Dexter Finale Review: “The Big One”

Well it’s official, I now have nothing to watch on TV. With the conclusion of Dexter, my current show outlook is sparse indefinitely, as I have no idea what’s even coming back in January outside of Parks and Recreation that I’m looking forward to.

But anyway, there will be plenty of time for griping about winter’s lackluster TV lineup later, for now we have to sift through Dexter’s final adventure this season, with an ending that in my opinion was a little too neat for its own good.

The show is at its best when its running off pure adrenaline, and that’s certainly how we opened this week. Lumen is kidnapped and Dexter is racing for clues as to how to find her, but he’s constantly interrupted by pesky things like his kid’s birthday party and the latest crime scene that he’s responsible for.

“Cause of death: being a nosy asshole.”

He never had time to go back for Robocop, and so his body is discovered in the van. Quinn is visibly shaken, and once it’s revealed that the dead man last called him five times, and he has a suspicious drop of blood on his shoe, he’s taken into custody. So what does he do? Rather than spill the beans on his covert ops on Dexter, he clams up, asks for a lawyer, and hangs a sign around his neck that says “guilty.” Well he skipped that last part, but he might as well have.

There was no earthly reason for him to not talk here, and this is a prime example of Dexter as a show messing with logical human reactions to situations to protect Dexter’s secret. Why on earth would he not say a word about Robocop’s investigation into Dexter? The man calls him moments before his death saying he needs Quinn’s help to bust Dexter, and now Quinn is willing to be accused of murder rather than reveal his off-the-books investigation? That drop of blood on his shoe alone would be enough to convict him. Or is he really just that scared of Dexter now?

So yes, it all works out in the end, as Dexter fakes the blood work to clear Quinn as he doesn’t want him to talk when the heat turns up, but what the hell? Quinn just gives him a nod and a “thanks bro” and everything is good? Quinn suspected Dexter of being shady already,  and now he actually KNOWS he’s a murderer on one count at least, not to mention whatever he was doing dumping luggage with Lumen, or how he was involved with Trinity and Rita’s death. Quinn’s newfound complicated relationship with Dexter had better be a huge part of the next season, or else this is a plot hole too large to escape from.

I’m just going to sit here in silence until Dexter decides what to do.

Meanwhile, the search for Lumen and Jordan turns up results for both Dexter and Deb, though I’m still a little unclear on what the hell Jordan Chase’s plan was here. Instead of leaving the country surrounded by bodyguards, he decides to go rogue and kidnap Lumen in order to lure Dexter out of hiding so he can kill both of them. And his actual plan to trap Dexter is insipid. Was he REALLY sure that he was going to hit that piece of construction equipment? And if not, how exactly was he planning on taking down Dexter, who we just saw murder a man with his hands and feet bound last episode? With his gun? What if Dexter had a gun!?

Naturally Dexter outsmarts Chase with a hidden knife, and Lumen does the final deed as Jordan more or less laughs his ass off at the duo. But things get complicated when Deb shows up, though as coincidence would have it, the two are hidden behind a semi-translucent curtain when she enters the room. A tense moment to be sure, but as soon as I saw that curtain I knew Deb would end up walking away. And coincidence works both ways on this show, as without that fruit vendor, she wouldn’t have been there to begin with. I’m all for making plotlines fall into place, but this episode really pushed it to the limit, to the point where I was almost rolling my eyes.


I thought the one thing the show did handle well was Lumen’s departure. It’s nice the show didn’t kill her off, as would have been the easy out, and I thought Jordan’s comment about a “bond formed through tragedy” was well placed and a believable reason for them not to end up together.  Once Lumen had her revenge, she could let go of the whole situation, including whatever had developed with Dexter. A normal life might not be possible with all she’s done and been through, but it doesn’t mean she needs to be Bonnie to Dexter’s Clyde the rest of her days.

It was just too clean of a finale for me. I really wanted a big surprise, like Deb learning Dexter’s secret or something similar. I think this show needs an end date, or else they’re just going to keep dancing around Dexter getting caught in increasingly absurd ways like we’re seeing now. I don’t WANT the show to end per se, because I presently enjoy it, but I think for the story’s sake, they at least needs to be thinking about a conclusion to Dexter’s story.

It’s a brilliant show, and has been fairly consistently over five years, but it just feels like they’re bending over backwards to keep Dexter’s secret at this point, and if they bend anymore they’ll snap. I just think it might be time for things to finally break at last.

But bon voyage season five, and Lumen with you. I’m glad you’re not dead. Quinn, I’ll be seeing you next year, and you better be bringing the pain.

A new friend or foe?

