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'Dexter': Hello, Arthur Mitchell. Goodbye...?


If you're a "Dexter" fan and you were hoping for a huge twist in the megafinale, then you got what you wanted. And that twist was, of course, that the entire series was dreamed up by a child with autism.  Just kidding.  Let's take it below the break:

Dexter_402_1614 Seriously now: Rita (Julie Benz) is dead, just like Dexter's (Michael C. Hall's) mother, father, brother and archnemesis Arthur Mitchell (John Lithgow).  It certainly was unexpected: I saw a lot of different alternate endings for Dexter's marriage--him leaving Rita per Harry's (James Remar) advice, her leaving him per his being a not particularly attentive partner, or, maybe one day her seeing him being hauled away in a cop car.  Of course the entire episode was set up expressly to avoid Rita's murder, as Dexter packed her and the kids up to escape any bad intentions of the Trinity Killer. But sometimes travel plans change, and then you get murdered in your bathtub.

It was an intense and tricky finale in addition to the shocking end, with lots of moments that seemed like they would be Dexter's final undoing: Quinn (Desmon Harrington) correctly noting that Dexter wasn't doing his job, Dex getting thrown in the lockup after fleeing a traffic accident and getting into an altercation, Dexter happening to be in Arthur's house when the cops busted in, Deb finally figuring out that Dexter was the Ice Truck Killer's brother (although I never figured that Deb would think, "Wait, since Dexter's brother was a killer, he must be one too!").

Of course, since the episode was titled "The Getaway," for a moment I thought that Arthur, cruising along in his Mustang, was indeed successfully blowing town, but a check of the clock revealed that that probably wasn't the case, although the show didn't operate on its usual schedule: the episode seemed to have ended a few minutes earlier than most.  I was somewhat grateful for the Lithgow/Hall interview that followed, since thanks to the episode's meanderings, my peabrain wasn't completely made up that Trinity was Rita's killer (again, since it had seemed so cut-and-dried that she was safe).  Perhaps I should have seen it coming when Dexter stumbled over the toy train set in his living room, but Lithgow confirmed that Trinity, despite finally being dispatched by Dexter, got in the final parting shot in their little pas de deux.

The real question, of course, is what will happen next? It's barely fun to speculate right now since the folks at Showtime tell me we'll have to wait until at least fall 2010 for the new season. Will Dexter take all three kids and be a single dad? I for one hope not -- I couldn't imagine daycare looking kindly upon the frequent "Be there in a minute! Just gotta wrap up a few loose ends!" excuses he gave Rita. Would he stay in Miami? I do like the "re-set" that's been engaged, and hope for a new rhythm from Dexter after this and maybe even see an angry, vengeful Dexter.

Meanwhile, I would just like to start keeping track of the things that has happened to Debra Morgan (Jennifer Carpenter) throughout the series:

--Fiance is a serial killer who tries to murder her
--New boyfriend is captured by a murderer
--Gets shot
--Other boyfriend is murdered in front of her shortly after she is shot
--Person who killed her boyfriend commits suicide in front of her
--Finds out adopted brother is also brother of the guy who tried to kill her
--Sister-in-law is murdered.

I don't want to take anything away from Rita but some people have really bad luck, huh?

--Claire Zulkey

Photo: (Top) Michael C. Hall and Julie Benz as Dexter and Rita/Credit: Showtime

Photo: (Bottom) John Lithgow as Arthur Mitchell/Credit: Showtime


"Dexter": Have a killer conversation with John Lithgow

'Dexter': John Lithgow talks about life as the Trinity Killer

Comments () | Archives (59)

Absolutely amazing finale. The twist came totally out of left field and without (much) warning.

Is this a "reboot" for the series or was it all a dream as some have speculated?

I find the dream theory hard to believe, personally.

In the books by Jeff Lindsay, Dexter starts to train Codie and Astor in the code. Maybe this might be something the writers of the series could pursue. Just a thought.

The books are very different from the series.

I am hoping the end of the episode is just another of Dex's Daydream...
I could bear a cheesy episode finding out that it was just daydreaming...We all want to believe that this serial killer of serial killers can in fact get out of the dark side... please, pretty please, don't kill our hopes...

