- Air Date: 12/16/2012
- Directed By: John Dahl
- Starring: Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, C.S. Lee, Lauren Velez, Desmond Harrington, David Zayas, James Remar
- Guest Stars: Yvonne Strahovski, Geoff Pierson, Aimee Garcia, Nestor Serrano, Nicole LaLiberte, Erik King
Another season of DEXTER is in the books, and rest assured, DEXTER keeps its streak of excellent season finales alive with this one. It had its flaws, but it was gut wrenching and uncomfortable through and through, and I don’t know how happy I am at the end of it. That’s not because it was poorly done, mind you, it’s because that’s how strongly affected I was by the turn of events unfolding on the screen, even knowing exactly where this was going, but not wanting to admit it.
The writers of DEXTER had this finale planned from the moment Deb walked in on Dexter killing Travis Marshall, and we finally come full circle, with LaGuerta actually ARRESTING Dexter and accusing him of being the Bay Harbor Butcher. Hannah McKay is still in love with Dexter but behind bars awaiting her arraignment. Meanwhile, the man responsible for ordering the hit on his mother, Hector Estrada, is still out and about. Debra, as always, is unfairly stuck in the middle of all of this. This season was a Debra season more than anyone, including Dexter, and that especially is apparent by the endgame.
Dexter go to jail to visit Hannah, and to explain himself. If there was any other way to protect Debra, he would’ve done it, but getting her arrested was the only way. Hannah admitted to poisoning Deb (a surprise to me, I kind of thought Deb did it to herself) because she was threatening their relationship. They both profess their love, and Hannah intimates that Dexter’s secret is safe with her. It’s an awkward, heartbreaking scene, because Dexter clearly does love Hannah and had to let her go. Hannah leaves him with a sexy bite. Yvonne Strahovski only had a couple scenes in this episode, but killed it, no pun intended. She was stripped down to her barest, on the brink of life in jail, and her desperation, love, and conniving machinations were fascinating to behold.
Dexter and Jamie are playing with Harrison and his toys when LaGuerta arrives with a cadre of police officers. They’re there to arrest Dexter. The tension doesn’t let up for the rest of the episode, but you expected that. DEXTER revolutionized tension in a serialized drama, or at least, turned it into an masochistic art form. As always, Dexter is brilliant when under fire, even when trumpeted about the station, with Angel, Deb, Masuka, and everyone else there to witness the shocking spectacle.
Throughout the episode, we’re greeted with flashbacks featuring Erik King as the only person who out-swears Deb, the one and only Sergeant Doakes. They highlight Doakes’ suspicions of Dexter and how their relationship progressed, and gave reasons for why LaGuerta is so determined to sink Dexter.
Adding to Dexter’s considerable plate is Estrada’s continued disappearance. Dexter had revealed himself to Estrada and almost killed him before LaGuerta interrupted in last week’s episode. So, if he’s found, that could ALSO spell doom for Dex. All of these elements make a potent acid-reflux-inducing-cocktail of an hour of TV, and cements DEXTER’s renaissance. After two seasons that floundered under high expectations and an unbelievably high bar, season 7 saw a rebound. That said, it’s fair to wonder how long the writers can keep the game going. As Dexter notes, this is the beginning of the end, and I’ll bet that it’s going to be an exhilarating, albeit stressful, ride.