Similar Posts


  1. I’ve read 3 of the 4 books, and the biggest thing that they left out of the show was the fact that Deb does indeed find out about Dexter’s little secret – in the first book. LaGuerta should be dead too, but whatever – she’s grown on me.

    From the “next week on”, I totally thought they were going to finally have at least Deb find out. But alas, convenience steps in. But I agree – the show is running on fumes at this point. Deb needs to find out or something. If Quinn finds out, it’ll just be an other Doakes storyline.

  2. Quinn doesn’t talk because he knows it will implicate Dexter and thus it will adversely effect Deb. Quinn is absolutely in love with her and it just shows how far he is willing to go to protect her from getting hurt.

  3. I have not heard anyone mention the car that Dexter steals near the Liddy crime scene to take to the the Jordan campsite. If the police look into that, it will connect the Liddy murder to the Jordan Chase murder. This is either a big plot hole or it may come up next season. Since the show didn’t seem to acknowledge it in any obvious way, it’s probably a plot hole.

    Oh, and yet again it’s a conveniently placed car crash that moves the plot along. How many car accidents will this show employ as a plot device? I just hope Dexter’s dad had his seatbelt.

  4. I heard something (not sure whether it’s been confirmed or not) that Julia Stiles is supposed to be back for 5 episodes of next season. Maybe we’ll see change her mind and come back at the end? Either way we’ll probably more of Lumen somehow.

    Also, just curious to know what everyone thought about Deb’s weird line at the end to Dexter, “I bet you’re relieved this is all over too”. Maybe she saw more through the curtain than we give her credit for.
    Personally, I’m hoping Deb has actually known for years and has just been keeping it in, waiting for Dexter to confide in her. That would be kind of mind blowing.

  5. I think you missed a couple things with your review.

    Quinn wasn’t afraid of Dexter. Quinn knows who he is and what he has done but his love for Deb prevents him from telling the truth. He is doing that for her, not Dexter or himself and it is a sign his character has grown from his introduction til now.

    The last thing Deb says in response to a conversation with Dexter about her being happy is “You must be too. Now that this is all over I mean.” This looks like foreshadowing to me. Lumen mysteriously enters Dexter’s life when the barrel girl case is in full swing, leaves when it is over. I think the door has been opened for Deb to wonder and perhaps Quinn telling Deb and her having to decide what to do and what is right.

    Lumen’s departure from the show gave us a chance to see that Dexter has also grown. He showed that he was able to really connect to someone and care without it being a cover like Rita had been.

    I want to see Lumen come back but they couldn’t end with her saying “I love you Dexter, I will never leave your side” because that would have been too predictable and a fairy tale ending which goes against the whole shows theme. I hope they bring her back deep into the next season and let her role expand.

    Just my 2 cents

  6. So wait, you all think that Quinn said nothing for Deb’s sake? He’s willing to theoretically go to jail for murder, protecting her brother who he knows IS a murderer? That doesn’t make any sense to me at all.

  7. I think Quinn was waiting for his lawyer and didnt want to say anything untill he could plan his defense. He knew he was screwed since all the evidence pointed to him, and to just scream “It was Dexter” would have tipped his hand since he didnt know how much Dexter knew that it was him looking into Dexter with Liddy.

    I dont think he was prepared to go to jail but he also didnt want to upset Deb since he does care for her. I think he was just waiting to see how it played out. I also think he put two and two together and knows that Dexter and Luman were the vigilantes and somewhat agrees with that justice. Granted im assuming alot and the show could have made alot of these issues clearer but overall I still think it was a great finale to a great season.

  8. Why on earth would he not say a word about Robocop’s investigation into Dexter?

    Isn’t it obvious? He is a cop. He knows how the system works. The first thing you ALWAYS do is lawyer up. If he mention his work with Quinn he will implicate himself. Do not forget that Robocop was trying to blackmail him and that the last message he left on hsi voice mail was that Robocop was really pissing him off. If he reveals that Robocop was threatening to ruin his realtionship with Deb this is a clear motive and he will be charged with murder on the spot. Even if he is cleared his career will be over

  9. Just heard today that Deb is filing for divorce from Dexter… in real life. How will that complicate things on set?? Will we need to kill Deb off next season?

  10. They’ve apparently be separated for months, so it probably won’t affect the set, besides they were married people playing brother and sister and that never upset the flow of the show. Plus they’re probably professional enough to handle it.

  11. Yeah, I think Quinn not saying anything stemmed from a couple things: him trying to cover up the relationship with Robocop (we saw him delete the calls on his phone on the way to the crime scene), the blood on his shoe, the fact that he didn’t know that Robocop had Dexter in the van when he went to meet him (and couldn’t be absolutely sure that Dex had killed him), and his feelings for Deb.

