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

December 13, 2009 | 10:00 pm
Dexter_401_0171

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

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