Warning: Spoilers!

“Dexter” viewers everywhere tuned in last night, surely as breathless with anticipation as I was, waiting to see if the last episode in the best season yet would live up the enormous expectations placed before it. And it delivered. By the end of the episode, all anticipation was gone and instead I was knocked breathless by shock and heartache.

In this season, Dexter (Michael C. Hall) has experienced a lot of personal growth. He has discovered that, despite his apparitional father Harry’s (James Remar) accusations, he can balance his dark passenger with having a family. And not only can he have that family — he is capable of developing personal, loving bonds with them as well.

This episode reveals that the opposite is also true. Rita (Julie Benz), Dexter’s wife, tells him that he is the glue that holds their family together. His sister Deb (Jennifer Carpenter) also shares with him that he’s been the only person she could depend on for most of her life. Dexter thinks that the answer to the question he asked in the first episode (“Can I really have it all?”) is a resounding yes.

The beginning of the episode finds Dexter in a stare-off with Trinity (the ingenious John Lithgow) who has just uncovered his true identity. In a scramble to end Trinity’s life, Dexter makes hasty decisions and ends up in jail with no Trinity and no way to protect his family. Harry gets into Dexter’s face in his jail cell, repeating his mantra: you can’t have a family and be a serial killer. Little does Harry know how true his words are.

While Dex is on his manhunt, Deb uncovers the fact that he is related to her ex-fiance and Ice Truck Killer, Brian Moser (Christian Carmago). Never mind the fact that she shouldn’t be doing any work since earlier that day she was witness to Christine’s suicide. The audience can feel Dex getting more uncomfortable as his nosy sister discovers more and more about his dark past — and his dark passenger.

The only somewhat rushed sequence of events happens in the police precinct. In a matter of moments, Batista discovers that their suspected Trinity Killer, Stan Beaudry, doesn’t match the Trinity profile, that Four Hands, Arthur’s charity, is linked to the murders and before you know it, they’re after the right guy for once. You could practically hear LaGuerta yelling out over the megaphone, “Let’s hurry it up, people! This is the last episode!”

During the last half of this tense episode, the writers could have taken the plot any direction. The audience begins to believe that the ending they hate might be the one the writers choose — to watch Trinity pack his bags and drive off into the sunset. There’s no blaming the writers for wanting to prolong the life of one of the shows most interesting characters.

But I screamed with delight as my favorite Dexter Morgan (the badass with a hypodermic needle) hopped out of Arthur Mitchell’s trunk and put him down for the last time. Further fist-pumping ensued as Trinity got strapped to Dexter’s table, surrounded by more photos than any other killer before him. I sighed a season’s worth of relief as Dexter took to Trinity with his own weapon of choice — a framing hammer.

I nervously checked my DVR timeline as Dexter returned home. Yes, only three minutes left. Surely this was the end. Not enough time for anything significant to happen. Dexter would fly out the next morning and end the season in the Keys, sunbathing next to Rita.

But as it turns out, there was just enough time left for something else. Something big.

Dexter is at home, perusing his family photos in the dark when a voicemail notification from his phone interrupts his inner monologue. Rita tells him, via voicemail, that she left something at home and would catch a later flight to the Keys. Cue Dexter’s infant son Harrison’s cries echoing from the bathroom.

Trinity murdered Rita. Dexter finds Harrison crying in a pool of his mother’s blood, just as Harry found Dexter as a child. Rita is lying dead in the bathtub, her femoral artery severed. Dexter had several opportunities to kill Trinity, but he waited too long, and this is his punishment. For once, Harry doesn’t pop in to say I told you so. Dexter scoops up his son and races out of the bathroom.

So now that we’ve talked about what just happened, it’s time to talk about what might happen next.

Rita’s death has prolonged the life of the series by at least one or two more seasons. Though we hate to see her go, Rita’s death will send Dexter on another emotional journey that won’t be resolved soon. Just as Harry predicted, his family’s proximity to his dangerous lifestyle has had its consequences.

So will he keep the kids? If Rita’s death has served to teach him anything it’s that Aster, Cody and Harrison are anything but safe with him around. But is he strong enough to remove the few things in his left in his life that he truly loves?

