone else on board.
Though they seem grateful to be alive, the other refugees would prefer to stay that way, so they waste no time getting the hell away from Dexter as soon as they hit land. Dexter borrows a pedestrian’s phone and calls Jamie, since she is literally on call to tend to his every whim day and night. No clue how this girl has any time or energy left for schoolwork, but she’s like 22, so can probably survive on 3 1/2 hours of sleep and half cup of 7-11 coffee a week. How I miss those days.
It’s okay, I didn’t really want that degree anyway.
Travis is watching TV and sketching pictures in that dead couple’s living room. He looks pretty bored, and I guess he’s just playing the waiting game until the eclipse, since he thinks Dexter is dead and his TABLEAUS complete. I’d be spending my last day on earth at the beach, or maybe I’d drive up to the Harry Potter theme park in Orlando and check that out, but I guess he’s being careful and lying low. He probably thinks Harry Potter is sinful anyway. He’s also mad at the corpses for stinking up his hiding place. The cat has yet to give a fuck, by the way, which is so typical.
He has an artist’s soul, that one.
Jamie and Harrison pick up Dexter, who looks pretty unruffled for someone who spent the night at sea. Seriously, the man doesn’t have so much as a grain of sand on him, much less look like he’s been brining like a Christmas turkey for the past half day. Jamie buys his cockamamie story about falling off his boat, and takes him home. She has to let him in, since his keys and wallet are gone, and I wouldn’t put it past Travis to have lifted those off him while he was unconscious. Uh oh.
Right now, though, Dexter is just dehydrated and tired, so he sends Jamie home and spends the day with his boy. The quality time is just what they both need, and they spend an idyllic evening together.
In real life, this would be the exact moment Harrison decided to run a fever, throw an epic tantrum over a juice box, cut his two-year molars, and make a poopy on the floor right next to his potty chair.
Dexter isn’t sure why he was spared that day, but if it was the work of a higher power, he knows it was for Harrison’s sake, not his own.
The next morning finds Travis a bit restless, so he starts chopping up furniture. Always a good stress reliever. The flies and stench are really getting to him, and he needs to prepare for the eclipse anyway, so he takes the cat bed and drives away. I’m done trying to puzzle out his shit, so I’ll just assume his purposes are sinister.
Deb barges into Dexter’s place, barely bothering to knock on her way in. This is why he doesn’t tell you things, Deb—you have no sense of personal boundaries. Yeah, and speaking of that, she finds him half shirtless, and since we’re apparently just going to go with the incest plot line, of course she throws herself on him, blubbering about how worried she was. She saw a report that his boat had washed ashore without him in it, and when he didn’t answer his phone, she feared the worst. And now, seeing him alive and partially dressed seems to be the turning point for her. She tells him she loves him, and you just know that it’s coming from a genital perspective.
Blegh. Also, considering their real-life relationship, how awkward.
It’s even more awful when he tells her he loves her, too, because we all know he means it in a brotherly way, but the words to her are poignant. He’s never actually said that to her in any context, and the emotions he stirs appear to be tinged with the kind of sibling love we expect from Game of Thrones, not goddamn Dexter. I guess Showtime figured they couldn’t just let HBO run with the incest bandwagon on its own, huh? GoT, Boardwalk Empire, Bored to Death, goddamn True Blood—is there a show left on television that doesn’t go there in one way or another?
Remember when hot lesbian action was the big envelope pusher? Those were the days. Whatever happened to hot lesbian action?
Right about now is the time Deb gets a call about the dead couple in Travis’s hidey hole, which I guess got pungent enough to attract a neighbor’s attention. When Dexter arrives at the scene, he finds that no one has gone in yet, because they were waiting for him. Since when do they do that? Dexter shows up to active crime scenes all the time and no one has bothered to wait before, but I guess the writers couldn’t have Masuka and Company finding Dexter’s face on the big Beast mural. This stroke of abnormality also gave him time to destroy the face part of the mural and realize that the place was Travis’s hideout, which he does in quick succession.
And just in time, too, because the rest of the team arrives inside a moment later and realizes who they’re dealing with. Deb is unable to control her loins, even on the midst of a crime scene–she’s watching Dexter’s every move and reading all sorts of shit into his looks. She reminds him to focus, but really knows the problem is hers, and she literally has to leave the scene in order to get her head straight. As soon as she’s gone, Dexter finds Travis’s doodle in the trash. He doesn’t know what it means, but knows he has the advantage now–Travis thinks he’s a corpse, so Dexter can now catch him unawares.
