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The Big One is the twelfth and final episode of Season Five of DEXTER, and the sixtieth overall episode of the series. It first aired 12 December 2010 on Showtime.

Dexter realizes that he and Lumen are being lured into a trap and risks everything to escape; Quinn needs help that only Dexter can provide.

Summary

Dexter is retrieving his kill tools from the trunk in his bedroom. He’s desperate to find Lumen and worries that she will end up dead like Rita. Since the previous victims were raped and tortured at the same place, Dexter is sure that’s where Jordan is taking her. However, he doesn’t know the location and decides to look at Deb’s file with Jordan’s real estate holdings. Dexter feels that he could share his life with Lumen since she hasn’t turned against him.

As Dexter is about to leave his apartment, he’s surprised by the arrival of Sonya, Harrison, Cody, Astor, and Paul’s parents. They laugh and say they’re having Harrison’s birthday party in Miami and will stay at a nearby motel. They invite Dexter to breakfast but he claims there’s a situation at work. An excited Astor and Cody obtain Dexter’s permission to spend the summer with him.

Deb is in Maria LaGuerta’s office, bemoaning the fact that Jordan Chase has slipped away. He didn’t show up at the airport, nor was he at his home or office. Maria says they don’t have enough evidence to send out an APB, but they can issue a stake-and-notify for Jordan and keep him under 24-hour surveillance.

Deb asks Quinn where he was the night before and he quickly changes the topic to whether she thinks Jordan is missing because “vigilantes in love” got to him. Deb says killing Jordan would be difficult because he “doesn't take a piss without bodyguards holding his dick.” Quinn asks if he and Deb are still a couple, but she won’t give him a definitive answer. She goes to review the rape DVDs again.

As he’s driving, Dexter calls Jordan who greets him with sarcasm and psycho-babble regarding Dexter’s feelings. When Dexter offers to trade himself for Lumen, Jordan declines and says, “Tick, tick, tick, Dexter. That's the sound of Lumen's life running out.” Dexter understands that Lumen is still alive.

Meanwhile, Lumen is being held captive in the trunk of Jordan’s car. Her grunting, thumping, and kicking is heard by a street vendor when Jordan waits at a stoplight. The vendor recognizes Jordan and calls out, but Jordan ignores him and speeds off. When he finds a place to pull over, Jordan opens the trunk and knocks Lumen out.

At the station, Dexter sits down next to Deb as she’s watching the DVDs. She points out how the rapists keep looking off at somebody behind the camera as if for approval or instruction. While Debra’s attention is diverted, Dexter steals the file with Jordan's real estate holdings. He advises Deb to stop watching the DVDs as it clearly disturbs her. However, she says that she has to watch them, adding, “I understand what these women went through -- part of it, at least. I know what it is to be taken by some sick bastard. To know you're gonna die. I have to work. If Jordan gets away with this, I can't live with myself.”

Dexter takes the file to his lab and looks through Jordan’s commercial real estate, which includes a strip mall, condos, and parking garages. Dexter, though, thinks Jordan wouldn’t keep a hostage in those places. He remembers that Jordan changed his name and calls the Office of County Records and asks for a property records check for an Eugene Greer. Dexter insists that it’s an emergency and the clerk promises to call back as soon as he has something.

Maria notifies the team that they are rolling out to a homicide at Bayfront Park. They will take the police boat to the crime scene since it is just across the bay. Quinn is stunned when he learns that Stan Liddy is the victim. Dexter and Quinn glare at each other.

With Lumen still in the trunk, Jordan drives down on a dirt road, passing by a sign for River Jordan Camp and a backhoe. He arrives at the camp and forces a struggling Lumen into a building amid flashbacks of her rapes.

Dexter is annoyed that he is stuck on the boat when he needs to rescue Lumen. Quinn eyes Dexter suspiciously and asks his opinion about what happened to Liddy. Dexter says that he heard that Liddy was "shady" and something may have come back to bite him. Meanwhile, Quinn deletes Liddy’s messages from his phone.

At the scene, Liddy is lying dead inside his van and Masuka discovers that he was surveilling someone, likely his murderer.

