March 25, 2019

Dexter Episode 5.12 Recap – The Big One

Welcome to the season finale of Dexter, dark passengers. It seems like only yesterday I was freaking out because the new season of Dexter was about to begin and now it’s already over. Dexter seasons just aren’t long enough.

Not by a long shot.

Well, season 5 of Dexter has been an amazing ride, starting with the aftermath of Rita’s murder and bringing us all the way to tonight’s heart-racing season finale. And, while I’m not 100% satisfied with the way it ended – because of my own hopes for next season, not because of a failure on anyone’s part, least of all the writers – I still give this season finale a grudging A+.

Previously on Dexter

Here’s what the good people at Dexter think you need to know:

  • Quinn thought Dexter had something to do with Rita’s murder
  • Lumen sees Dexter kill Boyd Fowler
  • Dexter shows Lumen the other bodies in the barrels
  • Lumen reveals Boyd didn’t act alone
  • Dexter kills Dan the Dentist
  • Cole tries to move the barrel bodies
  • Dexter kills Cole
  • Deb and Quinn get it on
  • Quinn investigates Dexter
  • Deb finds out and dumps him
  • Dexter finds Jordan Chase’s first victim
  • Lumen kills Alex Tilden
  • Deb has a vigilante theory
  • Dexter and Lumen sleep together
  • Dexter kills Liddy
  • Jordan kills Emily
  • Chase takes Lumen.

Tonight on Dexter…The Big One

Once again, tonight’s new episode of Dexter breaks with the usual opening monologue in favor of getting straight to the action. As much as I love the Dexter voice overs, I can’t fault them for it. They had a LOT of story they needed to deal with in 50 minutes or less. On Facebook, one friend referred to this ep as “insane.”

I’m going to call that an understatement.

So, we kick off with Dexter frantically packing up his killing tools back at the apartment in the morning, having obviously showered and changed clothes. While he moves through the apartment, Harry follows him around, trying to talk sense into him. He doesn’t want him to run off half-cocked, making assumptions and underestimating his adversary.

Dexter’s response: “Lumen sees me for what I really am and she hasn’t turned away from me. She hasn’t turned against me. She’s someone I can share my life with. I will not let her die.”

Surprise, Dexter!

As Dexter and Harry are ready to rush out the door, Astor, Cody, Sonya, Harrison, Gram and Gramps are all at the other side. They thought they’d all come  up to surprise him with the party there instead of Orlando.

Excellent timing.

Dexter tells them he’s surprised and happy to see them, but he can’t have breakfast with them because of something down at the station. He tries to rush away, but first the kids need to ask him if they can spend the spend the summer there. He says of course and heads out.

And, by the way, new actor playing Cody…You’re not Cody. I’m onto you. Watch your step because you are NOT Cody.

Deb’s Greatest Lines

At the station, Deb fills in LaGuerta about Chase not showing up for his plane and basically being lost in the wind. They can’t get a judge to sign off on much with the lack of evidence, but LaGuerta has some ideas and gets to work on getting it approved. Deb heads out to Quinn’s desk to deliver one of her greatest lines for the evening.

When Quinn asks if she thinks the vigilantes got to Chase, she makes a comment about how Chase isn’t like the others. ”Killing Jordan Chase isn’t like killing Boyd Fowler. This guy doesn’t take a piss without bodyguards holding his dick.” Then she goes to rewatch the rape tapes in case there’s something she missed.

Cat and Mouse by Telephone

Dexter calls Chase while both men are on the road – Dexter heading to the station to look at Deb’s file on Chase’s real estate holdings; Chase to his secret torture palace. Chase taunts him, bringing up Rita’s death. Dexter offers to turn himself over to Chase, but he declines. In fact, he doesn’t want anything from Dexter because Lumen is what he wants…and he already has her.

“Tick tick tick, Dexter…That’s the sound of Lumen’s life running out.”

Once Chase hangs up, he hears Lumen kicking and screaming against her gag from the trunk. He doesn’t care until he notices a man selling fruit at the corner when he stops for a red light. Orange vendor hears the noise and tries to get Chase’s attention about it, but the light changes, allowing Chase to get away.

Pulling into a cul-du-sac, he pops the truck and knocks Lumen out with the butt of his gun.

And, I must say, he looks completely frazzled at having to do all his own dirty work now.

“Remember Your Target”

When Dexter gets to the station, he pretends to check in with Deb while she watches the rape tapes as a ruse to get the real estate file. Turns out, all the men are turning to someone behind the camera, as though seeking approval. Deb knows it’s Chase, even if it’s not enough evidence.

