Dexter: Season 4 Finale Review & Discussion

Published 5 years ago by , Updated September 26th, 2010 at 10:52 am,

dexter review discussion Dexter: Season 4 Finale Review & Discussion

[Update: Be Sure To Check out our Dexter Season 5 Premiere Review!]

As the fourth season of Dexter comes to a close, fans are going into the finale knowing two things; (A) Something crazy is going to happen and (B) We have no idea what that crazy thing is. I have a feeling that neither our preview of the finale nor our spoiler post will prepare fans for what’s to come.

Sure, by now all of you probably know the twist involving Deb and her revelation about her adopted brother’s connection to not only Harry’s past, but also her own. Still, the fact that we know that going into the 52-minute finale has me believing that Deb’s revelation is just the tip of the iceberg – or in this case, ice pick.

We’ve got Dexter facing off against Trinity, Deb snooping around Harry’s past, Quinn dealing with the suicide of his girlfriend (who might still be alive) and Trinity’s daughter, Christine. There’s also Trinity’s family, Rita and the kids, Masuka and don’t forget about Batista and Laguerta’s nuptials from last week’s episode.



dexter trinity Dexter: Season 4 Finale Review & Discussion

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from the season finale of Dexter, it’s to expect nothing. I should have known that a show which has been able to continuously reinvent itself would leave nothing on the table and that’s exactly what happen with this season finale.

So much happened within the first 20 minutes that my mind was unable to absorb it all. I literally had to watch the episode twice as I was riding such a wave of intensity that lasted until the last five minutes of the show. As I finally calmed down, that feeling didn’t last long as the seasons big reveal had, unbeknownst to me, not yet happened… but we’ll get to that later.

There’s no way any show other than Dexter could have pulled off the entire “bad day” chain of events and make it believable. Dexter Morgan is always so in control of his emotions with his methodical way of living – which is great for building tension – but in this instance it was a pleasant surprise to see his character having to quickly deal with things that just didn’t go his way.

dexter police Dexter: Season 4 Finale Review & Discussion

I’m not going to lie, this was a near perfect episode. I have no doubt that we’ll see many Emmy awards because of this season and particularly this episode. Still, there were some things that I’d like to nit-pick: I wasn’t really feeling Deb’s whole reveal to Dexter. I’m not sure if she wanted to tell him because she was being a kind sister or because she was angry, but something about it felt a little “wrong place, wrong time.”

There’s also the whole “we’re taking the case from you” with the FBI walking in. Sure, it’s probably realistic on some level, but it felt more like an easy way to tie up loose ends, and free up the team for whatever or whoever is the “big bad” next season. Also, what happened to the whole Batista and Laguerta storyline? There was a quick mention of their marriage, but that’s it.

Let’s move on to Trinity. For the entire season he has been an extremely menacing individual. On par with any bad guy you could think of and while I so enjoyed Dexter revealing himself as the one to have taken his oil cap, I felt the actual killing was a bit odd and unfulfilling. I’m not sure what it was, maybe it was the banter between the two or Trinity’s odd mannerisms about wanting the train to be on, but something just wasn’t playing right to me. Also, Dexter using the claw hammer as a murder weapon was literally frightening. The moment he flipped the hammer around and swung made me wonder if had “crossed over.”

Dexter hammer Dexter: Season 4 Finale Review & Discussion

Now, it’s time to talk about the last 3 minutes of the show. I think “wow” would be my response. I know that’s what I would have said if my jaw wasn’t open so wide. I know that fans have been against Rita for a while and have wanted her killed, but I believe Rita adds the humanity that Dexter needs not only as a person, but as a show. Without her, he would just go along with his crazy rules talking to his dead father in the back seat (quite talkative he was this episode). I just don’t know what to think. Oh, it was a twist – a big one—and I’ll take all the blame for screwing up the spoiler and misinterpreting what executive producer, Clive Phillips, had said, I just don’t know how I feel about it – not until I see what they do with it next season.

Still, throughout the entire episode I was so enthralled and stressed out that you would have thought it was my life or at least real life, not just a scripted drama. Although, I would say those words could also be used to describe Dexter… “not just a scripted drama.” With a 12-episode season, Dexter has to consistently deliver such a strong story that viewers will not stray during the long breaks between seasons.

