Superb, with one of the most momentous scenes in the entire series, and an amazingly mostly very happy ending, with Dexter's loss not arising from the death of anyone he loves (not a physical death, at any rate).
The scene gives us Deb, gun drawn on Dexter and Lumen, except she doesn't know it's them, since they're both behind a curtain. They've just killed Chase, who almost killed them, but for Dexter keeping a knife to himself in hiding. Deb figures, correctly, that the two are the vigilantes, consisting of Victim #13 and her partner in revenge. She's a cop who mostly plays by the book. She sees Chase's body. But she gives Dexter and Lumen - not knowing it's them - and the series as we know it a chance to escape. A brilliant, well-motivated scene - since we've already seen how deeply Deb was affected by the videos of the brutal rapes of the barrel girls. It wasn't 100% clear, at least to me, how Dex knew that Deb wouldn't call in the body, when she told the two behind the curtain that she would give them an hour to get away before she called in the police to the scene, but it was still a moment of Deb at her very best.
In the aftermath, Dex covers for Quinn (saying Liddy's blood on Quinn's shoe wasn't), Laguerta and Batista are back together, and the kids want to stay with Dexter for the summer. This is about as good an ending as ever we gotten for Dexter. But it's tempered by Lumen leaving: her killing of Chase has satisfied her "dark passenger," who will need to take residence now along with Dexter's in Dexter's psyche for at least the near future. As for the distant future, who knows ... But it would have been too much now for us to accept that Dexter was giving up his dark passenger - his life of righteous serial killing - just for Lumen.
It all adds up to a highly satisfying season finale, and a good balance to the gaping wound that was left open at the end of Season 4.
Now as to the screening: I shook David Zayas' hand and told him how much I enjoyed his performance. I only got a chance to smile at Jennifer Carpenter and Lauren Vélez. The hors d'oevres were delicious. And in some ways my favorite part: The screening started a little late. A few of the people in the audience were grumbling. So I started singing the beginning of the Dexter theme. And a woman sitting two seats over from us came in with those high violin lines ... Solidarity in Dexter theme music, you gotta love it...
And here's a great interview with Michael C. Hall in New York City, on the day of the finale!
See also Dexter Season Five Sneak Preview Review ... Dexter 5.4: Dexter's Conscience ... Dexter 5.8 and Lumen ... Dexter 5.9: He's Getting Healthier ... Dexter 5.10: Monsters -Worse and Better ... Dexter 5.11: Sneak Preview with Spoilers
And see also Dexter Season 4: Sneak Preview Review ... The Family Man on Dexter 4.5 ... Dexter on the Couch in 4.6 ... Dexter 4.7: 'He Can't Kill Bambi' ... Dexter 4.8: Great Mistakes ... 4.9: Trinity's Surprising Daughter ... 4.10: More than Trinity ... 4.11: The "Soulless, Anti-Family Schmuck" ... 4.12: Revenges and Recapitulations
See also reviews of Season 3: Season's Happy Endings? ... Double Surprise ... Psychotic Law vs. Sociopath Science ... The Bright, Elusive Butterfly of Dexter ... The True Nature of Miguel ... Si Se Puede on Dexter ... and Dexter 3: Sneak Preview Review
Reviews of Season 2: Dexter's Back: A Preview and Dexter Meets Heroes and 6. Dexter and De-Lila-h and 7. Best Line About Dexter - from Lila and 8. How Will Dexter Get Out of This? and The Plot Gets Tighter and Sharper and Dex, Doakes, and Harry and Deb's Belief Saves Dex and All's ... Well
See also about Season 1: First Place to Dexter
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"a Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News
"Sierra Waters is sexy as hell" - curled up with a good book