Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Dexter Season 4 Episode 12: The Gateway Predictions

Yep. We’re doing this again. In a few days the season finale of Dexter premieres and I’m strung tighter than a fiddle. The producers at Showtime have promised us the most explosive episode since the show’s inception. No easy task.

Once again, I thought it might be fun to stretch out the excitement, discussing a few final episode theories. Heaven knows the writers have thrown enough material at us to take it a number of directions. I feel like I could write a book. For both our sanity’s sake, I’ll limit the number of open questions to five.

#1 Will Dexter finally get the chance to kill Trinity?
This absolutely tops the list and I would say: Yes.

I don’t believe we’ll be surprised here. We’ve been strung along all season, watching Dexter thwarted time and again on bringing Trinity to erm “justice.” To be sure, he’s a worthy adversary. He’s the kind of epitome of evil that reminds us why we’re rooting for a killer like Dexter in the first place, but is oh so delicious to watch. Lithgow’s performance has truly been incredible in portraying this vulnerable psychopath, a character who recoils in disgust “I’m NOT a pedophile,” stopping short of correcting, “just a murderer,” but is savvy enough to (I believe) lure Dexter into a trap at the arcade in “Hello, Dexter Morgan!” Awesomeness.

It’s been fun to watch, but frankly, we’re ripe now for the payoff. And I think the writers recognize that. With the final shot of episode 11, ending with a face-to-face intimidation stare down reminiscent of a kind of morbid boxing match, we can be sure they are if anything only encouraging our anticipation. Trinity needs to go down. And not by the law. And it needs to be epic. Anything less will feel less like a witty stab at irony and more like some sick joke at the expense of the audience. From the episode 12 preview. we’re assured at least that he gets wrapped in plastic.

#2 Will Deb learn about Dexter’s Dark Passenger?

I’ve heard Deb finds out about her brother’s homicidal nature in the books, but I’m struggling to see how it would work in the show. Part of what makes the series so satisfying is the constant peeling away of Dexter’s safety nets to see if he can continue to get away with what he is doing. We’ve watched him survive scrutiny in the workplace and at home. This season he’s lost his trophy hiding places (twice) and his ever sturdy foundation, his code, seems to be crumbling beneath him as he finds himself taking hurried short cuts and shuffling life priorities.

Now, back to Deb. Dexter is not going to prison; our hero must prevail for at least another season. I don’t believe he’ll kill his sister, either. Should she learn the truth, it leaves us with Deb as an accomplice, or at least willing to keep his secret. In my opinion, this would suck. It gives him more wiggle room instead of less, loosening the rope the writers have worked so hard to pull taut.

From the sneak peak, we’re assured Deb learns about Dexter’s biological mother. I think it ends here.

#3 Will Quinn and Deb rekindle a romance?

I keep finding this lurking around in prediction circles, but we’ve already seen the Quinn and Deb thing happen in a previous season. Why would we visit it again, or want to? Seriously, I’m asking.

#4 What will happen to Batista and LaGuerta?
Who cares?

Season Four has been wonderful, but not perfect. This has to be the weakest plotline in the series so far. The episode that features LaGuerta staring misty-eyed into the sunset murmuring “I’m afraid… afraid to say [I love you],” in particular momentarily elicited my gag reflex. With all that is happening this season, it’s a gross misstep to assume our investment in a forbidden love affair between two relatively normal people and subsequent catharsis when they elope, escaping tragic “career-ending” consequences. Yawn. As stellar as the writing has otherwise been, I think the acting pair deserved better attention this season.

#5 Will Trinity kill Dexter’s family?
This is a tricky one. Let’s start with Rita and the kids. Probably not.

To build on the second point, we would lose Dexter’s scrutiny at home, and unfortunately for him, less drama for us in season five. But, it would also disrupt the building theme this season that I hope will be expanded upon next year: the detrimental effects living with a serial killer is having on Dexter’s family. Of course Arthur’s family is a mess, but Dexter’s has also been touched this season. His murderous impulses have arguably led to Rita’s “infidelity,” and Cody getting into fight at school. I’ve bought into it; I’m intrigued to see how Cody might be affected growing up, so clearly idolizing Dexter as his role model. Can I say that Rita has the worst taste in men?

