'Dexter' finale postmortem: Find out why they [spoiler alert]!

Warning: Stop reading if you have yet to watch tonight’s killer Dexter season finale. Everyone else, see below for my exclusive postmortem with executive producer Clyde Phillips. Among the hot topics discussed: When (and why) was the decision made to whack Rita? Will she return as a ghost? What was the alternate cliff-hanging twist? And when the hell will Deb figure out the truth about Dex?

When was the decision made to kill off Rita?
CLYDE PHILLIPS:
I would say we made the decision pretty late in the season. We didn’t quite know what we were going to do [in the finale].

Why Rita?
PHILLIPS:
The story evolved and it kind of became inevitable. We knew that we had to do more than kill Trinity. It’s a little bit of a corner that we paint ourselves into. Last year we tried to avoid that and actually I think we didn’t do as well as we could have. We killed off Jimmy Smits’ character [in the 11th episode] of 12 episodes and then we had to figure out what we were going to do in the 12th episode. This season, we knew that we were going to take Trinity out in the 12th episode and we think that the audience knew that, too. We had to raise the bar to as high as possible and then figure out what to do next year.

How did Julie Benz take the news that she was leaving the show?
PHILLIPS:
She wasn’t happy. She loved being with us. We loved having her with us. She took it… professionally. She was greatly disappointed. She’s a professional. She works in television. She knew that this was a possibility.

Did Trinity tell Rita about Dexter before he killed her?
PHILLIPS:
I don’t know the answer to that question. We haven’t talked about next season. But [my gut says] I would think that he did not tell her.

Might she return as a ghost like Dex’s dad?
PHILLIPS:
The answer, at the moment, is no. However, had you asked me two years ago if Lundy was coming back I would’ve said no. We didn’t know he was coming back until this year. It just seemed expedient to the story — to Dexter’s story and to Deb’s story.

Some people thought the game-changing twist was going to involve Deb figuring out that Dexter is a serial killer. How much longer can you stretch out that story before you pay it off?
PHILLIPS:
We’ve bounced that around the [writers'] room. But once we do that… want to talk about game-changers? Once we do that, the game is changed in a way that we just don’t know how to anticipate just yet.

Will next season be about Dexter juggling serial killing and single fatherhood?
PHILLIPS:
He is a single father. But, beyond that, we don’t know. We don’t know if there’s going to be what we call “a Big Bad,” like Jimmy Smits and John Lithgow, or if it’s going to be more individual, stand-alone stories.

I understand you wrote two endings to throw people off. What was the other ending?
PHILLIPS:
While Dexter was packing to leave, he saw on the television that a child murderer had just escaped from prison. Either escaped or fallen thru the cracks. So he’s thinking, “Do I join Rita on vacation or do I…” and then he looks towards the camera and he has this big decision.

That would’ve been disappointing.
PHILLIPS:
[Laughs] Yeah. Compared to this? Are you kidding?

Got more Dexter season finale Qs? Then be sure to read Part 2 of my Q&A with Phillips. And don’t forget to check out Ken Tucker’s thoughts on the finale. Oh, and this just in: Michael C. Hall speaks!

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  • dan

    What a shocking epsidoe, wasn’t a big Rita fan but I’m sad to see her go.

    • Justine

      WOW… i have no words. To say the finale is a shocker is the understatement of the year. The writers deserve highest honours for this one… completely knocked off my feet!

    • WD

      agree. she was becoming more annoying with each episode….but that scene at the end broke my heart. wow.

      • MZ

        It was Harrison being right there that broke my heart. :-(

      • Holly

        I completely agree! I kind of been wanting them to get rid of her for a while, but when they finally did. All I could think of was, “not like this!”

      • Aditya

        I didn’t like Rita much…but the way dexter calls out her name and closes her eyes and then narrates to us that its fate, just chilled me to the bone…fantastic.

      • Joee

        Who are you people!!!
        Am I the only person in the world who LOVED Rita’s character and thought that she was sweet, pretty, and served beautifully as a major factor that humanized Dexter. I am honestly amazed, and I hope that the first seen of the next season will start with Dexter waking up from a (last scene) nightmare, and Rita is right there beside him.

      • Albert

        Joee,

        Like you, I really liked Rita’s character and agreed that she humanized Dexter. I hope it is a nightmare. Unfortunately for me, I just watched the episode last night (12/20) since I have been traveling for work and am kind of hoping that is a nightmare I should be waking up from…

      • Geri

        I agree 100%…. she was becoming annoying… I loved the ending….

      • kate

        Joee & Albert, I agree with both of you 100% and I hate that she’s gone.

    • Celia

      Compared to what Clyde said they were going to do for the finale…this one was CRAZY! I still can’t believe it. I have a feeling Trinity will not be Rita’s killer. Because that will give them something to work with next season. I find it very intriguing that they didn’t come up with this until later in the season. Wow!

      • Charles

        In the interview after the show they clearly said that Trinity was Rita’s killer. Lithgow referred to it as “Trinity’s handiwork” in fact.

      • sweet1

        I was thinking that maybe it was trinity’s son who killed her

      • checabear

        i think a character like dexter would have been wonderful on a show like ‘friends’. the actors wouldn’t all be so wooden like reading from script..

      • Lori

        i agree Joee I loved Rita but I thought she was annoying. I was shocked and and thrilled that a show on television could be so exciting to watch. I too hope it’s a dream but that would be cheesy. RIP Rita.

      • markus

        Agreed with Joee. Rita should stay in the show… She was just amazing…

      • Audry

        I am still in shock, can’t belive they killed her character. I reall hope he wakes from a dream. She did much for his charater.

