We’ve come to the end of another season of Dexter. Is Dex going to be able to get himself out of the mess he created? Will he really let Doakes take the fall for him? More importantly, will he let him live?
A boxer-clad Dexter checks out the bullet wound he received in the previous episode. Doakes watches from his cage, hoping the wound is deep. It’s not. Doakes asks if Dexter is going to kill him, and if he is, he should do it now. Dexter says nah, he’s going home. He’ll decide later what he’s going to do.
Lundy and Deb come into work together. They’re “out” as a couple now, so cute. Deb is thrilled to find the subpoena for Doakes’ phone records on her desk. She discovers that Doakes called LaGuerta’s cell phone right after they launched the manhunt for him. Lundy thinks Deb should ream her out herself, because he’s not always going to be around to do it. Deb cracks an age joke, but Lundy means that once the case is over, he’s gone – back to Washington. Deb is, understandably, upset.
Dexter manages to make it home just after sunrise. He has no idea what to do about Doakes. No matter how hard he tries, he can’t convince himself that Doakes deserves to die. What would Harry do?
Phone records in hand, Deb knocks on LaGuerta’s office door. Maria knows what’s coming; they didn’t need her help trying to take down a good cop. Maria is more than willing to lay her job on the line to protect a man she cares about.
While Dexter is working in the lab with Masuka, Deb comes barreling in, demanding to know why Dexter asked Lundy to pull his protective detail. The only thing Lundy cares about is solving the case and moving on – not Dexter’s safety (and although she doesn’t say it, you can tell there’s an “or me” there). Dex thought Lundy was a man you can count on, but Deb says that Dexter is the only one she can count on. Dexter is beginning to see that he’s been selfish; he has Rita and the kids and Deb to think of, which means only one thing for Doakes.
Speaking of Doakes, he discovered Jimenez’s cellphone was sitting in a box on the table. He’s working very hard to get it using his shirt tied to his belt. When he hears Dexter’s car pull up, he throws his shirt over the phone to hide it. Dexter knows one of the killers in the cabin has got to go (of course, Doakes says he’s not a killer – he just kills on the job). The cellphone beeps, and Dexter finds it and pockets it. Doakes knows that Dexter is going to have to open the cage to kill him, but Dex says, “Nope!” He slipped a sedative into the bottle of water that Doakes just chugged. As the drug begins to take effect, Doakes says he can’t believe they never told him something about Harry (hey, that’s the name of the episode!)… but he passes out before he’s able to say anything more. While he’s on the floor, Dexter gets Doakes’ fingerprints all over his kill kit. He’s planning to hand him over to the FBI, gift-wrapped. He leaves him some water, energy bars, and a bucket to piss in, so that’s nice. Dex drops the kill kit into the water where a dive class will find it.
In a flashback, we see Harry lose control when a much-younger Matthews tells him a killer is going to walk because of a typo in the warrant. Harry tells Dexter that he did the right thing in training him, and this just proves it.
Lila shows up at the station and Dexter hightails it out of there. Angel greets her. He had been helping her paint her apartment the night before, but he’ll have to reschedule finishing the job because he’s got his daughter for the weekend. They’re going to the beach with Dexter and Rita, and oh by the way, they’re trying to work it out! Okay, Angel didn’t know the whole story about Lila’s insanity, but Dexter did try to warn him. And why would you say that to someone’s ex, anyway?
Dexter returns to the cabin to grill Doakes about Harry. After some back and forth, Doakes figures he doesn’t have much to lose and says he found something he wasn’t supposed to while he was looking into Dexter’s past. Harry’s death was more than just heart disease, and someone up high didn’t want it solved. But that’s all he says. He tries to bargain fresh air for information, but no dice. So Dexter goes to the next option: Tom Matthews. Matthews and Harry were close. It became harder and harder for Harry to deal with the fact that sometimes, criminals got away. Harry killed himself with an overdose of his heart medicine.
One of Jimenez’s customers keeps texting the cellphone that Dex took from the cabin. He wants his drugs, man, and he found out where Jimenez’s cabin is and is on his way! Dexter texts to meet him behind Jimenez’s bar in an hour. Meanwhile, Lila meets a drug dealer to pick up some roofies. Wonder what she’s going to do with that? She and Angel are hanging out at her place. When Lila hears Dex and Rita are the OTP, she bangs Angel. Then she pops into the bathroom and downs the roofies herself. Is she doing what I think she’s doing? Angel hears a crash in the bathroom and runs in to find her passed out. He calls 911.