And there is no doubt that Dexter’s dark passenger will still have its demands. What will Dexter do with his desire to kill when he has three kids to raise? Maybe he’ll take a leave of absence from work (understandably) to recuperate…and also so he’ll have some “time to kill.”

Perhaps Deb will move in to help with the kids. After all, Dexter was right there for her when the whole Ice Truck Killer thing went down. But Dexter will have a harder time hiding his dark passenger from his astutely observant sister in such close quarters.

Whatever happens, it’s undeniable that Dexter will be irreversibly altered from now on. Will he lose faith in himself and his ability to be good in spite of his bad deeds? Will he become disenfranchised with Harry’s code, now that it’s proven to allow such heartbreak into his life?

And other questions — will Dexter find someone new? How will he raise three kids without their mother? I guess we’ll just have to wait until next season, and watch lots of “LOST” and “American Idol” in the meantime.

About The Author

Brooklynne Kelly Peters is a Blast contributing editor

20 Responses

  1. LogJagerson

    Rita death for me too was a shocker, I felt so pepped up after Trinity’s Death, and then BAM!!! Rita in a bathtub the crash was kinda like what you get after 80 redbulls.

  2. Rick Gershman

    Good post, Brooklynne, though I’m compelled to note that the word “ingenious” does have an “O” in it. I’m sure John Lithgow, as ingenious as he is, would appreciate the correct spelling. Regardless: I loved the dark ending, and I enjoyed your post quite a bit.

  3. Gordo

    I think we are missing looking at what beyond Rita’s sad fate is an actual cliffhanger. For surely Dexter will be a suspect in Rita’s murder. Let’s look at what has unfolded –

    1) Dexter is acting very oddly lately and many have noticed this – 1) He was arrested earlier for his erratic behaviour 2) Quinn believes Dexter is chasing skirt, 3) When Vince told Dextter he saw Rita kissing Elliot Dexter was all too calm in acknowleging it, 3) Why would Trinity kill Rita? What proof is there that he was in fact the one who did it? Arthur/Trinity is gone forever and in the time Rita was killed Dexter cannot explain his whereabouts. 4) And Deb has just told Dexter that he was found next to his slain mother – she believes he is hearing this for the first time. It may be that everyone believes that Dexter has snapped.

    Season 5 cannot come quickly enough.

    One quirky thing that seemed out of place – when Deb told the police chief about what she had discovered regarding Laura Moser’s death, with Dexter and Brian (Ice Truck Killer) being brothers the Chief did not seem surprised at hearing that Dexter’s brother was the ice truck killer, but surely this was the first time anyone had offered this as a theorey.

    Oh well – excellent episode still!

    • Ray

      Hey Gordo it was a great episode.
      Trinity came into the police station and spoke to Dexter in front of everyone and at least one of the detectives noticed them as he went by. Dexter could claim that he stumbled on evidence about Trinity who then threatened his family. It would explain why he had been acting so strangely.

  4. Junker138

    Nah they aren’t going to think it’s Dexter if he plays it right they will chaulk it up to trinity as the pattern is 100% the same maybe they’ll have some questions for dexter but overall he will probably get loads of sympathy

  5. A serial fan

    What a terrible ending.. hope it´s just a dream.. please! It is truely the best tv-series ever! Here in sweden they havent send it on tv get.. So I´ll have stayed up every sunday night to 5-6 am in the morning to see it online.. 🙂 (dont komplajn abaute the spelling..) see u next season!

  6. samgrillo42

    1) The chilling part of the ending is that Dexter calls Rita’s cell phone, and it starts ringing inside the house. The sound of the phone causes Harrison to cry. It’s that maddening cell phone ring coming from right there that sets the mood for what’s to come…or at least that stood out to me more than the crying after the fact.

    2) He wasn’t surprised he was the Ice Truck Killer because they knew who the guy was by the end. They had his name…so seeing the suspect’s name on the paper would have reminded him of that case when Dexter was found. I don’t think there’s anything fishy about that.

    3) Dexter has been falling apart from the first season, in terms of his ability. His lies have become more flimsy…I think unless he can change his priorities, he will come crashing down.

  7. linda

    My husband and I have been watching Dexter on Showtime since it debuted. The writing of the series is intelligent, witty and will keep you on the edge of your seat, leaving you wanting more, more, MORE! The character of Dexter is brilliant, as well as Michael C. Hall, who plays the character to a tee. You will not be disappointed with this purchase.