Sadly, Deb is in her own private hell right now because she relates what happened to these women as the time Rudy, Dexter’s brother, almost killed her.

Dexter heads to his office/lab/whatever and goes through the holdings. Nothing. He’s starting to get emotional when Harry reminds him to remember his target and where he came from. Good call. Eugene Greer might own something.

Dexter calls to get property records and is told to call back for it tomorrow. He tells the guy that he needs it now or a woman’s going to die, so the clerk tells him he’ll call him once he has something. Dexter hangs up as LaGuerta calls for everyone’s attention.

They found Liddy’s body and LaGuerta makes Deb and Quinn point. Quinn goes white as a sheet. Dexter is just pissed because taking a boat across the bay isn’t something he’s got time for today.

Palace o’ Torture

Chase drives through a wooded area until reaching a ramshackle building. He lets Lumen out of the trunk before forcing her inside. She recognizes it and puts up as much of a fight as she can…which isn’t saying a whole hell of a lot, really.

Then we got some more badly lit torture flashbacks.

Back to Bite Him

“Jordan’s had Lumen for 12 hours. Each second I’m stuck on this slow boat going to my own crime scene takes her farther away from me. Fate is hardly lending a hand.”

During the boat ride, Quinn is trying to erase all the calls from Liddy on his cell phone. Deb asks if he’s okay and then if he has any idea what happened. He doesn’t and asks Dexter for his theory.

“I heard Liddy was kind of shady. Maybe something came back to bite him.”

Quinn seems satisfied with that as a possibility.

At the crime scene, the officers on the scene call LaGuerta to look at something as everyone else heads to the van. Deb tells Quinn she can handle this without him if it’s too hard, but LaGuerta pulls him away to ask him why Liddy’s last five calls were to him. She says that if he didn’t talk to him that she needs to hear the messages. Quinn’s behavior becomes strange, even for Quinn.

For the first time – ever – LaGuerta acts like an actual cop and notices the blood on Quinn’s shoe before he sets foot on the crime scene. He stops talking and she has the officers take him into custody.

They realize Liddy was spying on someone, but don’t know what he might have been up to. Deb becomes preoccupied with Quinn getting taken away and Dexter gets a call about the property so he leaves. Bautista is left standing at the van to ask, “Am I the only one who’s interested in this God damn murder?”

Yes, Bautista, you really are.

Dexter gets the address to Eugene Greer’s one piece of real estate: River Jordan Camp for Boys & Girls. So, he does the only sensible thing and breaks out the window of a nearby car to steal it.


Chase tells Lumen that he gave Dexter all the motivation he’d need to come after her. Will Dexter take the bait? He thinks he will.

He then proceeds to talk about how this place should feel like home to Lumen, but that it will all start coming back to her if not. He gets close and comments on the look in her eye that’s different, asking if she learned it from him. She makes a comment about how she thought he only liked to watch and he says that maybe he’s changed too.

Before he can do anything to her, Lumen knees him in the balls – about damn time! – and takes off running, still with her arms tied behind her back. She makes it outside, but meets a fence she can’t get through. Chase drags her back inside by the neck.

Deb and Quinn

LaGuerta tells Deb that Quinn’s in the interrogation room, but won’t say anything until his lawyer arrives. Deb goes in and turns off the camera, asking him to tell her what’s going on. He says he should keep his mouth shut.

Walking Into the Trap

Dexter and Harry drive to the camp, while Harry tells him that Chase was goading him on the phone. It’s a trap. Dexter says he knows, but he’s going to kill him anyway.

Too late, he sees the piece of construction equipment in the road and hits it, flipping the car. He manages to get out with his tools, but Chase is standing there waiting for him, gun pointed at him. He takes the tools and tells Dexter to get up.

Girl Bonding

While Deb looks at crime scene photos, still trying to figure out where Chase went, LaGuerta comes in and talks to her. She tells her that until Dexter runs the bloodwork on the shoe, they don’t know anything. Things may not be so simple.

Bautista witness his wife actually acting like a human being…for once.

Joyously Reunited

Chase kicks Dexter – whose hands are now also tied behind his back down the stairs. He looks up to see Lumen tied with her arms over her head to the pole in the room. It’s obvious he’s upset, but he doesn’t say anything.

Chase – ever loving the sound of his own voice – starts babbling about how the two of them are damaged and it was inevitable for them to find each other. He’s impressed when he opens the knife collection, talking about how the knives show the promise of greatness…but that Dexter is no different than the other losers who flock to his seminars. He fiddles with a knife and tells them he’s going to kill them both.