Excellent writing, never suspected Rita would die. Did not like her character, glad to see her go. This season kept us on our seats, love the show. Can't wait til fall for the next season. Hope it wins some awards this year for best acting and writing.

Rita, aside from Deb, was the WORST THING ABOUT DEXTER!! She was always complaining about SOMETHING, and always made Dexter feel like crap. In Season 1 she was always using the kids as an excuse to keep Dexter around "Don't the kids matter to you?" In Seas. 2 she asked him to be honest with her about Lila and when Dexter was, she kicked him out. Why the hell even ask him to be honest with you then?! Besides they were on a break! I just loved the episode where the therapist puts her in her place with the "you knew what Dexter was when you married him" comment. Rita really pissed me off. I've been a Dexter fan from the beginning and by far this was my favorite season.

I agree with Leeroy. And when does the Trinity killer have time to find Rita and kill her.

Personally I am very unhappy with the death of Rita. Why did she have to die? whats next for Dexter? where is Rita's kids? what is going on I can not see a good next season with this sloppy ending come on Why Rita? Is Harry now going to say I told you so? Are the kids going to be adobted Rita's mother is coming? is debra going to look after them yeah right.What happened with the suburben life no wife no.and why did the trinity strike Dexter's wife we cant for get aboaut trintiys family and both dex and trinity where spoted together in the police station what now some one orientate me. thank you.

Sorry I was to negative, before, I did love the show and was on the edge of my seat the entire 45 to 50 min.

How can Dex get revenge or closure since he disposed of Arthur before he learned of Rita's murder? When this is reported, the manhunt will continue, but Dex knows the truth. I wonder how that will play out.

I thought it was a powerful ending. I was SHOCKED! Am I the only one who cried when Dexter found the baby in Rita's blood? I was crying, "Please be a dream! Oh no! Poor Baby!" Even my husband was shocked and teary. We hugged and managed to compose ourselves just in time for my 3 yr old son to ask, "Mommy, can I have some water?" I picked him up and hugged him.

After a while, I thought I should have seen it coming. After all, they did mention it being 5 days since the little boy had been kidnapped, so in a way, it was hinted at that the cycle will continue.

I'm thinking that the kids will end up with Rita's mother. She hates Dexter and will most likely blame him for not being there to protect her. When Dexter loses all of his family, his psyche may not be too stable. Can't believe we'll have to wait until next Fall :-(

I think (hope) Dexter was just having a dream ! I am split about the ending. On one hand Dexter wil be lost but not one dimensional as one person posted, (still have the kids) I just felt bad for Rita, but Harry was right he was making mistakes because of his family!

If it is not a dream and Rita is gone then I think we will have one conflicted confused yet angry Dexter who learned a hard lesson about his fathers code! I think there are SO many times that Dexter should have killed Trinity that it was starting to get on my nerves. I think Dexter should have
snapped his neck in the back of the van personally; then went and handled the problem with the police. But I digress.... The up coming season will have something missing
with Rita dead or maybe they will join her with Harry !

Either or I am anxious to see what awaits Dexter......

Add this to the list of things that have happened to Deb since the series began--as far as she knows, a former coworker (Doaks) was the Bay Harbor Butcher. She must think of herself as a serial killer magnet already, so imagine if/when she finds out about Dexter.

O.K. folks, just so we’re checking into reality a bit here.
When you get hung on a series such as Dexter, first of all you’ve got some real issues, which I do, so I’m not judging you, secondly you must address the meat of the theme and that is of death and killing.
While I for one certainly hoped that the writers didn’t write Deb (Jennifer Carpenter) out of the story line, my least favorite character was in fact the Rita character.
Not that Julie Benz isn’t a commanding performer; the character was developed so that we never really connected with her as Dexter’s companion. In fact I believed they were going to kill her off via the Trinity killer (John Lithgow) long before they did.
After all we’re talking about a killer who had methodically bumped off a triad of innocents sucessively for well over three decades according to the story board at the station and managed to cloak himself in invisibility under the guise of a sheep. For him to be so inefficient as to not understand that Dexter was moving in on him, regardless of his name, is actually what I found difficult to digest.
Predators always ID other predators; they are on the same wavelength. Since Trinities estranged daughter knocked off the only law enforcer who neared his perimeters I just naturally thought, ‘if’ Trinity read the papers, which it appeared he did, that he would have noticed Deborah Morgan as an innocent victim. He established they were innocent when he told his daughter she had not acted appropriate when she killed Lundy.
I too hope that the writers highlight the Deborah Morgan character and knit a closer bond between herself and her adopted brother Dexter in the upcoming season.
Dexter’s emotional impatience is so stark and so irritating that I believe it is time to humanize his character rather than lead him down the path of further damnation.
After all, we all want to forgive him don’t we?
We love Dexter Morgan for cleaning up the maggots before someone else has to die and after all Deb could always be a (pinch hit) mother for Dexter’s kids whom I adore, it would give her a new found purpose.
Just think, if Deb became so involved with her brothers inter-personal life, she may even protect him, as her father had, who knows where the writers could go with that.

