The 8th season of Showtime’s tentpole horror/thriller/drama premiered this Sunday, setting up what will hopefully be a killer ending to the rollercoaster series. What does his final chapter have in store for America’s favorite serial-killer-with-a-conscience? My crystal ball is a little cloudy at the moment, but I do have a finale season wishlist to submit. Read on, ONLY if you are all caught up with the adventures of Dexter Morgan and friends. And enemies.
Let’s be honest: Dexter hasn’t been the most reliable show on cable. Each season follows a different case (or two, which usually end up being connected), which has meant that our engagement is largely dependent on how legit the yearly Big Bad is. There will never be another Ice Truck Killer (or a stronger connection to Dexter), though John Lithgow’s Trinity nearly hit those heights. And around seasons 5 and 6, I doubt I was alone in my frustration at Dexter’s near-magical ability to rouse any suspicion, especially among those closest to him, that actually threatened his way of life. Debra’s discovery of Dexter’s “Dark Passenger” breathed new life into the show. I think I breathed out a “YES.” when she walked into that church and saw him going full Bay Harbor Butcher. Finally: stakes.
I don’t know if I want Dex to get caught or go down in a blaze of glory, or just get away with everything. But I do know that his fate will ultimately define the true philosophy of the series. What has this all been about? Do we condone the code, or has Dexter always been damned?
That said, here are my most fervent hopes for Dexter‘s final season:
Debra crawls her way back from the brink and Jennifer Carpenter gets an Emmy for it.
I’m amending my constant plea for someone to PLEASE HELP WILL GRAHAM” to include Debra Morgan in my prayers. Predictably, the knowledge of Dexter’s secret self has nearly destroyed Deb. She re-calibrated her entire moral compass to do what she had to do to protect him last year, resulting in her tearfully putting down LaGuerta in the finale. We (and Dexter) find her squating and snorting coke with a criminal (albeit a hot one) she was sent to bring in. She’s lost everything. My heart broke for her, especially when Dexter pleaded with her to leave and little Harrison called for his aunt.
If we were giving out senior superlatives to television characters, and why not, Debra would hands down win the vote for Most Improved. I could not stand her in the show’s first few seasons. She was all shrill cursing, co-dependence and bad decisions. But then she called Lila an “English titty vampire” and things started looking up. Now Deb is the richest character in the entire series with the most on the line. Jennifer Carpenter’s performance has gone deeper and deeper every year into this flawed, whip-smart, terrified, and brave lady character. It’s time for Michael C. Hall to start sharing the acting accolades for this series with his brilliant ex-wife.
Someone picks up the torch of shamelessly ballsy double-dealing from Maria LaGuerta, may she rest in peace.
I was shocked when I delved into the “Maria LaGuerta” Tumblr tag and found that most Dexter fans LOATHE her. How can you hate LaGuerta?! She’s 100% selfish, completely self-serving, as dastardly as any mustache-twisting cartoon villain – I am obsessed with her. Almost every season, while we were waiting for the bombs to drop in the main storyline, Maria would show up out of nowhere and pull the rug right out from under us with the big reveal of one of her power-grab schemes. I’ll miss her colorful Miami-chic suits almost as much as her willingness to knock down and walk over anyone she needs to to get what she wants. RIP, LaGuerta. No one could play dirty like you could, but I hope they try.
“This episode needs more Harry Morgan,” said no one ever.
Unfortunately, Harry still shows up a handful of times every week to remind Dexter of a lot of things he and the audience already know. It’s a useless and redundant device. We have Dexter’s voiceover, why do we need his imaginary friend? No offense to James Remar, but it’s time to cut the proverbial cord.
Charlotte Rampling’s character will be as fascinating as she seems.
In the season premiere, British actress Rampling joined the cast and Miami Metro as consultant Dr. Evelyn Vogel. An expert on psychopaths, Vogel threw some significant glances and baiting comments Dexter’s way before doing away with subtlety and just dropping a knowledge bomb on him. She knows who Dexter is. She knows the code. She knows that Harry designed it. The season teaser revealed a little more, the most intriguing tidbit being Dexter’s statement that Vogel “thinks psychopaths are a gift.” It’s clear that Vogel intends on using Dexter for her own personal gain, but in what fashion? Does she plan on blackmailing him into carrying out some kind of revenge mission? Or is she sexually drawn to the psychopath profile? (Not for nothing did they cast such a sexy older lady, methinks.) And if Harry solicited her help in “managing” young Dexter, how will Dexter react learning that his father kept that a secret from him? It could lead to a breakdown in the whole code.
Whatever you’ve got, Dr. Vogel, you need to bring it. We’re ready for a new brand of femme fatale.
That the last shot isn’t of little Harrison holding a bloody knife with an evil gleam CGI’ed into his eyes.
And it’s lazy.
Deb and Dex AT LEAST make out. Just a little.
Judge me all you want, but if two adults not related by blood OR marriage gettting it on disturbs you more than ANYTHING ELSE you’ve seen on this show, then take a moment to reflect.
Love or hate this storyline, it makes sense that Deb, who has had more than her fair share of trips through the wringer, developed an intensely close bond with the one person in her life who (until that point) had never let her down. Take her desperate state, add a therapist who was hellbent on a “major breakthrough” to publish in some psychotherapy journals, and you’ve got some seriously repressed (and at least a little suggested) feelings coming to the surface. Dex was pretty befuddled by the whole thing, but we know by now that he DOES have love or at the very least SYMPATHY for people in his life, especially for Debra. And now his secret binds them together more closely than they’ve been before. He’s plunged her into the darkest part of her life, which has him feeling more guilt than for all of his kills combined. The build up is there, and it suggests that everything – EVERYTHING – comes down to Dex and Deb.
I don’t want them to ride off into the sunset together, at least not as a couple. But I do want this send-off to pull out ALL the stops. And this is one of the only stops left. Also, there should always be more making out on TV, especially between attractive people.
It’s interesting serendipity that Dexter and Breaking Bad will conclude their runs within a few months of each other. Dexter Morgan and Walter White are two sides of the same violent coin. Dexter is a monster who’s becoming a human, and Walter is speeding quickly in the opposite direction. Both of their reigns have an expiration date and it is guaranteed that, in both cases, shit is going down. But who will be punished and for what? Head Over Feels will be watching.