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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
  • 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.0 / 5.0 (581 Votes)

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

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Which tv series had the worst series finale: Seinfeld, Roseanne or Dexter? I still feel Seinfeld, but the fact that an argument can be made that Dexter is the worst proves how truly bad this finale was. Dexter isn't revealed to his coworkers that he betrayed and outsmarted them? Dexter isn't captured or killed or at least on the run? Dexter loves Hannah. Or not. Wait, yes he does...or does he? Seems like that is exactly where we were a couple of seasons ago. Over the years, it seems we sent the roller coaster up the hill just to have it stop at the top with no resolution. I would hope for a spinoff just for closure, but with these writers the only killing Dexter would manage is the trees he is logging.

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4.5 is an absurd score for this sorry mess of what was once a great show. No criticism for the clunky exposition? The utter inconsequence of Dexter killing on camera? Earlier seasons would have had a field day with that. This was a terrible end to a horrible season. Dexter should have ended after season four.

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The Bay Harbor Butcher plot should have been the final season and would have made a terrific ending with all the familiar characters involved. They blew that load way too early in the series.

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ps: the writers of this show should have their pens taken away.

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... and they will have to recruit Hannah to get a hold of him - in fifteen years. When Harrison will be the age that he'll be a cutie teen idol. And - of course - a police-officer. Because Hannah had him educated at one to spare him Dexter's fate, or ... to make him like Dexter. Yep, writers, you can take that idea.
Other than that ... I wish season 8 had never happened.

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Sap, sympathy and yes bad wigs and beards. I thought I was watching psycho. Carpenter got out! Why couldn't she become a serial killer not just oh she's ok, oh she's not... oops she's on life support sap. I guess how long can you work with your ex-wife, got's to get some closure and throw her off a boat and drive into a hurricane. But he didn't have the courage to kill himself. Poor stupid Batista and Quinn ...let's go to the videotape. I'm a serial killer! I kill with a pen! Wait a season, Dexter will return. I hope Michael Hall in getting away from this tired characterture.

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Honestly, I was afraid to watch the finale, because all of season 8 was so bad, so I'm reading reviews and recaps now - and I think I won't watch it for real. Only reading those segments of what happened made me feel nauseous. I mean - Hannah didn't really ask for ending up having to care for a child, especially not because they are both searched for by authorities now. Harrison can't just disappear when it will become known that Dexter "died". Hannah wanted to be with Dexter. Having Harrison now is such a cruel punishment, as much as she might love the boy. Yes, I know, she is a killer. But season 8 made us forget that. I read that she shot Elway? I'm afraid to even consider the details of how that could have happened. And Deb dying of that kind of sloppily inflicted wound ... and Dexter taking her off life-support after A DAY no less? Yikes. So I know what the continuation of the franchise now will be. Dexter has gone bonkers and is a killer without a code now, and they will have to recruit Hannah to get a hold of him - in fifteen years. When Harrison will be the age that he'll be a cutie teen idol. And - of course - a police-officer. Because Hannah had him educated at one to spare him Dexter's fate, or ... to make him like Dexter. Yep, writers, you can take that idea.
Other than that ... I wish season 8 had never happened.

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I am sorry, but this was a terrible ending for what was once a great show. On the other hand it was a perfect ending for the trainwreck this last season has been. Deb dying like that, i disn't even care anymore. And dexter leaving his son? The only person he ever really loved, that he was sure he loved was his son.

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Reminded me of The Shield. A fate worse than death. A life with no family in the cold north west.

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What would have improved the ending for me was a Dexter voice-over: "Tonight's the night." He couldn't escape who he really was.

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