Speaking of Travis, guess who’s driving by? He’s totally pissed that his hideout is now useless, and whines to God that it’s not fair–he’s done everything God asked, so why is he being screwed here?? He bites the hell out of an apple in frustration, then realizes the answer lies in his hand. Dexter’s wallet, which contains his address. He has the keys and as far as he knows, the owner is dead, so that place will be a perfect hideout. God hath provided!
Is this because I didn’t say Grace before I bit the apple? It is, isn’t it?
Back at Metro, Louis has worked up the courage to approach Masuka. His internship is almost up, and he’s wondering if he can get a spot on the force full time. No dice, Masuka says–this is an elite crew, so go get more experience, then we’ll see. But he says it in the world’s most awesome Yoda voice, which just can’t be replicated here. Did I mention I live for Masuka on this show? He’s amazing. Louis is somewhat mollified for the moment, but not happy.
If you hire me, I promise to kill you last.
Briefing time! Deb has obtained a photo of the TABLEAU that almost killed Dexter and is comparing it to Travis’s Lake of Fire mural. This means Travis is waiting for the end of the world. Quinn thinks he could be anywhere, but Deb has a theory that he’s somewhere specific. Based on EJO’s last sketch in the Book of Crazy, the Two Witnesses are supposed to watch the eclipse from a mountaintop, accompanied by what appears to be a Labrador. Since she’s standing next to Dexter, Deb is flustered, but she manages to spew out her idea: Travis will be watching the eclipse from Miami’s version of a mountaintop: a skyscraper. If they post men on every roof, they have a chance of catching him. It’s literally their last chance to catch the guy.
Did you just pinch my ass?
Dexter realizes Travis’s sketch is similar, yet different, and he does a search of Miami skyscrapers to find one that matches the sketch. He comes up with the Transcorp Building: a solar-powered structure designed to capture and reflect sunlight. It fits with Travis’s shining pillar of light babbling, and is tall enough to fit his purposes. Do we have a winner? Of course we fucking do.
But first, it’s time for another awkward brother sister moment! Deb wants Dexter to do a final forensic sweep of the abandoned church that afternoon so they can clear the scene. He tells her it’ll have to wait–Harrison’s Noah’s Ark pageant is that afternoon, and that shit totally trumps the legwork they need to do for what is literally their last chance to catch the goddamn DDK.
But fuck it, she’s all in love with him now, so instead of ripping him a new asshole, she tells him to just do it after the pageant. And then she starts acting like a girl. Do we need to talk? She asks him. Because Dexter is always so ready to share his feelings, right? Ugh. He thanks her for her concern, and calls her “sis,” which is like a punch to her gut. She leaves before things get any worse, and his VoiceOver informs us he has plans for the church. Which means Kill Room time!
Speaking of people wanting to kill other people, Batista has dragged Quinn into the interrogation room, and tells him to cut the shit before his lame “I didn’t do it” joke has even had time to take on the chill of the air conditioner. Batista tells him that he’s put in for a transfer on Quinn’s behalf, because he can no longer tolerate Quinn’s fuckery and drunken, whoring ways anymore. The behavior is interfering with work and puts everyone at risk. Quinn flounces out, probably to go grab a beer and some pussy.
That’s my boy!
Deb is explaining her skyscraper theory to LaGuerta, who is actually buying it. She’s also being helpful, telling Deb to use all the resources she needs. Yeah, Deb says, and when it all blows up, LaGuerta will have a reason to fire her. LaGuerta informs her that, though she may seem like an evil bitch (truth) everything she does is for the good of the department. Or, you know, her own career. They have the “ask-Matthews-about-that” argument, and LaGuerta tells her to shut up and go catch Travis. Amen.
Travis, meanwhile, is letting himself into Dexter’s apartment, and he finds a box addressed to Dexter on the doorstep. He makes himself at home, changing into one of Dexter’s shirts and acting like a fucking sloppy pig, spilling cereal all over the kitchen for no reason but that he’s an asshole. He opens the box then, and wouldn’t you know it–it’s the Ice Truck Killer prosthesis, lovingly delivered courtesy of Louis.
