Television Tourniquet: We Cut Open 'Dexter' 3.12 -- the Season Finale!


Dexter Episode 12
"Do You Take Dexter Morgan?"
Written by: Scott Buck
Directed by: Keith Gordon
Original Airdate: December 14, 2008

In This Episode…

As planned, The Skinner is the number one suspect in Miguel's slaying. Except in the mind of Ramon, who is highly suspicious of Dexter. He breaks into Dexter's apartment and ransacks the place (leaving his blood slides untouched). Later, when Dexter is picking the kids up from school, he realizes he's being followed. Can't confirm it is Ramon, so he runs a yellow light. His stalker runs the red, gets caught by the red light camera, and gets tangled in a car accident.

In a drunken stupor, Ramon crashes Dexter and Rita's rehearsal dinner, threatening Dexter with a gun. Batista and Deb disarm him and arrest him. The next day, Dexter confronts Ramon in a holding cell, fully intent on showing off the evidence that would link Ramon's sainted brother to Ellen's murder. Instead, Dexter learns that Ramon has spent his whole life protecting Miguel, cleaning up his messes, being the fall guy. The two bond, Ramon is sated, and all is well.

The night before the wedding Dexter is feeling calm, relaxed – almost cockily so. That is, until he is knocked out cold by none other than The Skinner. Dexter wakes to find he is strapped down to a wooden table in an abandoned warehouse. Dexter knows he is supposed to be scared, but he is not. Instead, he takes control away from The Skinner by telling him, "I killed Freebo." The Skinner is now face to face with another killer. When The Skinner leaves to get his tools, Dexter rocks the rickety table he is strapped to, tipping it over. He breaks his hand on the way down, allowing him to slip from his ropes and attack the Skinner. Even with a broken hand, he easily snaps The Skinner's neck.

A wrench is thrown into the works when Dex hears police sirens. It was The Skinner who was following Dexter, The Skinner who was photographed by the traffic camera. When forensics went over the car, they found evidence that led them to the warehouse. Anyway, Dexter drops The Skinner's corpse from the rafters, in front of a cop car. The officers think it was suicide-by-cop, Dex slips out the window, and rushes to his own wedding (after a quick stop to get a cast on his arm).

Also of note in this episode: we find out Rita has been lying – Dexter will be her third husband, not her second. She was married once, at 16, for 6 months. Dex decides to allow her to hang on to her secret and doesn't mention it. Deb gets her detective's shield, despite Batista and LaGuerta finding out about her inappropriate affair with Anton. In fact, LaGuerta even praises Deb for not allowing her work to get in the way of a personal life. We also find out Rita is going to have a boy, and Dexter is genuinely happy to be a father, to raise a child, to be part of a family.

Dig It Or Bury It?

I have to say, this episode felt so anti-climactic. There was a lot of bonding, a lot of touchy-feely moments, a lot of sappiness. It felt like the producers shot their wad with last week's episode, and this season finale was just a clean-up episode, to tie up all the loose ends. Don't get me wrong – it still had the dark, demented humor, the sharp writing, and true characters. But it was a little bit of a let down.

Flashback to the Future

Harry is all over this episode. When Dexter is sitting in his ransacked apartment, he shows up to tell Dex to "take care of" Ramon. Dexter is hesitant, as Ramon doesn't fit the code. Harry also pops up when Dexter is trying on his wedding suit – they tie their neckties together in unison, chanting a childhood poem that Harry taught Dexter when they were getting dressed for his mom's funeral. Finally, he shows up when Dexter realizes he is in the clutches of The Skinner. The two share a really tender moment – Harry is scared of a violent end to Dexter's life, has been scared for Dexter's whole life. Dex forgives Harry for his suicide. They cry. It's another touching moment.


With all the sappiness of this episode, it just wouldn't be right to break the mood with foul language. A handful of "fucks" is all you will find.

Body Bags

Miguel's corpse opens the show, spread out in a park, where he is discovered by a jogger. Later, Dexter kills The Skinner (out of self-defense, really). When Dex drops his corpse in front of the cop car, The Skinner's body is dragged a short distance, scraping the skin off his cheek. Poetic, yes. Obvious? Hell yes.


You mean besides waiting on pins and needles for season four to begin? Um… Rita's first marriage will definitely come back to haunt their relationship. Could Astrid be the child of Rita's first marriage? I am not going to do the math, but it is possible, right? At the Morgans' wedding reception, a drop of blood falls from Dexter's broken hand onto the back of Rita's dress. An ominous sign, methinks. I wonder if their kid is going to be born Damien-esque?