And now Deb. Strong likelihood.

As much as I hate to admit it, I do see losing her as a real possibility. In a previous interview, Carpenter leaked that this season we will see a darker Dexter than we have grown accustomed to, that the audience has become too comfortable with our killer, and that is about to change. I can’t think of a better catalyst for his transformation than losing a member of the family, especially now as Dexter has learned how much it means to him.

Her long-held role in Dexter’s mind of moral and familial grounding is arguably now double-covered through Rita. And as a character, I think she may have been pushed about as far as the writers can take her, to the point of suffering the now-famous, gut-wrenching “I’m broken!” breakdown for which I hope earns Carpenter an award. She’s beyond likable, but writer Clyde Phillips maintains his steadfast willingness to kill off popular characters if good story-telling demands it. Adding more fuel to the fire, we’re promised in the episode preview a sinister Trinity visit to the address listing “D. Morgan,” which we might presume is Dexter’s old apartment where Deb now lives. Anyway, it seems an odd listing to have for Rita’s house (where Dexter moved). I’m inclined to vote Deb’s expendability a strong maybe.

So, what’s left?
Probably a lot.

Nothing above is the kind of earth shattering revelation the producers have promised. From the preview we know we get, another body, an emboldened Jonah squaring off with Daddy that potentially leads to a home invasion by the police. None of which I have addressed.

If anyone has pieced together more of the puzzle, I’d love to read about it below.

See you Sunday!


Anonymous said...

I also think the Deb dying scenario is likely. But, it wouldn't keep Jennifer Carpenter out of a job. I think Deb comes back as an additional conscience for Dexter. Season 5 will be Dexter choosing between Harry's code and Deb's code.

Thia Michelle said...

Very interesting idea. Thanks for sharing. I do agree that Carpenter has been superb. Maybe her real life can finagle her continued involvement in 2010. I hope to see more of her, too.

Leah said...

Oh my God, I really don't think I could bear to watch this show anymore if Deb died! She's my favorite. It would make Dexter a LOT darker, though.

One of my theories about the "revelation" at the end is that Harrison is not really Dexter's child. Rita found out she was pregnant shortly after her and Dexter got back together, so who's to say she didn't find someone else in the meantime? You know the short plot synopses they give on Netflix for each episode of Dexter? I saw one for episode 12 that said something like, "Rita tells Dexter that there marriage is in trouble." And she was really reluctant to marry Dexter... AND she lied to him about her first marriage. So maybe? It wouldn't really be that stunning, just kind of sad, since he's so devoted to Harrison.

Also, I think all of your predictions are really well thought out, but it BUGS the HELL out of me that you and other people keep saying that Dexter moved into Rita's home. This is the home they bought together, the one that Miguel's wife (can't remember her name) showed Rita in season 3. In one of the first episodes of the fourth season they were at a cookout meeting all of the neighbors for the first time. Rita would have already known her neighbors. So the listing in the phonebook COULD be his family's home. Or D. Morgan really could stand for "Debra Morgan." That would be really anti-climatic if Trinity went to Debra's old apartment, though.

So yeah, I'm hoping none of the main characters die, because that would be really awful, but it seems sort of inevitable. Isn't everyone basing this theory off of Jennifer Carpenter saying there would be one less trailer on the set? If Trinity dies there will be one less trailer on the set... I think the big reveal is either to do with Harrison, or the body they find at the dig (which looks like one of Trinity's kills that he had dumped into cement).

Jennifer said...

You're a great writer.

Anonymous said...

I think it's a pretty strong possibility that Cody will die in the finale. Dexter kept Trinity from killing a young boy in the cement. Therefore, Trinity will track down where Dexter lives, and he will capture and kill Cody in order to complete the process that Dexter ended so abruptly.