Wow. Ok. So that was the end of Dexter. Hmmm. It’s so hard to begin this because I really don’t know where to start. I guess I’ll start with the obligatory if you haven’t watched the series finale of Dexter, please don’t read below. That’s a good idea.
You know what’s weird? I re-listed to Episode 40 of the For the Love of TV Podcast to hear what my thoughts were on the season premiere of Dexter and what I would and wouldn’t be ok with as a wrap up for him. What’s absolutely creepy is that one of the scenarios I laid out was this idea of Dexter riding off into the sunset (or dreary Northwest) and being alone with no one in his life as kind of a life lesson that he can’t really be connected to anyone because of who he is because as much as he’d like to try, he is who he is…a killer. But after watching how it played out, I’m not so sure if I’m ok with it. And that most likely has to do with the fact that I wasn’t crazy about this season overall.
I was hoping this swan song for Dexter would be more about him and the characters we’ve come to know. Each season we’ve had our Big Bad…and we’ve had some excellent ones. I thought the Big Bad of this season should have been Dexter. I think it would have been fascinating to see what happens when Dexter’s double life finally crumbles around him and how that impacts him, Debra, and the other people who were duped by him over eight seasons. I don’t think there was any need for Vogel (and re-writing the history of the code), the brain surgeon, the kid who wanted to learn to be a killer like Dexter, Masuka’s daughter, I would even throw bringing Hannah back wasn’t necessary (although I didn’t hate her character the way other people did.) I would rather have seen Dexter lose it due to his putting Deb in a position to have to kill LaGuerta. And as a result Dexter would get sloppy and Miami Metro would start to come around to who he really is. Then the race would be on…would they finally figure it out and can Dexter continue (or would he care to continue) to try to hide who he really is. The end result would be that he couldn’t. So he would either have to escape by either faking his death or somehow getting away (kind like what happened in the series finale) or someone would have to kill him. I think that would have been so much more fascinating than what actually happened. Instead Deb dies as a result of her wounds suffered at the hands of Saxon (yes I know Dexter pulled the plug but Saxon really killed her), no one at Miami Metro has a clue still, Hannah is left to raise Harrison in Argentina, and Dexter fakes his death to become a lumberjack in Seattle or Vancouver or where ever the hell he went. And to top it all off, we don’t even get the benefit of seeing the Dexter kill room one more. No, he tricks Saxon into stabbing him with a pen in his holding cell so Dexter can then stab him in the neck and make it look like self-defense. Seriously? After all the precision and kill rooms over the years, the last two kills we see from Dexter involve turning a switch and stabbing someone with a pen. Let me just say….MAJOR FAIL.
I talked about this before, series finales are hard. It’s so hard because fans of the show have such HUGE expectations since this will be last time they ever see their favorites characters altogether. Unless of course kickstarter gets involved and a movie gets made but that’s another story. And fans have their lists of the best and worst ever. So these writers and show runners have a very tricky task in front of them. Even if creators and show runners know their end game at the beginning of the series or a few seasons in, knowing what you want to do and being able to pull it off to satisfy the story, the characters, and the fans are two completely different scenarios. Unfortunately, I think Dexter will go down as probably one of the worst finales ever and I think a lot of that will also have to do with the fact that the season overall was very poor. If they wanted Dexter to have a self-imposed exile, I would be ok with that in theory. But it’s the way he got to that exile that has me scratching my head. I hate to say it but a lot of it felt…lazy. For example, Dexter was so worried about getting Hannah out of the country because everyone was looking for her. Then here’s an idea, how about cut your hair, dye your hair, wear glasses, buy colored contacts, where different clothes….SOMETHING! Why was Hannah walking around looking like Hannah? She goes to take Harrison to the hospital and doesn’t think to at least wear a hat and sunglasses? The show runners fluffed this question off by saying the FBI and cops are always looking for people and we don’t know what they look like. Plus she was a “not a high priority criminal” because she was never convicted of a crime. WHAT? Her face was all over the news as a person of interest in her husband’s disappearance and she was connected to several other deaths. That seems ridiculous to me. Then you add in, Masuka’s daughter story line (what was the point), Quinn going for sergeant only to lose to his partner that we never saw again after she got her promotion (who cares), and Quinn and Jamie’s relationship that had to fail so he could be with Deb only to have Deb die (I don’t even know what to say about that.) It was bad. And they didn’t want to go down the road of the Miami Metro crew finding out because they thought it would be too much with everything else going on. How about get rid of all that other crap no one cared about and put in stories we would. I don’t understand that! The writers really thought we’d be more interested in Masuka’s daughter, Hannah, and Saxon but not how the people we have known since season 1 would react to finding out who Dexter really was? That absolutely befuddles me.
I think it was time to say good-bye to Dexter. I think the show had run its course so I think it was time to hang up the blades and the cling wrap. I just wish we could have returned to the glory days of Dexter and kept it simple and focused and about Dexter and how he tries to fit his dark passenger life into his “fake” life and whether or not he could keep it going without them finding out. Alas, we watched something much different from that and I think the characters, cast, and fans deserved better.