Dexter brings the unconscious drug customer (who is wanted for murder) to the cabin to kill him and stack even more evidence up. Doakes tries to talk him down, but it ain’t happening. He tries to convince Dexter he has a conscience and that he gets that he kills murderers, but the kill room is some sick ritual he doesn’t understand. Once Dexter’s done, Doakes wants nothing to do with him: “Stay away from me.” Dexter has heard those words before, three days before Harry’s death. In a flashback, we see Harry walk in on Dexter, who has set up a kill room in the garage. The murderer who got off on the bad warrant is on Dexter’s table, dead. Dexter is proud that he got the bad guy for his dad, but Harry looks disgusted. Dexter understands now: he was the reason Harry committed suicide. The idea of the Code was one thing, but the reality of it… that was the breaking point. Harry couldn’t live with himself once he saw what he created. The episode ends with Dexter whispering: “I killed my father.”
After the jarring discovery that Harry killed himself – not only that, but he did so after realizing what he had done by creating and teaching Dexter a code – Dex is flying by the seat of his pants. He has no Code, now, and realizing that he can kill whomever he wants both frightens and exhilarates him. Doakes says that no matter how great that would feel, Dexter would hate himself for the rest of his life. Maybe he knows more about Dexter than Dex believes him to. He begs for Dexter to turn himself in; eventually he’s going to hurt someone he cares about. Dexter begins to defend himself, but Doakes cuts him off: it wouldn’t be on purpose, but what’s growing inside of Dexter can’t be controlled. It’s spreading like cancer. Just then, Dexter gets a phone call. A doctor tells him Lila was brought into the ER in respiratory arrest and there are some legal complications. Dexter heads back to Miami.
Angel’s at the hospital too, and he’s a bit surprised to see Dexter. Lila told the doc that Dex was her boyfriend (of course she did). Angel’s there because they found roofies in Lila’s system and she requested they perform a rape kit. Dex heads to Lila’s room for a chat. Dexter tells her that her insane plan to get him back won’t work. Lila won’t press charges against Angel if Dexter will just take her back. HAHA NOPE! Poor Angel, though.
The next day, everyone gets called to the station early by D.D. Adams (aka Max): Lundy’s boss. Dexter’s kill kit lays before them, found by the scuba class just like it was supposed to be. Dexter begins to realize that his plan isn’t very neat. Once the FBI finds Doakes, there will be years of trials with Doakes pointing his finger at Dexter the whole time. There has to be a better solution. Up at the cabin, Doakes manages to kick out part of the chain link cage. He grabs a few supplies and slips out.
Two cops that Deb used to work with come in with a warrant for Batista’s arrest. Looks like Lila is going to press charges. Deb furiously defends Angel, insisting that this is impossible. As the cops begin to pull out cuffs, Deb tells them to put them away and pleas for help from LaGuerta and Matthews. Dexter watches in horror as Angel leaves quietly.
Out in the Everglades, Doakes is trying to make his way back to civilization. He takes a water break while a gator watches him hungrily from less than ten feet away. Just then, Doakes hears the sound of a motor and sees a couple of guys on an airboat. They don’t speak a word of English. When Doakes tells them he’s a cop, one of them knocks him out.
Dexter brings some food to Doakes, only to discover that he’s not there. He hears some voices and Doakes comes around the corner, hands tied and at gunpoint, with his two caballeros. Doakes sees that Dexter is watching from the other end of the porch as they cart out the cocaine. He distracts the one with the weapon while the other guy is inside, and Dexter is able to slip inside the cabin and take care of him. Doakes throws the cocaine at the other guy and while he’s blinded by the drugs in his eyes, Dexter shoots him. Doakes thanks Dex for saving his life. Dexter responds by promptly locking him back up. But he’s thinking about turning himself in. But he needs one more day to settle his affairs. He’ll be back.
First stop: Lila’s loft. He asks Lila again to drop the charges, and when she refuses, Dexter says he’s not going to be around after tomorrow so there’s no point in keeping up with this frame job. She gets pissed that he won’t tell her where he’s going, then he peaces out. HA! Meanwhile, at Lundy’s place, Deb asks Lundy to do an FBI search on our Lovely Lila Tournay. There are no records – no Social Security number, no visa or green cards, nothing. So what is Lila’s real name?
Angel brings in his microwave so Masuka can dust for Lila’s prints. Dexter brings in a will and trust for Deb to sign so she’ll have control of all his finances in case stuff happens. While everyone is working hard on the Butcher case, Maria’s down in Haiti talking to Doakes’ old friend from his Black Ops days, trying to prove Doakes’ innocence. Lundy agrees to look into the things she’s found out so far.
