Dexter Review: "The Getaway"

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This episode of Dexter had been publicized all week with phrases typically reserved for season finales. It would be shocking, it would leave viewers breathless, it would be a game-changer.

Only this time, unlike other shows that fail to deliver on their hype, there was no hyperbole involved. It was all true; and viewers were left with only a Deb-like response to the conclusion:

Holy $hit.

Read our recap of "The Getaway" before moving on - because the rest of this review goes into the stunning events in detail!

While many fans guessed that Rita might not make it out of the season alive, no one could have been prepared for the final scene of her body... lifeless... in a pool of her own blood... with Harrison bawling on the floor.

More than any season prior to it, this year's set of episodes dealt with Dexter's past and, specifically, its affect on his future.

The enthralling entanglement with Arthur Mitchell served as an ideal platform on which to consider Dexter's dichotomous dilemma: will his dark passenger inevitably ruin his family? Or, as Deb and Rita have both made it clear, is his presence in their lives a positive thing?

Dark Passenger Time

Just when it seemed as if Dexter could have it all, as if the love of those around him could defeat his darkness in the end, everything changed. Rita's death leaves fans with a series of purely practical questions heading into next season:

  • Will her murder be connected to Trinity?
  • If so, how does Dexter explain why his family would be targeted?
  • Who will Dexter become?

The final issue, we'd have to imagine, will be the main focus of season five. Does Dexter go on a killing spree? Flee Miami? Raise the kids alone? There's truly no way to predict how someone with Dexter's demons - and secrets - responds to this kind of heinous act.

There's little to say at this point about Michael C. Hall's performance, but the brilliance lies in how viewers can never truly understand the man he portrays. That's the idea, of course. Dexter doesn't know who he is, so how can anyone else? When he cried into Rita's lap this week, the emotions seemed to flow naturally out of Dexter. After all, his wife was (somewhat) recognizing his dark passenger and still saying it would be okay.

But there's no way of knowing for certain what Dexter was thinking. The actor has become so skilled at emoting when it seems like a typical human being would do so, that viewers are left to wonder whether anything is sincere. Except in his killing room, that is. Hall has mastered the delight Dexter takes in the one act that brings him true joy.

It's an exquisite performance and a tremendous show.

We'll leave readers with a few Dexter quotes from the episode and let the discussion flow about how this season ended and how next season might possibly begin...

Arthur: You think you're better than I am?
Dexter: No. But I want to be. | permalink
Deb: I love you.
Dexter: I'm so thankful. | permalink
Dexter: How is it I can kill people and feel no regret, but disappointing Rita makes me feel like the scum of the earth? | permalink
Dexter: My dark passenger is ruining my life.
Harry: It is your life. | permalink


Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (23 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.


PERFECTLY SUPERB. Just when I thought nothing surprises me anymore on TV, Dexter season 4 finale happened. The 4th season is by far the best season (except for the first one, for it was the very first taste of how brilliant the show's gonna be). They're all mind blowing, but absolutely nothing could prepare anybody for what happened in the last scene of season 4. Bravo, Dexter! One of the best TV shows (one of top 3 for me) ever. Never boring, never 'sudden drop in quality', never wrong casting, never 'getting a bit too much'.. All just right. All just perfect. And I'm not even a serial killer admirer. Of course I was sad Rita's gone, because I think she's just so right to balance out Dexter's psychotic 'dark passenger'-self, but boy... How perfectly twisted!! It was truly necessary, and it was such an honorable sacrifice. This just made Rita's character even bigger! We were almost forgetting how important she was, in the midst of all the Trinity chaos... Until the finale reminded us. Big time! My friends and family knows that I kind of have a 6th sense when it comes to story lines of films or TV shows. For some reason I can (almost) always guess the endings of films or shows, even the most unlikely and the most impossible ones. That's why, being; not only surprised but also; blown away by Rita's horrifying end, was such a major 'high' for me. CAN'T WAIT TILL NEXT SEASON, DEXTER! I'm pretty sure he'll think of something to keep us all wanting more... Blood.


Nope. It was not a dream. Rita is dead. Trinity killed her.


could it be that dexter is going to awake on the plane on the way to the keys and find that the whole rita scene was a bad dream??? i mean come on the poor guy has been juggling all his lives and barely slept in the days leading up to this right? but then again, this gives dexter more to juggle in his life,...good show, great writers, wait, i mean the best show, ever. keep it coming, i will for sure be waiting for the next season to start


Confused! Dexter. Serial Killer. Single Father of 3 kids. NOOOOOOO! What the hell?? I get Rita was sometimes annoying with badgering him but COME ON, Trinity killed her? What? Shocking. Yes. Heartbreaking. Yes. Julie Benz broke my heart in that scene, such a painful look in her eye, like her last moments were spend looking at poor little Harrison. But what's gonna happen next season? Dexter starts dating again. Dexter tries to avenge Rita's death... oh wait he already killed Trinity! Dexter tries to explain to Astor and Cody what happened? I'm not going to watch that sad convo. She could have found out the truth about Dexter or something creative like that but DEATH. Why do writers always think "I don't have any creative ideas, I know DEATH?!" How unoriginal half way through the episode I thought she would maybe die, but then I thought "No they won't be that stupid!" Well what do you know? They are! Either it's creative genius and the show will be awesome next season. Or it will flop and they will need her to come back from the dead! Either this season finale I'm not so anxious but angry to find out what happens.
I have never been disappointed with a season finale of Dexter but sadly this season I was! Killing Rita LOW BLOW! Loved the Dexter/Rita, Dexter/Deb scenes through the episode! Flawless


Oh my god, I didn't think they were gonna end the finale like that. They always leave it with a happy ending. Dam Trinity got to Rita before Dexter did. But how the eff did he do it with in time? Shit what is gna happen next season Im so anxious to find out.Wow great show, best on tv all year.

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Dexter Season 4 Episode 12 Quotes

Dexter: My dark passenger is ruining my life.
Harry: It is your life.

I want you to disappear from my life like a ghost, a really annoying ghost.