    • bfish75

      I wasn’t crazy about Rita either, but I am sad, not because she is gone per se, but for Dexter’s character losing her at this stage of his development. He was just beginning to heal from his tramatic start.. What a set back for him..

    • Bill

      Ok…One thing I noticed…when Dexter entered his home he heard his phone go off indicating a message. How come the phone went off at that moment and not on the way to the house?

      Why was the baby silent the whole time and then started crying after Rita’s phone started to ring. Something doesn’t add up…I think the writers have another surprise for us. Just my $.02

      • Myrdinn

        That was a reminder ring; it first went off when he was at Trinity’s house… that’s when she left the message. Think about that; whilst trapped at that house because of his cop persona, the killer he was after was at his home.

    • ls

      as shocking as the ending was it seems to be done is a bit of a patchwork way. there is absolutely no way that trinity would have or could have killed rita. He is at his own house trying to scounge up enough money to pay for repairs on his car and he knows that dexter has his keys, money, etc…
      what does he do – take a cab to dexter’s place to kill rita? he just happens to get there when she happens to come home to pick up what she forgot? or does he pick up his mustang and even though he knows he is being pursued by dexter and the police he decides, hey – might as well go kill someone before he leave? No way. this guy has eluded the police for 30 years and now he does this as revenge on dexter? terrible writing, inconsistent. this is the worst ending of the four season’s. Unless they had a contract dispute with Julie Benz and were forced to do this, this is poor writing. maybe the writers should join the writers for the tv series lost. they appear to make things up as they go along as well….
      good thing this show has a great premise, excellent casting a great track record (this ending excluded).
      i hope season 5 is better than season 4

      • acresas

        I agree. And if he went to the house after he picked up the car – was dexter in the trunk while trinity was in the house killing rita?

        A few other points –

        • No way trinity could have just walked around the police station and looked at crime sensitive material.

        • How did Dexter get his oil cap? how did he get into the trunk? how did he get out?

        I like the overall idea behind the ending, but i think it was sloppy. Maybe an explanation will come, but I doubt it.

      • J

        I completely agree with you man. Trinity DIDNT kill Rita, no matter what the writers producers or writers say. Its chronoligically impossible. I think they need to write into season 5 some kind of suicide sequence (Rita returns home to find some incriminating evidence that Dexters a killer while looking for her ID) or copy cat killer scene.

      • T

        How can you say that was poor writing? It was brilliant writing! You’re just looking at it completely wrong. I do agree however, there is NO WAY Trinity killed Rita. And they left out so much in order to write next season to have season five fill in all the blanks of what happened to Rita. There is no way that Trinity killed Rita due to simple facts: he doesn’t kill out of his cycle, so killing Rita would be completely against his rules. And if Rita was to be in a start of his cycle, she is a mom so she would have jumped off a rooftop to her death, not bleeding out in a bathtub. And also, how would Trinity know about the scene when Dexter was little in the pool of blood? He didn’t know that, so it couldn’t possibly be him, that scene was set up by the killer!!
        Obviously, there are a few main suspects that could have killed Rita. The first being the Head of the Department guy, he is one of the only people who knew about the scene Dexter was found in when he was a child. Or, the neighbor guy… He would know exactly when Rita would be home and when Dexter wasn’t, and was probably still mad at her for turning him down and for Dex punching him. Either way, we still don’t know WHY they killed Rita and how it ties into Dexter, but obviously someone knows about Dexter’s past and has a grudge to pick… next season we should find out who it was and why they did it! I can’t wait!

      • Jeff

        Agreed – the writing really was lame this whole season. Mostly filler EPs until everything gets slap-dashed together in the end. I agree about the killing of Rita – why kill her? -Dexter’s the one person who can ID him. As for it being a crime of opportunity – Arthur arrives looking for Dexter but finds Rita and kills her instead – I’m OK with that, but why kill her in a ritual manner? Arthur presumably went through the whole “sit in bathtub with the mirror” routine, and then slit Rita’s femoral arteries – how long would that have taken? Wasn’t that a big risk in case Dexter came home and caught him, not to mention the delay in Arthur escaping from the area?

      • rebel

        Helloooooo, Trinity has obviously used the bus before, remember the episode when he bumped into Lundy? If Im not mistaken he got onto a bus, and Lundy noted it in his recording…….

      • DWAYNE

        Am i watching a completly fifferent show than you guys? Of course Trinity killed her. He was killing Rita when Dexter and the police were at his house. And as far as not killing out of his cycle. He killed Kyle Butler out of his cycle and he had attempted to start a new cycle by kidnapping the little boy. Trinity has no “rules” like Dexters code.

        Trinity new Dexter was after him and he even said that God had sent Dexter to find him. He was ready for it to end. He new Dexter was going to kill him so he wanted to leave something for Dexter after he was gone.

      • melanie

        Lost was the most disappointing ending in TV history. All that build up, to what? I didn’t even get it!??
        I feel a loss now that Rita is gone, I JUST don’t know where the writers can take the show after this…I loved how Dexter had this secret he lived and hid from his wife…But Rita is gone now…no fun!

    • Danielle

      I loved Rita, and I don’t think the writers did a good job in getting rid of her. I honestly think that it would’ve been better if Deb died, or if Dexter killed Deb – maybe that’ll be what happens in the end.

      • Candi

        How would have been better if Dexter killed Deb? That would have to be super-contrived. I’m pretty certain Dexter would kill himself before killing Deb.

      • Kel

        T (Weds 16/12) – There is no way that Trinity killed Rita due to simple facts: he doesn’t kill out of his cycle
        (He had started a new cycle as he had kidnapped that Scott kid and was going to kill him if Dexter hadnt intervened..)

