Dexter Season Finale Review: The Ruined Reveal

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Dexter finally went there to conclude season six. It aired the scene many viewers have been clamoring for for years: Deb witnessing her brother in all his blood-filled, Dark Passenger-based glory.

Many fans may believe this will make up for an incredibly sloppy, disjointed, suspense-free season. I have no doubt the producers are banking on that, as sites and message boards and water coolers will now be dominated by talk of where things will go in season seven.

But don't count me among those cheering because we're seemingly headed in a new, exciting direction. I can't let go of how we got there.

A Panicked Dexter

It was simply a mess of a season. Two cases in point from the finale: Travis is literally feet away from Harrison in Dexter's apartment... only instead of snatching him (what, was he afraid of Jaime? Is she tougher than the cop on the roof he killed without hesitation?), he sneaks into the children's pageant and does the deed there. Why? Simply because the script called for it.

And are we really meant to believe that not a single police officer had stepped inside the house where Travis painted that mural? No one had seen Dexter's face painted on the wall because EVERYone was waiting for the blood splatter specialist to arrive? We've seen enough crime scenes on this show to know that's never happened before.

That sort of leap in logic, that kind of desperate attempt to drag the season out, littered almost every episode. It was lowlighted, of course, by the insulting Gellar-is-dead reveal, which was as transparent and as terribly-written as any storyline on any show in recent memory.

So, really, there's no point in over-analyzing "This is the Way the World Ends." It was as heavy-handed and predictable as any other outing. And, really, it's not what anyone will be talking about tomorrow. I find it hard to believe anyone cares about the fate of Travis Marshall; or LaGuerta's words of rooftop wisdom; or Quinn and Batista's pointless bickering, which almost came across as a wink-wink from the writers that nothing outside of Dexter matters (these two fought, Batista tried to get Quinn transferred, and the end result was... nothing. It was just Quinn telling Batista he won't be getting transferred).

All anyone will be discussing is The Moment.

Let me state this: I'm glad it finally took place. I am VERY curious to see how the show will handle this discovery going forward.

But, my goodness, I'm appalled at how it got there. Why the writers felt it necessary to throw in the disgustingly misguided notion that Deb is in love with Dexter is positively mind-boggling. Really? Is that the only way they could come up with her arriving at the church? Because she simply had to tell her sibling how she felt at that moment?

And, really, did the writers have so little faith in the Deb/Dexter relationship as it had been constructed that they had to conjure up this wayward storyline because they think the reveal will now have more of an impact on Deb? It's legitimately insulting to all those who have watched the show from the beginning.

The Deb and Dexter connection has been the focal point of the series. They have been brother and sister in every sense of the world. As I wrote last week, it's been refreshing and unlike any other male/female relationship on television. It's also simply been very well done. Did any viewer doubt the love between this pair? Did anyone feel it necessary to throw an incestual wrench into the show, as if extra gravitas was needed for when Deb finally found out her brother's secret?

And does anyone even think this development accomplishes that goal? Are you more curious to see Deb's reaction next year because she's in love with him, as opposed to "merely" loving him?!?

To watch Deb give Dexter some sort of lovelorn look when he got close to her was nothing short of gross and staggeringly tone deaf on the part of the writers. NOBODY wants to see these two together. (Okay, correction, in our poll of nearly 2,00 readers, 24% wanted to see them together. To all of them, I say: EWWW.)

Look, Dexter has been through three showrunners. Seasons four, five and six were each manned a different person. It's very difficult to maintain consistency in these situations and it's possible Scott Buck, the current head, wanted Deb to have feelings for Dexter all along, but he could only implement his vision now that he's in charge. I obviously have no idea.

But I do know that the constant changing-of-the-higher-ups has had an impact on the series as a whole. To many, myself included, season four was the apex; season five a letdown; and season six an outright mess. Am I anxious about where events now go on season seven, based on the final moment? Of course.

However, I'm also upset that this season really served as nothing more than a set-up for next season (can I get 11.59 hours of my life back, please?) and I'm absolutely mystified by the decision to mar the Deb/Dark Passenger discovery by the former's unnecessary, repulsive revelation of love. I'm more confused than angry. What ON EARTH are the writers thinking?

What did everyone else think?


Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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Rating: 3.8 / 5.0 (496 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.


