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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User Rating:

Rating: 3.8 / 5.0 (496 Votes)

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


Haven't seen season 5 or 6, but I just saw season 4 and I have to say I think that's the worst season. Season 3 was also pretty meh, but season 4 is at least highly overrated. From what I've seen, possibly the most overrated piece of television I've ever encountered. lol. Cool villain though, with flaws. I agree Dex and Deb should not have any romantic involvement.


@ me, Thanks for the explanation. It's been awhile since I watched those early seasons and my memory sucks. So Harry just felt sort of obligated to take Dexter in because of his relationship with Laura... but not fucked up little Brian. @ idiots, personally, I was shocked when Dexter found Gellar in the freezer, revealing that Travis had done all that crazy shit alone. Maybe I'm just not as observant as others but I was kind of surprised that this dude called it "insulting", "transparent", and "terribly written".


Wow, go cry some more Matt. Maybe you should write the next season if you're so talented, hell maybe even direct it. Better yet, why not take on the role of Dexter since you know so much. Seriously, you're about the most butt hurt fan I've ever seen. If you don't like the way the show is heading, DON'T WATCH IT! The rest of us will continue enjoying great television.


Is everyone forgetting when Geller was found in the freezer? No one here can tell me they expected that, This series was about Dexter opening up his realm of thinking, its not all about him anymore he has a son. Maybe you should write for them, because clearly nothing is good enough for you.


I think everyone is over analysing. It's an entertaining tv show. That is all.


@marlar no harry is not dexters biological father. It was stated veru clearly in season one that dexters real father died. Thats why he inherited the house. Harry had an affair with laura. Thats all.


@Gayler, I'm glad I'm not the only one who's confused on that point. I've watched this show from the 1st episode up to the season 6 finale and I feel like I missed something. It was my understanding that Harry was actually Dexter's biological father as a result of an affair he had with Laura Moser. Therefore, Dexter and Deb ARE blood related, right?.. Or was that ever officially determined? Someone please clarify on this. I thought this season was entertaining, although the various inconsistencies and pointless interactions(such as the Batista/Quinn conflict) were frustrating. Season 4 had definitely set a standard that will be hard to match. Whoever posted that they didn't like John Lithgow's "Trinity Killer" as a killer is insane, IMO.


I didn't like the season at all,it was boring,not even the 5th one was that lame, at least in the 5th there was suspense,but here, I almost fell asleep...and it never happened before when I was watching Dexter!!!
Dex/Deb is disgusting, at least...seriously?when Debra looked at him in that cheesy way, I almost wanna puke...come on!!!!they grew up together!
As for the final, well, of course I'll watch season 7, but I agree with people saying that the season felt just like a giant plot to deliver that ending. I am disappointed, big time!


I've just finished watching season 6 and loved it. I've read a lot of mixed reviews and I'm not sure why everyone seems to care so much about Deb loving Dexter?! It's certainly significant BUT I have yet to see any post or comment or blog about the INTERN!!! Did everyone forget? There HAS to be significance there for sure! Everyone has covered every aspect of this season but that. They didn't just give him all those lines in the show for nothing. Any feedback or thought on where that will go? I just feel that's way more interesting and significant to season 7 than Deb being in love with Dexter. My guess is that her feelings will almost certainly change now that shes seen him kill. Just my thoughts and season 7 can't come soon enough.


I don't mind the relationship developing between Dexter and Debra - other than the mentality that they're brother and sister, it is effectivley the same thing as being life-long friends. Dexter wasn't too young when he actually had his last name changed. Theres no subcontious force that keeps them apart, forces that typically are present between biological brothers & sisters. The romantic relationship between Dexter & Debra has been considered by the writers since the first season, so those of you whining about a desperate attempt to enhance the plot should do a bit more research before they start complaining about the writers of a 9.1 IMDB Tv series. I can see why some people are disgusted by the relationship, but I don't mind it. Dexter has been an awesome series, I only wish that they didn't drag on Trinity's season, I really didn't like that killer.

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