There are only two more episodes of Dexter left this season and strange things are afoot at the Circle K. I spend, um, most of my waking hours thinking about this show and discussing it with people, so I decided, why not compile many of my theories about what’s going to happen in the next couple of episodes into a post?

So, I’m going to assume that if you read past the cut that you’ve already seen up through episode 5×10 (“In the Beginning”).  Anyway half the reason this post is here is so if I’m right, I’ll have evidence that I was right.  If I’m so wrong it’s hilarious…well, that’s usually what happens.  Dexter is, in my opinion, notoriously unpredictable, which is part of why I love it so much.

If you have any thoughts yourself, or if you just wanna talk about it, let ’em loose in the comments.  I love talking about this show.

ON DEXTER: It seems to me that Dexter can never really be happy. I don’t think whatever he has with Lumen can last for very long. It seems like a useful stepping stone on his way to having a normal life, but I think we all suspect that this show is going to end with Dexter either caught or dead. There is no “and they all lived happily ever after” en la vie de Dexter Morgan. If anything else we’ll probably see an ending kind of like the ending of season 1, in which Dexter envisions a world that can accept him.

I mention this because last season with Rita’s death they taught us that on this show, all bets were off. Anyone was fair game. This is an attitude most of us have carried with us through season 5–an understanding that everyone is in danger–but what a lot of us haven’t considered is the alternative message: anything can happen. We have to keep in mind that lots of shows on Showtime don’t go past a season 6, and not because they’re unpopular, but because that’s just about the average run of a premium cable show. Believe me, the fact terrifies me more than you can know. When I talk about the very end of the show, I have to presume that I’m wrong in order for it to be all right. Anyway, my point is, this could very well be the beginning of the end. And what if what happens at the end is…Dexter gets caught?

There are so many ways this could work out and be a total game changer. Last season they showed us that they wanted to make sure that the show wouldn’t fall back into routine–Dexter forms a new relationship which goes sour and Dexter ends up killing that person, but in the end, Dexter navigates himself out of every corner unscathed. When Rita died we learned that maybe Dexter wouldn’t just get away with everything anymore. What if Dexter getting caught forms the basis of season 6 in the same way that Rita’s death and its backlash formed so much of season 5?

I mean think about it. Like I said, there are a boatload of ways that this could turn out. A lot of us thought that the big season 4 finale twist was going to be Deb finding out about Dexter. It’s been a long time coming and, as they said at Comic-Con, Deb finding out would kind of be the beginning of the end. What if this is the beginning of en end? But imagine Deb finding out about this particular case. At any other time, I think Deb would be faced with a serious problem–justice versus loyalty to her brother, a conflict that would’ve risen to the surface if she’d found out in, say, season 2. But Deb said it herself–the first person she thought of when she asked herself “who would want to take these guys out?” was herself. Even knowing that there’s a vigilante out there, Deb doesn’t exactly seem to be eager to catch the person killing these guys. Honestly, I think that if Deb came face-to-face with them in the middle of killing one of them, she would turn the other way, but ESPECIALLY since it’s her brother.

Then there’s the possibility that Quinn will figure it out. I’ll talk more about this later. If Quinn finds out, I can imagine him doing the same thing. In fact, I can imagine anyone who’s watched one of those videos turning the other way. I think Quinn might do it at this point out of loyalty to Deb rather than Dexter.

But maybe I’m wrong. While I think the fact that people know but haven’t turned Dexter in could easily be the driving force behind a new season, so could Dexter being caught in the traditional way. Imagine if season 5 ends with the incarceration of Dexter Morgan. I’m not sure I think this is likely, but I also don’t think it’s impossible. In my brain, seeing Dexter caught and imprisoned and tried the normal way would kind of be like season 4 of Mad Men, which saw the formation of a new ad agency. It would be like a weird, parallel universe Dexter. (Also, keep in mind that nobody has any real evidence to tie him to any crimes apart from killing this particular band of rapists, which I think would figure heavily into any legal proceedings–I know that if I were on that jury, I wouldn’t convict him.)

I just think at this point, there’s just no way that NOBODY is going to figure out what Dexter is up to. He has way too many people on his tail at this point and he can’t, and wouldn’t, kill them all.