        And also, how would Trinity know about the scene when Dexter was little in the pool of blood? (Coincidence.. Harrison could have been left anywhere around Rita and still been covered in blood.)

        If Rita was his second victim in the cycle.. maybe he did the last two while he was still in Miami during the day???

      • Bob

        It was Ramon!

      • Beki

        PLEASE for the love of god yes! I loved Rita! And I am soo sad that she is gone, but on the other hand, I would not mind Deb being gone. She has one of the most annoying parts in this series!

    • J

      Doesn’t ANYONE including the freaking writers realize that is chronologically impossible for Trinity to kill Rita? Dexter put her in a cab and then went straight to auto shop where the mustang was being repaired? How on earth could trinity have killed Rita without Dexter watching him do it? They need to fix that in season 5 with a copycat trinity killer committing the act or by having Rita find evidence incriminating Dexter as a murderer and subsequently killing herself. But as it stands it makes no sense at all.

      • Candi

        What, you think it would impossible for Trinity to go to Dexter’s house without a car? I don’t understand your dilemma. The fact that Trinity happened to go there when she stopped back home is just serendipity. Like winning the lottery, but much higher odds.

      • Jenni

        As Rita said in her message, she had to go back home because she forgot something. By then, Dexter was gone and Trinity was there waiting.

        As far as Trinity was concerned, Dexter took something very precious from him. In return, he did the same by killing Rita.

        It doesn’t matter that it was out of his pattern. At that point it wasn’t about patterns, it was about revenge.

      • Kel

        Dexter put Rita and Harrison into the cab, then serched Arthurs wallet. He saw the Auto Body reciept, but didnt look at it. He went to Arthurs house first, then while at Arthurs, saw the Mustang windscreen and then looked at the reciept which led him to the shop.
        Wasnt really out of pattern tho.. Bathtub came after the kidnapping, which had happened 5 days earlier (Scott).

      • courtney

        1) the mustang is not his only car. Although, we see that the van is still at the bank, that does not mean that he couldn’t have come back for it later. He manages to get back to his house to try to collect money and to Deb’s house later that night. I’m pretty sure that the fact that Dexter has his wallet and therefore his ID isn’t going to stop a serial killer from driving. Trinity had already gone out of his pattern by killing Kyle Butler. He had a sequence, not a rule. I’ve also seen people questioning how Trinity knew where Dexter lived. They do not show the full screen when he discovers Debra’s address. There could have been a second address. For all we know he could have written them all down (just in case). His knowledge of Dexter’s “birth” is not far-fetched since Debra had been so into the case. She could have left the file anywhere. Someone mentioned an alert on his phone going off while he was at the Miller’s home. I, personally, heard nothing. But, it would have been nice to support the Trinity kills Rita theory. It makes sense that the random, yet convenient, timing of his VM notification was a reminder alert but meh *shrugs*. I’m excited to see how all of this plays out next season. I can’t wait!

      • checabear

        the writer’s were running out of time and had to close out the time line…there is a reason why what we are watching is called fictional drama.. if you want real time shows try survivors where everyone has to survive with a camera crew.. or more realistic show try the slap chop series… enjoy.

      • JoeMania

        when dexter is killing trinitiy he talks about being a better father and whatever and trinity says ITS ALREADY OVER. so he knew rita was dead. because he killed her.

      • Steven

        Meanwhile Dexter headed over to the bodyshop Trinity was leaving, Trinity arrived at Dexter’s house killed Rita and then drove away. Dexter never went back to his house except for that night

    • colbiecal

      I was not expecting that ending, to be sure. But as I thought about it – there is a bit of a hole in the storyline: if she forgot her ID, wouldn’t she have come back in the cab and run in to get it? The cabbie would have been sitting there with her luggage, and come to check and see what was taking so long… or something along those lines. Regardless, I’m looking forward to seeing what the writers do with the single-dad thing… oy.

      • moseby

        thank you colbiecal, something sensible. i’m pretty disappointed with the killing of rita..but yea i don’t see how it couldn’t be trinity. first of all his “cycle” isn’t like dexter’s code. as pointed out already he can deviate from it as he did with the other kyle butler. and after obtaining Debs address there’s no reason he couldn’t have gone to another address that was dexter’s.. or found something in deb’s mail. also pointed out he could travel by bus.. or even a cab. as shocked as i was and as big of a twist this was.. i wish that it wasn’t so. dexter was just falling into the role of a father.. she was his anchor to falling completely into the “darkness”. but i guess you can’t always have what you want =/

    • BARB CRUNK

      LOVED RITA SO MUCH- SHE WILL BE SO MISSED

  • Mark C.

    AMAZING AMAZING EPISODE!

    • melanie

      VERY AGREED!!! I am sad about Rita, and uncertain to where the show will go, but the ending was like DRAMA POETRY, it was perfect!!

  • MARIE

    OMG….that is all.

    • Dave

      I don’t remember the ER episode specifics but if your referring to when Carter gets stabbed and then sees the female doctor on the floor when he falls then all I can say is: I thought the EXACT same thing. The feeling I had then was very close to last night except now I’m a father so I felt a little worse because now it impacts Harrison. Wow, can’t believe someone else thought about the exact same thing.

      • Cheery

        I remember that scene; Carter collapses and then he sees Lucy already lying on the floor–the killer slit her throat(?) and then of course she didn’t make it. That was so awful, but I think Rita’s death is sadder.

