Another season of the Showtime hit “Dexter” has come to an end. Michael C. Hall, Julia Stiles, and Jonny Lee Miller committed multiple disturbing and vengeful acts over the past 11 episodes and they all came to ahead in “The Big One.” Last week, Dexter discovered that Lumen had been kidnapped by Jordan Chase and he was hellbent on finding her (hopefully alive and not dead). During the finale we got the confrontation that we’ve been waiting for with Dexter, Jordan, and Lumen in a cold room. Find out what critics had to say about last night’s finale…

The Set Up:

The episode begins with Dexter tracking down Jordan and Lumen, but before he can even leave the apartment, his entire family shows up to surprise him with Harrison’s birthday party. It was a rather ridiculous scenario but it set up a theme for the first half of the finale: Dexter’s going to have to let a lot of people down. [LA Times]

The Search for Lumen:

We picked up with a panicked Dexter gathering his kill tools to go find Jordan before the psycho could harm Lumen. He theorized that Jordan was probably keeping Lumen at the place he had kept all the torture victims — a place the PD had thus far been unable to locate. As Dexter frantically tried to gather his things and head out on his manhunt, Harry appeared and tried to get Dexter to slow down before he made a grave mistake. He reminded him that the last time he chased a killer before thinking it through, Rita ended up dead. Despite the warning, Dexter refused to let up. Lumen meant too much, he told Harry. “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,” he said. Upon reflection, his dedication to her makes the end result all the more heartbreaking. [EW]

Jennifer Carpenter’s Deb:

In a series known for its very special guest stars, Carpenter is underrated (and for the most part overlooked come awards season) but continues to deliver pitch-perfect performances. She’s funny (her laughable attempt at Spanish infused the episode with much-needed levity) and vulnerable and one of the best supporting characters on primetime. [TV Squad]

The Demise of Jordan Chase:

With his adversaries appropriately subdued, Jordan reveled in his assumed victory with exposition that surprisingly captured much of Dexter’s approach to Lumen. “I’m sure you actually have something, maybe even love,” he told Dexter. “You lost your wife, Rita. You blamed yourself, sure. You thought — what? You could make up for that by helping her?” It was almost exactly what Dexter had told Astor — he had claimed Lumen needed his help.

Before Jordan’s diatribe could continue much longer, Dexter quietly cut himself free of his hand ropes with a knife he’d swiped from his tools (WHEN?!*) and stuck Jordan in the foot. He took advantage of Jordan’s immobility and suffocated him into unconsciousness with his massive arm.

And even though Jordan Chase was admittedly without his support system and freaking out because one of his victims escaped and is fighting back, he proved to be a pretty lousy evil mastermind in these last two episodes. I still have no idea what his plan would have been had Dexter turned up with Lumen last week, and his plan this week required Dexter to be too distracted by a conversation with his father’s ghost to do some basic defensive driving. And long-term, short-term or whatever, the plastic sheeting was just silly. [HitFix]

The Love Story Comes to an End:

Dexter throws the plate he holds, shatters it, and the two devastated characters crouch on the floor. It’s a moment of crushing, painful honesty reminiscent of the worst break-ups. Michael C. Hall and Julia Stiles deliver the scene completely and convincingly. Later, in the episode’s final moments, Dexter’s quiet acceptance of his own isolation (surrounded, it must be pointed out, by family and coworkers at his son’s birthday party) is a damning reminder that he, on an internal level, still feels cut off from the world. Like a grotesque Pinocchio story, where wooden Pinocchio ached to be a real boy, the psychologically shut-off Dexter had experienced “the briefest chance to be human” with Lumen. [The Atlantic]

In the End:

So that fact that “Dexter” Season 5 wrapped things up quietly was a relief. I didn’t need another shock. I’m happy with the ending. I imagine a lot of you won’t be. At least not immediately. But I hope you consider a couple things. One: “Dexter” had not been renewed by the time of filming. A cliffhanger or shocker could’ve never been played out. Two: Last season’s finale can’t be topped anyway. Ever. [HWHills]

What did you think of last night’s season premiere?