‘Dexter’ Finale Recap: Nobody Is a Happy Camper

by | December 13, 2010 at 9:46 AM | Dexter, Recap

Michael C. Hall in Dexter (Showtime)

Michael C. Hall in Dexter (Showtime)

This season of ‘Dexter‘ was all about loners learning to play with others.  Dexter teamed up with rape and torture victim Lumen to battle the group of serial killers who went after her.   The season’s big bad, Jordan Chase, was a psychotic killer who needed a group of sycophants to carry out his twisted fantasies.   He and Dexter were mirror images of each other.  Dexter shared his secret for the first time and experienced the joy of the first completely honest relationship of his life.  In the finale, with all of his co-conspirators dead, Jordan was forced to kill alone for the first time.  It was the ultimate showdown — or it should have been — but the show decided to tie everything up with a bow and press the reset button.  Or did it?

In Sunday’s season 5 finale it seems as though everything is going to crash down around Dexter.  As he attempts to search for Lumen, who has been kidnapped by Jordan, Rita’s entire family arrives for a surprise visit in honor of Harrison’s birthday.  He quickly manages to send them on their way.

Jordan has Lumen locked in the trunk of his car.  A fruit seller hears her kicking up a storm while Jordan’s car is stopped at a light.  Jordan pulls over to a side street and smacks Lumen so hard she loses consciousness. It’s similar to what happened when Deb was kidnapped by the Ice Truck killer, but that parallel is never explored.

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At the station, Dexter calls a city employee in search of property bought by Eugene Greer.  Before he can do anything else, LaGuerta announces that Liddy’s body has been found. It seems as though Dexter is not going to be able to find Lumen in time because he’ll get busted for killing Liddy.  But he is assigned to the crime scene, which gives him ample opportunity to cover up the evidence that he did it.  Quinn is about to tell Deb he suspects Dexter, when LaGuerta informs him that Liddy’s last five cell phone calls were to him.  She notices the bloodstain on his boot from when he was at the crime scene in the prior episode.  He tells her he needs to lawyer up.  Deb tells Quinn he didn’t kill Liddy and can’t say anything else.

The property guy phones Dexter to inform him that Eugene owns the “River Jordan” camp, AKA the summer camp where he assaulted Emily. Well, that was obvious.  Less obvious is how Dexter is able to proclaim himself done with the crime scene and bolt without anyone suspecting anything.

At the camp, Jordan tells Lumen she should feel at home, since this is where she was tortured.  If that’s the case, then why was she somewhere else when Dexter found her? Dexter is arguing with Harry while driving.  Distracted, he flips his car.  He manages to crawl out of the wreckage with his killing bag to find Jordan pointing a gun at him.  How did Jordan know he would crash his car in that exact spot?

Jordan brings a bound and gagged Dexter to Lumen.  He heavy handedly psychoanalyzes their relationship, telling Dexter, “You can’t save one thing to make up for losing another.”  Dexter uses a conveniently hidden knife to stab Jordan through the foot, immobilizing him. He offers Lumen the opportunity to kill him.  She stabs him in the chest, saying that’s for everyone he hurt.  It is rather anti-climactic, and leaves a million loose ends about Jordan dangling.

Deb interviews the vendor, her lousy Spanish making things difficult.  He points her in the direction of the camp.  Apparently, it’s pretty well known, which begs the question of why Dexter couldn’t figure it out.  Somehow, when she arrives at the camp, she does not notice the wrecked car.  Nor does she call for back up. Deb finds Jordan’s body.  She hears a noise and notices Dexter and Lumen standing behind conveniently opaque  plastic sheeting that obscures their faces.  It’s incredibly suspenseful.  It seems like Deb is finally going to find out the truth about her brother. She fires when one of them makes a move, then, in a moment that contradicts everything we know about her character, warns that in an hour the camp will be swarming with police officers, and that they should make sure they are gone.  Either this is the biggest cop out in the show’s history, or Deb at least suspects that Dexter was standing on the other side of the sheeting and decided to spare her brother.

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Now that Deb is on board with letting criminals go, she visits Quinn in prison and tells him that she can’t judge him.  She’s starting to believe LaGuerta: everything’s complicated.  She vows to stand by him.

Dexter and Lumen dump Jordan’s body in the lake and essentially reenact the “I’m King of the World” scene from ‘Titanic.’  It plays like a dream sequence, but it’s real.  The next day, Lumen tells Dexter she’s gotten the whole killing thing out of her system and is leaving both him and Miami. He melodramatically vows to carry her darkness for her.

The episode ends with Harrison’s birthday party.  Deb shows up with Quinn, who thanks Dexter for the blood work which cleared him. So Dexter let Quinn go, just as Deb let Dexter go.  Dexter and Quinn now have the goods on each other.  We end with Dexter blowing out the birthday candle lamenting that wishes are for children.  He is destined to be alone. In other words, we are back to season 1 Dexter.

Here are some of the questions the finale left unanswered: How did a teenage Eugene persuade a group of presumably normal boys to rape and torture a girl?  Why did he continue to have a hold on them years later?  Why was his first victim, Emily, in his thrall? Why didn’t he kill her sooner?  What made him so twisted in the first place? What became of the missing Fuente brother?  What happened to the rest of the incriminating evidence against Quinn, like Liddy’s phone calls?  Is there more to Dexter’s nanny than meets the eye?  Why would a fruit vendor who does not speak English recognize Jordan from briefly glimpsing him through his car window? Why would the barrel girls killings be considered a closed case when most of the suspects are missing?

What other questions do you have from Sunday’s finale? Were you satisfied with the way everything turned out?