Originally Posted by FreeBaGeL
Season 5 would have been fine if it weren't for the total copout of an ending. If Deb had just pulled back the curtain I think it would have been regarded as a very good season. It's amazing how much that season was judged (and had its perception ruined) by the last few minutes. Quinn and Deb were both closing in on Dexter and then in a span of 15 minutes we got 3 major BS reasons for Quinn and Deb to both let the trail go cold, and for Lumen to disappear as if she'd never existed. As it ended up being done, other than a quick one-liner about where Rita's kids ended up after her death, you could have missed the entirety of season 5 and not being any more in the dark about anything when watching the show now than someone who had seen it.
The flubbed up the Deborah finding out about Dexter arc so badly. They started teasing it towards the end of season 4 with Deb finding out that Dex and ITK were siblings. Then in season 5 they built it up perfectly, with Deb getting closer and closer to the trail while at the same time showing her starting to accept that what the vigilante was doing was understandable. Then they hit the cancel button, and just plopped her catching Dex in a season later kind of willy nilly.
I understand your complaint. I was also disappointed initially. I saw an interview with writers/producers and then changed my mind. I wrote this about the season in another forum right after the finale:
I'm going to discuss the season and finale so SPOILERS are ahead.
This season's big theme was the continuation of the last season. Rita's death which Dexter felt personally responsible for. He said from the beginning that it was his fault and it was as he let Trinity live before he found out what Trinity was really like in Dexter's effort to try to learn whether it was possible to be a serial killer and a good family man.
As the season starts out, Dexter is losing everything he has. Astor is rebelling and doesn't want to be with him. She and Cody go off to live with their grandparents. He stays away from the house and moves in with his sister who starts staying somewhere else because of clutter in the house.
Dexter is big on symbolism and double meaning. The title of the finale "The Big One" ultimately refers to Harrison's birthday or the offing of Jordan Chase.
So Dexter finds Lumen (which means "light") and wins her trust (in what I thought was a well done way). First, Dexter tries to push her away but she won't go and she has her own darkness she has to deal with due to her trauma. Dexter finally agrees to help her and during, what initially seemed like a throw-away episode but now seems very important, the episode with Astor returning, Dexter is able to understand that he is helping her and trying to save her. Dexter doesn't understand why everyone thinks that he is carrying on with Lumen but the others see the attraction and dependence. Dexter breaks through with Astor which point is punctuated in the finale.
So Dexter is trying to help Lumen which means, for him, he is helping her feed her demon. Dexter and Lumen fall for each other because of what they are going through. Dexter sees it as having someone who can see him for what he is and still think he is not a monster. While that part is true, Dexter does not understand that ultimately he helps Lumen to return to the light and to lose her darkness.
That moment was key in the show and a real part of the interesting thing. Dexter, in an early episode, was fixated on the question whether Harrison was permanently changed by what happened to him -- constantly comparing it to his own trauma. Dexter came to the realization that Harrison was not turned into the monster that Dexter became. And he was happy about it.
Lumen lost her darkness and in a scene that I thought was great, Dexter threw the plates and then collapsed. I've thought it interesting that Dexter is a killer and yet completely trustworthy around children and women (other than murderers). You would think that a person who sees his victims as fodder would change the view of humanity to the murderer.
Lumen was not afraid and came over to comfort Dexter. Then Dexter said some interesting things. He first said exactly what I thought he would say which is that Lumen was right and that losing the the darkness was actually a good thing. He also said something that I initially thought was silly but now I'm not sure. He said that he would keep her darkness with him for her.
I initially thought that was a silly sentiment but it occurred to me that it means that he is unwilling to give up his darkness. We've had previous episodes where Dexter has tried to give up killing and even done ok with it until circumstances intervene. Maybe there is the idea that Dexter won't give up his dark passenger rather than he can't. Maybe, with seeing Lumen move on and seeing that his son is not changed, Dexter can figure out that he can let go of his darkness like Lumen.
On the other hand, his sister Deb seems to be moving closer to him. I also initially didn't like the scene in the basement where Deb did something that seemed forced. Thinking about it further, everything was leading up to it. Deb went through her own trauma in the first season and can identify with the victims. She is the one who understood that it was #13 who was the vigilante and saw that the girl had someone else who was helping her. She kept watching the dvds which the show (thankfully) didn't show you much of but made it clear that it was horrible torture.
Remember, Deb was also raised by Harry who raised Dexter and set Dexter on his path. I have wanted Deb or expected Deb to find out about Dexter especially since she did in the first book. A couple of episodes ago there was an interesting discussion between Deb and Dexter where Deb told Dexter about her theory and said about how much the boyfriend must love the girl to help her through that. She also said that Harry had said that there were people who deserved to die. It was clearly a mark that Deb was rethinking her black and white mentality about morality. It was a great scene as it was an awakening for both Deb and Dexter.
When Deb is down in the basement, she doesn't know what she will find. I read a discussion by the producer which made perfect sense, Deb does not know what she is going to do. That explanation made everything work. She doesn't look to see who is there because she would have to arrest them if she did. She is figuring it out as she goes and Deb really really hates Chase.
As to Chase, he was an interesting villain and we never got to see his full motivation -- just puzzle pieces. Dexter as a show isn't that interested in explaining or justifying anyone's else's behavior other than Dexter's. Chase really reminded me of the murderous psychologist from season one who helps Dexter break through with Rita. Chase had a great line about seeing Dexter's tools makes him think that Dexter is capable of greatness but seeing him showed that Dexter was just like the people who come to his seminars. I guess that meant that Chase thought people could be pure without emotion and attachments. Dexter's tools were perfect. But the fact that Dexter came for Lumen showed just utter weakness.
Dexter, as a show, also shows the frailty of human existence. Death is quick, sudden and undramatic. Lumen's kill of Jordan Chase seemed so anti-climatic but so much like life. One second Chase is throwing zingers up from the table and the next he is a silent lump of flesh. Liddy also went that way. I think it is intended to show how fragile life is and how vulnerable people are to a person who is quite willing and able to kill.
So at the end of the show, Dexter is still crushed by Lumen's departure and seems, to an extent, at a cross-roads about who he is. The people around him are embracing the light (other than Deb and Quinn) and Dexter is still there in the dark. So either Dexter moves more towards the light or Deb and Dexter meet in the dark?
I thought the whole season was really well done. They have taken this character (which the stuck to the first book in the first season) far away from the book character. Some of the story arcs have been similar but I think the characters and what they go through are really interesting and thoughtful.