Dexter tries to get everything in order so he can leave Miami for good, but he still has to finish off Saxon before that can happen and a certain U.S. Marshall is hot on Hannah’s trail…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
Follow on Twitter @DamonMartin
The days for Dexter Morgan are numbered.
Take that phrase in any number of ways given the manner with which the penultimate episode to the entire series ended on Sunday night with several events unraveling leading to next week’s final episode.
This week’s offering left us with plenty of questions and not a whole lot of answers with only 60 minutes to go until Dexter shuffles off this mortal coil (at least theoretically) once and for all. As he packs his bags and says his goodbyes, Dexter is finally ready to leave Miami behind and start a new life with Hannah, but exiting isn’t as easy as selling off a condo and a boat and buying plane tickets to Argentina.
There is still a murderer on the loose who knows Dexter is a serial killer, and a U.S. Marshall hot on the trail of Hannah McKay.
Where For Art Thou Dear Oliver?
At the end of last week’s episode we saw Oliver kill his mother Dr. Evelyn Vogel with one brutal slice across the throat. Dexter rushed in to save her, but it was already too late, and Oliver had escaped out the back door and was nowhere to be found. Dexter takes the time to rush around Vogel’s house to delete anything related to him from files on her computer to the drawings he made as a child. Ultimately, however, he doesn’t just dispose of Vogel’s body and he calls in the police to clean up the scene.
The murder of Vogel by her own son — a killer Dexter has been after for weeks already — only seems to enrage him even further to track this man down and put him on the killing table once and for all. The timing of this couldn’t be worse unfortunately because Dexter, Hannah and Harrison are scheduled to leave for Argentina in a matter of days. The clock is ticking and Dexter is running out of time.
Dexter lets Deb in on what happened, so she decides to go back to work as a detective in the police department a little early so she can work on Oliver’s case. Much to his surprise, when Dexter heads back to the station he’s called to an interrogation room to give a DNA swab to a suspect, and when he opens the door, he’s greeted by none other than Oliver Saxon. He’s there to give his statement after learning that he was a suspect in Cassie’s murder. Dexter applies the swab and realizes that once the police run the DNA, they won’t find anything related to Cassie, but they will match his sample to his now dead mother Dr. Vogel. Dexter decides that getting Oliver however it happens is more important that his own need to kill so he agrees to let Deb work the case for the police, while he stalks his prey in the shadows. It’s like a game of tag, whoever gets to Saxon first wins!
In the midst of this happening, Dexter is trying to sell off all of his belongings to leave Miami in great haste. He’s looking to unload his boat, which you can tell as he describes it to a potential buyer is absolutely killing him (no pun intended). The good news is while his boat is still trying to find the right owner, there’s a line of potential buyers for his condo and they are lined up around the corner. Dexter’s realtor is blast from the past — Sylvia Prado, the wife of late assistant district attorney Miguel Prado — she’s got plenty of people who want to buy Dexter’s house, but at the last minute there is a person ready to pay cash if they can close the deal.
As Dexter arrives at his house, he meets the person who is so desperate to move into his condo — Oliver Saxon. Like a bad penny this guy just keeps turning up. This time, he’s got an offer for Dexter. It’s as simple as this — both he and Dexter choose to go their separate ways and nobody gets hurt. Dexter can leave town with his family and Saxon can go on living and killing without either needing to be the cause of the other’s downfall. Where Saxon slips up is he mentions that Dexter has a lot more to lose that he does by not following through with his agreement. Dexter has a son, a girlfriend and a sister that could all meet a rather untimely death if he decides to move forward with his vendetta.
Saxon leaves, but instead of finding a solution he’s instead incited a whole new kind of rage inside of Dexter because there’s no second choice now — this guy has to die.
The One Capable Cop
I joked during last week’s recap of Dexter how it was nice to see a capable police officer nosing around Miami Metro when Deputy Marshall Clayton came to town. He seemed to have a good head on his shoulders, and was able to track a killer unlike the rest of the Miami homicide department that couldn’t find a donut in the middle of Krispie Kreme. He finally got the break he was waiting for last week when Hannah was forced to take Harrison to the emergency room for stitches, and the nurse recognized her from the mugshots floating around on television and in the newspaper.
Clayton visits Deb back at her old job at Miami Metro and asks the question about Harrison’s accident and the woman that signed in under her name. Deb opts to tell him that it was her who took Harrison to the hospital, told the nurse she was his aunt, and hasn’t been blonde since a very bad freshman year of high school (and or college). It’s obvious Clayton’s not buying it, so he visits Deb’s old boss Elway to enlist his assistance.
Elway shows up at Deb’s unannounced to return some personal items. After barging into her house, Elway would have been less obvious if he started rifling through her drawers with the way he was looking her apartment over like there was gold hidden in the walls. Deb knows there’s something fishy going on so she quickly boots Elway from the premises, and tells Hannah she needs to run.
Hannah calls Dexter and he quickly gets her shuffled to a hotel by the airport so they can leave for Argentina the next day. All of the plans are starting to fall apart because Dexter wants nothing more than to find Saxon and finish him off, but if he’s going to spend the rest of his life with Hannah he has to get her hidden and they must leave soon or the only time they’ll be spending together is with a thick piece of plexiglass between them.
Dexter’s Master Plan
Dexter knows that there’s no way he can agree to Saxon’s plan to allow both of them live their lives after going their separate ways. Instead, Dexter decides to flush Saxon out of hiding and finish him off before heading to Argentina with Hannah. The DNA sample comes back revealing that Saxon is Vogel’s son, which leads Quinn to put out an arrest warrant and APB for the suspect. In the midst of this, Dexter tracks down Saxon’s own kill room after researching the areas where he served as building inspector. It’s there he finds Saxon’s computer with a file full of videos for all of Saxon’s murders.
