In honor of Labor Day, I spent my three-day weekend laboring through season eight of Dexter, because of allegiance for Michael C. Hall or my need to see a show all the way through or because Yvonne Strahovski is really pretty. (Probably that last one.) Here’s the conversation I had with myself about what I slumped my way through.
Me: Wow, this is terrible.
Voiceover: But is it as terrible as the things I’ve done?
Debra Morgan: What the f*ck is f*cking up?
Vince Masuka: Speaking of f*cking…I’m so lonely. *annoying laugh*
Ghost Harry: Josh, remember what I taught you about the Code.
Voiceover: The Code. There was a time when the Code was everything. Now it’s nothing, a lifeless body. Like all the bodies I’ve dumped into the ocean, bodies that were once living. Like the Code.
Quinn: *humps a pile of garbage for some reason*
My headspace is very crowded. Anyway, there are only three episodes of Dexter left, at least until the inevitable spinoff, which could very well happen, based on a “possible finale link” as described by a Redditor. What follows after the jump could be complete nonsense, but that’s also how I’d describe Dexter since the end of season four.
The episode opens with Dexter and Harrison waiting in the airport for their flight to Brazil. Dexter has no idea of the events of episode 11’s conclusion. Harrison has a stupid line, If I remember right it was about his imaginary friend Dan not having a ticket, or won’t be able to fit on the airplane, or something. It leads Dexter to start teaching Harrison about how Dan is not real. Dexter’s oddly self reflecting speech is interrupted when his phone goes off. Hannah is panicking because Elway is right behind her, across the concourse. Dexter says he will handle it, and tries to calm her down, but his phone is interrupted by call waiting. Dexter looks and sees it’s Quinn and ignores it. We get a little humor as Dexter calls in a bomb threat on a payphone to the airport using a ridiculous, and slightly offensive accent. Once again, Quinn calls Dexter and Dexter again ignores it. The airport is evacuated just as Elway spots Hannah, but he has no chance to get through the sea of bodies separating them.
Dexter and Hannah meet up at a bus station outside the airport. Hannah embraces Dexter and tells him how worried she was. Meanwhile, Harrison’s wounds opened up a little so Dexter goes into the bathroom to clean him up. Dexter again gets a call from Quinn, after seeing he has seventeen missed calls. Dexter answers it prepared to be pissed at Quinn, but Quinn speaks first, saying what the fuck, and I’ve been trying to reach you for the last hour. You need to come down to the hospital now. Deb’s been hurt. Dexter tries to talk again but Quinn again interrupts him. “It’s bad Dex…” and it sounds like Quinn starts crying. Dexter tries to calm Quinn down, but even his voice his shaky as he asks how bad. Dexter’s inner voice comments on how annoying all these newfound emotions have been ever since he saw Vogel killed in front of him. Quinn responds barely fighting back more tears, saying that “They don’t think she’ll make it through the night”
Dexter tells Hannah what happened, and how he has to get to the hospital. Just then the tv at the bus station flashes with a news report once again calling Saxon a wanted man, then reminds people that Laura is making shore in the coming hour.
When Dexter arrives at the hospital, every one is there. It’s like a giant family reunion, with Quinn, Bautista, Masuka, Matthews, even SGT Miller is there. Everyone is somber and tries comforting Dexter. Dexter asks to see Deb, but some nurses inform him that that’s not possible.
Just then Elway shows up, and asks Dexter for a word. Dexter says it’s not a good time, clearly fuming. Elway presses, and Dexter says he will give him five minutes. Elway starts to say that he thinks Deb is helping Hannah. Dexter snaps and shoves him up against a wall And screams asking what he did to her. Quinn drags Dexter off of Elway as everyone else sits there in stunned silence, having never seen that side of Dexter before.
Dexter is still fuming, and he and Quinn duck into an empty x-ray technicians lab. Quinn tells Dexter just before Deb was shot, he got a call from her saying she had Saxon. He then fills him in on discovering Clayton’s body at the scene as well. Quinn says he has not told anyone that Deb called saying Saxon was captured. Dexter comes out of his rage for a minute and asks him why he hasn’t told anyone. Quinn says because lethal injection is to good for that fucking monster. Dexter asks Quinn why he is telling him this, and Quinn tells Dexter to “cut the shit” that he always had his suspicions but he looked the other way because Dexter forged evidence for him when he needed it. He tells Dexter he figured it out several months ago, around the Travis Marshall case. He tells Dexter how he sees the good in it, even going as far as saying Dexter has done more meaningful things than Quinn ever has. Dexter falls back into a chair and starts bawling. He tells Quinn everything, how he let Doakes take the fall for BHB, how Deb found out, how Deb killed Laguerta to protect him, and how he could not kill Saxon and has totally lost his urge to kill because of Hannah, and that he was planning on leaving the country with her. Quinn tells Dexter he will do it. Dexter gives Quinn the M99 and tells Quinn to watch out for a few of Saxon’s tendencies. Quinn goes out to hunt down Saxon. He has the Dexter’s knives that Saxon used on Clayton.