…and deliver, it has.

dexter baby Dexter: Season 4 Finale Review & Discussion

Enough of me, what did you think of the episode? Enjoy the “twist” at the end? Hate me for screwing up one of the spoilers? Since Showtime has already ordered a fifth season, what do you see in store for Dexter? What could they do to top this?

UPDATE: Still have questions about the twist ending? Now there are answers (including confirmation of a misstep by the showrunners): Go HERE.

Update Source: Entertainment Weekly

TAGS: Dexter
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  1. Can anyone help me? I need to know the name of the song on the last episode of the fourth season when Dexter catches the Trinity Killer on a road at night. As Trinity is driving (right before his car breaks down) there is a song that plays (That is not Venus) and I cannot find it anywhere by looking up the lyrics.
    Anyone who knows the title and artist of the song PLEASE LET ME KNOW!!!

    • Richard Myhill – let me baby

  2. The Bathtub Kill of Rita-That was unexpected! I mean I didn’t want it to happen. I wanted her to stay. I wanted Dexter to prove everyone wrong-Trinity, Harry. I wanted him to protect his family, keep harrison innocent. But, it didn’t happen. I hope it’s just a dream….i hope season 5 will begin with Rita still being alive and enjoying a spa lying on a cozy table instead of a bloody bathtub…

    • Good luck with that one, Angel ;) They took enough of a risk making that move, they’d be flushing the integrity of the show down the toilet to do such an obvious ‘fix-it’ ;) Unfortunately, it is not, in fact, a dream :( However, I will admit that given time, I rather got over it. However, I’ve gradually drifted away from my initial passion for the series, too- the latest season just lost me. Not having Rite or a romantic interest in the picture for him (beyond his sister, and I CERTAINLY hope they don’t pursue that one just because the actress is his real life wife… I find her very unattractive, myself, and I don’t think they have the chemistry for it, it would be very weird).

      • hm….ya i get that it’ll be too obvious for making such a big, series-turning twist to be just a dream…It would be as though the awesome, mature script-writer has turned into a kid’s story writer. (When i was in 5th grade, this was the obvious twist that would come to my mind while writing a story.)But, at that time, when i posted the comment, (I just finished watching the finale then.) I was totally in an emotional shock. My mouth was wide open, telling that what happenend was true, but my heart just couldn’t bear the fact that Rita was dead. I really felt ringing Rita into Dexter’s life, Dex became human from just a code-following educated monster. And Yes…I got over it, and certainly Dex won’t get involved in any more relationships…So, you can relax ;) And what? How come you lost your interest in Dexter? That can’t really happen! Is the latest that boring??? o_O

  3. Actually, I had your reaction to the extreme – I had watched Dexter all in one go, from season one ep one up until the end of this season here, where Rita died… and the shock hit me hard. I was pouring tears, I’ll admit, and I doubt I’ve ever reacted that strongly to any US TV show before. I was very unhappy with their choice, too, and I didn’t exactly see how I could possibly get into the show again. Especially when they showed previews of the next season and you could see the dark slant he began to take and suspicion even being on him by some. But, I watched some episodes of the next season, and honestly, what brought me back into it was one of my favourite actresses who, ((rather small spoiler alert)) yes, becomes a romantic interest (and probably the best match for Dexter yet, having a “Rita side” but also developing her own dark passenger, unlike previous psycho-girls)… that helped me get over Rita). ((spoiler over))

    As for boring, not that so much as… well, ((spoiler alert)) the romance from the last season ended, and this season they focus Dexter on a religious sort of track and the closest thing to a romantic relationship he could have at all would be the relationship with his sister (they don’t clearly go that path, but that’s all that’s there, and I am concerned they might try to pull that card… maybe Wifey (Dexter’s sis being the actor’s real life wife) doesn’t want her hubby making out with any more hot actresses who are much, much better looking than her?). Either way, I just found myself less and less interested, and not due to some moral crusade or such… I’m a very faith oriented person myself… I just think the way they’ve taken things, even though I followed up near to the end of the season… lost me. I just don’t really care much what happens to the characters anymore. :(

    But I’ll admit, the next season, I DID. Their mistake was bringing in someone who somehow actually managed to help fill the void Rita left, and then ripping her out. BIG mistake. ((end spoilers… and my message ;)


    • Oh…Okay! and hey, i ignored the spoilers :P don’t want the twists and suspense to be reveled! ;)

  4. Why did they kill rita I really hate them for doing this I really do I don’t enjoy like I used to :(

  5. I went to bed feeling so depressed. Despite what all those fans said about Rita I thought her character was superb. She was the perfect wife, especially for Dexter. Little by little she was bringing out his human side which had been buried since his mother died. I think I fell in love with her myself lol.

