Sunday, December 16, 2007

Dexter's Last Stand?
“Tonight’s the night, and it’s going to happen, again and again-- has to happen.”

That’s the innocuous way viewers were introduced to Dexter in its debut episode—a voiceover monologue that became the trademark device of the darkest storyline in the history of serial television. It wasn’t a conventional narration by any means—it advanced the plotline, of course, but it always drew us into the mind of Dexter, and forced us, against all our protestations, to actually like an undeniably demented serial killer. After all, he only killed really bad people who deserved to be chopped into little pieces and dumped in the ocean.

Season One was fraught with dark comic book humor and social satire—Dexter sent child murderers, coyotes and murderous nurses, among others, to their just desserts, and it all seemed a bit surreal. At the same time, it was catharsis—a part of us was Dexter, and those voiceovers were our voice. We knew exactly how Dexter felt, and we loved the thrill of seeing bad guys dispatched.

What goes around comes around, and in Dexter’s case, it’s happened in spades. Season Two began with Dexter unable to sleep, and his inner monologue telling us “I really need to kill . . . somebody.” It’s the first hint we have that Dexter is no superhero, that he is, in fact, a very disturbed killer. That’s been the focus of this season, with his inner voice sounding more desperate than bemused.

He’s had good reason to be nervous. Once his underwater dumpsite was discovered, and FBI Agent Lundy’s task force started closing in on the Bay Harbor Butcher, the series has taken on a much more tense tone. It still has its humorous moments, mostly courtesy Deb and Masuka, but those are fittingly overshadowed by the twisting cat and mouse plotline.

It all comes to a head tonight, in what promises to be one of the most explosive climaxes in recent memory. Doakes, having discovered Dexter’s secret, is still his captive. And it looks like Lila is about to uncover his secret as well, which would put a serious crimp in Dexter’s plan to frame Doakes as the killer. Of course, she has her own frame job going against Angel. For whatever nefarious reason, she’s framed him for rape against her. As Deb and Lundy discovered last week, she’s in the country illegally. Her secret may be even darker than Dexter’s. Obviously, if Dexter is to survive, both Doakes and Lila must be silenced. How that will be accomplished is the question.

In the meantime, Agent Lundy is closing in on the truth about the Bay Harbor Butcher. There are a number of enticing plot threads to be tied up, or severed, as the case may be. However it turns out, it won’t be expected. Nothing ever is when it comes to Dexter.

After tonight’s finale (airing 9PM EST), Showtime will be hosting an online event 10PM EST with video of the cast and crew discussing the shocking season finale, including a live fan chat.

And for the really diehard fan (pun most definitely intended) Showtime is sponsoring a Dexter Finale Sweepstakes for a chance to WIN A WALK ON ROLE in the next season of Dexter!

The second season of Dexter has been one surprising twist after another and tonight’s the night it all comes together. I’ll have a review of the episode later this week. In the meantime, I strongly suggest you do whatever you have to in order to see this finale.