Dexter and Lumen make eye contact about the same time that Chase notices a knife isn’t in it’s slot. Dexter, hands free, pulls the knife from behind his back and stabs it through Chase’s foot. This scene is BRILLIANT. Dexter’s up while Chase flails around, unable to come after him because the knife is holding him to the floor.

Dexter takes great pleasure in choking him until his passes out before freeing Lumen.

Learn Spanish Already

Deb follows a lead to talk to a vendor who says he saw Jordan Chase. Of course, he speaks very little English and she never bothered to learn Spanish. Through a frustrating conversation, she finds out he was heading towards a camp.

Polite Murder

Dexter smacks Chase to wake him up, telling him he won’t want to miss this. Chase, now strapped to a table, tries to work his psycho babble bullshit, but Dexter presses his thumbs over his eyes, hard, to shut him up. He then tells Lumen she should do it. She asks if he would mind.

Chase finds this funny, saying there’s no polite way to commit murder. He then tries to talk to Lumen about how she would still be weak and timid if it weren’t for him. In a fit of emotion, she stabs him through the heart, saying it’s for all the women he hurt, including Emily.

Then she apologizes to Dexter because that isn’t the way it’s done.

I love Lumen…

Deb’s Discovery

Deb arrives at the cabin at the camp and enters, gun drawn. She notices all the things she saw in the rape videos as she moves through the corridor. She sees the pool of blood on the floor, then Chase dead on the table.

Behind the plastic sheet, Dexter and Lumen clean the knife while he tells her that they don’t want a crime scene, so they have to make him disappear.

Deb yells for them both to drop what’s in their hands. They do. Lumen is terrified.

She tells Lumen that she knows what happened to her and that it’s a fucking miracle she survived it. She says she doesn’t get to make the decision about who lives or dies because she’s just a cop though. So, she’s going to call it in and the cabin will be crawling with cops in about an hour.

Deb tells them both they shouldn’t be there when they arrive and leaves, never having seen who was on the other side of the plastic.

Later, Deb goes to see Quinn in holding and tells him she’ll be there for him, regardless of the blood work.

Dexter and Lumen dump the body from the boat that night, both of them utterly happy.

Morning’s Light

Dexter dresses and slips out while Lumen is still asleep – or so we think because her eyes open as soon as he closes the door.

At the station, Dexter pulls out the shoe and looks at it. Deb walks in and asks about it. He says he hasn’t tested it yet. After she tells him the story about finding the cabin – sans dead body, she says,  ”You think you know someone. Then it turns out you don’t. You think you know someone’s a good cop and then they do something. I don’t know. All I’m saying is that nothing is as simple as it seems.”

After Deb leaves, Dexter starts the blood work.

We’re Not the Same

Dexter is surprised Lumen’s awake when he gets back and starts babbling about his breakfast making skills. Then he starts talking about everyone she’ll meet at the party and about the kids staying for the summer. From the look on her face, he can tell something’s wrong.

Turns out, she’s not like Dexter after all. Now that Chase is dead, she doesn’t feel the need to kill anymore. Her dark passenger, it seems, is gone…so she has to leave.

Dexter keeps asking her to stay, but she tells him she can’t. She doesn’t want to keep doing what they’ve been doing. He says she doesn’t have to, but she says he does. In a fit of anger, he flings plates at the oven, then sinks to the floor. Lumen apologizes.

“Don’t be. Don’t be sorry your darkness is gone. I’ll carry it for you. Always. I’ll keep it with mine.”

Party Time

Dexter arrives at the party which is outside. Masuka asks if it’s weird to bring a date to a first birthday party and points to Deb.

She brought Quinn.

Dexter makes small talk with people. Quinn walks over and thanks him, telling him he owes him one for the blood work.

“They make it look so easy. Connecting with another human being. It’s like no one told them it’s the hardest thing in the world.”

LaGuerta and Bautista get to start over. Deb and Quinn seem happy. Even Masuka has a date. Alone, Dexter walks off to sit on a bench, where he takes off his wedding band.

Astor joins him and asks him if he helped his tenant, if helping her helped him deal with her mom’s murder. He says it thinks so, then takes Harrison to blow out his candle and make a wish.

“You can’t do one thing to make up for another. That’s what Jordan Chase says. But he’s wrong because we do that all the time. That is the way the world works. We try to make things right. Even me. Lumen said I gave her her life back, a reversal of my usual role. Well, the fact is, she gave me mine back too. And I’m left not with what she took from me, but with what she brought. Eyes that saw me – finally – for who I really am. And a certainty that nothing – nothing – is set in stone. Not even darkness. While she was here she made me think for the briefest moment that I might even be human. But wishes, of course, are for children.”