WOW very intense
I love the series.... Shocker of an end Rita was very cute but quite whiney. How is dexter going to get out... He has to call the police immeditley as her death timeline will not fit with his arrival at home... Just check the local traffic cams for alibi. The dream idea is a good one but that has been done to death. Fan will not like being led on like that. He keeps his kid the grandparents keep the other kids and sis come to help out in fact she moves in with him in order to feel safe.. I also think he will kill Quinn for being to nosy. The best ending would be a plea bargain due to fact that crime is so down in maimi.. So the upper end police tell him to leave town and never return...

If killing Trinity was in some way a kind of death of god moment, did Dexter also kill Harry in the jail cell? Not literally, of course, but when he "told" Harry that he no longer wanted the dark passenger to control his life and bam, Harry disappeared, it felt like a death of the father/death of the law moment. The real question is, what will become of Harry and his Code next season? Will he cling to it as his only hope or abandon it and himself to the dark chaos of a lawless world?


I can no longer watch the show. I was on the edge of my seat the whole episode, I thought it was laid out perfectly. Until Dexter walks into the house and trips on the toy train, then it hit me. It just never ends. It was a awesome series I just dont know where they can go from here, why must they ruin a good thing?

I love the show; even though I was very heartbroken that Rita was killed off. I hope that Rita will stay on the show like Harry did. I'm definitely still going to watch! Great job Showtime!

I think when the next season starts we will find out that Trinity Don't kill Rita .It was the guy next door who had the hots for her.He seen her alone and when she told him she was off for the weekend with Dexter for a second honeymoon he last it and killed her and left her in the tub like Trinity would have. Dexter has to be covered or they would think he had something to do with it, since he was off killer Trinity and dumping his body in the ocean, how could he explain his time.

I was shocked. I kept saying he's catching him too easily. I thought it would be a more cleaver cat and mouse game with Dexter letting Arthur's son kill him and becoming Dexter's apprentice. Kill all the evil criminals. I loved Rita. I was hating how they were making her a nebish. But, she was turning around and supporting Dexter. Plus she was very sexy in a plain way and really nice on the eyes. I was just dumbfounded. I also thought Dexter would have drove away with Arthur in the back. Leaving his car, but they had to have him get caught. Besides when Dexter drove away after hitting the mirror how did that guy and the cops get there that fast. I don't know if I'll watch it religously anymore since I hate endings like that. Plus, Arthur was a serial killer. They have to be precise. The bathtub killing in the first episode was ritualistic. How could he have killed Rita the same way. She came back unannounced. He had no idea she was coming home. He was looking for Dexter. Does he carry the strap razor and a hand mirror in his back pocket for those special occasions? I don't believe there was a towel laid out on the floor like the first killing. It would have made more sense if she was strangled or stabed or something like he was caught by surprise. Plus he didn't kill the kid Dexter saved him. He has to kill a kid before he serial murders someone.

Another ending would have been him trying to kill Rita in the tub; and as his hand goes to her thigh to cut her artery she squirms and pushes his hand cutting his artery and he dies.

So many other possibilites besides killing her unless she wanted off.

They'll have the kids go off with the Rita's mother and father.

I hope it's a dream and Dexter wakes up next to Rita on they're vacation.

Really did they have to kill Rita! That was not a good ending! Surprising yes, but disappointing I prolli wont watch dexter again. Fan Lost

Well, I'm in the camp that hated the Rita character, glad she was bumped off, and I think Dexter will be the prime suspect come next season.

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