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Dexter Recap: “Monkey in a Box”


The penultimate episode of Dexter was much like the calm before the storm.  This was not dissimilar to the denizens of Miami awaiting Hurricane Laura to hit landfall.  

Dexter (MichaelC. Hall) tried to get his affairs in order and leave before anything bad could happen.  Unfortunately, something did. 

Earlier, he called in Dr. Vogel’s (Charlotte Rampling) murder, after clearing out all of her “Dexter is My Serial Killer Creation” files, of course.  This made his last day on the job a little awkward. 

Saxon taunted Dexter and Miami Metro.  Privately he informed Dexter that’d he wouldn’t harm him or his loved ones, if he just let things lie and got out of Miami.  Maybe Saxon had gotten too cocky, since it wasn’t long before Quinn (Desmond Harrington) suspected Saxon of killing Cassie and Dr. Vogel.  Although, he still didn’t realize Saxon was the Brain Surgeon.

For the first time Dexter didn’t want to kill Saxon to satiate his Dark Passenger.  He wanted to kill him for revenge, and to make sure his family stayed safe.  He leaked all of the videos of Saxon “Brain Surgeon-ing” his victims to the media, which brought an enraged Saxon right to him. 

Deb (Jennifer Carpenter) helped Dexter subdue him, and it wasn’t long before Dexter had Saxon strapped into his own kill chair.  After a bonding moment about Miami Metro’s low capture rate of murderers, and actually loving people as opposed to just faking it for a cover, Dexter was going to end Saxon’s life.  However, he ultimately couldn’t do it this time.  Instead, he decided to call Deb so she could make the arrest, and become a hero. 

This didn’t make much sense to me.  What was to stop Saxon from totally spilling the beans about Dexter’s own psycho-killer ways?   Wasn’t rule number one of The Code “Don’t get caught?” 

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Anyway, Ellway and the U.S. Marshall were trailing Deb in hopes of finding Hannah (Yvonne Strahovski).  After Dexter left, and Deb had stepped out of the room, the Marshall came upon a bound Saxon.  Even though Saxon’s face was all over the news, the Marshall didn’t recognize him, and untied him.  Saxon then stabbed him in the chest, and when Deb came back in, he grabbed his gun and shot her in the stomach.  Saxon got away as Deb laid there bleeding, and called for an ambulance before she went into shock. 

The show seemed to be saying that having a loving partner was all he needed to fill the void created by his Dark Passenger.  He almost had this peace once before, after killing Trinity and vowing to devote himself to his family, but then he’d found Rita murdered.  If Deb dies, will his need to kill come back? 

In other happenings this week, Masuka and his daughter continued to have a slightly creepy relationship.  Quinn revealed he still had the engagement ring he’d bought for Deb before she dumped him, and implied he still wanted to marry her.  She in turn, did not freak out and dump him again.  Dexter’s stepkids Astor and Cody also got a shout out.  With Aunt Deb shot, and their stepdad fleeing the country with their little brother, it seems unlikely their lives on Dexter will end on a happy note. 

Also, how great was it seeing Sylvia (Valerie Cruz) return?  She’d played the loving wife of Miguel Prado (Jimmy Smits) in Season 3.  I always enjoy when Cruz pops up on the shows I watch, and really liked her character, even though her husband was pretty horrible. 

I thought making Sylvia Dexter’s real estate agent was a nice surprise, and a good way to organically weave in the reappearance of an old face for the final season.  If only Dexter couldn’t have bumped into Lumen (Julia Stiles) somehow too, and decided to run off with her instead of Hannah. 

Photo Credit: Showtime