We start with the aftermath to Vogel’s death, and as Dexter cleans house, removing any reference to himself from Vogel’s computer, I was left wondering, not for the first time, about the product placement in this show. Apple – the choice of the unrepentant serial killer and psychopath-loving shrinks? Anyway, there are twin deadlines bearing down on Dex – his flight to Argentina with Hannah, and a convenient tropical storm – but Vogel’s son Saxon still has to be dealt with.
The two of them spar for a while: Saxon offers Dex a truce, but does so while mentioning everyone Dexter cares about, thus reminding him why he needs to get rid of Saxon in the first place. Thereafter Dex’s strategy is to provoke Saxon into action. Meantime the net is closing on Hannah, and while everyone in Miami is looking for a woman with long blonde hair who looks like Hannah she does absolutely nothing to alter her appearance.
And so we get to what might be the climactic confrontation between Saxon and Dexter, the former strapped down, the latter with his extensive knife collection at hand… but it doesn’t quite happen, because after eight seasons Dexter chooses this scene to have his moment of personal growth. He doesn’t need to kill Saxon; he doesn’t need his dead father any more; he’s moved on. Like any Bond film, though, the one thing you mustn’t do is leave your captive unattended, and what happens thereafter is predictable in general, if not necessarily in its details, meaning that there is probably another climactic confrontation to come in next week’s series finale.
There’s been a lot of hatred out there for this season of Dexter, certainly the second half of it. I don’t think it’s been that bad. The problem is that it hasn’t been any good either. It’s just there. You want 12 episodes, Showtime, you’ll get 12 episodes, and never mind if the material has been stretched so thin that we’ll be resorting to inconsequential conversations between Masuda and his daughter just to fill in time. As a pithy and unpleasant four or six episode coda to the Dexter story, this season might just have worked. As it is, the show’s legacy has been irredeemably tainted.