The last five calls on Liddy’s cell phone were made to Quinn but he blows them off as unimportant. Maria then spots blood on Quinn's shoe but he doesn’t explain and asks for a lawyer. She has him escorted back to the station by an officer.

Dexter describes how Liddy was killed as “a single thrust expertly applied” and that he was “held down as the knife went in.” Before he leaves the scene, Dexter receives a call from the County Records Clerk letting him know that Eugene Greer owns River Jordan Camp. Since he’s without a car, Dexter steals one in the vicinity and heads to the camp.

Maria tells Deb that Quinn may be involved in Liddy’s murder. She insists that Deb stay and process the scene to find out what really happened.

At the camp, Lumen is sitting on the floor, bound to a post. Jordan removes the gag in her mouth and lets her know that he “motivated” Dexter to come for her. He bends down and leans close to Lumen. He says that she’s changed since he last saw her. Then Jordan sniffs Lumen, opens his mouth wide like a ravenous beast, and licks his lips. Lumen tells him that she thought he just liked to watch and Jordan retorts that maybe he’s changing, too. Suddenly, Lumen kicks Jordan in the groin and runs away through the building. However, Jordan quickly follows and captures her.

At the station, Maria informs Deb that Quinn’s name is on the requisition forms for the surveillance equipment in Liddy's van and all the fingerprints belong to Liddy and Quinn.

Deb enters the interrogation room and turns off the camera. She presses Quinn to tell her what happened but he only says that he should keep his mouth shut, and it’s not what it looks like. On her way out, Deb turns the camera back on.

Dexter is speeding to the camp but in his haste, his car flips over when it hits the arm of the backhoe. He gathers his knives and crawls out from the wreck only to immediately see Jordan’s feet. “Surprise,” says Jordan as he picks up Dexter’s roll of knives.. He points a gun at Dexter and orders him to get up.

The blood tests haven’t come back yet and Deb is worried. Maria advises her to have faith in Quinn and don’t assume the worst.

A uniformed officer notifies Deb that a street vendor spotted Jordan Chase and the guy heard noises coming from the trunk.

Jordan ties up Dexter, forces him into the building, and throws him down a flight of stairs. Dexter sees Lumen hanging from a rafter, gagged. Jordan begins a speech about broken people sharing experiences, and accuses Dexter of trying to be a hero.

When Jordan opens Dexter's knife roll, he states, “Wow. I look at these, and I can't help but think that you have a kind of greatness in you. Then I look at you, and you're no different than the idiots that show up at my seminars. Totally lost. I'm gonna put you out of your misery. Both of you.” Suddenly, Jordan realizes that there is an empty pocket. At that instant, Dexter stabs Jordan in the foot  with the missing knife and subdues him with a sleeper hold. Lumen is released.

Meanwhile, Deb locates the street vendor but they struggle to communicate. The vendor, speaking in Spanish, points to the traffic light and speaks Jordan’s name. He replicates the noises that he heard in the trunk and points in the direction of a camp. Deb thanks him in Spanish.

Dexter slaps Jordan to wake him up. Jordan is still clothed and secured to a  bed frame. For a few moments, Jordan and Dexter taunt each other, and Jordan finds it particularly funny when Dexter gives Lumen permission to kill him. Jordan gives credit to himself for transforming Lumen because she used to just cower and cry. As Jordan mocks Lumen, her anger builds and she stabs him in the chest, shouting that it’s for everyone he has hurt.

Lumen thinks they should leave Jordan’s body at the camp, but Dexter doesn’t want a murder investigation. He has decided to use Jordan's car to move the body and then tip off Miami Metro after a month about the place.

As Dexter and Lumen are cleaning up blood and evidence, Deb arrives at the camp and discovers Jordan’s body. However, Lumen and Dexter are standing behind plastic sheeting so it conceals their identities. Deb aims her gun at their silhouettes and orders them to drop what they’re holding and not to move. She says that she knows one of them is Number 13 and, having watched the DVDs over and over, it’s a miracle that she survived. When Lumen leans forward, Deb fires a shot at the wall. She advises the two to be gone within an hour to avoid the police, and she leaves without seeing them.

