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Dexter Finale Review: Goodbye

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After what has been a slow, boring final season, Dexter's season finale delivered drama and excitement not found in other episodes this season. Or last season. And maybe even the season before that. It wasn't perfect by any means, but it wasn't a complete disappointment.

There was blood. There was heart. There were F-bombs. 

After a rather lackluster final season, "Remember the Monsters" (mostly) delivered.

Dexter Finale Scene

While there were definitely things about tonight's finale that didn't work, like the flashback to the night Harrison was born (awful, awful wig, costuming department), the Dexter series finale was mostly a win as far as I'm concerned. 

We've spent eight seasons wondering how it would end.

Would Dexter get caught? Would he die?

As it turns out, the ending was a little of both.

Was it just me or did Batista and Quinn seem to know Dexter wasn't acting in self-defense? I sort of got the feeling that the understood that he'd taken Saxon out on purpose and allowed him to walk away because they would've done the same because they, too, loved Debra Morgan. They knew and understood where he was coming from.

Dexter's one anchor to the world has been Debra, and theirs has always been the central relationship of the series. She, with her sardonic, F-bomb dropping ways, has tethered him to the world of normal humans. Losing her shined a light on the reality of his darker nature. 

RIP Debra Morgan! 

I didn't expect Debra to die, but was there any other way for the series to end? The Morgans don't work without each other. Dexter taking Debra off life support was heartbreaking and really showed how important the two were to each other.

He was selfish in dropping Deb's body in the bay. Other people deserved the chance to say goodbye to her, too, namely Joey and Batista. And that's really one of my chief complaints about the episode.

But there was something so perfectly selfish--so perfectly Dexter--about it that made it work. Dropping Deb's body into the ocean was Dexter's way of saying goodbye to everything about his life as Dexter Morgan since his sister was part of his moral compass.

The other part of his moral compass was Harrison. I won't lie. I choked up a little when he said goodbye to Harrison and told the boy to remember every day how much Dexter loved him. Saying goodbye to Harrison wrecked Dexter, and Michael C. Hall captured that brokenness so well I want to hand him an Emmy for his performance.

Dexter's attempts to live in both worlds, that of a serial killer with his own code and that of mere mortals, caught up with him and he paid the ultimate sacrifice twice as a result, first with Deb and then with Hannah and Harrison. But it's really those sacrifices that show how far he's come in his attempts to be normal.

He could have continued to live amongst those he loves, but Dexter believed that he would only cause them pain. Whether or not that may be true, it wasn't a risk he was willing to take. In steering into the storm, he accepted the darker sides of himself and eschewed human connection.

My other complaint about the episode was that ending. Dexter faking his death and choosing to stay away from his Hannah and Harrison sort of cheapened everything about his driving into the hurricane. I liked it better when I thought he was dead.

There were definitely moments where I rooted for Dexter to get on a bus or a plane or a boat and be with Hannah and Harrison. Part of me really wanted that to be the end and it makes no sense because this isn't the show of happy endings.

But as he laid out his tools in Saxon's cell, I found myself rooting for him as a killer. And that part of Dexter is the crux of Dexter and the message tonight's episode delivered.

Dexter is a killer. Ultimately, he can't have a happy ending because he's a person who does bad things. He might evade authorities, but he still pays the price because he ends up alone.

RIP Dexter Morgan. 

What did you think of the Dexter series finale? Did "Remember The Monsters" do the series justice? What would you have done differently?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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Rating: 3.0 / 5.0 (581 Votes)

Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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Forgot to add that of course it was obvious to Angel and Quinn that Dexter meant to kill Saxon - they're not stupid but they understood which is why Angel told him to 'get out of here quickly'. Dexters strike with the pen was perfect and a very nice touch for his final kill. Despite the different views on series 8 Dexter will always be one of the best TV series ever made.

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Some strange comments here. Dexter is Dexter - always closed, private and secretive. The ending highlighted the everlasting bond between Dex and Deb. She couldn't imagine life without him and he was the same with her. He blamed himself for her death and didn't want her to die hooked up to life support after he left the country so he did what was natural to him (how long would they have kept her like that?). I thought it was a great ending, full of pathos and deep sadness. In his mind Rita and Deb died because of him so in his 'Dexter' mind he couldn't risk losing Hannah too. The ending also leaves the chance of a later 'resurrection'. Jack Bauer went 'dark' after personal tragedies too - and rose again.

