Dexter, S8 Ep11 – Monkey In a Box

Dexter s8 ep11--Dexter and Debra eyeing something

This was the second to last episode of Dexter ever. I feel as unnerved as Deb felt about Dexter leaving. In one more week we’ll have to say goodbye, whether we’re ready or not. This close to the end it’s really hitting home that this is it. Soon enough all our questions will be answered and we’ll know if Dexter manages to get away and have a normal life or if the happiness that he’s found with his new family will come crashing down.

Dexter s8 ep11--Dexter and Batista with Cocktail sign in back

A heart-warming moment between friends. Just ignore the sign in the background.

In this episode Dexter had to say goodbye to everyone: all his friends at Miami Metro and, most importantly, his sister, Deb. He even said goodbye to his father, who he doesn’t need hanging around in his head anymore. We also had another blast from the past with Sylvia Prado helping Dexter sell his condo. There were so many good character moments between him and those he loved. He even had a moment of regret when trying to sell his boat that made me go aww. It was always such a good boat, filled with so many memories of dumping bodies…

But the most riveting goodbye was between Dexter and his old self. Dexter wants Saxon taken care of before Dexter leaves, but he didn’t care about doing it himself. For possibly the first time he tried to help Miami Metro catch the killer because he just wanted Saxon out of the way. He didn’t care about doing it himself. In fact, he had lost the drive, the need to kill. When he had Saxon tied up on his kill table, Dexter didn’t want to go through with it. His heart wasn’t in it, it was with Hannah. He even did his finger-to-the-victim’s-forehead thing and then he laughed at it, as if realizing how ridiculous it looked. Dexter was no longer his old self, he no longer wanted to kill. I’m not sure if I buy that Hannah has magically cured Dexter of his homicidal urges, but there has been a gradual progression over the years of Dexter leaning further and further into normal human territory. Saxon said that Dexter had the perfect cover life but Dexter’s family and friends are no longer a cover, they’re people he cares about, people he wants to protect rather than hide behind. This is what major character development looks like. Perhaps Dexter really can settle down in a normal life with Hannah and Harrison. If they can get out of Miami, of course.

Dexter s8 ep11--Dexter in the dark with flashlight

Goodbye old Dexter. Goodbye tight-fitting shirt that made murdering people look so hot…

This episode really underlined how Dexter has changed, and that’s something the entire season has been doing by showing how close he is to Deb and how much he really depends on her. It also compared him to Saxon, a man who killed his own brother as a child and now his mother, a mother that Dexter barely knew and yet mourned for. I think that’s what this season has been trying to do with all the serial killers floating about and Vogel’s work with psychopaths. Dexter isn’t the same as those other psychopaths; he’s a real boy now.

Another interesting bit of character development: Deb accepting Hannah into her life and family. Deb continued to help hide Hannah even as the Deputy Marshall and Elway were closing in on her. There was a great scene between the two of them in Deb’s car where you could see just how much Deb’s attitude toward her has changed—not to mention the scene earlier where Deb told her she could be on one of those cooking shows when not a few episodes before Deb wouldn’t touch anything Hannah cooked for fear of being poisoned. Hannah hasn’t gotten to do too much since coming back besides have epic staring contests with Dexter, but her recent scenes with Deb have been some of my favorites. Deb has finally let her in because she knows how important she is to Dexter, and Deb loves Dexter enough to eat food made by a serial poisoner.

Dexter s8 ep11--Dexter and Debra saying goodbye

I can’t bring myself to make a joke here. They love each other so much!

Deb also loves Dexter enough to come when he calls her to arrest the psychotic murderer he has tied up in a creepy abandoned hospital. And that is where this episode’s cliffhanger took place. That annoying Deputy Marshall was following Deb because he believed Hannah was staying at her place, so he followed her into the hospital and found Saxon tied to a chair. He then untied Saxon, like an idiot, and got stabbed for the trouble. Saxon then shot Deb and ran, leaving her lying on the ground, bleeding out. She managed to get a call off about being shot, but will she make it? Things are looking up for her–she’s back at Miami Metro, she’s back with Quinn, and even though Dexter is leaving they are leaving each other on good terms. Now would be the perfect time for her life to fall apart if the writers want us to curl up in a ball of tears and despair. Which I think is what they’re going for.

Will Deb survive? Will Dexter be able to get Hannah out of the country before Elway catches them (hey, Elway did get interesting in the end)? Will Saxon be caught by the police before he hurts anyone else? Can we really wait a week to find out?