Lila watches from the dock as Dexter, Rita, and the kids head out for a boat ride. When they leave, she breaks into Dex’s car and steals his GPS to find out where he’s been going.
They hit the jackpot with Lila’s prints. Her real name is Lila West and her visa expired two years ago. It won’t be easy to deport some British girl with all the other illegal immigrants (some with criminal records) in Florida, but Deb is confident. Adams comes in with a lead on Doakes’ whereabouts: a park ranger gave Doakes directions in the Everglades five days ago. He’s confident they’ll have him in 24 hours, even though Lundy is looking into Maria’s new information.
Deb pays Lila a visit at home and tells her to get the fuck out of Miami tonight, or Immigration will do it in a couple of days. Either way, she doesn’t care: she wants her gone. As soon as Deb leaves, Lila runs to her car with Dexter’s GPS and chooses a previous destination – one that will lead right to the cabin.
Dexter is making dinner for two. Deb is due to arrive at any minute. He wants Deb to be the one to take him into custody, but how can he tell her? He plays through four hilarious scenarios of their conversation, which end in Deb choking on dinner, Deb arresting him, Deb in hysterics, and Deb shooting him in the head. In the end, Dexter and Deb have a heart-to-heart about her getting through everything after Rudy. She unknowingly convinces Dexter not to turn himself in and to live his own life. During dinner, Deb gets a call that they found Doakes’ rental car. Dexter’s got almost no time.
Lila finally shows up at the cabin. Doakes calls out to her for help. From the porch she calls out: “Hello? Somebody in there?”
The season finale begins where the previous episode left off: Lila slowly moves toward the cabin door as Doakes yells for help. She spots an ax near the padlocked window and reaches for it.
Deb is hurrying out of Dexter’s place, but Dex isn’t so quick to go. He’ll only be helpful if there’s blood. Plus he has to make sure he gets to Doakes before the FBI does. Deb gives up and leaves to meet the rest of the gang. Dex goes to work packing up his kit as soon as Deb is out the door, then speeds off. As Dexter nearly has an accident in his hurry to pass a slow moving RV, Lila busts into the cabin.
She tries to take in the scene around her as Doakes quickly fills her in about why he’s there. When Lila hears that it’s Dexter that locked Doakes up, she stops, the keys to the cage in her hand. And when she finds out that Dexter is the Butcher, her reaction is totally the opposite of what a normal person would do – but of course, this bitch cray-cray, so what did we expect? “Poor thing, all alone!” she whines. When Doakes assures her he’s okay, she snaps at him: “Not you. Dexter!” Things escalate quickly. She drops the key just out of Doakes’ reach, lights the pilot light of the stove, and turns the gas on high. Doakes scrambles to reach the key and miraculously manages to get out of the cage, but Lila has blocked the door from the outside before driving away. Doakes turns to shut off the flame (mouthing “mother fucker” as he does so), but he’s not fast enough. The explosion immediately engulfs him in fire and the cabin is obliterated.
Dexter pulls up to the police barricade, attempting to join the search. The officer there tells him the search is on hold while they try to sort out the mess, but he can park outside the line of fire trucks ahead. The mangled cage is the only thing still standing. They’ve only found bits and pieces of a body so far. Dexter can’t believe his luck. Is this a miracle of Satan or God? A body is discovered in the water the next day. Masuka gives the run-down of what the burns can tell him. He thinks it’s Doakes, but they’ll have to continue the search until they get an affirmative ID.
The only way to honor Doakes is to embrace freedom. Dexter goes through his morning routine, which is pretty much the opening credits for the show. Next stop is Rita’s house, where they enjoy some morning lovin’ before the kids wake up. They get back together officially. Yay!
Lila’s busy painting a creepy-ass picture of Dexter. Oh yeah, don’t forget – she knows Dexter is the Bay Harbor Butcher! But she’s his soul mate so she thinks it’s okay. At Lundy’s, Deb makes sure that they still have time together, even though the case is closing. Lundy says they do, and they talk about taking a vacation somewhere in the far north.
Dexter is liberated by his newfound freedom. LaGuerta is crushed when Lundy informs her they have a positive ID on the body and that it’s Doakes. While she sobs in her office, Dexter and Masuka go to work cataloging all the evidence from the cabin. As they talk about the explosion, Dexter learns that the stove was on (which leads Masuka to believe Doakes committed suicide) and that it wasn’t just a propane tank explosion. In one of the boxes, Dexter finds his burnt GPS: LILA.
