Darkly Dreaming Dexter: Series Finale Review

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There will be blood. And spoilers. Everyone’s favorite serial killer says goodbye; here are my observations.

Dexter Finale Featured

First off, let me state that I have been a pretty decent fan of Dexter throughout the vast majority of it’s run. To me, Dexter was one of those shows that really went after big names to to make appearances in the series, and they did a fantastic job of doing so. (Hey Lithgow, I’m looking at you.) While the people on-screen with this series have usually been just out-of-sight good, a lot of times the overall story, and how it was written, have left a lot of people feeling disappointed.

Hopefully if you’re reading this you’ve had an opportunity to see the series finale, and if not, well, stop reading and come back after you’ve had the chance to view it. Or let me save you the trouble? Yeah, that one.

Everyone loves Dexter, and almost feels badly for connecting with him on some level; Dexter is at one of the most human times during this episode. Don’t rage out; I’m not suggesting Dex was anything but human, but I felt like he was most relatable during this episode. At the end of the penultimate episode we see Dexter back away from killing Saxon, and it resulted in Deborah getting shot and Saxon escaping.

In the finale we find out just how badly Deb has been wounded. After Dexter, Hannah, and Harrison avoid the bounty hunter and still miss their flight to Argentina, Dexter is summoned to the hospital to find Deb, post-surgery, and talking a bit strange.

This episode was entitled “Remember the Monsters?”, and a lot of the conversation Dexter and Deborah have in this moment centers around their childhood, and how Dexter would “protect” Deb from the monsters at night as a child. That leads to several flashbacks of Dexter and Deborah holding a newborn Harrison (and no Rita…yeah, no Rita?), and talking about how great of a father Dexter will be, because he had been such a good big brother. Back to the present and Dexter sends Harrison off with Hannah to go ahead with her to their new life in South America.

We flip back to a wounded Saxon, stitched up by a local vet  from Deb’s gunshot, using the same vet as bait to gain access to the hospital to finish what he had started. Luckily, for the first time in history, our fine friends at Miami Metro actually do their job and apprehend Saxon only moments away from a final confrontation with Dexter.

Saxon is taken away, and Dexter finds out Deb has taken a turn for the worst; breathing tubes, assisted breathing, and the knowledge that Deborah will never recover.

Up until this point, the episode was playing out very much like a normal episode; Dexter needs to get out of tight spot, almost gets caught, and things seem to go okay.

Dexter decides to take matters into his own hands, and even though Saxon is in the custody of Miami Metro, he aims to finish the job. Through the guise of a samples test, even though he doesn’t even really work for Miami Metro anymore, Dexter enters the holding cell with Saxon. Saxon takes the bait, and although Dexter knows he’s being watched and recorded, allows Saxon to attack him with a ballpoint pen, which he rips out of his own shoulder and stabs right into the side of Saxon’s neck.

Now, this is caught on video. He isn’t REALLY an employee. He shouldn’t have been in the situation because of Deb, and yet Quinn (who not too long ago locked onto Dexter’s extra curricular activities..) and Bautista just let him go on “self-defense”. Yeah right. No way this would fly, and Dexter wouldn’t do something so risky even if he was expecting to be caught. It’s almost as if the writers of this episode said, “Hey who needs the fundamentals of this character for the finale? Let’s throw them out the window!”

And it gets worse.

Dexter, in his “Kill Garb” enters the hospital via the Slice of Life in the onset of the Category 3 hurricane at Miami’s doorstep. As Dexter says he’s sorry, and apologizes for leading her astray, unplugs all of the monitors, hoses, and alarms connected to the lifeless Deborah. I mean, look, they make a huge deal out of the fact that the hurricane is literally right there, but wouldn’t someone come rushing in?

Here’s what lost me…..

After loading Deb’s body onto a gurney, Dexter wheels her, covered in a white bed sheet, down to the dock and loads her onto the Slice of Life. There are PLENTY of people outside. You can see them clearly! How do they NOT NOTICE THIS?! “Hey! Where are you going with that obvious corpse, sir? No wait, please don’t load it onto your boat during a hurricane!”

To this crazinesses’ credit, I understand exactly what happens next. It doesn’t make sense, and I’m not sure at all how the writers thought they could get away with this, but it’s almost a touching moment. Feeling as though Deborah had been his victim all along, Dexter takes the boat out to the spot of all of his late night boat rides, says goodbye, and gives Deborah’s body to the ocean. Even though it is a little ridiculous, this is a very beautiful scene, given the characters and story.

With that, Dexter calls Harrison to say goodbye. As he throws his phone into the water, he drives the Slice of Life right into the heart of the hurricane.

Flash-forward to Hannah and Harrison in some cafe in South America where she’s reading the Miami paper online and learns of Dexter’s demise. No, “Oh crap, Harrison! What will we do? Your dad is gone!”. Not even a “Oh Dexter, I loved you all along.” blah blah blah…….

“Harrison, let’s go get some ice cream.” That’s it. That’s how we leave Harrison; some South American country with a blonde Dexter. As much as I want to believe that Dexter was “saving the people he loved”, there have been too many moments of this show revolving around Harrison and saving his life.

Finally, the screen goes black, and then we see a huge log truck. The driver gets out, does some trucker stuff, and, wait for it…..yep, Dexter Morgan. With a beard. Living his life away from all of those he’s known and loved. Alone. As a log truck driver.

Do I actually accept this? Yeah, I guess. I mean, I actually said before that Dexter would survive, but so many things were cast aside to give this show this ending.

In my opinion, the bar was set years ago with the ending to The Sopranos, and if you choose to end a TV series on your own doing, you owe it to the fans who have invested so much time into your work to give them something of that quality.

Honestly, I kind of saw this coming, because it leaves the door open to more Dexter Morgan at some point.

But I will miss this show, Dexter himself, and some of the more interesting characters who never really got the opportunity up until the very end to be major players in this series.

Godspeed, Dexter Morgan.

About author

Josh Steen

Josh Steen is the founder of the JustUs Geeks, and is the host of the JustUs Geeks Podcast. Josh is also a dad, husband, and graphic designer. He geeks out over sports, video games, music, and Transformers. Have an idea for a story or podcast topic? Let him know via social media or email!

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