Deb visits Quinn in a holding cell. She tells him that she can’t judge him anymore because of some things that occurred. She promises to be there for him no matter what happens.

After dark, Dexter and Lumen dispose of Jordan’s body in the Gulf Stream. Lumen says it’s a miracle they managed to kill all her rapists. As Dexter heads the boat toward home, she sits in the bow, smiling.

In the morning, Dexter gets dressed as he watches Lumen sleep. Once he leaves for work, Lumen opens her eyes, apparently awake the whole time.

Dexter proceeds to the lab to perform the bloodwork on Quinn's shoe. Deb enters and sits down. He's heard that she broke the Barrel Girls Case. Deb admits to finding the camp where they shot the DVDs, but says Jordan is still missing, like the other men. Dexter brings up the vigilantes and Deb says that it’s just a “crazy theory.” Deb looks over at Quinn’s shoe and asks if the blood belongs to Liddy. Dexter says he hasn’t run it yet. She wants to be told as soon as he knows. I know already, Dexter thought.

When Dexter returns to his apartment, he finds Lumen in the living room. He’s excited and doesn’t notice her solemn expression. As he talks about pancakes, Harrison’s party, and her meeting Cody and other people, he finally realizes that something is wrong.

She tearfully tries to explain: “I didn't sleep at all last night. First, I was wondering what was happening to me, and then I was wondering how I could possibly tell you. I have to leave. Today.” Dexter is stunned and says that she can’t. She continues: ”When I saw Jordan Chase's body disappearing into the ocean, I -- something happened. And all night, I was trying to figure out what was happening, and I tried to hold on to it. But this morning, I -- I could tell it was gone. I don't feel it anymore. The need.”

Dexter realizes that Lumen’s dark passenger has vanished. Dexter wants her to stay but Lumen explains that she can't do what they’ve been doing anymore, but knows that he can’t stop. Dexter realizes the truth about himself and throws two plates at the wall. Though distressed, Dexter begins to understand. He looks into Lumen's eyes and says, “You're right. About everything, you're right. We're not the same. Don't be sorry your darkness is gone. I'll carry it for you. Always. I'll keep it with mine.” Lumen and Dexter embrace for a final time.

After saying goodbye to Lumen, Dexter attends Harrison's first birthday party with his family and co-workers on the beach. Maria and Angel reconcile, Masuka brings a sexy date, and Quinn attends with Debra.  

Quinn thanks Dexter privately for the blood-work which exonerated him for Liddy’s murder. Dexter claims to be just doing his job, but Quinn says he owes him one.

Dexter tells Deb that he doesn’t like Quinn, but he wants her to be happy. Smiling, Deb says that she is happy.

As Dexter looks at the couples around him, he’s puzzled how they can make relationships seem so easy. Sitting by himself, Dexter removes his wedding ring for the first time. Astor sits down next to him and asks about Lumen. He tells her that she left. Astor asks Dexter if helping Lumen made him feel better about what happened to her mother, but he doesn’t answer. You can't do one thing to make up for another, Dexter thought. 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.

Sonya brings out the cake and everyone gathers around the table. Dexter holds Harrison on his lap. He ponders how Lumen made him believe that he had a chance to be human but, as he blows out the candle, his smile vanishes, and he thinks. But wishes, of course, are for children.

Quotes

  • “You think you know someone, and then it turns out you don't. You think someone's a good cop, and then they... do something.” - Debra to Dexter, about Quinn
  • 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. - Dexter to himself
  • 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 this 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 have a chance to be human. But wishes, of course, are for children. - Dexter to himself, as he blows out Harrison’s candle

Related Pages

Trivia

  • Near the middle of the episode, when Jordan is taking Lumen to the old campground, it shows a sign, which reads "River Jordan Camp," showing where Jordan Chase got his alias.
  • This episode marked the last in a string of appearances by Julia Stiles and Jonny Lee Miller, who played Lumen and Jordan, respectively.

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