Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Dexter Season 4 Finale Review

Another fine season of Dexter has come and gone, and this one could have been the best one yet. The introduction of John Lithgow as the Trinity Killer was as good a decision as anytime I've ever had breakfast food for dinner. His kills were cunning and brutal. In many ways, though, they gave enough of Trinity's back story to let the audience debate if Trinity ever had a choice to become a monster, or if he, like Dexter, was "born in blood" and could not squash the demon inside. Dexter might have been a similar killer to Trinity (if not more sloppy) had he not had Harry to instill "The Code" in him.

So let's talk about the season finale. I'm laying it out there right now- SPOILERS WILL FOLLOW so if you have not seen the season finale- DO NOT CONTINUE READING!!!

I thought the episode set up nicely. Beginning in the Police Station, where Trinity has found the real identity of Dexter and the two of them are staring at each other like Old West gunfighters. Each statement Trinity makes seems to make Dexter shrink down further into a shell of uncomfortable regret- Why did I not kill this asshole 5 episodes ago?

What then transpires is a chase scene with Dexter weaving in and out of traffic. He's on the phone with Rita, planning their weekend Honeymoon getaway while trying to catch up with Trinity. I couldn't help but see this scene as a symbolic microcosm for the rest of the season. Dexter has been having trouble balancing work, family, and being a serial murderer- and when he hits a parked car while driving, we are given another example about why Dexter's family situation is doomed to fail (or at least, something had to give.)

To speed up the summary, we'll gloss over the middle of the episode because let's keep it real, you shouldn't be reading this if you haven't seen the episode, and if you have, then you don't need me to recap the whole thing.

I had been hearing about the "Amazing Twist You'll Never See Coming" for a few weeks, and I knew there was an outside shot that they would kill off Rita- but I definitely did not see it coming when it actually happened. My mind was going down the road of "Maybe they'll let Trinity live and they'll accidentally run into him in the Keys next season." I'm very glad they did not do this as there would not have been any satisfying closure to the episode and season.

When Trinity's car broke down, I figured Dexter was somewhere ready to pounce. I couldn't tell if he came from the trunk or the backseat, but that was a pretty sweet way to surprise Trinity. Once Dexter has Trinity secured in the kill room, they have a very interesting conversation. At first viewing, it seemed like Trinity was coming to terms with dying, and Dexter had locked back into to being the dominating, mistake-free killer that we have come to love. Dexter rants about how he wants to be better than Trinity and about how he is good for his own family (while Trinity, in comparison, made his family live in fear.) When Trinity says, "It's already over..." I thought- Hell yeah, it is! Dexter is finally going to kill this monster! However, I was not totally prepared for what happened next.

Dexter returns home and is about to leave to meet Rita on their Honeymoon getaway. He calls her and finds her phone still in the house- then he hears his baby, Harrison, crying. Dexter finds Rita in a bathtub full of blood, killed by Trinity in his own signature way, and Harrison sitting in blood- totally reminiscent of the way Dexter was found after his own mother had been murdered.

It was a fitting end to the season, and while most people are probably glad to be rid of Rita's annoying voice, I don't think anyone really wanted her murdered by Trinity in front of her and Dexter's baby son. Well done, writers. Well done, indeed.

So what are the ramifications of such an ending? Here are some questions I have:

- Since Dexter was found at the bank where Trinity pulled out his entire life savings, and arrested- then found suspiciously in Trinity's garage as if he magically appeared, and Trinity's family can identify him if they are questioned- wouldn't that open up some serious questions into what the hell Dexter was doing in his "personal time?" On top of that, the police will find Rita killed Trinity style? There has to be some questions coming Dexter's way. Seems like he may find himself in an investigation of his own.

- Will Astor and Cody stay with the family they left with to go to Disney World?

- Will Dexter retain custody of Harrison? Maybe have Deb move in to his house? Or will Dexter move back to his old apartment?

- Will Quinn be the new Doakes and get all up in Dexter's business? Will Quinn convince Deb to be suspicious of Dexter?

- And my favorite recommendation for next season, have Dexter on the verge of getting caught for the murder he's been up to, and the season end with the Police Chief sit down with Dexter and reveal that he knows who Dexter is. In fact, I want to see the Chief reveal that he's been helping Dexter get away with the murders the entire time. It would make sense that Harry would have given the Chief a heads-up about Dexter to a) give Dexter help and b) make sure Dexter abides by the code.

No matter what happens next, I know I'll be watching. I can't believe it took me so long to get around to watching this fine show, but I'm so glad I got into it. Next up: Lost Season Premire February 2...


GMoney said...

It was outstanding. However, I don't understand all the Rita hate nationwide. She has never said anything above a whisper and wives are supposed to be wanting their husbands to be home. Plus, she is hot and has a nice rack. I would rather have Deb dead who sucks and is an awful actress. Deb needs to die.

Per real laws, Dex would not get custody of Astor and Cody. That would be Paul's parents.

He was definitely skittish this season. Dexter had very little control. Great season though. Lithgow was the shit.

Tony B. said...

I was never fully on board the Rita-hate-train and I think the payoff was better because of it.

Thank you for legally clearing the custody issue.

Lithgow was awesome this season and I just saw both he and Michael C. Hall were nominated for Golden Globes. Very deserved. First Jimmy Smits, then Lithgow, who could be next as the focal point of Season 5?

GMoney said...

I'm calling it now...Mr. T.

Deb still needs to die.

Tony B. said...

Not only would Mr. T. be on the show, but it would be as Clubber Lang.

Interviewer: What's your prediction for the Dexter Season 5?
Clubber Lang: My prediction?
Interviewer: Yes, your prediction.
[Clubber looks into camera]
Clubber Lang: Pain!

GMoney said...

Can you imagine how much damage he could do with the Mohawk Grenade???

By the way, I think that Harry might be my favorite character on Dexter. I'm not sure why, but he's awesome.

Tony B. said...

The crazy thing is that in Season 1, they would flashback and show the actual Harry character interacting with Dexter in the past. Now, Harry's character is more a fragment of Dexter's consciousness. They've done a great job evolving Harry's character from real to theoretical mentor to Dexter.