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I didn't feel like the last episode made enough of an impact to be rememorable. I understand the meaning of all the things that happened but I disliked the fact that Deb died. In my eyes, what would have been a great ending would have been 1. Saxon collected all the files/notes on Dexter from the Dr. 2. Saxon sets up his kill room knowing that Dexter would find him there and go to kill him. 3. Dexter brings all his tools to "destroy" them since this would be his last kill. 4. Batista and Quinn arive on the scene after following a lead only to get there and see Dext drive the knife through Saxon in a room litered with evidence and even the video recording of Dexter killing him. 5. Deb arriving on the scene seeing her brother in cuffs and headed to jail. 6. Quinn playing the ultimate "I knew it card", Batista with the surprised look on his face, Masuka doing the blood work on the scene in awe and Hannah driving by Dexter's house/apartment as its raided by the cops.

Strawberry fields

I'm so freaking sad. Life will be so empty without "Dexter". I have mixed feelings about the ending. On one hand I'm really pissed that they killed Deb. Just when she gets to a place where she's dealing with what she did, who Dex is AND the fact that he wants to leave her for Hannah - she DIES. I mean... COME ON. On the other hand, Dexter saying goodbye and taking her off life support was heartbreaking and perfect, best scene of the night. Sailing off to the storm and dumping her body into the ocean looked a little over-the-top dramatic, but it also made sense for Dexter. That's the way he is. As for Dexter himself - I think I would have liked it better if he died. But if the writers' goal was to truly punish him, they chose a perfect way, with Deb dead and him ending up alone forever. It's just so freaking depressing :(

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I've read through all the previous comments before compiling my own, so as not to repeat what has already been said about the final episode. As with the sudden weather change, Remember The Monsters moved too quickly for me -majority of the episode was spent on Hannah escaping and the aftermath of the shooting incident with Deb. It would have been better if Dexter stuck with his choice to leave Miami with Harrison and leave the police to sort out Daniel.

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I really enjoyed the last season of Dexter. I'm not going to nitpick the last episode apart. They got the most important things correct. In fact in that regard it was note perfect. From many of the complaints I've read, I wonder if these people actually understood the character at all through the years. 90% of the complaints make little sense.

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Debra's death was justified under the code because she killed LaGuerta. He killed Debra and layed her next to all the other killers. Sad, He caused her to be a killer. The ending was great the anti hero, became the isolated seriel killer. Scarey and sick. The last look was a hardened look with nothing except a cold room.

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But the writer didn’t bother to put him on penitence for his past crime, they justify it only because of Debra’s death. If you think about it, Dexter blames himself for Debra’s death saying that it was because of him being a psychopath living in the mere mortal world that she is dead, but she actually got killed because he discovered his humanity in the middle of a killing. It is absurd. This guilty trip is absurd and even more so if you think that he left Hannah and Harrison alone fearing that it would cause them arm or pain when he is better a protector when he is a killer with a code.

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I always knew that Dexter will not have a happy ending because it is a tragic show. I also imagine that Deb would die. What I didn’t imagine it was a poorly written soap opera ending. The episode in itself was boring, predictable, emotionless, with simple plot line, lots of credibility mistakes, like most of the episodes of this poor season (they could have done a great job with Vogel but they ruin everything with Saxon). The only two good parts was Hannah’s line about “now that’s what’s going to happen� and how she got to escape with Harrison and Dexter killing Saxon with a pen. But the Dexter’s guilty thing was bad. You ask why didn’t he kill himself? Well first because it’s too easy and predictable, second because it is a guilty trip, basically what the writers are saying is: “you have to suffer during penitence and killing yourself would be too merciful� But the writer didn’t bother to put him on penitence for his past crime, they justify it only because of Debra’s death. If you think about it, Dexter blames himself for Debra’s death saying that it was because of him being a psychopath living in the mere mortal world that she is dead, but she actually got killed because he discovered his humanity in the middle of a killing. It is absurd. This guilty trip is absurd and even more so if you think that he left Hannah and Harrison alone fearing that it would cause them arm or pain when he is better a protector when he is a killer with a code.

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What series finale were you watching lady?