    • Kathy

      My exact response…

  • mazie beth

    I nearly lost my breath when I saw the blood and poor little Harrison in the middle. poor Rita. a real shocker ending since ER season 7.

    • Dave

      I don’t remember the ER episode specifics but if your referring to when Carter gets stabbed and then sees the female doctor on the floor when he falls then all I can say is: I thought the EXACT same thing. The feeling I had then was very close to last night except now I’m a father so I felt a little worse because now it impacts Harrison. Wow, can’t believe someone else thought about the exact same thing

      • R

        Yep the ER ep where Carter and Lucy got stabbed (and Lucy eventually died) was the last time I felt so shocked/depressed from a t.v. episode as well!! That’s the same thing I kept thinking about as well.

      • Tom Daley

        OMG! I was thinking the exact same thing….never had this shocked feeling since the ER episode with Carter and the female medical student getting it!

  • Dee

    Maybe in season 5 they could add this very shocking info from the Dexter novels/books:Dexter Morgan is driven to kill to satisfy an inner voice he calls “the Dark Passenger.” When that voice can no longer be ignored, he “lets the Dark Passenger do the driving.”In Dexter in the Dark, the third novel of the series, it is revealed through third person narrative of an entity referred to as “IT” that the Dark Passenger is an independent agent inhabiting Dexter, rather than a deviant psychological construction. Later, Dexter realizes the Dark Passenger is related to Moloch, a Middle Eastern deity worshipped in Biblical times. The Dark Passenger is one of Moloch’s many offspring; IT had many children (formed through human sacrifice), and IT learned to share Moloch’s knowledge with them. Eventually, there were too many, and Moloch killed the majority; however, some of them escaped into the world. In the novel, Dexter learns of the Dark Passenger’s true nature when it briefly “leaves” into researching possible reasons for it for its existence

    • Brooke

      Except the TV show massively improved on the books by not making Dexter’s serial killer personality a supernatural being. The third book was the worst out of the 4.

      • Jen

        Yeah…Dexter in the Dark was a terrible book. I hope they don’t go in that direction.

      • Kristin

        Totally agree. If the show goes that route, I’m done.

    • Marc

      After reading that synopsis of one of the books I can say that I am glad that the book’s writer doesn’t seem to have any creative impact on the show’s narrative. That sounds like the worst idea to me. Given that Dexter constantly asserts his pragmatic and scientific ideology into his work, relationships and his internal monologue, what sense would it make to involve the supernatural? Give my psychopathic, anti-social Dexter over demon-possessed Dexter any day; what a bunch of paperback trash (but again, good initial concept on the character).

    • Diana

      Unlike some here, I kind of like the idea that Dexter investigates the idea of demon possession. I do not think that Dexter is immune from exploring every idea connected to why he has this “dark Passenger”, even metaphysical ones. I did a thesis on understanding evil from a psychological and philosophical perspective. What is the difference between psychological psychopathology and evil? Is there any such thing as evil? These are the questions that Dexter would have. I would not want the writers to claim that there was a demon however, only that Dexter was exploring the idea. What makes the various religious and philosophical theories of evil interesting when studying psychology is that no one really has hard scientific proof that metaphysical reasons for psychopathology are wrong. The idea that Dexter became a killer because he was “born in blood” fits both the psychological explanations for his “dark passenger” and the Archetypal, metaphysical ones.

      • Christie

        You can’t have proof that something doesn’t exist or that something isn’t a cause of something else because it is a universal negative.

  • JamiesFanGirl

    I forgot to have you ask if Harry will be back next season.

    But how can he NOT be back?! Dexter is going to need all the help he can get!

  • ere

    For fans of 24, did the ending sort of remind you to the end of season 1?

    • t3hdow

      That’s exactly what I thought after it aired. The similarities are pretty uncanny between Jack Bauer and Dexter Morgan on that front. Both are involved in a bleak world that got their families inadvertently involved (counter terrorism for Jack, mudering serial killers for Dexter), and one of their family members was killed as a result (the wife in both cases).
      I think 24 did it better, but for Dexter, I think it’ll be more of a game changer. At first, I thought maybe Dexter might find a way to be happy with Rita and get rid of his dark passenger, but who knows where Dexter will go from here?

  • Heather

    Rita dying wasn’t that shocking. But I like that no one is safe on the show. Even back to Doakes in Season 2 (that one still bugs me!). Even though Rita was getting on my last nerve, I am sad Rita is dead.

    • mazie beth

      well who didn’t feel bugged by Rita all season and yet, now we can’t help but feel for her…and the children, too. right, Heather?

    • Jonathon Smith

      Yeah seriously – she was such a nag all season; I think the writers did it on purpose so it wouldn’t be AS tragic when she got killed. It was still really sad though to see the expression on Dexter’s face when he entered the bathroom…. and I have great respect for Julie Benz now as an actress.

      • Amber

        I think the “nagging” she did reminded me of any mother and wife, which made it all the more shocking and real. After some thought, I realized why I felt soo extremely sad and disgusted…the whole season we saw what the Trinity killer did to his victims, and the fact that she had to look in that mirror and watch herself die, uh, it just tears at my heart and stomach! I couldn’t even sleep last night!

    • Celia

      It’s just really sad considering all that Rita has been through. She was finally happy and then she gets murdered!! She doesn’t get to see the three young children that she worked so hard for grow up. It’s really depressing.

      • vanessa

        I agree with you. Depressing!

      • Lili

        I know! I feel very bad for her kids too! and little Harrison all alone with all that blood :/ total sadness!!!

      • Charlie

        I think that Astor is going to take this the hardest. I’m looking forward to how her character develops, though.