    I only finished watching last night so I’m still in a state of shock about how it ended, that was definitely one of the worst/best twists I’ve ever seen on tv. I sat dumbfounded in front of the screen a good five minutes after the end credits. I still can’t believe that she’s gone. Admittedly I was a bit disapointed in her when she had that little thing with their nieighbor but she has always been a shining beacon of love and conscience in the show. I don’t know how they are gonna make up for her absence in the 5th season, but it won’t be the same without her.

    She will be missed, but well done for an incredible 4 seasons Julie Benz!! All in all it was an excellent way to cap off a perfect season.

    • I was shocked and depressed at the death of Rita. I loved her character. I am trying to continue to watch season 5, but can’t connect with the show. I keep thinking how upset I am that Rita is gone. Yes I know she is just a character, but it hurt me how she had had such a rough time, and now with Dexter had found happiness. I also think of her last moments with the Trinity killer, the fear she must have had, and I am not ashamed to say it moves me to tears.

  6. Lol I could not care any less about Ritas death. I didn’t even like that character. I love the show though!

  7. Really it’s too unexpected and too emotional that Rita got murdered in a bathtub in the end.i hope it shouldn’t be real…..:(

  8. Hey I know Im late but this was the greatest season finale of any show in the history of tv. that is all.

    • @Don Haha! I’m late, too, and I completely agree. What.An.Ending.

    • I agree. The best season and season finale in the history of tv forever and ever. The writing was….impeccable to say the least. At the end of the season there was a surprise in every episode. Lundy and deb getting shot, lundy dying, Trinity’s daughter, her suicide, deb finding out about Dexter’s real beginning, trinity actually having a fourth victim, making him like…… a quadrinity haha and then of course rita dying like a trinity victim. Just craziness. Everything about this season was above expectation and no show can ever top it!

      • I agree to EVERYTHING you said, but! Game of Thrones tops EVERY tv show ever made! :0)

  9. If only it had been Debra in the bathtub. I’ve never seen a more annoying main charcater in a show for ages. She must have set the world record for the most crying scenes in a TV series. She’s always got that screwed up face with tears welling in her eyes. Doesn’t matter whether she’s happy or sad or angry. If she’s been in 500 scenes then she’s crying or tearing up in 490 of them. Enough woman !! You spoil a great show. Just a pity Dexter didn’t slip the knofe into her during season 1.

    • @Paul Spalding I know right! Took her 5 minutes to erase his name from the board and shes always so annoyingly nosy it drives me insane. Emotional idiot

  10. I just watched the season 4 finale last night. Just like some other comments here, i was in shock too that Rita died. But what i’m really sad about is the fact that Dexter really had a bad fate, having his child to have the same experience that he had. We must be thinking that little Harrison have a big possibility to be turning up like his dad. And that is the thought that make me really sad.

    As for Rita, i like her. Her voice is so soft, and she brings the humanity to Dexter personality. I’m really sorry that she has to die.

  11. I hate it when writers set-up something over a long period and then don’t pay it off.

    Set-up: OMG, what will sweet innocent Rita’s response be when she finds out her husband is a vicious serial killer?

    Pay-off: She never finds out?????????

    Also, I love Julie Benz. And the character is interesting because she was an innocent person unknowingly involved with a monster. That intense gap between her conscious life and the underlying reality can be explored endlessly, and paid off powerfully.

  12. I was glad when Rita was killed… I mean I didn’t want her to die but she was a major pain in the ass control freak.. and sometimes b****…

  13. This season finale really disgusted me. They took so much time developing his character, giving him a family to care about, human emotions, and then they just chucked it all out the window for sake of shock value and the ratings. It was a huge twist, but here is the thing: it destroyed every scrap of Dexter’s character development. He is now back to square one, the same Dexter we met in season one that can do whatever the heck he wants whenever he wants to.

    It was the lazy approach to future seasons, a reset button so writers can feel more free.