ON LUMEN: I think the #1 question people are asking this season–and especially at this point–is what’s going to become of Lumen Pierce? I’ve heard all number of theories as the season has gone on. Most people are in agreement that Dexter wouldn’t kill her (although I’ve heard some people say that he would as a mercy killing–but I don’t think at this point she’s so broken that she needs to die to alleviate the pain), but I think we all know that this can’t go on forever. For one, it seems pretty unlikely that we’re going to see Julia Stiles signed up for future seasons. For another, Dexter having a relationship with someone who knows about him is kind of like Deb dating a guy–they’re like guys from the USS Enterprise who wear red shirts. There’s no hope for these people.

Personally, I think this could go two ways. The first is that Jordan Chase is going to catch up to Lumen before Lumen and Dexter can catch up to Jordan Chase. Jordan may not be one of the rapists (and I suspect there is a reason for it that we have yet to learn–probably whatever made him a monster in the first place), but I don’t think he’ll be afraid to get his hands dirty when the time comes. He made it clear that he was unafraid to threaten Dexter’s family, and I don’t think he’d be afraid to carry out those threats. It’s possible he’d have them taken out rather than taking them out himself, but whatever the case, I think it’s highly possible that Jordan could get Lumen out of the picture. (I do think he’d prefer to take out Lumen himself, though.)

The other way, and this is the one that at this point I think is more likely, is that Lumen is going to get caught. I talked earlier about Dexter getting caught–the only way I can see him getting out of that is if Lumen gets caught and takes the fall for both of them. I can see her being willing to do that, just as I can imagine Dexter taking the fall for Lumen. They’re both surprisingly good people despite all that they have been through and the fact that they, you know, kill people. They’re also loyal people. There are a lot of ways Lumen getting caught could turn out–like I said, it could end with her imprisonment, or maybe she runs, or maybe she dies. Who knows? I do think that if she gets caught, though, that Deb would catch onto the fact that Dexter was involved.

ON QUINN: At this point, Quinn is a total idiot if he doesn’t figure out exactly what’s happening. Deb has half of the information and Liddy has the other half. The go-between is obviously Quinn, who I don’t think is totally stupid, as obviously, he’s the only person who figured out that Dexter was Kyle Butler. Quinn will soon have all the information he needs to figure it out. Basically, if this is a game of Clue, Quinn has just the right cards to win. Soon, he’ll have Liddy’s evidence that Dexter and Lumen were planning to kill someone on the night that Alex Tilden went missing. Coincidence? After all, not only does Lumen match the profile of the other barrel girls, but the first time Quinn saw her was actually AT the barrel girls crime scene. Those photographs of Dexter and Lumen dumping something off the Slice of Life are taken on the same night that Cole went missing. And Dexter had been hanging around Jordan Chase a lot. Running with Deb’s vigilante theory and knowing what he knows, if Quinn can’t put two and two together here, it’s because he’s in a coma. But the circumstances are different than they were at the beginning of the season. First, Quinn actually does love Deb and he knows that taking down her brother would hurt her. He still has a shot with her, but if he did that, I doubt he ever would. Second, he has seen those videos, and I think he, like anyone else who has, would be sympathetic with Dexter and Lumen’s aims.

ON LIDDY: Liddy is the real wild card here. Most people have been voicing concerns over the last two seasons that Quinn is the new Doakes. People don’t want to see him go the same way as Doakes, and I have to agree with them. It wouldn’t be very original to kill Quinn for getting too close to the truth. Adding Liddy to the mix makes it basically impossible. If Quinn was going to have to end up dead to keep Dexter’s secrets from surfacing before, that’s not enough now. Quinn AND Liddy can’t both turn up dead; if either did, then the other would know what was going on, and if both did, it would look awfully suspicious. Also, unlike Deb and Quinn, Liddy really shows no mercy. He’s a guy with a serious grudge and a lot of drive. In fact it’s a very lucky thing that so far, Liddy has no proof of anything. Sure he has some pretty damning circumstantial evidence, obtained illegally (I’m actually pretty sure if he hadn’t used Miami Metro’s surveillance equipment he may have been able to use it as actual evidence given to the police by a civilian, but I’m not positive), but as far as we know, he has no proof at all that Dexter and Lumen have killed anybody. I’m also not positive he knows enough about the barrel girls to guess at anything–he’ll have footage of Dexter and Lumen sleeping together, and he knows that Lumen came into town a week before Rita was murdered–it would seem he has the general idea right but the specifics and motives wrong. Dexter was only easily cleared for Rita’s death because he had an alibi; Lumen, however, doesn’t have an alibi for Rita’s murder. It certainly does look suspicious and, unlike the barrel girls case, not really forgivable.