“Let your dark passenger come out to play…Be your own nemesis!”

© 2010 – 2011, Jen Whitten. All rights reserved. Remember, using content from this site without prior written permission will either land you on Dexter’s table or set off the zombie apocalypse. DON’T SAY I DIDN’T WARN YOU.


Posts You Might Also Enjoy:

About Jen Whitten

Jen Whitten is a paranormal researcher and writer, specializing in psychic development, Empaths, modern day vampirism and dealing with entities. She regularly discusses the paranormal realm, as well as the dark inner workings of the mind.


  1. Neil says:

    Hey Jen this was a great write-up. I wasn’t able to watch the episode but knew I had to read what happened before I went to bed. I could feel the tension of the episode reading it!

    • Jen Whitten says:

      Thanks, Neil. I hope you get to see the ep soon. I’m sure there was a lot I had to leave out, just in the interest of not making the recap go 5000 words. :)

  2. Excellent episode synopsis, but I’m a little shocked that you didn’t expound a bit on Deb’s final words to Dexter when they discuss Deb’s happiness during Harrison’s party: “I bet you are too, now that this is all over.”

    For her to say that implies that she knows that Dexter was involved somehow in the situation, whether that means the barrel girls case or Quinn’s involvement with Liddy or both. She’s not a dumb cop. She would have to wonder if Dexter killed LIddy, because she knows that Quinn sent Liddy to investigate her brother. Quinn knows Dexter killed him, Deb probably knows that Dexter killed him, and all it would take is a conversation with Astor for Deb to learn that Dexter was helping his “tenant” with a very important task.

    For my money, I bet Season 6 will explore Deb (and the rest of Miami Metro) connecting all the pieces and trying to figure out what, if anything, they’re going to do about it. One can’t forget that Batista saw Dexter talking with Trinity in the station, and LaQuerta must think it interesting that two of her best cops, Doakes and Quinn, expressed belief that Dexter is darker than he seems. All it would take is Deb getting a glance at Liddy’s photos for her to know that the vigilantes were Dexter and Lumen. For that matter, is anyone else wondering whether Miami Metro got those pictures after they held Quinn for Liddy’s murder? It’s not like Liddy’s case is closed…

    • Jen Whitten says:

      Good catch. I actually purposefully left that comment out for a few reasons:

      1. I was approaching 3,000 words with the recap and was trying to keep the post manageable since attention spans start wandering well short of that.

      2. I’m blogging separately about that later in the week or early next week.

      3. Hubby – who didn’t watch the ep with me because of a project – walked in when I was about three scenes from the end of the recap, so I had to stop going through the ep while I recapped. I don’t like to mess up quotes, so I left it out since it wasn’t one I grabbed during my first watch-thru of the ep.

      Deb’s comment could’ve been in reference to any number of things – including having to make it through his kid’s first birthday party without Rita. Whether she knows about Dexter…I’ll save my speculation for another day.

      Since Bautista’s the only one who seemed to care about solving Liddy’s murder, I’m not sure how much of an issue it will be in future seasons; however, Trinity’s kid could still come back at any time once the FBI loosens their witness protection detail some. I was extremely disappointed in how stilted the way they dealt with that situation felt.

      Last season’s theme seemed to be how Dexter’s double life mirrored Trinity’s, this season was a study on how his own personal sense of morality mirrored the people around him…I’ll be interested to see where next season goes.

  3. Ragdoll Ragnarok says:

    Oh! One thing: Cody is played by the same kid; he just looks a little different these days:

  4. Sean says:

    Hey Jen…just read through all of this. Great write up and thank you for having a site like this. I became a Dexter fan only last year. I had to watch seasons 1-4 on Netflix to catch up. I was curious as to how you felt this season compared overall to the previous seasons. It seemed to me…and this is just my opinion, that this season wasnt as good or dramatic as 1-4. I remember watching seasons 1-4 that I couldnt get enough…I would watch 4 or 5 eps in a row just to get caught up. I felt like the story line for “5″ wasnt as fluid or dynamic as previous years. Maybe there were new writers inviolved? I also wasnt a huge fan of the Chase storyline. Anyhow….I heard rumblings that this could be the last season….Im glad that its not…but I really hope that “6″ comes back to Dexters “Dark Passenger” a bit more. I dont think they should have another main target that takes 12 eps to come to fruition…. Im def looking forward to another year….but my fingers are crossed that it gets better than “5″