Saxon is trying to use the chaos of the hurricane and rely on people’s fear of his public image to flee Miami. Before he can leave, however, there is one last thing he needs. We don’t know what it is yet. We do know Saxon is growing very impatient with traffic, and, well, you know what happens when Saxon loses his temper…
Back at the hospital Dex is washing his face in the bathroom, and again the voice over comments on emotions but admits that the cry he just had was relieving. Elway is still in the waiting room but can see that Dexter is torn up so he keeps his distance. Matthews puts a consoling arm around Dexter and leads him to another room. He too is visibly saddened. He begins telling Dexter of the last few conversations he and Harry had before Harry’s death, and the whole time you’re sitting there waiting for the massive reveal that Matthews knows everything. Despite the scene being incredibly tense, nothing comes of it. The Matthews knows everything theory can finally be put to bed.
Quinn followed Dexter’s advice, and finds Saxon at Vogel’s house. Quinn pulls out his gun and spies on Saxon, trying to figure out what he’s up to. Saxon is frantically searching for something. Finally, he finds it on a bookshelf, his mother’s record of Mamma Cass. Quinn reveals himself, asking what a monster like Saxon would want with a record like that. Saxon comments on how it is one of the few things in his life that is “pleasant” for him. Quinn makes Saxon get rid of all weapons and sit down at the table. Saxon does. Saxon is bone chillingly calm in this scene, which makes it so much more tense for Quinn and the viewers. Saxon coldly says that the police officer he shot was nothing personal. He merely saw her as an obstruction to his freedom. Quinn flips out on Saxon, to which Saxon replies that he will always have an upper hand because he has no emotions, echoing Dr. Vogel’s thoughts from earlier in the season. Quinn realizes Saxon is right and tries to calm himself. He asks Saxon to tell him a story. Confused, but obviously flattered, Saxon begins to recount how he faked his death and escaped an insane asylum, but in the middle of his story Quinn M99’s him under the table.
Back at the bus station, Hannah and Harrison are both freaking out. Dexter arrives and tells them they are going to Quinn’s place. Hannah tries to ask Dexter what is wrong but he refuses to tell her. Elway tailed Dex, but does not see Hannah. He follows at a distance but despite some fancy editing, again finds nothing.
Dexter goes back to the hospital. The nurses inform him Deb is in a coma and will need to undergo surgery. Dexter goes in to Deb’s room, but can say nothing. He cries and holds her hand and then says that is all he wanted. He leaves the room.
Lights flash on in a dirty room, and we realize we are seeing something from someone’s perspective. A blurry face slowly starts coming into focus. It’s Quinn’s. We are given a normal view and find that Quinn has taken Saxon back to his mental hospital and strapped him to the same chair that Saxon strapped his victims to.
The next scenes run parallel to each other. Wording may get confusing.
Deb is being prepped for surgery
Quinn rips Saxon’s shirt open.
The surgeons lay out the surgical tools on the table.
Quinn lays out Dexter’s knives on a similar one
Dexter watches from behind a glass as his inner monologue begins to speak about personal decisions, and their consequences
Quinn chooses a knife as Saxon look on, bound and horrified
Dexter’s monologue talks about the monsters inside us all at one point or another in our lives, and how they can be channeled for good, but mostly just go on to destroy everything we love
Quinn is talking to Saxon. About his past, about his time at the institution, about Cassie, about Zac, about Vogel, about Clayton, and about Deb. At the same time you can tell a moral battle is waging on inside Quinn
As the doctors rush to resuscitate Deb in slow motion while Dexter watches on, his inner voice comments saying so this is what it feels like to lose part of yourself as Dexter is dragged away by nurses and, though there is no sound of it, quite obviously screaming.
In that same moment, Quinn, who is now breathing deeply, sweating profusely, and crying slightly, decides to plunge the knife into Saxon’s chest.
Saxon manages to say “Exhilarating, isn’t it” just as he dies. Quinn is no longer crying, no longer breathing deeply, no longer uptight. He is calm, and relaxed. In another slow motion shot, he stands straight up.
Dexter is waiting with everyone else in the lobby as the surgeon comes out and shakes his head. Even Masuka sheds a few tears in this shot.
Dexter goes back to Quinn’s and tells Hannah what happened. She comforts him. Quinn walks in the door and tells Dexter it’s done. Dexter tells Quinn Deb is gone. Quinn seems numb to the news. He tells Dexter he needs to get them all out tonight, that he saw Elway’s car a few blocks down.
They cut the Slice of Life free and set it on fire, and Quinn says he will vouch and say the three of them got on the boat and attempted to sail away. He gives them his car and Dexter thanks him for everything. Fade to black.
TL;DR: Deb dies, Dexter runs away and lives happily ever after with Hannah and Harrison, because somewhere along the line, Dexter became Entourage. There are no consequences to Dexter’s actions; no matter how many times he puts his family in danger, hell, even after his SISTER DIES, he gets to escape with his hottie and his son.
And we’re still supposed to root for him.