    Of course now he DOES know that Dexter was the one that did it, since he covered up the blood evidence. But had he said that at first and been wrong, then Deb was gone for good and he was in more trouble than before. Not to mention the cop angle. He knew the blood and erased messages incriminated him, so why flap your gums when its not necessary? This is actually an example of the degree of complexity that the show undertakes in its writing, it tries to convey a more realistic scenario than the average cop show. I know if someone were questioning me about a murder I’d lawyer up for sure, even without extenuating circumstances.

    As for the car, it’s not shown how long or how far Dexter walks from the scene before he steals it, so how do we know that he didn’t walk ten blocks before stealing it? Even a stolen car in the general area wouldn’t arouse suspicion if it was stolen at least a day or so AFTER Robocop was killed. Remember, he killed Robocop during the day, then night fell while Dex was at the other blonde girl’s house looking for Lumen, and they found the van the next day. Typical cop logic would dictate the killer stealing a car right after killing Robocop. They have no reason to think it’s anything other than a random car theft. Granted it’s suspicious that it would be found crashed at the camp, but since Dex was wearing gloves and was not injured it would be tough to pin it on him. Punks steal cars and joyride them all the time.

    As for how Jordan planned to handle Dexter, well that IS a good question. Chase knows, or at least assumes Dexter is a killer since his buddies have died, but then again he is one too, and a cocky one at that. I guess he figured having Lumen at gunpoint was enough to deter him. Course he doesn’t know just HOW experienced Dexter is, nor that he can kill a man with his hands and feet bound.

    I’d chalk that up to pure ignorance, poor planning, and narcissism. Come to think of it, that sounds pretty realistic.

    And that’s what the last few seasons have felt like to me. I still enjoy the show immensely, but it is bordering on the ridiculous with how often things just work out for Dex.

  13. I’m pretty sure Quinn doesn’t say anything because he loves Deb, and is probably relieved to have Liddy off his ass. the fact that Dexter 1. got rid of Liddy and 2. Cleared him of the charges will probably make Quinn more sympathetic next season.

    I agree with Jeff about the car accident. Who the hell is going to think it’s a coincidence.? UNLESS, Deb really did see that it was Dexter, and somehow covered that up too.

    I, too, found Lumen’s departure a bit insultingly pat, but at least they didn’t kill her, and she didn’t turn on Dexter. Not sure what else they could do, other than “it’s not you, it’s me”.

  14. I don’t care what anybody says…ain’t no va-JJ worth a murder wrap. I kinda been avoiding watching the last episode. Like Paul said there’s nothing else to watch. I have been digging “No Ordinary Family ” though. I think that just ended too. Oh well, there’s always Netflix.

  15. quin didn’t spill the beans because
    1) deb
    2) laguerta already shot him down once about dex/kyle butler
    if he starts pointing fingers back at dex, chances are he’ll be shot down again.
    3) he’s a cop and knows to lawyer up

    i’m sure if it came down to it, he would eventually try to get out of it. maybe, by pointing the finger at dex.

  16. am i the only one who thought the lumen role was terribly acted? It felt like the actress did not have a clue how to carry off the role, whether due to limited skills or lack of direction.

    Really did not like this season, even the kills all felt lifeless (no begging, no real feeling of punishment).
    Though for such a strong show, after 4 amazing seasons, 1 slip up is bound to happen, so here’s to a solid 6th season.

  17. I agree we’re back to the beginning so to speak except that they’ve softened up Deb on the issue of vigilantism so that she can learn Dexter’s truth and roll with it. Like everybody else, I am ready for her to learn and deal with Dexter’s “hobby”, but I think the writers were right in delaying this reveal till next season. But like everybody, I think the time is right to head the story that way.

  18. @Bert
    “As for the car, it’s not shown how long or how far Dexter walks from the scene before he steals it, so how do we know that he didn’t walk ten blocks before stealing it?”

    The police should AT LEAST be able to pinpoint the day the car was stolen, if not a pretty tight time frame. To have this car vaguely connected to two very high profile murders is something they would not chalk up to coincidence.

    “As for how Jordan planned to handle Dexter, well that IS a good question.”

    Jordan spent years at that campsite as a child, whatever he had in mind he had a clear advantage because he would have known the entire landscape and buiding interiors.

  19. Also RE: Quinn. Quinn hired Liddy to begin with, so he is at least indirectly responsible for pitting Liddy and Dexter against one another. Plus he suddenly realized he was at the crime scene the day before, within minutes of the murder. He kept quiet because he knew it looked bad right from the beginning. What else could he have done?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.