'Dexter' finale: Did Deb surprise you?

dexter-jonny-lee-miller-s5-320.jpgA killer season of "Dexter" came to a tense, bloody and ultimately philosophical close Sunday night (Dec. 12). But was "The Big One" satisfying? That depends on what you wanted to happen.

Spoilers! Don't make us take out our knives.

Let's just fastforward to the most crucial scene, shall we? Jordan Chase ( Jonny Lee Miller) has taken Lumen ( Julia Stiles) to the River Jordan Camp for Boys and Girls, and Dexter ( Michael C. Hall) finds them, thanks to the Office of County Records, which had listed Eugene Greer for that property.

Just when it looks like Jordan has the upper hand -- Lumen is strung up, Dexter is captured after flipping his car -- Dex surprises their captor with a hidden knife. Jordan is speedily strapped to a table (or is it a gurney)? After one of the most twisted conversations ever, in which Jordan keeps trying to make Lumen thank him for "transforming" her from a meek and cowering creature to this vengeful angel, Lumen freaks and executes Jordan, screaming to his dying/lifeless body, "Do you hear me?!?"

So it's over. Sort of.

As Lumen and Dexter clean their knives and prepare to deal with Jordan's remains, Deb ( Jennifer Carpenter) arrives on the scene, thanks to a tip from a street vendor who recognized Jordan in his car on the way to the camp and heard strange noises coming from his trunk. Deb sees Jordan's body and then catches sight of Lumen and Dexter from the other side of plastic sheeting. It's translucent enough to see their general forms, but not clear enough to ID someone.

This is where the whole season of Deb's maturation comes into play. We're not saying a sane and mature person will condone murder, but she's come to realize that life -- and justice -- are not black and white. She makes one of the most heartfelt speeches on the show, the whole time from the other side of the plastic, deliberately never seeing their faces fully.

dexter-jennifer-carpenter-s5-320.jpgShe starts by addressing the blurry vision of the victim (Lumen): "I know who you are, Number 13. I know what they did to you. I've seen the tapes. I watched them over and over. It's a miracle you've survived, a f***ing miracle. And you (to Dexter), whoever you are, you know that too.

"Maybe it's true some people deserve to die, but I'm a cop and I don't f***ing make that decision," Deb adds. "So I'm going to call this in and in an hour this place will be swarming with police. (beat) If I were you, I'd be gone by then."

And then she backs out and lets them get away.

Wow, right?

There are so many implications here, but of course the first is that Deb has let murderers free. More to the point, Deb has helped out Dexter, albeit unknowingly. There were signs that her sense of morality had been shifting this season, but this was a pretty huge step. This does not necessarily mean she'd be willing to help Dexter and his Dark Passenger straight out though.

So that's the main stuff. A few other musings and highlights:

  • The look of distaste on Jordan's face each time he has to deal with Lumen is hilarious. Would he have done something to Lumen really? It's hard to tell. That almost-face-bite scene was sure creepy though. When he licked his lips, we shrieked.
  • dexter-michael-c-hall-s5-03-320.jpgSo Dexter faked Quinn's blood test, presumably with something other than blood. Quinn himself even thanks Dex, so does that mean Quinn will let whoever Liddy's killer is get off scot free? Hmm ... more of this grey area stuff. Liddy was shady, but was he worthy of death?
  • Speaking of Quinn, both he and Deb need to do some post-stress eating. He didn't used to be that bony, right?
  • Great Angel line: "Am I the only on interested in this goddamn murder?"
  • Jordan to Dexter while looking at knives: "Wow. I look at these and I can't help but think you have a kind of greatness in you."
  • Deb struggling to speak to vendor: "I f***ing swear I'm taking Spanish after this."
  • So nobody Dexter loved died. Huzzah! Lumen left, but that was kind of expected, right? He can't have a permanent partner. That wouldn't work. But when he pleaded, "Don't go," it broke our hearts.
  • Do you think it's as simple as that, for Lumen to lose her Dark Passenger?
  • Dexter's touching/creepy vow: "Don't be sorry your darkness is gone. I'll carry it for you always. I'll keep it with mine."
  • Apparently, we need to go to more first birthday parties.
  • Okay, it wasn't the huge, traumatic ending like last season's finale, but we feel that we needed this season. Just like Lumen, we needed a catharsis. We're not blown away, but we're satisfied.

Photo/Video credit: Showtime
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