Warning: Spoiler Alert!!!!!
Well, that was a waste of eight seasons.
Sunday night’s series finale of Dexter was a microcosm of the series overall—Great moments from Deb and Dexter that were overshadowed by indecisive writers and useless supporting characters.
Dexter has always been a bumpy ride, but this finale was a big misfire. The episode was stupid, character choices unjustified, and, when it comes down to it, boring television. This entire final season emanated a stale feeling. It was treated as a regular season, as opposed to holding any significant importance as the final season. It never had any direction and felt rushed and lazy from a writing standpoint. Some plot lines were solved too easily (Deb coming to terms with her sins), others were a waste of time (Masuka’s random daughter), and the rest were resolved too abruptly (Zach and Dr. Vogel’s deaths).
The ‘big bad’ of the season, The Brain Surgeon, was another misstep, as his actions could have been performed by anybody else with a greater affect on the audience. Sure he was the son of newly introduced character, Dr Vogel, but we didn’t spend enough time with him to form an opinion other than, “he’s super crazy.” Additionally, as soon as Dr. Vogel felt like an organic part of this season, she began making out-of-character decisions. The writers lost her focus and what she brought to the season. This show has so many characters that haven’t done anything in years, so why bring in new ones to create trouble for Dexter Morgan? That’s why the first few seasons work very well. The writers used preexisting characters, mostly Doakes, effectively to create obstacles for our favorite blood spatter expert.
Granted, there were some positive aspects of the disappointing series finale. Most of the Deb and Dexter scenes held a lot of weight and, per usual, were the centerpiece of the show. These two actors have held up the crumbling show for a while now, so at least they got a few more great scenes in before the curtain closed forever. Hannah McKay’s bus ride scene was probably the least boring couple of minutes of the episode. Horse tranquilizers and private eyes are a great combination.
Let’s just skip to the end. Deb’s death was cheap. A blood clot out of nowhere half way through the episode killed her? The character and audience deserved better than that choice. I enjoyed the symbolism that Deb was Dexter’s last kill—a codeless one at that, but it wasn’t used to free him and storytelling wise, it makes no sense. In the penultimate episode, Dexter realizes that he doesn’t need to kill to be fulfilled. Now, one episode later, he makes the decision to leave his son and girlfriend to protect them because he harms everybody around him? He clearly kills Saxon to protect his family, not to feed his need to kill. The narrative was lost completely. If he doesn’t need to kill anymore, which is where the trouble stems from, why is he isolating himself? Did he intend on dying in the storm? Did he survive and decide not to kill himself again? To many silly plot holes, as opposed to mysterious ones. It was a stupid ending that doesn’t do justice to anybody’s show journey.
Some other thoughts:
- Poor supporting characters. Why even have them if you’re not going to follow through with them?
- There is terrible security at the Miami hospital and airport. Just awful.
- So, what you’re saying is that if I worked for the police and killed a guy in self-defense in the station, I could just walk away?
- Hannah found out on an iPad in South America and is apathetic to it? That was an embarrassment of a scene. So lazy. Poor Harrison.
Deb’s fatal flaw ended up being the men that she loved. Dexter’s role as an antagonist or protagonist was never clear enough to support eight seasons. This finale felt cliché and mundane. We deserved a twist or at least some more satisfaction from the ending.
This is how I would have ended it with what we were given:
Oliver Saxon was actually seeking Dexter out because he wanted to die at the hand of the Bay Harbor Butcher with one last cat and mouse. Dexter, of course, chooses not to kill at the wrong time. When he doesn’t kill The Brain Surgeon in the abandoned hospital, Saxon wounds Deb to try and lure Dexter out again. In the poorly guarded hospital, Dexter and Deb have a conversation that he has to go away with Hannah and should kill her if she doesn’t make it. They laugh together and Deb then goes into surgery. Saxon is taken into custody and outs Dexter as the Bay Harbor Butcher to Batista. There is an internal manhunt and Matthews finds Dexter first. Matthews reveals that he knew what Dexter was the whole time. He made a pact with Harry and has been protecting Dexter from a paperwork/internal standpoint. Matthews saves Dexter from being arrested and puts him in the same room as Saxon, so Dexter can finish the job. Dexter kills The Brain Surgeon and then requests to say one last goodbye to his sister. Quinn is at the hospital and loses his mind when he sees Dexter, but Matthew calms him down. Deb has fallen into a coma after the surgery. Dexter kills Deb—his last kill ever. Matthews, with the help of Quinn, then sneaks Dexter out of the country to meet Hannah and Harrison. He has a funeral at sea for Deb and sails off into the night. Dexter no longer needs to kill, as Deb has ‘cured him’ by being his last image of death and the tragedy it brings. The last shot is of Dexter in Argentina with Hannah and Harrison with some sort of voice over summing up everything. Then the voice goes abruptly silent and he smiles a Dexter smile.
I did that for free. How are these paid writers not doing this? In hindsight, I would tell people to stop after Season 4 if they had to watch it.
Keep on Watchin’!