      • ikehaus

        Charlie: Probably wont see Astor and Cody anymore. They went to their grandparent’s house.

      • Joe

        ikehaus is right, I heard that they are going to G Parents house and it is going to be Dexter and Harrison next season with Deb moving into the house with them. Dexter stays in the house because it doesn’t faze him that that is where Rita died. This starts to make Deb suspicious, but a subplot later.

    • FrankSF

      All this killing people to tie up loose ends is getting to be ho-hum. I was seriously bummed out by them killing Doakes. I loved that character, and I wanted the writers to find a clever way for Dexter to throw him off the scent for good so he’d stay around, and occasionally get suspicious again. And Rita — once again, the writers let us down. I wrote about this on another thread, but I wanted her to find out about Dexter and find a way to live with it, to see that he was using the darkness in him to fight evil. That would have made a great storyline next season, watching her “acceptance” come to fruition.

      • Cherish

        Completely agree about the Doakes and Rita comments. Why do they keep killing off people that make Dexter’s character more complex and multi layered. Yes, rita was annoying but only because the season was centered around him juggling the typical American family, i.e. nagging wife. Rita has been an awesome character and its so sad to see her go. I just don’t know why they cant complete interesting story lines with less finality and more wrap-up. the writers did an amazing job this season but I’m left wanting more. They should stop wasting so much time in the beginning so they don’t have to rush to tie up all the loses ends in the last two episodes. I mean we could have seen a lot more from Christina Hill and what her relationship to Trinity was (i.e who was her mother, why was she there when her father killed the first time, etc.which was never clear), and the whole Rita cheating thing was worthless if you were just going to kill her off two episodes later.

      • Tam

        I love how they ended this season, I loved Rita, and while watching the finale I was hoping for Dexter to have a chance at fighting his dark passenger, but the ending was perfect, it brings the story back to Dexter the Serial Killer, rather than Dexter the husband. He still has family, and that will be a great dynamic, but it will be great to see him unleash next season too. The biggest mistake that series make is taking it too far away from the original concept that worked.

  • Jon E Love

    Sorry, but I’m glad I don’t read the books then. If I did read them then I’d be really annoyed when I got to that 3rd novel. Here are the various issues Dexter will have next season:

    1-Other characters will wonder why the Trinity killer would target Dexter? This will add to even more questions in Debra’s head now…plus goin to make Quinn even more of the new Doakes next year following Dexter around.

    2-Will people think Dexter did it? The neighbor who kissed Rita will think he did.

    3-How’s he gonna raise the 3 kids as a single father and do his thing? Even if her kids go to the grandparents and they’re gone from the show he’ll still have his kid.

    4-Won’t Trinity’s family see Dexter on the news as the husband of the most recent victim and say “wait, that’s Kyle Butler? He knew our husband!”?

    &

    5-And isn’t it conceivable that someone will realize/remember that Trinity was talking to Dexter right there at the precinct at some point?

    So many cans of worms opened by this….no idea how the hell he’s gonna wiggle his way out of all the stuff this opens up??? CRAZY!!!!! Such an amazing friggin show!

    -JEL

    • Tabitha

      1 – because the lead detective on his case is Dexter’s sister?

      2 – Not at all. They have DNA proving otherwise, and Dex appeared to be a loving and faithful husband.

      3 – Maybe taking a page from the books and making the kids murderous too?

      4 – They live in another city, it’s possible the two paths may never cross again. Even with cases as large as serial killers, the victim’s survivors are rarely as prominently covered in media outlets as the victims

      5 – Again, Deb is the lead investigator

      • JD in Alaska

        Agreed.

        Plus for #5, everybody in the Dexter’s office was busy. It’s doubtful that Mitchell would have stood out.

      • jo jo dancer

        I agree for the most part, but how do you explain Dexter’s timeline that night? There are some huge gaps in time.

      • Season

        Debra is no longer the lead detective on the case. The FBI took it over after Deb and Angel did all the work. The fact that Rita doesn’t fit the profile will have many suspicious as to why Arthur would kill her. Arthur’s family could blow Dexter out of the water but since Dex was good to them they may keep quiet.

      • JLG

        The killing of Rita could be seen as revenge by Trnity for the suicide death of his daughter. If evidence arises that Trinity broke into Debra’s apartment, the thought becomes that he could not get Debra so he got Rita instead. This also futhers the bond with Debra and Dexter; she suffered from the Ice Killer because of Dexter, now Dexter suffers from Trinity becuase of Debra. Debra might beleive, if she discovers Dexter in the act, that he was driven to killing because she told him about his brother and then Rita was killed, thus giving her an excuse not to turn him in.
        No matter where it goes, Rits death will be considered revenge by Trinity, considering Lundy was already killed and Debra shot, a Trinity revenge killing is not far off the map.

    • bruce

      I see no way for the police to not realize Dexter was involved with Arthur Mitchel. Obviously Dexter is going to have to report Rita’s death to the police (what, is he going to clean up the house and dump Rita into the ocean and say she vanished?) and there will be no doubt that it was a Trinity killing. Dexter’s wife was killed by Arthur, Arthur’s family knew Dexter and will recognize him, it’s inevitable that someone will see Arthur on a videocamera recording from the police station, if not walking into the building then standing right there confronting Dexter at his place of work. Dexter wil have to explain to Arthur’s family that he was working under cover – that’s the ONLY answer that makes sense. But the police will know that’s a total lie, Dexter the blood spatter guy does not work under cover, let alone keep murder suspects’ identities a personal secret. Nobody is going to believe it was just a random coincidence that Dexter’s wife was randomly killed by Arthur Mitchell – as he was racing to flee the country no less.

