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Dexter

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 (579 Votes)

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

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"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." My thoughts exactly! I didn't like that they had him survive the hurricane. I mean it bugged me enough that he abandoned Harrison, but the idea of him dying on his boat - the only place he was every truly at peace - seemed fitting, if not ideal, and then they ruined it. Seriously, how do they explain his survival? On a show filled with unrealistic things, that is actually the most unrealistic.

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At first, I thought the final scene was a flash forward to Harrison as an adult. I think that would have been more powerful. He could have had a photo of him and Hannah in Argentina next to a photo of Dexter and Rita on his desk while he opened a secret compartment to look at his collection of blood slides.

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Do all hospitals in the States get waterfront access? It was so easy just to wheel Deb off onto the Slice. Amazing that hospitals have such high value retail property. Miami must obviously gets lots of dolphin casualties coming in the front door.

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It was a good finale. Of course you can't please everyone all the time, and some people... well (Andrew Y)... I was conflicted when Dexter headed into the storm. Part of me agreed his death would be a fitting end, but I still wanted to see him wrapping platic around a table. It wasn't the perfect ending, but it was pretty close. I also agree with Evan Scott, but instead of a small empty wooden table, I would have loved to get the (writer's nod) stare-down from Dex as he was dressed in his kill suit, standing over his table in a kill room. For me, the only hanging chad was with Dexter leaving Harrison. It was for the best, but it just didn't feel right.

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I agree with Evan Scott up to a point. Howver, I think Dexter is done with killing. After all, he did not kill his last victim on the table. He did kill him for revenge, but not in the ritualistic fashion that we have become accustomed to. His yearning for Hannah and Harrison has become his "dark passenger" now. He even said as much just before Deb was shot.
Dexter seems to suffer more when he tries to do the right thing, rather than obey his own selfish desires.
I love that series. I will miss it.

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Evan Scott is one of the writers. Has to be. Which must be the greatest gig in the world. Getting paid for pushing out garbage. As far as this take on the ending, all I can say is nonsense. The writers are hoping to let some time go by and then wring some more out of this cash cow. A nod to the audience. Hysterical. The only people who believe that are probably 12.

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The only thing that needed to happen for me to forgive the ending, was a fading out shot of someone strapped to a table.

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Of course Quinn & Batista knew. They very ibviously worked with Dexter to come up with a plausible explanation (Angel even said "That works" at one point. And Cris: Sadly, the progression for Debra was very realistic - that, unfortunately, happens more often than you might like to think.

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Meh.
The site rejected my one word review so I have to add something, but actually "Meh" sums up my feelings very well. The character of Dexter could not have a happy ending. I think all of us who have been along for the ride realize that. That does not mean we viewers are content with the ending. Actually I agree with the reviewer. Dexter should have taken his punishment and died. I guess now we are to believe he will continue his killing ways.
I do wonder if Hannah is OK with becoming Harrison's mother.

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Evan Scott. You just summed it all up. Excellent!