This is not to mention that even if Liddy DID know about the barrel girls, I’m not sure he’d care. Liddy is kind of a coldhearted bastard on a mission and I don’t think knowing what those girls went through would make a difference. He would try to make the bust and he would make so much noise that it couldn’t be ignored. I’m actually not sure how Dexter and Lumen can possibly weasel out of this so long as Liddy is around. Someone is going to find out. I guess it’s just a matter of who, and what will happen. The good news is, like I said, I’m not sure Liddy has anything that could convict Dexter or Lumen. I’m not even sure his surveillance equipment records. If it doesn’t, then all he has is his own word, which is shot to shit.

ON DEB: Deb doesn’t get much in this post because I feel like everything I have to say about Deb, I’ve discussed in other categories. However, I love Deb so much that it felt wrong not to give her her own section, so let’s just take a moment out to think about how great Deb has been this season.  She’s come up with some new curses that nobody but Deb Morgan would say.  What about “shit a brick and fuck me with it”?  An instant classic.

Okay, I lied about having nothing to say about Deb.  This season I feel like we’ve gotten to see Deb really grow into her own.  More importantly to the show’s main character, perhaps, we’ve seen her get to a place where she not only understands the vigilantism in which Dexter is engaging, but sympathized.  I feel like her killing Carlos Fuentes and not feeling bad about it was a huge step in Dexter’s direction.  Whereas in season 2 she didn’t understand the Bay Harbor Butcher at all, in season 5, the first person she thinks of who would want to kill any of the rapists in the barrel girls case is herself.  She not only understands and sympathized but she actually WANTS this.  It’s a very interesting place to see her possibly discovering the truth about Dexter.

ON SONYA: This nanny is, you know, practically perfect. In other words she’s too good to be true. I fear that if she’s not up to something already–although I suspect if she was by now we would’ve gotten more hints–that she’s weaker than she appears, leaving Harrison vulnerable to Jordan Chase’s attacks. My fears that she was absolutely 100% perfect were alleviated in “Circle Us” with her creepy St. Bridget statue. I was kind of in the Dexter camp in that department…I was not a fan of it.

ON JORDAN CHASE: I really love this guy. I can’t help it. He’s so appallingly interesting. He really is, as Dexter would put it, one tough nut to crack. We’re getting so close to his genesis story and I feel this desperate…maybe even primal…urge to know what exactly made him the monster that he is. I’m pretty sure they intend to tell us because as Dexter told Lumen in the last episode, he was clearly a monster before Emily Birch. What did that to him? I cannot wait to find out. His scene with Emily in “In the Beginning” was so weird that I watched it numerous times. I don’t know what’s going on with them–I have a feeling she’s going to end up dead by his hand–but it’s just weird. Jordan never maintains eye contact with her. He won’t let her touch him. He obviously has some kind of problem with women. I was talking about this with some people a few weeks ago, but I feel like if this season were a video game, Jordan Chase would be the boss. All the others up to this point were his henchmen. Now he, the criminal mastermind, is the only thing they have left (as far as we know). Things are going to get desperate and interesting and quite possibly really weird. Jordan Chase is not a stupid man. He’s going to give Dexter and Lumen a serious run for their money. He is too good at what he does, and too good at manipulating people, to be an easy target. Actually I’ve loved that about this season–whenever Jordan and Dexter think the same thing at the same time it kills me. I love it. I think Jordan is a considerably more successful sociopath than Dexter is. Dexter may be great at manipulating people, but Jordan is better. He never lets the mask slip and he’s duped millions of people into following his own personal code. Also, he’s played by Jonny Lee Miller, whom I love, so I guess I’m biased.

SO BASICALLY: I don’t think there’s any way in hell that Dexter and/or Lumen are not going to get caught by someone at this point. I guess the real question is, who will catch them, and what will the consequences be? I personally think this is the season Deb’s going to find out. Tell me what you think.