      Also, Mitchell’s family is going to be living in fear, and never have closure until they know Arthur is dead. Will Dexter give them closure, or force them to live in fear the rest of their lives? That would mean Dexter confessing to murdering Arthur. Also I think Quinn will no doubt think Dexter killed Rita himself and made it look like a Trinity killing. Seriously, Quinn suspects the worst of Dexter and his family and there’s no way Quinn will believe Mitchell killed Dexter’s wife of all people as he was racing to flee the country, after having taken out all his money from the bank, etc. So Dexter will have to deal with a cop who thinks he killed his wife. A cop who Dexter just beat up, and who has had a beef against Dexter all season long, ever since Dexter caught him stealing from a crime scene. Quinn will have no sympathy for Dexter. Hell if I were Quinn I’d arrest Dexter on the spot – certainly he killed his wife, made it look like a Trinity killing, all so he could keep on sleeping around with other women.

      Dexter is SCREWED.

      How will Dexter explain Rita’s death to Cody and Astor?

      • Brandon

        Also, you have to think Misuka saw Rita kiss the other guy and he knows that Dexter already knew and was taking it a little too lightly. That will put some extra suspicion on the whole thing.

      • Matt

        I doubt he just calls the police. Dex is experienced enough to stage murders -> i guess he will “modify” it somehow, or make it seem completely unrelated, possibly create a crime scene somewhere else etc. Unless he is completely in shock, he will figure it out.

      • bfish75

        Does he have an alibi? Where would he have been when Trinity was killing Rita. I don’t remember..

      • JayT

        One more thing for Dexter to explain is the fact that he was arrested outside the bank a very short time after Arthur emptied all the money from his accounts.

      • Ruel

        Dexter loses a wife and gains a family.

        Dexter had good rapport with trinity’s family. He may even confide with them about the dark passenger to get out of this one. Although he is a killer like trinity. He only preys on monsters. Trinity’s family was terrorized for years by the monstor of a father/husband he was and will sympathize with dexter for his loss and see him as a hero for his code.

      • Jenna

        My hubby and I are assuming that Dexter was going to hide in the trunk of Trinity’s Mustang while it was at the shop, and Trinity killed her then. After that, he went and got the car and we saw what happened after that. My hubby thinks Dex will just clean the area and treat Rita like any other body- cut her up and toss her in the water. I totally don’t think he could do that to her now, but I don’t know how he’ll figure it out. Can’t wait to see.

      • Matt

        Come on people, Dexter hasn’t been remotely realistic in what the police should be able to figure out since season one. No one’s going to figure out anything until the writer’s decide they should, no matter how sloppy Dexter’s actions are.

    • Celia

      2. I think there’s a chance the neighbor did it. I think he’s too mysterious and why does he live in the suburbs alone. Where’s his family? And he was always too involved with helping Rita and then he tries to make a move on her. He was also in prime position to attack Rita when she rushed home and she would probably let him in the house. I think he did it and if the cops suspect Dexter (since he might not have an alibi), the neighbor will probably lie and make it seem like Dexter is guilty.

      • Ruel

        Too all those who believe the neighbor killed rita, you are mistaken. John lithgow mention’s that trinity killed rita in an interview. Can’t reference the exact one I saw but here is another one: http://omg.yahoo.com/news/dexters-john-lithgow-talks-about-the-shocking-finale/32648

        also, there is no good plot in the neighbor killing rita. It would just be poor writing if he did and would take away from the trinity killer chapter.

      • Bry

        The neighbour, Elliot, has two kids. One of them is named Grace, I think. That’s why they were spending time together in the first place.

    • Chris

      Quinn is on the way to becoming the “New Doakes”. I’m not sure how they will cover Dexter’s wife becoming a Trinity victim unless it’s considered a tragic coincidence. As far as someone remembering Dexter speaking with Arthur Mitchell at the Police Station, all he has to say is it was just some guy who stopped for information and he wasn’t sure who it was because at the time no one was supposed to know who Arthur Mitchell was.

    • Robert

      1. Think they will connect this with Trinity going after Debb.
      2. I think he will be proved innocent through DNA. As you said though Quinn may become the new Doakes.
      3. This is the part I have no idea about.
      4. Doubt it.
      5. It’s possible. Then again they figurewd Trinity planted the evidence on the truck driver. Therefore, to could be chalked off to that Trinity actually visited the station to manipulate the case. He was just talking to Dexter to get a feel for it.

    • Jason

      1. While it may have been written originally as Trinity’s handiwork, when approaching Season 5, it may be deemed more appropriate to make this NOT a Trinity Murder — after all, this isn’t part of the cycle (Although if this were Deb, it would have been!). It’s also entirely possible that there was a different means of murder than the leg cut. I don’t recall seeing any specific injuries.

      2. Evidence will prove otherwise, but the questions raised about his absence will most likely be the reoccurring theme of the season — especially with Deb’s “revelation.”

      3. With Aunt Deb’s help, I’d imagine — which is ripe for finding out more details about Dexter’s mysterious disappearances.

      4. I expected a photograph of Dexter working at one of the construction sites to be found at the home. The reality is the family of “The Trinity Killer” will go into a media blackout. Every station will be looking for their father and husband, their faces will be ALL over the news. They’re humiliated and shamed. They won’t hear or watch ANY news, and in the time frame, they’ll probably be away from televisions for intensive interrogations by the FBI.

