The Ninjabot

Dexter: Series Finale Review

Posted on September 22, 2013 at 9:10 pm by Jeff Mueller

Dexter Season 8

8 years has passed since Dexter Morgan walked onto our TV screen, slicing and dicing his way into our hearts, and tonight we bid a final adieu to he and the entire cast of Dexter. Read on for my spoiler-heavy look at the final installment of Showtime’s hit show…

I know the moment I hit “publish” on this review I am going to change my mind on how I feel about what I just watched; which, in a way, is highly appropriate as it is the way I often feel about the series as a whole. As I watched I found myself alternating between shaking my head, being slack-jawed with incredulity and literally yelling at my TV.

In guess if I wanted to quickly sum up my feelings after the watching the credits roll, I would say I feel a bit dead inside.

I want to say this was the grand send-off the series, and the characters, deserved. I want to say that I am going to miss my weekly visits to Dexter‘s twisted version of Miami. But I just can’t.

This episode did it’s best to unravel what had become a pretty tangled web of plots and sub-plots and I don’t want to sound like I am crapping all over it. There’s definitely a part of me that wanted a more powerful ending to the show but for the life of me, when I look back at the season, I can’t think of a way that the writers could have pulled this off any better. Granted, there are specific beats I would have liked to have seen… Hannah killing Elway instead of just tranquilizing him, some screen-time for Harry and Masuka, the show to have ended without having that last reveal in the final minute and who didn’t want to see scalpel vs fork happen?!? Other than my disappointment over the final not-so-shocking reveal that Dexter was indeed alive I can’t complain too loudly.

“I’m going to miss you.” – Harrison

Dexter Finale

There were definitely moments of satisfaction and payoff, don’t get me wrong. Having Hannah stop playing the damsel in distress and reclaiming her place as a cunning and dangerous adversary was much needed, and the way she dealt with Elway makes it believable that Harrison will in fact be safe with her (even though after all of the cat-and-mouse games she not once thought to dye her hair or put on a wig… really?!?) Letting Quinn have his moment as Deb told him she loved him. Dexter ending Saxon right there in the middle of the police station, with a freaking ballpoint pen! Not to mention Bautista getting what was probably his finest couple of minutes of screen time in 8 years as he and Quinn question Dexter about what really happened before ultimately letting him go, even though they both knew what really happened.

Then we come to Deb.

The one person who I desperately wanted to have a happy ending, the one person who deserved it. The true tragic hero of this whole odyssey; Dexter’s biggest cheerleader, the center of his moral compass.

This is where the episode hit me hard. At first I thought she was going to do the whole “I think I’m going to die” confession to Quinn, which would have really opened up an interesting can of worms (but not one that could have been resolved in 30 minutes) but once she came out of surgery I let myself get fooled. The flashbacks and the heartfelt conversation between them where Dexter had his moment of clarity, finally coming to grips with the fact the he destroys all he comes into contact with, should have clued me in. But I was so focused on what was going to happen with Harrison that I didn’t see her death coming. At all.

The switch that losing Deb seemed to trip inside Dexter, causing him to regret wanting to live the life of a normal person with feelings and and a family, almost brings us full circle back to the Dexter of old. I also really liked Dexter taking Deb’s body onto the boat with him. The symbology of disposing of her as if she was one of his victims was poignant. While I know this is going to be the biggest debate among fans of the show, I have to say that I think killing himself would have been the much better ending. I would have preferred for him to forgo dumping Deb’s body and just driving the boat directly into storm. If he wasn’t going to spend his life with Hannah and Harrison, then laying himself to rest with the one person he truly cared about would have been a perfect end to this ride. I guess the writers felt that having him walk the earth, like Caine in Kung Fu, was the best option, but I just have to disagree.

“I have to protect them from me.” – Dexter

Sad part is that the guilt he felt over Deb finally shows the humanity we’ve always known was inside him, the emotions that we have been told for 8 seasons can’t exist within a psychopath like Dexter. It is that very humanity that ultimately would have protected Hannah and Harrison.

I guess when it is all said and done it was enough for Dexter to be self-aware enough to know that he didn’t deserve a happy ending, and that viewers who have been rooting for a serial killer for 8 years don’t deserve one either. Maybe this was the perfect way to end things?

My Score: B- (Or maybe an A+ or C- tomorrow… who knows)

So what did everyone think? I sincerely would like to know in the comments below!

Make sure to follow @themightyjerd on Twitter to commiserate on the ending of this show!

The series finale of Dexter, “Remember the Monsters”, aired September 22nd, 2013 on Showtime.

    • Cathy Bradford

      The finale honestly makes me want to go back and watch Season 4, when Dexter was at it’s ultimate perfection. I agree with you on several points of the review. I am also waffling back and forth about how I felt about it. I was glad to see some of the humor come back to this episode (when Dexter pushed the alarm and then went from straight faced to “I’m so scared, that guy ATTACKED ME” made me smile, but the scenes after with Bautista & Masuka made me laugh out loud). I did not enjoy the kinder, gentler Dexter of this season.

    • jxcavender

      Hate is probably too strong, but I was definitely disappointed with the finale.

      Crazy-eyes finally getting killed and on camera no less, just like his victims. What a f*****.

      Deb telling Quinn she loved him.

      Hannah getting the better of Elway. That dude was a peenoss.

      Hannah and Harrison making it to safety.

      Deb dying, I thought this was completely unnecessary.

      Dex dumping her in the ocean with all the horrible people he’s thrown overboard before her. She deserves better than that. Not to mention her friends and loved ones will have no clue what happened to her body. They’re just supposed to assume her body got lost in the shuffle of the hurricane evacuation? Silly.

      Dex is a dead-beat dad. Ditching his son doesn’t sit well with me. Together, he and Hannah had a chance to raise him right.

      Dexter was in love with Hannah. He never kissed or held Rita the way he did with Hannah. He is the exception to Vogel’s psycho rules. I’m just sad he lost his way. Now we get to seem him live the rest of his life as a freakin’ lumberjack? Pass.

      It’s hard to to say goodbye to a series that’s been on for so long. It’s impossible to please everyone and I completely understand that. Still, I don’t look at Dexter as a bad guy. Yes, he’s a vigilante and it’s perfectly fine to argue that what he’s doing is wrong. However, removing horrible people from Miami and saving the lives of countless others seems pretty heroic to me.

      Do fans deserve a happy ending? No. Did we want a happy ending? I certainly did. F*** this noise. I honestly feel like I wasted my time. All these years watching Dexter evolve and wishing to have a normal life gets dumped overboard, literally. Lame.

    • Jess

      I didn’t think a happy ending was in the cards for him but I really hate that he was alive as a lumberjack or whatever in the end.

      I really really hate that he dumped Deb in the water for the same reasons Justin does. Why should he get to rob Deb of a final goodbye with her friends? Why should she have to be on the bottom of the ocean with all the miserable people he killed? I get that is was a symbol of his last “kill” since it was technically his fault but still.

      I would have probably gave it a C or C-. It’s been a tumultuous last few seasons so I am kind of glad to see it go.

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