Dexter: So, That Happened …

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Photo: Courtesy Showtime

Is it considered a spoiler if you reveal a plot detail that everyone saw coming for weeks and weeks? If so, um, spoiler alert, because DEXTER KILLS MIGUEL.

And with that, season three comes to a close. Wait? What? There’s still one episode? That’s right, and the finale promises to center on the one event no one wants to see: Dexter and Rita’s wedding! Will they serve steak — or fish? And how does Dexter’s code apply to a wedding D.J. who plays the “Chicken Dance” three times in a row?

We hate to say it, but this season is limping toward the finish line. Even last week’s big cliffhanger — Dexter’s been kidnapped by the Skinner! — turned out to be a tease. Dexter’s been kidnapped — by Masuka! All the better for Dexter to party on the party boat while thinking of ways to dispatch Miguel, his former BFF. Which he later does. So, yeah. That happened.

As for other developments in this penultimate episode — well, are there any, really? Miguel skulks around looking like he might kill LaGuerta, but then doesn’t. The Skinner is cornered by Deb and Quinn, but gets away. Angel, he’s still in love with his new lady friend. Dexter’s last big challenge is figuring out how to dispose of Miguel’s body. Um, the Skinner is still running around. And of course, there’s the wedding.

The real question isn’t what happens now, but what happens next? What’s become clear this year is that Michael C. Hall is (a) delivering arguably the best performance on TV, and (b) may have finally outgrown the tight parameters of this high-concept show. The déjà vu quality of this season (and, really, wasn’t the Miguel story line essentially just Lila with a mustache?) might not just be a creative hiccup; maybe the show about a serial killer who kills other killers just doesn’t have anywhere else to go.

Our fear is that Dexter marries Rita in the finale, and then next season is all about how he has to deal with life as a hitched serial killer — and who wants to watch that every week? Dexter’s always been a show that wraps up each season in a bow. This year’s finale, though, better deliver some surprises. So far, there have been far too few.