      5. Doubtful. Arthur’s face wasn’t anywhere to be seen in the station, which was in a flurry about the Trinity suspect and normal duties. After all, he’s an older, gray haired, and balding man in Miami. Visitors to a station would be pretty regularly, albeit unintentionally, ignored — he also didn’t sign in to receive a visitor’s badge, so there would be no record of his name to arouse suspicion. It would be the equivalent of someone recognizing a stranger who was three cars in front of them at a stoplight — two weeks after the fact.

      I expected the police to find a picture of Dexter working with Arthur at the site at the house. What a shock — Completely caught me off guard.

      • courtney

        to your comment abt no specific injuries. I think that it was the trinity killer. BUT, at the same time. If he sliced Rita’s femoral artery, how the heck did all the blood (appearing to be undiluted btw) make it to the bathroom floor? What did he do? get her to pass out, cut her artery without water in the tub, and hand scoop her blood onto the floor, then fill the tub later???? I don’t get it!! lol.

    • Vita

      Jon E Love – those were my EXACT questions as well! Good to know I’m not the only one thinking of how Trinity’s family might see Dexter in the news and raise some questions about that – and wouldn’t everyone question why Dexter was targeted in the first place? Especially since Rita didn’t fit the profile for the previous 30 years of bath tub killings.
      As for Trinity visiting the station – unless there will be some survelliance footage that gets looked at, they made it pretty clear that Angle didn’t see/notice Trinity when he walked by, but that doesn’t mean someone else did see him talking to Dexter.
      I can’t wait to see how this all gets handled!!!

    • J

      Trinity’s wife committed suicide and the kids hated their father so i dont think they will report “kyle Butler” plus noone will ever find Trinity cuz he is in the gulf stream

      • courtney

        um…when did Trinity’s wife commit suicide? I think you’re thinking of his daughter, Christine.

    • kristen

      unfortunately, “Dexter” sometimes suffers from lazy writing, and I have the unfortunate feeling that Trinity’s family won’t appear in the seasons to come.
      Also, I’m really disappointed that Deb’s investigation of the Mosers ended so abruptly- she tells Dex about Brian, there is a cheesy “I love you” scene, and that’s it.

      My biggest problem with Rita’s death is, I was hoping that someday she’d find out the truth about him! She was the person he was hoping most to seem “normal” for; now that he doesn’t have Rita’s expectations, his character might lose some complexity. D:
      I at least hope Dex will become depressed, or SOMETHING… or have to pretend to be depressed to keep up a sense of normalcy!

  • Lou

    Rita needed to die, I’m so glad the writers did it. It bugs me when Dexter gets everything wrapped up with a red bow (like the end of last season). Now his actions – and inactions – are coming back to haunt him in horrible ways. I feel bad for the kids and all, but IMO Rita had to die.

    • mazie beth

      Lou, what you just said about last season made me think of the last moment when a drop of Dexter’s blood landed on the back of Rita’s wedding gown was a prelude to watch was going to be a cruel fate yet to come?

      • Dave

        I’m sad to see Rita go as it removes Dexter’s biggest challenge from season 1, trying to appear, and even, on a certain level, be normal. Rita was Dexter’s hope and potential salvation. Dexter had an intimate relationship to and yet kept secrets. This tension is now gone. Only Debra can now act as the one that he keeps his secrets from, or at least is the only one that Dexter does not want to disappoint or shatter. I feel that the writers really let us down on this one. What’s Dexter going to be now? The Fugitive?

      • Kenny Gannon

        Good point. I completely agree. Rita’s death was all Dexter’s fault. He was completely out of control all season. Losing the battle with DP. I didn’t like the ending at all. They went for a big shock and in the process made the most lovable serial killer an obvious monster. Maybe that’s what they wanted to do. Maybe we were all forgetting who Dexter really is. And plot wise, they’re going to have a lot of trouble putting all this back together again and avoid “jumping the shark.” We’ll all be saying “come on, how stupid is everyone?”

      • Whatever

        True !! The blood on Rita’s dress was a sign ! I remember thinking that when I saw the scene ; but I thought it was a sign their marriage wouldn’t work. What’s so shocking and tragic is that they were to live the perfect family life and Rita was finally happy when she was killed.

      • Robert Jeatin

        Hey Kenny Gannon, thats sort of the way I’ve seen the show. Dexter’s slow deterioration to be a guy that has sense in his kills to losing it and becoming the i suppose “bad” type of serial killer.

    • J

      Plus she was freaking stupid

      • Sarah

        Kenny Gannon said it beautifully for me. Rita’s death is all Dexter’s fault and he’s responsible for ruining the lives of his children. He’s no longer “America’s Favorite Serial Killer”, he’s just a serial killer. It’s no longer a pitch perfect black comedy. I went from loving Dexter to hating him and that’s a great loss. It spoiled the show for me. Rita isn’t the only one who died in that bathtub.

      • aaron

        That’s exactly right. Finally getting caught up with the show and what a shocker. Dexter is no longer the good thing in anyone’s life. He has ruined his children’s lives. They will now grow up without a mother because he had to satisfy his dark passenger instead of the police catching Trinity. How can he ever look his kids in the face again? This season Dexter killed his first innocent person and for two others needlessly killed. This is no longer a character that can be liked or cheered for. What will the writers do next season? I have always admired the courage of this team in tying up the season fairly neatly. But now that they haven’t this season, will they begin right where they left off so we can see what Dexter tells the police? What Quinn says to him? What Deb asks of him? Anything less would be a cop out. And these writers haven’t been ones to cop out in the past. Episode one of season five should be very interesting.

  • Jonathon Smith

    Although it was a shocking ending, throughout the season I figured the big twist would be Rita getting killed. Having a wife / family really limits Dexter’s character and what he’s able to do in a way. Now he’s free and the writers can take the story anywhere….

