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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)

I was surprised by Rita's death and I have seen many shows, Dexter is my most favourite because of unexpected endings like this. Personally I dont like Rita as she seemed very annoying calling Dexter all the time at most unpropriate times-that was killing me:-)))I think Hall is great actor and can't imagine anyone else doing Dexter in this show. I hope there will be season 5 if not I will be dissapointed.

I'm no Rita fan, but killing her off? The ending was really unexpected and a huge shocking moment.

I hope she comes back as a ghost (just like Dex's dad) and haunt Dex, blame him for her death. Rita driving Dex nuts and Dex trying to keep his sanity would be a nice story for next fall.

I will truly miss John Lithgow the most!!!

He brought such an intriguing charatcter to life, that had such synergy with Dexter. I love John Lithgow and hope they bring him back as another voice in Dexter's head.

I am glad that Rita is gone....she was always a whiner.
The problem now remains....will Dexter be accused of her murder???

Or does it run in the family?....did Debra "snap" and become a killer?

We'll the just have to wait until Septemeber.

DEXTER is the best show on TV!!!

Everyone will suspect that Rita's death was by hands the Trinity Killer. The missing boy, albeit found alive, was the first step in his cycle. (Wasn't that still within the 5 day window?) Next, the bathtub,etc. The only catch is that the cycle will end, because the Trinity Killer is dead... OR... Dexter, obsessed with Trinity might try to duplicate his killings, as he did with the the Ice Truck Killer. Eitherway, it will be another excellent season, I'm sure!

i was blew away by the ending thats why this is the best. dexter cannot be 4 people at once. lets hope for more killing next season

It was as good a cliff hanger as any and it totally is open to MANY directions for next season...as others have mentioned. I was shocked about the ending and more so was worried over the last few episodes as we watched dexter making so many little mistakes and was feeling his efforts to keep it all together, unwind. This is complicated enough to keep me VERY much looking forward to next season. I feel like I must know more. Great Job!

I never saw the murder of Rita coming. I am a huge fan of the show. When he walked into the kitchen and realizes that Rita's phone was still at the house from when she forget her ID for the airport, I knew something was up, I just didn't know that it would be her dying. I didn't really like Rita this season, she just got a little annoying in my opinion. This is still a great show and I can't wait to see what happens next season!
I also think that, Rita will probably come back like Harry. Just in Dexter's head, telling him the right or wrong thing to do.

great ending like father like son

I was completely blown away by the end of the Season Finale of Dexter.... I usually like to think I can see a story line coming from a mile away. I did not see Dexter loosing his wife, Rita (Julie Benz), after only a couple of months. I was soo blown out of the water to see her dead. I think I even let out a tear for dexter, and I'm not a big crier so this was something. I can't wait to see what happens next season. Can you say "escalation", I expect that Dexter's hunting habits will speed up while he deals with his grief.

To all the posters asking why Rita had to die since she's a mother, wife, etc.:

It's a show about *serial killers*. Not everyone is going to end up in the old folks' home.

I totally vote for glowy Jedi visits from Rita along with Harry in the future. I hope they both haunt the heck out of Dex. A lot of other characters in the show need to (finally) get the creeps from Dexter now like Doakes did.

Although I feel bad for Rita and her crappy pseudo life, I always hoped Lila would come back. Bad or not, she was the only one Dexter could 'truly' be with. She was an exciting character. There could have been come powerful struggles in that relationship, as she seemed to be the only one Dexter showed emotion about.
I was wondering why Dexter had the baby, as he didn't play the part of anything but an annoyance to Dexter's routine. Now I see...another born in blood. A whole new tomented person. What if Harrison is the only person who can see right thru his daddy? A new Dexter is needed tho. We know his old self, and his new 'family man' self was not quite clicking. He was becoming more socialized, but not more comfortable in this new skin than in his own. I still think Lila would have allowed him to be in a real relationship, where he didn't have to hide who he is, and could still deal with relationships. I think that would have made his character more volatile, more real, more dimensional. We never saw him cut her up....
I did think Trinity was going to go after Cody to make up for the boy Dexter saved. Poor Rita, she was so sweet. Dexter didn't deserve her. She should have left him for the idiot neighbor.

The writers made a bold moving by killing Rita, but I think it puts the show back on track and allows for more creative freedom for the writers. There was no way Dexter's relationship with Rita could last or stay interesting, and her death will propel Dexter in any direction the writers wants.

Review of the episode on my blog.

I loved the ending, and Had told all my friends I wasn't watching anymore
If they didn't kill off Rita. I hated her and her annoying ways. Just like most married women these days. The fact that they (The Writers) brought the story line back around to the begining (Baby in the blood) , I think they should cancel the show, before they run it into the ground. These series are usually good for 3 or 4 seasons , then they just get boring... If you like the Dark side of Dexter, check out Wire in the Blood, the British serial killer series ,you can see every season on Netflix.

I was getting really bored with domestic Dexter. Finally, last night I found the twist I had been looking for and now I am back and interested in what comes next. The character of Rita needed to go. can't wait for next season.

oh man, everything about this series is excellent. Character development from season one to now has been outstanding. Continuity has always been flawless. I cannot imagine how they will do it but I see some kind of reccurring theme from previous seasons coming back to bite Dexter. I keep expecting someone to notice that more bad guys are disappearing without a trace and re-opening the Bay Harbor Butcher case, maybe Laguerta (possibly never escaped the denial of the matter, they have conveniently never rementioned Doakes or that case).

All you guys who said it is sloppy you do know its all based off of a book..? right....IDK what to think i just know its the first time ive ever watched a show and actually felt sad by the death of a character....
Cant wait for season5

Oh and you guys saying it was the neighbor who killed rita not trinity. I highly doubt it was the neighbor because the placement of harrison showed it was someone who knew about Dexter's past. So it may not have been Trinity either tho. Even thought Trinity did say to Dexter right before he was killed that it is all over? which could mean Rita. Only a few people really knew about Dexter's past and i doubt Trinity had enough time to figure out something it took his sister years to figure out

This means the next show "Harrison" will run after Dexter ends :)

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