Dissecting DEXTER: ‘Monkey in a Box’

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With only one episode left of this series, I am honored to be filling in for the lovely Lauren Stern. Dexter has certainly had its ups and downs, and I was not a fan of the first half of this season. I was bored out of my mind. Vogel annoyed me, Debra annoyed me, Dexter felt bland and purposeless. Then, Hannah McKay stepped back into the picture and suddenly I had a reason to care about all of them again.

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What I have really enjoyed about the second half of this season, is that for the first time in all eight years, Dexter has an actual network of family members who he can be completely honest with. And that’s what is making this ending work for me.

If I had it my way, this would have been the last episode. It would have wrapped up perfectly: Dexter, Hannah, and Harrison would be safe and happy in Argentina. Deb and Quinn would be getting married. And Oliver Saxon/Daniel Vogel would be dead or incarcerated.

And it really seemed like it was going that way, didn’t it? But we all know there’s one episode left. So as I’m sure many of you were, I was on the edge of my seat the whole episode wondering what was going to go wrong (and secretly hoping that NOTHING was going to go wrong and that everyone would get their magical love story and the ending would be sappy and adorable and give me warm happy feelings inside. I’m a girl. So sue me.).

Throughout the years, we’ve seen Dexter change gradually. I don’t know if that’s realistic or not for a psychopath such as himself, but I don’t really care either. It’s human nature for us to want him to change, to want him to be more human, and I’ve been sick of his killing machine attitude for ages. I thought it was a beautiful moment when Dexter decided he didn’t need to kill Saxon. But also dumb as shit. Obviously, obviously he was going to get away if Dexter wasn’t going to kill him when he was laid out on the table.

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Then Harry told Dexter that he didn’t need him anymore and disappeared forever. Which was awesome, cause Harry is always really annoying. I understand why he needed to be around, to remind us that Dex had this voice inside of him that really wanted to kill and wanted to put everything else in his life aside to kill. Dexter’s resistance to Harry has been slowly building up though, which has made it frustrating for someone like me (the established girl viewer who sometimes has girl feelings) who just wants Dexter to put down the knives for good and live happily ever after. But YAY Harry is gone forever now.

Definitely. Maybe.

So that brings us back to Oliver Saxon, tied to a table, waiting to be arrested by the lovely less-annoying totally cool again Debra Fucking Morgan. Dexter has said all of his goodbyes, he’s ready to take off with Hannah, to start a new life full of love and steak and less murder! So naturally that fucker Elway who just wants his money for catching Hannah screws everything up.

Saxon got away. Debra is shot and bleeding prettttttty fast. And Dex? Dexter is already on his way to the airport to start his new life. Which sucks, you know? Because 1.) If they fucking kill Debra in the last episode it will ruin the entire series, 2.) Dexter obviously isn’t leaving for Argentina on schedule now which means that, 3.) They’re going to have to stay in Miami until after Hurricane Laura passes, so definitely 4.) Hannah is going to get caught, either by Saxon or the Deputy Marshall. There goes my happy ending.

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Or they’re faking us out. Who knows. Actually this is great, because I’m legitimately not sure what’s going to happen and could really see it going either way. I don’t think both Debra and Hannah will die, and if it’s between the two of them, I’m positive it’s going to be Hannah. Of course, I hope it’s neither.

I’m not saying everything should have a happy ending. I just particularly feel this story will only feel complete with one. There’s been so much sadness and heartache and ups and downs on Dexter. To end with disaster would be, well, a disaster.

Tune in next week to read Lauren Stern’s review of the series finale. I love this show, I’ve loved it for eight years, and I will be sad to see it go. I hope it gets the ending it deserves.