Dexter opts to release all of Saxon’s kill videos to the local Miami television station knowing it will end up on the news, further damning his prey to run (right into Dexter presumably). While Deb wants one final dinner with her brother, Dexter just wants to wait for Saxon to arrive because at this point there’s no where else for him to go.
Saxon takes the bait and shows up at Dexter’s, and quickly breaks through the door, pulls a knife and approaches his victim sleeping soundly in bed. Now it’s pretty well known that any time a situation looks too good (especially when somebody is just laying in bed) it’s probably a trap. As formidable as The Brain Surgeon was early in the season, Saxon is not nearly as precise with his calculations. Just as he’s about to reach down and get Dexter, a gun is pointed to the back of his head out of nowhere. Turns out Deb stuck around after all, and decided to help her brother one last time before leaving for good.
Dexter injects Saxon with tranquilizer and they are off to the kill room.
Goodbye, Dear Friends
Earlier in the episode after a somber goodbye for Dr. Vogel, Dexter and the rest of the police force head out for a drink and it’s there that Deputy Chief Matthews expresses his sadness to see his favorite blood splatter analyst leave at the same time he’s welcoming Deb back to the force. Batista offers one more goodbye as well before bringing Dexter in front of the whole group to toast him before his departure. Dexter being forced to offer up an awkward goodbye was almost as uncomfortable as watching Bobby Bacala hand out gifts to kids dressed as Santa in the back of a pork store. Still, Dexter quickly said farewell before taking the final steps to leave Miami.
Back to Saxon — Dexter subdues him and takes him back to the abandoned hospital where he killed numerous victims including Zach not long ago. As Dexter’s dark passenger starts to emerge, he begins to notice a different feeling in this moment than he’s ever felt before. Instead of embracing the kill, the rush that goes through his veins as he plunges a sharp knife through skin and bone, he’s in a hurry. It’s not because the police are on their way or he needs to clean up and get out of the hospital in time — it’s just emotions hitting Dexter for the first time, maybe ever, that he has something to live for now and it’s bigger than any one murder. He wants to be with Hannah and Harrison and get out of town and leave Miami in his rearview. So instead of finishing Saxon off, he calls Deb and tells her to high tail it to the hospital where she will find Miami’s latest serial killer tied up and waiting to be arrested.
Deb shows up and enters the hospital, but in the rush she doesn’t noticed that she’s being trailed. Deputy Marshall Clayton is tracking Deb while her old boss Elway is looking into flights on a South American airline. You see while Deb was out helping her brother capture Saxon, the marshall and his friends showed up at her house and looked for clues to where Hannah Mckay may be hiding. They didn’t find much, but Elway saw a recently visited page on her computer to a South American airline site. There was no search history but he’s got methods to check the manifest list of flights leaving the states against passport photos. It’s there that he believes he can find Hannah McKay.
Back at the hospital, Dexter has to let go of his sister for the last time. She hugs him goodbye as he promises to find a way to stay in touch. Deb calls in the arrest, and Dexter heads towards his car to leave Miami for good.
It’s there that Dexter runs into his father Harry one last time. It’s a cathartic moment (although we have to remember Harry is just a figment of Dexter’s imagination) but Harry tells Dexter that he now sees a new man and that man no longer needs his guiding voice. Dexter has turned the corner. He no longer feels the need to kill. Dexter has something to live for now and it’s bigger than any dead body or kill room could supply.
As Dexter pulls away, Deputy Marshall Clayton enters the hospital where he finds Saxon tied up to a chair. He quickly frees Saxon, who is pleading with him about a man tying him to this chair and then leaving. Obviously, Clayton has been too busy staring at Hannah’s picture (and really who could blame him) and didn’t pay much attention to the multiple serial killer suspect sitting right in front of him. The moment Clayton unties Saxon’s hand, he grabs one of Dexter’s knives that were left behind and plunges it deep into his chest. Clayton crumbles to the ground, and Saxon jumps up and grabs his gun. At that moment, Deb rushes in, gun drawn staring back at Saxon.
Before she can react, Saxon fires off a round that lands, burying itself in Deb’s stomach. She unloads a few shots, one of which catches Saxon in the arm as he scurries away out the door. Deb falls to the ground as the pool of blood beneath her begins to grow. She’s able to get to her phone for one last call to ask for help as she lays motionless on the floor.
The stage is now set for the final hour of Dexter next week. Dexter will certainly find out about his sister being shot, and then there’s no going back because Saxon has to die for what he’s done. Add to that, it appears Elway is hot on Hannah’s trail tracking her flights at the airport.
For the better part of seven seasons, Dexter stayed ahead of everybody that ever tried to peak into the dark corners of his life. While people like Miguel tried to crawl into the shadows with him, there really wasn’t room. Lumen found a spot but then wanted to step back into the light after her demons were freed when the last of her abductors were dead. Deb was forced into the shadows because Dexter is her brother and when she found out about his secret there were only two choices — either give him up or stand by his side. Finally, in season 8 with just moments left to go until he leaves town, Dexter decides to grow a conscience, tell his dark passenger to get out for good, and slowly inch into the light for the first time ever.
The light as it turns out were the sparks of a gun firing and a bullet launching out of a chamber that now sits planted in his sister’s stomach. For the first time in his life, Dexter felt an emotion that wasn’t rage or anger or sadness. He felt levity and joy, but only for a second because his hesitation left a serial killer alive and now his sister may be dead.
Return next week for our final Dexter recap as the show comes to a final close. Make sure to leave your comments and stay tuned for more Dexter all week long as we get ready to say goodbye to America’s favorite serial killer.