We knew that Dexter Morgan has a way with a knife, but, boy, did he stab readers in the heart at the end of Sunday's season finale when, as he held his little boy in front of his first birthday cake, he looked at us straight in the eyes and said: "Lumen said I gave her her life back, a reversal of my usual role. Well, the fact is she gave me mine back too, and I’m left not with what she took from me but with what she brought -- eyes that saw me, finally, for who I really am and a certainty that nothing, nothing is set in stone. Not even darkness. While she was here she made me think for the briefest moment that I might even have a chance to be human. But wishes, of course, are for children."
Wishes are for children. Cue the tears. Lots of them.
The genius of this Showtime series and Michael C. Hall's Emmy-nominated performance has always resided in how much viewers love and root for this serial killer. Last season, we were punched in the gut when Dexter discovered his wife murdered in their bathtub. Now, after a season of mourning and grief, again there is pain. But this time, it's arguably more profound.
We've spent five years hoping that Dexter indeed will be able to experience human connection, and to love and be fully loved. And he came so close with Lumen, played spectacularly by Julia Stiles in her first TV role. But the death of Jordan Chase (the strikingly creepy Johnny Lee Miller) brings Lumen closure and a realization that she is not like Dexter and cannot be his life partner. Their goodbye scene was absolutely heartbreaking.
"When he says, 'Don’t be sorry your darkness is gone. I’ll carry it for you. Always. I’ll keep it with mine,' I thought that's the most romantic thing a man's ever said to a woman," executive producer Sara Colleton said in an interview. "It is very sad. But he realizes that she did leave him with the knowledge that he can be seen without someone running in horror, which is such a basic human emotion because I think we all think the same thing — that if we ever really expose ourselves completely to our loved ones, they’d go 'yuck' and run.
"And she also left another gift, which is that nothing -- no darkness -- is set in stone," she continued. "One of the simmering worries for Dexter all season long has been — have I doomed my son to repeat my life because of Rita’s death? He’s seen now that his is permanent — he’s got to accept that his dark passenger will never leave him alone. But that Harrison is not doomed to that. And if he’s a good parent he can have a good life because Lumen went from victim to an avenging angel and once her need for justice was vanquished, she was freed. It passed through her. So she left some gifts and Dexter is aware of those, brokenhearted as he is. But he’s also healed in a way at the end of this year."