It's already over.

I cannot stay silent any longer.

That implies that I have been silent. I haven't. I haven't stopped thinking or talking about the Season 4 finale of Dexter since it aired 2 nights ago. I barely slept the night of, the final image burned into my mind.

I will say this once.



Dexter is a class in how to keep a show interesting and shocking and complex without going completely overboard. (I'm talking to you, Grey's Anatomy). 4 seasons in, and it is still completely solid. Not only is it solid, it changes and evolves, while still staying true to the major theme: Dexter is a serial killer. Point blank. He has something that he cannot control, and he has manipulated it to his and the rest of the world's advantage.

Every season has had it's own focus, but it seems that the writers have always played with a common variable: Dexter's hope of connection. Rita is a constant. (Well, not anymore). But there was Brian Moser, his own biological brother, there was Lila, there was Miguel - all people who Dexter saw promise in. There was the promise of connection and acceptance. Clearly, it never worked out. And at the end of the day, as it turns out, it was Rita who accepted him. And even though she saw the very very VERY tip of the iceberg in terms of his darkness, she could look at him and tell him he wasn't crazy. Hold him when he said he wanted to be a better man.

And now Rita is gone. And this begs a million and a half questions. What does this do to Dexter, a man who already claims he doesn't feel things like normal people, but who also came just short of renouncing his "Dark Passenger" for the sake of his family. What does that guilt do to a person, even a person like Dexter? That despite all his efforts to protect his family, he failed. What doors are going to be opened, but more importantly: which will be shut?

This season, for me, is the best they've put out. The writers really found what they wanted to go for, and how to balance it all out. But most importantly, they introduced a character so complex and so thrilling and so absolutely despicable who, as it turns out, really got the last laugh.

What does THAT do to a man? How do you avenge a death when the killer is gone?

The writers were extremely brave in what they did here. To let someone else get the best of Dexter. That isn't supposed to happen. They played a lot with Dexter struggling to be on top of his game - even from the very episode, juggling his newborn with his darkness, not being able to find a body, killing an innocent man. The dust settles over all those things, and you think the worst has passed - but it never did. The minute that he decided to let Trinity live was the worst mistake he could have ever made, and will haunt him for the rest of his life.

The last scene between Dexter and Trinity... I've watched it more times than I care to admit. When the episode aired, I found myself feeling bad for Trinity. He seemed so sympathetic in that light - tied down to a table, accepting his fate, needing to see a toy train and hear a record. It was sad. This guy had issues.

But we had no idea what he had already done.

Re-watching that scene is absolutely brilliant. The things that John Lithgow is hiding - the smirks, the tiny laughs, the way he looks at Dexter when Dexter says he has a family. Nothing is more disturbing. Watching that scene again is almost more disturbing and heartbreaking than the last scene itself. Dexter having no idea what is already done.

But nothing can really compare to the image of Rita in the tub. The baby on the floor in his mother's blood. And I need to address this now - the critics out there who are saying it's too far fetched for Trinity to have known that was Dexter's beginning - he didn't. He didn't do it to mirror Dexter's own past. That would almost seem less cruel. Trinity put that baby in a pool of his mother's blood for no other reason than to put the baby in a pool of his mother's blood. I have no doubt that Harrison was in the room as he was killing Rita. Because that is the kind of monster that Trinity was. It was no tip of the hat to Dexter's childhood. It was pure evil.

John Lithgow did the best work I've ever seen of his. The subtleties in everything Trinity said and did were mind-blowing. But that's nothing compared to the absolute agony in his face every time he killed. He was so much a slave to these compulsions, and it really tortured him.

Goes without saying that Michael C. Hall must be one of the most underrated actors ever. He's brilliant, plain and simple. Jennifer Carpenter also deserves her due - I couldn't even go into her storyline throughout the season. I'd need a whole other entry. That girl is raw emotion every single episode, and never fails to blow my socks off.

So what now? No Dexter until September 27th, 2010. Let the speculating begin! What happens with the investigation of Rita's death? It's going to bring a whole slew of problems for Dexter - it's not like he can tell people where he was prior to finding her. And what about him being at Arthur's house when Miami Metro and the SWAT team burst in? It's all suspicious and will, of course, make for another great start to what I'm sure will be another impressive season.

The Season 4 finale of Dexter had 2.9 million viewers. More than anything Showtime has ever aired.

3 Golden Globe nominations (as of today), and I'm sure Emmy nominations quite soon. I say this every year, but really you guys - This HAS to be Dexter's year. I don't see how anything could have been better in terms of writing and performances. Can we finally do the right thing here, people? Come on.



    On January 1, 2010 at 12:48 AM Anonymous said...

    "just short of renouncing his "Dark Passenger"", that was becoming such a strong theme, i guess no more killings would mean no more Dexter episodes

    On January 4, 2010 at 8:29 PM Anonymous said...

    Great review/summation of the DEXTER season finale! Couldn't possibly have said it better and couldn't agree more, especially your comments about Jennifer Carpenter, who (you said it) never fails to blow my socks off either. - xo Barb


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