Wow, and I thought I was the totally batshit one…
He doesn’t have time to puzzle it out, though, because Jamie walks in! He stashes the box on top of the fridge and hides around the corner, watching her search for Harrison’s blankie. She notices the knife he used to open the box, and curses Dexter for being so goddamn careless with sharp objects in a toddler-ruled household. I’m waiting for Travis to deliver the killing blow…but it never happens. Jamie and Harrison leave for the pageant, and Travis is free to explore the rest of the house. He realizes The Beast has a son, that the pageant is about to happen, and he adds the kid to his nefarious plan. Travis, you’d better watch it, buddy. No baby killing.
Don’t do it, Travis. Seriously, do not! Back away from the baby!
At the pageant, Dexter scares the shit out of all the kids in his lion mask–which goes rather well with his kill shirt. Nice choice, Dex. he reminds Harrison that the Ark has room for all the animals, dangerous ones and all. The line is delivered in a baby voice to an uncomprehending kid, but it sums up the entire season the way all the Brother Sam blather was unable to do: there is a place for every kind of beast on this earth, not just the gentle and meek. The world was meant to balance tranquility with danger, light with darkness. The pageant emphasizes this, though I notice the kid playing Noah has to board alone. Ten bucks says that’s the kid with the absentee father.
Deb is posting units all over town, sending out here department en masse to get Travis. Quinn takes a moment to inform Batista that his little transfer plan is dead in the water: Quinn and his union rep have agreed that Quinn has a problem with alcohol and will seek help. It’s a disease, therefore, he can’t be forced to transfer a damn place. How do you like them apples, Batista? Batista splutters that Quinn has a problem with being a fuckup, not an alcoholic, but it’s too late. Batista goes off in a huff, snarling that he wishes Quinn put as much effort into his job as he does into covering his own ass. Yeah, but he wouldn’t be Quinn then, and we wouldn’t feel so wonderfully wrong for loving him the way we do.
Deb and the rest of them are puzzling over the drawing still, wondering why they have a dog. Maybe it’s not a dog, LaGuerta says–maybe it’s a sheep or a lamb, like the Lamb of God.
A whole journal packed with intricate, realistic images, yet he can’t draw a recognizable lamb.
Deb remembers the lamb Carissa Porter (or, as Masuka calls her, “that chick Quinn fucked”) posed with in that fake tableau back in the day when all this was just a symbolic hobby for EJO. The lamb in the pictures has only an Omega on it, signifying the End. But what if Travis needs to kill one last time? And what if it’s not a literal lamb? Cut to the pageant.
Dexter, clearly expecting Jamie to appear from nowhere and pick up his parenting slack, leaves two-year-old Harrison BY HIMSELF to take Deb’s phone call. She tells him her theory, and it makes sense to him–and the penny drops, just as he realizes his kid is gone. Yep, the nun confirms: Harrison just left with a man in a lion mask, and she thought it was Dexter.
As soon as I satisfy my Dark Passenger, I’m suing the shit out of this place.
He rushes outside, but they’re nowhere in sight. Travis is gone, and he has Harrison.
He might want to keep that mask on, considering he’s been all over the news for days. But thinking has never really been Travis’s thing, has it?
On the rooftop of the Transcorp Building, some beat cop sees Harrison run by, and instead of calling in what is a completely unexpected and unusual sight (toddler dressed like lion alone on skyscraper rooftop), he chases after him, only to get taken out by Travis and his iron sword. Deb calls in all-clear confirmations on every location, and Travis answers for the dead cop before leading Harrison to his final TABLEAU. All he needs to do now is wait for the eclipse and make his final sacrifice.
But Dexter knows where he is, and shows up just in time to prevent his kid’s throat from being cut. Travis, thinking he’s seeing a ghost, freaks, and Harrison finally grasps that the situation is not a good one and starts yelling his head off. But Dexter being alive fucks up the Apocolypse–the world can’t end while the Beast lives. And that makes the sacrificial lamb useless. In order for Travis’s plan to work, he has to kill Dexter first, then Harrison, and all before the sun goes dark. Dexter offers himself in place of his son, and Travis agrees–bit Dexter has to inject himself with his own tranquilizer first. Travis puts Harrison in the elevator, and Dexter drugs himself and hits the ground like a ton of bullshit–because we know he’s smarter than that, and Travis isn’t.
With time running out, Travis prepares to slice Dexter wide open, but is caught by surprise when a totally undrugged Dexter pops up and overpowers him. He knocks Travis unconscious and rescues his boy, just as the sun is eclipsed. Apocalypse Fail!
