Season 5 Episode 12

The Big One

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Dec 12, 2010 on Showtime

Episode Fan Reviews (19)

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  • Dexter tries to save Lumen.

    The one thing people need to realize going into this season finale is that there will be no "Rita-like" moment in the last few seconds. My girlfriend and I were watching the finale and waiting on pins and needles to see what would happen and we were both momentarily disappointed when the season ended not with a chaotic set of events or a bloody death but with a birthday. It was very reminiscent of Season's 1 and 3, where we find Dexter mostly ruminating on what's happened in the previous eleven episodes and finds himself envisioning a future different than the present. I would have to say that in the grand scheme of things, the previous eleven episodes make Season 5 an incredible season and the finale makes it simply a good one. I was hoping for a lot more to happen, and instead, we get easy solutions to difficult problems, solutions that are convoluted and way too convenient. All in all, though, it was a good episode that could've been MUCH better.

    Talk about your missed opportunities. The season built up to such a spectacular place that one would only expect the season to end either in tragedy or some ridiculous plot twist that would rival Season 4. However, one must remember that other seasons of Dexter didn't end with cliffhangers the way Season 4 did. Seasons 1, 2 and 3 all ended with pretty tame finales compared to the episodes preceding them. By tame, I mean the final moments. And while I'm not saying that this season finale was better than those, I'm saying that people shouldn't be disappointed in the lack of a huge twist. Instead, be disappointed in all the great moments that could've happened that never did.

    I suppose I'll start with what disappointed me. There were multiple scenes that the writers could've taken the scene and completely turned everything upside down. The scenes with Jordan Chase and Lumen or Jordan Chase and Dexter or even all three of them together were some of the best, and by the time Dexter stabbed him in the foot and strapped him to a table, you could sense things growing to a crescendo. And crescendo was reached when Deb showed up in the room that Dexter and Lumen had just killed Jordan Chase in. However, the writers could've easily turned this into the moment where Deb discovers Dexter's secret. There are ways to make the show work with this revelation. However, we get a most convenient wrap-up, and Deb never sees their faces and instead talks to them through a veil that obscures her view of them. Only a thin transparent sheet separated Deb from the truth about her brother and the writers wussed out and made us wait. I'm not furious about this, but it seems like a wasted opportunity.

    The same goes for Quinn and Liddy's death. The writers set us up so good for Quinn to either go down for Liddy's death or to turn on Dexter and admit the truth to everything. But instead, we're supposed to believe that Quinn's love for Deb far outweighs his need to bring down a dirty cop. On one hand, it makes Quinn a much more interesting and multi-layered character than Doakes ever was, but on the other hand, it leads to yet another disappointing and lame way of solving difficult problems: Dexter purposely screws up on the blood work, knowing Quinn would be arrested otherwise. Seems awfully convenient. You'd think with all the OTHER evidence against Quinn, they wouldn't let him out so easy, especially with the way he was acting.

    But whatever, missed opportunities aside... this was another pretty intense episode of Dexter, one that contained what may be the season's best acting. The triumvirate of Michael C. Hall, Julia Stiles and Jonny Lee Miller tonight were insane, and I wouldn't be surprised to see all three get Emmy nods. And Michael C. Hall deserves that Emmy. He needs to get it as recognition for the incredible work he's done the last five years. And Quinn showed new layers that make him more important than just a Doakes rip-off. When he saw Liddy dead, I truly connected with him as a character for one of the first times in the show.

    For me, the season finale was redeemed by the last seven or eight minutes. Sure, there's no huge revelation, but instead we get some well-acted scenes with Michael C. Hall, a somewhat lame write-off of Lumen and a birthday scene that really made me feel bad for Dexter. It seems Dexter seems trapped in a world where people who know his secret never stick around. This time, Lumen's still alive, so there's that going for him, but is it possible that the man who once said he couldn't feel is starting to... feel?

    Who knows where Season 6 will go from here... there are a lot of ways the show could go, but right now, it feels like we're back at square one, minus Rita, of course. It'd be a pity not to investigate the relationship between Dexter and Quinn more, now that Quinn seems to know for certain that Dexter killed Liddy (even if Dex won't admit it), and now that Quinn "owes him one." I also wonder whether or not we'll get such a heavy focus on a "big bad guy" or if this next season will focus more on Dexter.. either way, I'm perfectly happy with the way the season turned out, but for me, this was a finale that could've been SO much better.
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