    I think this “Rita murder” part is going to be reversed and explained as a dream sequence that Dexter had. It just doesn’t add up. Trinity was in a hurry to get the heck out of town. How could he have predicted that he’d be able to go to Dexter’s and perform a ritual murder, calmly clean up, and then head out of town? And then there’s the fact that Dexter is able to find him driving in his car out on the vast network of roads. It’s all a bit of a stretch. I say Trinity got away, Rita is alive, and Dexter is shown waking up in his bed to this nightmare at the beginning of next season! Yeah!!! Besides, I don’t want to see Rita go – she’s too hot!

  9. CiceroXIII

    Rita’s death was not, I repeat, NOT a dream. Clyde Philliips confirmed that she is dead and that Trinity was the one who killed her in an interview after the episode aired. She’s gone, everyone.

    YIAWTA: Dexter didn’t “find” Trinity on the road, he had hidden in the trunk of the Mustang, which Trinity picked up from the shop after he had already killed Rita. The timeline works out just fine.

    • YIAWTA

      CiceroXIII: Dexter appears from the rear of Trinity’s broken down Mustang, but it is not obvious or apparent that he is emerging from the trunk of that car. There was definitely a car behind Trinity and the lights of that car appear to be behind Trinity at the side of the road. Dexter could have emerged from that car, kept his body hunched over until he emerged to the side of the Mustang. Normally, the program shows little snippets of key action, like Dexter picking the lock of the trunk and getting in at the body shop. They did not show this. So…they’re creating suspense for us to figure out.

      I admit there’s a lot of possibility here, so it remains a mystery and up to interpretation. That’s what the producers want from this episode.

  10. Retxed

    Wow, if Clyde said it was Trinity, then most of my Theories are out the window. I think the older kids will stay with the Grandparents and fad out of the show. The show needs to revolve around the station, so he will go back to work. To go back to work Dexter needs to be cleared from Rita’s death. Deb will probably hook up with Quinn. Not sure where Harrison will end up? If its not with the Grandparents or Dexter, then its got to be with Deb. The fact that Deb knows Dexter’s history now must be a big part of the next season. Was there any dialog between Trinity and Dexter on his table that was a hint of Trinity killing Rita. You would think Trinity would have said something on his death bed. Maybe Clyde did not want to even give a hint. The ending brought emotions up in me that I could not describe, which made it an awesome ending.

    • Lori

      The time line works out.
      Trinity knows where Dexter lives, there’s nothing to say that he didn’t remove the passport himself to guarantee her returning.
      Dexter is in the car’s boot. There are no headlight behind the car. Only lights on another road, Dexter appears less than a 30 seconds later. He appears stooped to standing as if getting out of the boot or back of the car.
      While Trinity is on the table he says “It’s already over” to Dexter. At the time I thought it was referring to him having set Dexter up for knowing him. In fact it’s referring to him having killed Rita.

  11. Retxed

    Another idea. What if Dexter hides Rita’s body. Bags her and puts her on the ocean floor. Cleans up the mess and files a missing persons. To go even farther; Dexter finds women in the area who have gotten away with murder, and he makes them disappear also. Then it looks like their is a serial killer who may have started with Rita. Problem is standard protocol would not let Dexter work on the case. He could orchestrate from the side line.

  12. Michael

    I didn’t see this coming, but the question is whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

    comeon whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

    If anyone can tell me what will the series gain without Rita

    And is she going to be with Dexter next season as his father a ghost or we’re not going to see her anymore? I guess she’s going to be the ghost that makes Dexter get rid of his dark side (hope not)

    but someone tell me whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

  13. michelle

    dexter is going to wake up on his boat with the phone ringing and its going to be rita saying,where are you?because he was so exousted after throwing trinitys remains overboard,and once again he would of disapointed rita,we love rita,i hope her character comes back next season.please please michelle ann beck kissimmee florida

  14. Dan

    Was a great finale. Was so cause no one seen the end coming. If Clyde Philliips said Rita is definetly dead, and turns out to be a dream sequence, no one would expect that either, which would be a great start to the next season.


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