Deb is getting all sorts of pissed from her station, as one by one the calls come in confirming Travis is nowhere in sight. But no call comes in from Transcorp, and the cop isn’t answering because he’s dead. all units to Transcorp! They find him dead and Travis gone, but they see the remains of his altar. Deb realizes Travis got away, and she just can’t take it. She goes off to have a cry, but LaGuerta can’t let it lie. She intrudes on the tears, but surprisingly enough is sympathetic. Deb’s idea was on the money, she says; her instincts were right, and it’s not her fault that Travis killed the cop and got away. Deb has the potential to be a good lieutenant, she says, but she lets her emotions get in the way of her work. She herself took control by making the job the center of her life, putting it before all relationships and personal feelings. Yeah, we noticed. But it’s worked for her, clearly, and it’s what Deb needs to do. But one of the reasons Deb is so good at her job is that she IS emotional–it’s more than just a job. She actually gives a rat’s ass about the people who feel the effects of her decisions. This is what separates her from LaGuerta, and hopefully she’ll be able to rise above this and kick ass without losing her humanity.
She could stand to lose the crush on her brother, though. Just as a jumping off point.
Dexter arrives home with Harrison, a bound and unconscious Travis resting comfortably in his hatchback. He gives him an extra tranquilizer injection, then goes up to put Harrison to bed, relishing every moment with his baby. Maybe all he needs to pass on to Harrison is that unconditional love, he thinks, not some prepackaged idea of faith. Whatever Harrison becomes, his dad will always love him.
While we’re on the subject of love, Deb has decided to just barge on into her therapist’s office and admit she’s into her brother. Hearing the L Word from him made her realize her feelings, even though she knows he didn’t mean it like that. Now she doesn’t know what to do or what it means, she just knows it makes perfect sense and explains all her crappy relationships. She’s always chosen men who are the opposite of Dexter, in order to avoid admitting her feelings. Bleggggggh. And because she’s a girl, she wants to tell him immediately. Because I’m sure that’ll go over like gangbusters. And what better time to tell him than now, when she knows exactly where he is?? Because she told him to go there!! And has no fucking idea that he’s actually creating a crime scene instead of sweeping one…
Travis wakes on Dexter’s table, hilariously mistaking the crucifix for the real Jesus. He says hi, but is immediately confronted with Dexter, madder than we’ve ever seen him at a ritual killing. Dexter has his End of Days hanging right here, and isn’t interested in Travis’s foiled plans. Travis is no righteous man, he says–he’s just using the whole religious prophecy thing as an excuse to kill people. God didn’t use Travis; Travis used God. And now Dexter is showing him the meaning of the End. There’s a place for him just as he is, and Dexter’s purpose is Darkness–using it to bring balance to the world. He’s uninterested in Travis’s brightly lit crotch and last minute certainty of his own salvation and faith, his trust in God’s Plan. Must be God’s plan that you’re on my table, Dexter tells him, and Travis has no answer for that. “God has nothing to do with this,” sayeth Dexter. “You’re here because I want to kill you.”
This is for spilling Cheerios all over my kitchen, you inconsiderate prick.
And who should walk in on the tail end of this? If you answered Deb, all emotional and ready for an incestuous heart-to-heart, you win! She steps into the sanctuary just in time to see Dexter finish his speech and stab her target, Travis Marshall, through his black, black heart. She’s speechless for once, and he looks up, their eyes meeting as if they’re seeing each other for the first time. Which really, they are.
If I bone you like you want me to, can we just agree to go about our business?
And that’s that! What did you think? A good ending to a shaky season, but what a setup for next year! How do you think this will play out, considering her feelings for him and her tendency to let emotions rule her work? What craziness does Louis have in store for us? What will Dexter do when he finds that hand stashed in his kitchen? Will Jamie quit school to become a full time nanny? These are the burning questions we shall have to wait to answer. In the meantime, thanks so much for hanging in with me this season! I still love Dexter, even if the writers insisted on talking down to us this go-round, and I predict Colin Hanks will be able to find work now based in his talent and not just blatant nepotism,. Hallelujah! If you want more Blue Canary goodness, join me in a few weeks for a round of Kitchen Nightmares recaps. Have a great holiday!
To get the funniest quotes from TVgasm recaps as they’re posted, follow us on Twitter or like our Facebook page! You can post your favorite lines right back at us. Thanks for being here!