Dexter meets Lila at the aquarium. She asks if the reason he’s staying in Miami is because he found a new victim. Not missing a beat, Dexter asks: “Like you?” That’s why she asked to meet at a public place. Dexter accuses her of not really helping him with his “addiction.” Instead, she wants to know what it’s like to feel something that deep, and that’s why she hangs around at NA meetings – trying to scam people under the guise of being a great sponsor. Dexter says he’s just like her. And then they make-out. WHAT?! They plan to run away together. So Dexter can kill her (okay, that makes much more sense).
Angel tells Deb his IA investigation went alright, but they’re dying to drop the charges because of Doakes. Maria hands them an invitation to Doakes’ memorial service and asks for donations. Deb and Maria bond; they’ve both been through similar stuff in the past few months and Deb understands Maria’s need for conscious denial that Doakes was the Butcher.
At Lila’s flat, Dexter is waiting for his “soul mate” so they can “run away together.” He hides behind a curtain, needle ready. Lila moves past the curtain and Dex grabs her around the neck – except it’s actually Deb. She came to make sure Lila left town. There’s an awkward moment when Lila shows up, and Dexter has to pretend he’s not going with her. Lila takes Dexter’s bag of weapons and leaves. Dexter tries desperately to reach Lila on her cell, but she won’t answer. He pretends he’s ready to leave. Somewhere on the side of the road, Lila opens Dexter’s bag and finds his weapons and a needle missing from the kit: she knows he was going to off her.
Deb meets Lundy at his place and shows off her new hat and parka for their trip. Lundy tells her that he has to leave for Oregon that night. Deb enthusiastically gets her calendar so they can figure out weekend visits, but Lundy asks her if she’s sure she wants to get involved in a long-distance relationship. So Deb is like, let me go with you! He asks her to take the afternoon to think about it.
Astor and Cody are hanging out with the babysitter when the doorbell rings. Lila jabs the tranquilizer from Dexter’s kit into her neck. At the station, Matthews gets a call from a woman that she has vital information about the Butcher. Dexter confirms that it’s Lila, but Matthews won’t ignore her and she’ll be there within the hour. It doesn’t make sense that she would drop Dexter’s name, and Dex realizes that she wants to keep him there so she can hurt him in some other way. Dexter hurries over to Rita’s to find the babysitter passed out on the couch and the kids gone. Rita shows up and calls Deb for her help.
Deb is getting in a taxi and on her way to the airport when she gets Rita’s call. Deb is torn. She can either be with Lundy or help Rita and Dexter. Through her tears, she unloads her stuff from the cab. Meanwhile, Dexter finds Astor and Cody watching tv at Lila’s. Lila knocks over a lit candelabra, which ignites the red curtains hanging throughout the apartment, then slips out the door. Dexter smashes out the window and slips the kids through as the fire consumes the entire apartment. Dexter crawls to the front door, which Lila has chained and padlocked. The plaster wall has begun to crumble; Dexter wraps himself in a blanket and manages to break through it into the hallway just as Deb shows up. Sirens blare as Deb and Dexter run outside. Dexter believes there is some force out there that wants him to keep doing what he’s doing: he survived all of this, didn’t he?
In Paris, Lila (if she’s still using that name), is in a hurry to get somewhere. She sorts through her mail as she arrives home and finds a postcard that reads: “Greetings from Miami.” Doakes’ photo is staring back at her on the other side. There is no address or stamp, which means someone slipped it into her mailbox, rather than sending it through the post. While she’s distracted, Dexter slips a needle into her back. Lila killed an innocent man – but she did it for love! Lila told him to accept who he is and to trust what he knows with absolute clarity. He does this by sticking a knife into her heart. She dies instantly.
Only Doakes’ mother and sisters, Maria, and Dexter attend his memorial service. Dexter knows now that the Code is his and his alone, not Harry’s anymore. He is no longer the disciple, but the master. Deb and Angel receive awards for the work on the Butcher case. Later, at home, Dexter opens a package: a new smooth wooden box, empty, ready for new blood slides. It’s time for him to evolve. He doesn’t know if he’s good or evil, and he’s done asking those questions: no one has the answers.
Dexter kill count: 2
Finally done with Lila! I hated this season the first time I saw it, because I couldn’t stand how Lila screwed everything up in Dexter’s life. But re-watching it, I’ve come to appreciate her for what she was: CRAZY. But seriously, her antics really forced Dexter to take a look at who he was, and I think he came out with much more clarity about his identity and his Code. Next week: we begin a brand new season following our favorite lovable vigilante serial killer!