The reason Travis did not take Harrison in the apartment, is because he had no idea who he or the nanny were until AFTER they left and he found the picture of Dexter holding the baby. Duh.


oh almost forgot please please dnt continue with the idea of deb and dex being an item more than brother and sister as there is nothing interesting about sblings having feelings for each other i beg dnt spoil a good show actually fire the person who came up with that idea we want strong detective work good killings not incest i stll love the show though hoping u will do e right thing


am i dumb nope i dnt thnk i am what loopholes r u writting abt i love this show all seasons were great we are all individuals we like different things sorry if to those who r too genius to see the mistakes on this show as ntheir genius minds r getting in e way of them enjoying a good show dexters boat floating and deb not mixing one plus one is part of the script she will mix it when its e right tym just watch the show and if u not enjoying it tough luck geniuses some of us r having fun find something else to do that has no 'loopholes'


Isn't it amazing that negative reviews appear for series that show the negative side of extreme fudamentalist religion?
Okay, so maybe I'm reaching a bit but really, complaining that this season of Dexter was a terrible one is simply wrong.
By comparison of other seasons, yes its not great(especially when you compare it to great seasons on there own like season 4 or my personal fave season 2) but its ballsy, by having a serial killer who believes he is working for God it changes the dynamic of the show, remember we've had 1:simple serial killer, 2:dex himself and pyromaniac, 3:lunatic skinner, 4:a deranged family man serial killer, 5: group barrel girl killers and six? A man who believes hes working for God.
It was a gearshift, because remember every single main season killer dex has taken out has brought dexter further on in his human development, he sees parts of himself in each of them and improves himself to erase the part thats similar to the others. Anyway, the elephant in the room has to e addressed doesn't it.
The deb/dex relationship thing, do I like it, no, I think it a little reaching for the writers.
What I would have done would be Debra becoming mentally unstable due to the pressure of her relationship breaking up, the problems of the political crap and the insanity of the DDK sends her into a mental break.


Notice how almost everyone who is bitching about how bad season six where are all disgusted by the dex-deb love drama... Just a thought. Why are so many disgusted by the incest thing anyway? I know that it's a little creepy but we are talking about a show where our protagonist is a serial killer people!


Coming from someone who has watched every single episode, webcast and interview. I will gladly say, "SEASON SIX SUCKED BIG TIME" it just was not a good season. Plain and simple and people who liked that last season probably have not seen season 4 or any other season for that matter. The Deb/Dex love thing is just silly. However, for those of us that know that Jenn/Micheal were actually married and recently got a divorce. Now that is what makes it interesting. The idea that the writers might secretley be trying to get Jennifer (Deb) and Michael (Dex) back together is exciting. Now the whole Uncle Sam thing was confusing just like the Batista/Quinn thing and the "LT Morgan" thing. I enjoyed the acting but the storyline never seemed to make sense.
Now lets talk about season 4 of Dexter....BEST FREAKING SEASON EVER. John Lithgow was the most convincing villian ever. I have watched that entire season more than 3 times and every time, I get excited all over again. Not sure what to expect in season 7. At this point, i would not be shocked if Season 6 turns out to be just a really bad dream that Debra wakes up from.


I agree with others that Season 6 is the worst season of Dexter yet... I don't get why people are so shocked by the Deb/Dex thing. I am new to Dexter and i only started watching it about 6 months ago where i watched the whole series in about a week. Even before Season 6 i thought there sometimes was a weird vibe between them but i shrugged it off as just a close Brother/Sister relationship and hardly paid much attention to it The first real red-flag, for me, is when Dexter is with the psychiatrist and he tells Dexter to think of a time when he's felt vulnerable and Dexter flashbacks to a bully saying "Hey Dex, You still fucking your sister" There are other moments like Quinn saying something like "I dont want Deb to have to choose between you or me" and Dexter responds "She doesn't"
*Internal monoluge* "because it's never going to be YOU" Another red-flag is when Debra is describing Lundy and her description of him sounds EXACTLY like Dexter & Brian "He's quiet, really smart, really good at his job, he's funny but in a dry sort of way" & her boyfriend responds "You are totally in LOOOVE with him aren't you" Another example is Deb becoming pissy with Dexter cause he doesn't notice her haircut. And later she says "Is it too short, too young, too dorky?" and Dexter responds "It's beautiful". She seems totally touched by this and says "Beautiful?" *takes off glasses* "You just said beautiful.." There's more...but don't feel like writing I agree with the others though that this storyline should have been developed more before "OMGz IM IN LOVE WITH MY BROTHER!!11!!" but it's still plausible. Also for people who think that this came "out of the blue", i found a dexter parody on youtube that has deb & dex make out...this was before season 6 even started.


Does this reviewer ever stop complaining about this show. For this past season you have been so repetitive and your reviews often completely miss the point of what is going on in the episode and often neglect to mention any other events happening in the episode. Please do us all a favour and stop reviewing Dexter because clearly all you want to do is criticize it.


I agree that 6 was messy. Reading so many comments on various websites, though admittedly not all those posted here, it seems like Brother Sam was forgotten by the end of the episode. He was a great character. He challenged Dexter in such an interesting way. It was sad to see the tumult of un-dexter-like action that ensued after his death, and scant and superficial mention of him thereafter. I wish he could have stuck around longer somehow, maybe even known Dexter's darkness from closer range.


okay....part 3........ And maybe all the better if he finally has someone to share at least the knowledge with, perhaps Deb. I liked Luman too and she would have been a good mother and wife to him.

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