Review

Review

TV Recap: 'Dexter' Episode 812 - 'Remember the Monsters?'

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DexterDexter Episode 812
“Remember the Monsters?”
Written By: Scott Buck and Manny Coto
Directed By: Steve Shill
Original Airdate: 22 September 2013

In This Episode...

Okay folks, this is it. The last episode. Ready?

Dexter and Harrison are rushing to meet Hannah at the airport - but she is not there. She saw Elway and is hiding out in the bathroom. Dexter reports seeing a suspicious package left by Elway. He is taken into custody and the whole terminal is evacuated. On the way to the car, Batista calls and tells Dexter about Deb being shot, so Dexter sends Hannah to the hotel and asks her to figure out a different way out of Miami.

On the way into the hospital, Quinn was by Deb's side the whole time. She seems dangerously close to trying to confess to Laguerta's murder again, but instead insists simply that she is getting what she deserves. I don't think Quinn has ever been as sweet as he was in this scene. When Deb comes out of surgery, Dexter is waiting for her. The doctor is confident that Deb will make a full recovery - the bullet bounced around but didn't hit anything important. The siblings enjoy a heartfelt scene together, and Deb begs Dexter to leave, start his new life. He does leave, but can't start that new life just yet. Elway followed Dexter to the hospital and blames Dexter for Clayton's death. Dex throws him against the wall, but doesn't take it any further - Harrison is clutching his hand.

Back with Hannah at the hotel, it is decided that the safest way out of town is to take an evacuation bus to Jacksonville then fly out from there. Dexter is afraid to leave his sister in Miami with Saxon now on the loose, so he sends Hannah and Harrison ahead while he "looks after" Deb. On the bus, Hannah is telling Harrison about what Argentina will be like. As he falls asleep, a hand grabs Hannah. Elway has found her, and is sitting across the aisle. He is calling the shots, and promises that they will go quietly to Daytona, get off the bus, and he will turn her into the local U.S. Marshal’s office. Harrison will go to child protective services, and Elway will collect his sizable reward. Hannah reaches for her thermos for some tea. She offers some to Elway, who laughs at her. But she’s not stupid, either, and uses the tea distraction to stab him with one of Dexter’s tranquilizer syringes. Hannah and Harrison calmly get off the bus and continue on their journey.

Saxon is still roaming the city. He steals a car and goes to an animal hospital, where he makes a vet tech sew up his wound. He then makes the tech drive him to the hospital after seeing a news report about Debra Morgan, shot in the line of duty. The tech agrees, but is scared and promises he won't tell anyone if he lets him go. Saxon lets the kid go alright - right into the hospital ER, spitting blood. Saxon cut off his tongue. Dexter, having just arrived, recognizes this as a distraction technique. He knows Saxon is there and grabs a fork as a crude weapon.

The two killers find each other in an empty hallway, outside Deb's room. They face off, but before anything can happen, Batista shows up, gun at the ready. Saxon is arrested without incident. Dexter goes to check on Deb - and discovers she is not there. He finds Quinn, who informs him that Deb had to be moved to ICU. Apparently she had a blood clot that caused a massive stroke. Machines are now breathing for Deb, and it would take more than a miracle for her to regain consciousness. Dexter could just let the state kill Saxon, but he wouldn’t be Dexter if he didn’t have a hunger for revenge.

Under the guise of conducting a gun shot residue test, Dexter goes to see Saxon in the holding cells. He lays out assorted forensics tools on the table, and promises that he is there to kill Saxon with a ballpoint pen. Saxon grabs the pen and stabs Dexter in the arm; he retaliates by pulling out the pen and stabbing Saxon in the jugular. As he bleeds out, Dexter presses the panic button and takes on a frightened-for-his-life look. Batista and Quinn take a look at the security video, and while they see that Dexter is unusually calm and clear-headed when he kills Saxon, they buy it as self defense. Case closed.

But there is one more kill Dexter needs to make before he can leave town: Debra. He changes into his kill suit and slips into the hospital, virtually unnoticed as the staff evacuates ahead of the hurricane. As her big brother, he has to protect her, and that means not leaving her in a vegetative  state. He unplugs all the machines and holds her once last time. Dexter whispers “I love you” to Deb as she flatlines. These are perhaps the first tears we have ever seen Dexter shed. He then rolls her out of the hospital, wraps her in a sheet, and lays her gently in his boat. He drives them out a good way from shore and calls Hannah. She and Harrison are about to board the plane, and she can’t help but be optimistic. She passes the phone to Harrison, and Dexter tells him that he loves him, and to "remember that everyday until you see me again." So clearly, Dexter is not coming back. He throws the phone overboard and returns his attention to Deb. He is wracked with pain and guilt and grief as he drops Deb into the ocean and watches her sink peacefully.

Here is where it all goes horribly, horribly wrong.

Dexter is overwhelmed with his guilt that he brought this upon Deb. “I destroy everyone I love,” he says in voice over. “I can’t let that happen to Hannah and Harrison. I have to protect them. From me.” And with that, he drives his boat into the storm.

The storm has dissipated and the coast guard finds the wreckage of the Slice of Life. There is no sign of survivors. Batista gets the call. Two Morgans dead in as many days. Hannah and Harrison have made it safely to Argentina and are enjoying lunch at a sunny cafe when Hannah finds a a news story on the Miami Herald’s website: Dexter Morgan is dead. She fights back the tears and takes Harrison for ice cream. I think it is more for her than for Harrison.

But we are not done yet. We go to a remote logging camp in Oregon. A stoic, bearded man is working the camp. Yes, this is Dexter. He goes into the tiny cabin he now calls home and looks into the camera. He is angry and miserable.

Now it is over. Worst. Ending. Ever.

Dig It or Bury It?

I didn’t like it. And not because it is the last one, yadda yadda yadda. It is because I don’t believe that it is true to Dexter’s character. The stuff with Deb was elegant and poignant. For him to kill her, a true mercy killing, was perfect. It was perhaps Dexter’s one truly selfless act, and it was beautiful the way he took her to sea. That was his favorite place, and that is where he felt at home. For Dexter to send Deb off that way, there could be no greater compliment. My husband disagrees, and thinks that it was a sign of disrespect to just dump her into the water. I contend that it would have been disrespectful had Dexter chopped his sister into pieces and disposed of her in garbage bags. Dexter did what he did out of pure love for his sister.

But for Dexter to fake his own death, thinking that that was his only way to “save” Hannah and Harrison, that was just amateur hour. That was a truly selfish act. Dexter is miserable. Hannah lost the love of her life. And Harrison is an orphan, just like his daddy. Born into blood and left an orphan. The whole point of the three of them moving to a distant foreign country was to start over. Saxon is dead and the U.S. Marshal Service doesn’t have any jurisdiction in South America. Extradition seems extremely unlikely, and Dexter didn’t want to kill anymore, so they could just lead normal, ordinary lives. It just seemed... hopeless and empty. I certainly wasn’t looking for or expecting a happy ending, but this was just bleak. It was out of character. The more I think about that ending, the more disappointed I am. 

This was not the Dexter I watched for the last eight years.

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