    • anonymous

      He still has three kids to take care of…

      • Jonathon Smith

        True, I’m not sure how the writers will explain that off. Maybe Astor and Cody go live with grandparents? I think the writers have a lot of thinking to do – it probably won’t be easy to come up with how no one sees a connection between Rita being killed and Dexter.

    • ELLEN

      I thought the big twist would be that Trinity’s DNA was a “familial” match to Dexter’s! Did we ever find out who Dexter’s father was? Hmmmmmmm….

      • D

        We found out who Dexter’s father was in Season 1. He was notified he inherited a house from a man who died and he didn’t know why. While researching in the man’s house, he found out that when he was a kid and he needed a blood transplant, Harry called someone to give blood to Dexter but he never told him who he was. We later found out that his brother Brian AKA Rudy killed their father to start Dexter on the path to finding out the truth behind his past.

      • KERRi

        Hello…I’d bet my life that Harry is Dexter’s blood father. Harry had a sexual affair with Dexter’s mother, and he was the only boy of the two that Harry didn’t adopt. Supposedly because Brian was “Too Far Gone” at his older age. But I think it’s because Harry knew that Dexter was his biological son.

      • Becks

        Looks like you’d lose your life genius since the commenter above you explained very clearly that Harry is definitely not Dexter’s father and we already knew that for a very long time.

      • Katherine cummings

        DUDE no Dexter’s biological father was definitely the guy who died and gave him a house in the first season. he tested his DNA and it was a match.

  • C.C.

    Next season prediction: Frustrated by always doing the leg-work only to hand off cases to the FBI, Deb leaves Miami Metro to join the FBI and continue hunting Trinity (continue Lundy’s legacy). Ultimately her detective work leads her to Dexter’s role where she has to decide to reveal her brother or facilitate his cover up. Problem: Trinity’s kill of Rita would prohibit her from being on the case – family conflict?

    • amj

      Excellent idea, seems like something Deb would do too!

      • katie

        I think Deb will find out what Dex does…and she’ll freak out at first…but then she team up with him.

      • Dexfan

        You have to have a law degree to join the FBI.

      • Mary

        You definitely do not need a law degree to join the FBI.

    • jade

      actually, in the novels, Deb senses Dexter for what he truly is. The first season is based on the first novel, “Darkly Dreaming Dexter”, and all of the books are pretty simple in story line, not too complex. Deb never dates the Ice Truck Killer, for example, she only is kidnapped by him. He takes her to the murder site and tries to enlist Dexter’s help in killing her — in the book, during all of that, Deb is awake and sees Dexter and knows him for what he is throughout the rest of the books.

      i think that’s kind of interesting, and perhaps might be the way that season five turns, for Deb and Dexter anyway — Deb’s coming to accept Dexter for whom he is.

  • Tara

    That finale was AMAZING. I couldn’t stand Rita all season, but it was so sad to see her go out like that, but it was poetic at the same time. There are so many loose ends. Angel saw Arthur at Metro. OMFG. You just HAVE to wonder how Dexter is going to get out of all of this. If he calls the cops, they can search all of his property including the shed. He should just take Harrison and run. The walls are closing in on him. They definitely left it in a good place for next season, but I dunno if I can wait that long!

    • kelli

      Don’t forget, his stuff is no longer at the shed but at a shipping container.

      • Sarah

        Yea, and i doubt he rents that out under his real name.

    • katie

      The wait is also gonna drive me nuts…so many people are saying they are glad that Rita’s dead because she was naggy, but, she really loved Dexter and their family and just wanted things to be right between them. I almost cried when I saw her dead eyes staring at her baby sitting in her blood

      • CMD

        Plus its not Rita’s fault that she was nagging. The writers had to make her annoying because the entire season was centered around him juggling his family and trying to make his wife happy. That is the whole reason Dexter doesn’t kill Trinity, because he wants to know how to make Rita happy. They needed her to be annoying so that Trinity could live till the end. Its not her fault, I feel bad for her, the writers really screwed her this season by making her character one note and then fired her, from one of the best shows on TV. Sorry Julie, show business sucks

      • Bry

        I honestly don’t think Rita was naggy, per se. Maybe it’s because I am a girl, but I found that she was pretty understanding with him always working late, missing family stuff, etc. But she just wanted a good marriage, and a full, happy family. Maybe I just feel the need to defend her honour, lol!

  • RIP Rita

    I’m in a state of shock!! I’m deeply saddened by Rita’s death and maybe I’m in the minority but I really enjoyed her character and the effect she had on Dexter. She brought out his human side, a part of Dexter he himself never knew existed. RIP Rita!! :(

    • piano_girl19

      I totally agree! I loved Rita… especially in the books… I hope Jeff Lindsay won’t do this in his books! I’m a little over halfway through the fourth one and I don’t ever want to see Rita die in the books! I’m going to miss her… I feel so sorry for Cody and Astor… and Harrison’s probably gonna turn out just like his dad too…

      • katie

        I agree too. She and the kids brought out all the good things that Dexter respects about himself. I wonder if there will be another woman in his life ever?

    • Kenny Gannon

      Completely agree.

  • westonovich

    Julie Benz has now been killed in 3 shows. Buffy, Angel, and Dexter.

    • Jonathon Smith

      LOL didn’t know that – man that must be frustrating for her as an actress!

    • ron

      we’ll, in buffy and angel she was a vampire ;) being dead was a part of the character

    • Kristin

      And technically twice on Angel (once as a human, once again as a vampire). Actually, three, if you count the flashback to when she was turned the first time. Yeah, she’s died a lot.

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