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Monday, September 23, 2013
Showtime’s Dexter, #812, “Remember the Monsters”
Slice of Life
Did the series finale of Showtime’s Dexter, #812, “Remember the
Monsters” bring the series to a successful conclusion? Well, yes and no. Some
loose ends were tied off too easily and some were left hanging.
Dexter and his boat, "Slice of Life"
The season finale began in the same manner as the season premiere—brief
clips of the actors talking about the characters, themselves, and the
show. It was nice to join in their reveries.
Dexter and Harrison make it to the airport and are on line to board the
plane when Dexter gets a call from Hannah who is hiding out in the ladies room.
She has spotted Elway looking for her. Elway has not yet seen either Dexter or
Hannah. Quick-thinking Dexter heads to the gift shop, buys a backpack and some
items to put inside, and leaves the backpack under a chair. He then reports the backpack to a ticket
agent—“if you see something, say something” he tells that agent as he points
out Elway at the man who abandoned the backpack. Soon Security has surrounded
Elway and marched him off. One problem
solved, another created. The flight is scuttled due to security concerns and
everyone must leave the terminal.
Dexter gets a call informing him that his sister who was expected to
recover from her gunshot wound has taken a turn for the worse. Debra is now on
life support and nothing short of a miracle will keep her from living the rest
of her life as a “vegetable.” Quinn says, "Debra is strong. She will come
back.” Dexter says, “I’ve never seen a miracle.”
Dexter tells Hannah to take Harriosn and finda way to leave Miami
without him. H has to return to the hospital to be with his sister Hannah finds a bus leaving Miami going to
Jacksonville as part of the evacuation plans necessitated by the oncoming
hurricane. She and Harrison board the bus, but who do they find sitting across
the aisle form them—Elway. Hannah, who still has made no attempt to disguise
herself, was recognized by one of Elway’s ticket-agent contacts. He informs her
that when they reach Jacksonville, he will call the authorities to arrest her
and Harrison will be placed with child protective services.
One Small question: Hannah is a wanted fugitive. Why not call ahead and
have the police waiting at the station?For that matter, why not call immediately
and have the police stop the bus.? (Because it would ruin the plot, that’s why.) Hannah
pulls out a thermos of tea and offers some to Elway. He responds by saying, “H ow
stupid do you think I am.” Stupid enough to be distracted long enough for
Hannah to stab him with a hypodermic filled with horse tranquillizer that she
just happens to have with her. (Maybe
she got it from Dexter since this was his favorite knock-out drug, but could
they have gotten that through airport security. Oh wait, Hannah went back to
the motel room to figure out how to leave Miami. But would they have left a hypodermic
needle filled with horse tranquilizer at the motel. Oh never mind. It’s not good to think too logically about these
In the meantime, Oliver went to a vet to get his gunshot wound attended
to. Then he kidnapd the vet and headed
over to the hospital intent on killing Debra.
He cuts out the vet’s tongue and pushes him through the emergency room
doors. This creates enough of a distraction for Oliver to get into the hospital
and with no tongue, the vt can’t warn anyone.
When he approaches Debra’s room, Batista and Quinn are there to point a
gun to his head and arrest him.
Dexter is now determined to kill Oliver. He goes to the jail, flashes
his badge and says he is there to perform a blood draw for a test for evidence. He is admitted to Oliver’s cell where they are
alone except for a security camera. Dexter opens his kit and starts laying out his
equipment. Oliver asks, “Why are you here?” Dexter calmly nods to the pen he has placed on
the table and says, “To kill you with this pen.” Oliver makes a grab for the
pen, and Dexter stabs him in the neck with a hypodermic needle. (One small question: Wouldn’t a dangerous prisoner like Oliver
been better secured? Oh, never mind.).
Dexter waits until Oliver is dead and then yells for help. He is
interviewed by Batista and Quinn. Dexter explains his presence by saying he was
not technically off the force until the end of the week, and he wanted to look
Oliver in the eye. We can see that Batista is not buying it, but he goes along,
and declares that Dexter clearly acted in self defense.
Dexter has one more task to perform before he can leave Miami. He gets
his boat and sails it to the hospital which just happens to have its own pier.
The hospital is being evacuated because of the hurricane. Dexter takes advantage of the confusion to go
into Debra’s room and turn off her life support. When she is dead, the chaos in the hospital
allows him to wheel Debra’s gurney out of the hospital and then carry her onto
his boat and speed away.
He does this as his one last act to protect his sister. Earlier Debra
had told Dexter how he has always been her protective big brother. “Remember
the monster’s?” she asks him. As a little girl, she was afraid of the monsters,
that were only shadows, and Dexter slept on the floor of her room so she would
feel safe. Nice resonance here because Dexter’s voiceover spoke about the “shadow
of my dark passenger”, and the monsters could be all the serial killers Dexter
dispatched as well as Dexter himself. Turning off the life support is the last
thing that Dexter can do to protect his sister.
Dexter’s takes his boat (named “Slice of Life”—an apt name consider
Dexter’s avocation), and heads full speed into the oncoming storm. He stops the
boat and reverently slides Debra’s body into the water. When she has sunk from
view he continues full-speed ahead into the storm. This is the “eerily-beautiful-and-
beautifully-eerie” moment of the week. The solemnity of the moment, the
impressive ferocity of the gathering storm, and the nobility of Dexter’s
suicidal dash into the storm.
The next scene is a small bit of the wreckage of Dexter’s boat—the part
of the boat with the boat’s name on it is floating in the water after the hurricane
has passed. Then we see Hannah and
Harrison sitting at a café somewhere in South America. Hannah is reading about Dexter’s death in an
online news story.
This is a fitting ending for the story. Dexter pays for his sins with
the nobility of his suicide. (Howeve , I do question the wisdom of leaving Harrison
in the care of Hannah. Yes, the two
clearly love each other, but if Hannah resumes her killing ways and is
discovered, what happens to Harrison?
But with Debra gone, there is no one left to care for Harrison, but
Wait, there is more. Dexter is not dead. He has grown a beard, and is
working in a remote logging camp. How are we supposed to interpret this? Has
Dexter faked his death to avoid having to answer for his latest two crimes? The
security camera from Oliver’s cell will reveal that events did not transpire exactly
as Dexter reported them, and when Debra can’t be found, someone will identify
Dexter as the person seen wheeling her out on a gurney. Does he want everyone to
assume that Harrison died on that boat with him? Does Hannah know that he is
Why has Dexter not assumed his new identity and joined Hannah and his
son? Is this some kind of penance he
must perform? Dexter said what appeared to be his final good-bye to Harrison on
the phone. “Remember that I love you. But then he added, “Remember that until
you see me again.” Is this supposed to
mean that he will eventually join Hannah and Harrison?
It seems like the writers felt that killing Dexter off, even if he died
nobly, wouldn’t be acceptable to be viewers. On the other hand, they couldn’t
just have him waltz off and live happily ever after. It would have been
unsatisfying for him to pay no price. Is
that why they gav us this ambiguous, perplexing, ending?
Oh well, it is just a TV show, not an actual slice of life.
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