If you missed the Dexter finale Sunday, it may have been because the penultimate episode of a much better show — best drama series Emmy winner Breaking Bad — was airing just a few channels over on AMC.
Sunday's episode, titled "Granite State" couldn't possibly match the power of last week's "Ozymandias," in which high school teacher-turned meth dealer Walter White (Bryan Cranston) saw his DEA agent brother-in-law Hank Schrader (Dean Norris) executed by a white supremacist gang he had partnered with.
But it did show a man forced to face the hypocrisy of his actions. White has insisted his $80 million meth empire was for his family, only to see them torn apart by death and law enforcement.
On Sunday, we saw his wife Skyler beset by federal agents intent on seizing their home while he went on the lam in New Hampshire. Longtime character actor Robert Forster was compelling as the professional who arranged a new identity; the criminal version of the weary bail bondsman Forster played in Quentin Tarantino's film Jackie Brown.
But White's pride — he insists on recovering the $80-million taken by his former partners — was all that remained after a phone call to his son confirmed the boy wanted nothing more than to see his father die from his progressing cancer right now.
We know from the show's "flash forward" episodes that he will buy a huge rifle and fish out his old ricin, presumably to take on his Nazi collaborators. But can TV's worst human being find redemption in a series finale next week expected to be the best hour aired on television this year?
Eric Deggans, Times TV/Media Critic