Monkey in the Box- Dexter Season 8 Episode 11


“Nothing will change after I’m gone. Blood will continue to pool. I just won’t be here to photograph it.”

After a season of being plagued with bad writing, Dexter plunged into the heart of it all as the walls started to close in.

*Spoiler alert*

With the end so near, I watched this episode with my hand in my mouth. So much was expected, so many loose ends left to tie and so much closure to  be given that for once I chose to focus on the story rather than trying to pick at the loopholes. As Oliver Saxon aka Daniel Vogel loomed large over Dexter’s life, I began to fear for him. With no Evelyn Vogel in the picture, this episode felt ten times better to me. I am sorry but I never took to her. I never saw the motherly figure they tried to portray, just a suspicious, shady woman with possibly exciting ulterior motives which might have led to some thrilling story lines. But since Vogel was only here to take Dexter back full circle and give him a glimpse of his own making, I decide to finally let go of the possibility of any cat-out-of-the-bag-suspense moments.

Instead there was a monkey in the box because everything Dexter has been until this point has finally been flipped. His switch is the right way up. He was right there in season four with Rita but her murder took it away from him and left him with more unresolved issues. But somehow, some way, Hannah seems to complete Dexter and lead him to love and light and to a new light. Hard as I find to spot the kind of tender connection between them or to think of her as the sort of person who would lead to such soul-moving changes in a character like Dexter Morgan (you know I’ve always been team Rita but it’s too much in the past now to keep fretting over), I will take it at face-value that yes, love could move boulders and it could make someone want to move to Argentina with a fugitive.

Vogel’s funeral was wrapped together with some quick goodbyes to Dexter. Quinn and Batista both had their turns. The next time they’re going to see Dexter or his dead body, it will probably be with the full realization of who he was. Masuka is still figuring things out with his daughter and now I am pretty certain she’s just the daughter and nothing more and this whole story was only a filler. Jaime and Harrison get a scene in. And Astor and Cody get mentioned thrice. Once by the deadly nemesis Saxon, once by Debra and once by Dexter himself. I don’t know why I’m keeping count. I just feel betrayed for them.

Elway is close on the heels of the truth. At least on one count my instincts were right. Elway’s character was more than met the eye. He’s going to be one of the final threads unraveling Dexter’s departure to Argentina (Argentina? How is that even supposed to solve everything? Are there supposed to be no phones there? No internet, no TV, no police? Why is Argentina the safe haven?)

This season I have been connecting with Debra more than anyone else, and this episode was no different. Quinn is back in her life and her career at Miami Metro has been re-launched. Debra has heart-wrenching goodbyes to say to her brother, who is too much of a guy to shed tears and too much of  a murderer to grab a steak-dinner on his last night with her, but everything she does tonight just got to me.

Saxon pricked like a thorn at Dexter’s side and eliminating him seemed like the last important thing Dexter had to do. It seemed to fit perfectly with his character. Even Debra had accepted everything Dexter has been all this while and changing it all just as she has come to terms with it seems rather inconsiderate. But change it he does. Right after Debra helps Dexter pack Saxon up for the kill and leaves him with the prettiest smile, Dexter decides he isn’t this person anymore. He has to walk away, give up this life. A phone call to Debra brings her to his kill room (which was basically Saxon’s kill room at an old run down hospital) but Derba is being tailed by the US Marshall who is on to Hannah. While Dexter and Debra part in a touching scene, the US Marshall races in and finds Saxon and makes the mistake of untying him.

Debra returns just as the Marshall takes stabs to the chest. Her gun is out but Saxon is faster. He shoots and hits even as she shoots and misses and flies off, leaving Deb in a pool of blood on the floor. She has already requested for back up and help is on the way.

Meanwhile Dexter says goodbye to the shadow of his dad; which is his way of saying goodbye to his way of life, to the code, to the murdering, to all of it. The last time he made this attempt ended badly for people close to him. This time is likely to be no different.

Coming Sunday is the series wrap up. And here goes the promo. Stay tuned. A storm is coming.

 

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