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?


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.0 / 5.0 (582 Votes)

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


I doubled checked the ending, and he is not in Argentina. Just before he opens the door to his new home, there's sign reading "Furnished rooms for rent" in English and there's a USA flag on the door.


I had no problem with Deb dying if that was what really had to happen, but.. really? I thought her death was so rushed! She gets shot, apparently she's going to be OK, the next thing we know is she's going to be in a vegetetive state forever...alright. No bay he could've taken Deb out of the hospital without anyone knowing btw! The whole season seemed a bit off in my opinion. It was so easy for Dexter to kill Saxon at the end! I di, however, like the way Dexter threw Deb in the sea, being this his way of saying goodbye to her. I did not like the fact that he faked is own not be with Hannah and Harrison at the end. The only possible end would have been Dex really dying or actually meeting up with them in Argentina, as it was what he wanted to do in these last episodes.
Thought this season lacked of true Dex moments like back at seasons 1 & 2. Still, I will really miss it!


I was fine with the ending (maybe not my most preferred ending, but nothing I was mad about) until the final scene. I'd be alright with him dead, and I'd be fine with him getting his "happy-ish ending" (sans Deb). Hell, I think I might even be fine with him faking his death if it meant he'd get to be with Hannah and Harrison, but for him to fake his death and end up like he just din't feel right to me.


amc suggests "[F]or all we know he could be in Argentina in the final scene." While there is no location title, I doubt that it is there (or anywhere other than the US). Even if he wanted to reconnect with Hannah and Harrison there is the problem of how he can leave the county to meet them. So long as he wanted to fake his death he needs to establish a new identity good enough to get a passport/etc. Without the death faking, he could have just flown down as himself (as he was going to originally).


Well, my son likes Evan Scott's take. Or, more accurately, he doesn't think that's what the writers were doing, but he thinks it's a "cool idea." Me, I think it's an incredibly cheesy idea, from the visual pun of the table to the notion that the writers were telling us it was time to pay the piper. Lame lame lame, if for no other reason than it would require the writers to think so little of their own work that they would not simply break the fourth wall, they would suggest it was never there to begin with. Barf-o-rama!


Evan Scott nailed it.


The writers leave the ending open for you to decide what happens next, they do not kill off dexter and for all we know he could be in Argentina in the final scene.


I agree with GHH: "Him being alive and alone with his darkness is far worse than death itself." It's even worse than being in an actual prison where knowing he was confined would have left him some measure of freedom in his mind. He could have taken what little human interaction was available to him knowing he could no longer hurt anyone. The jail he's imposed on himself is worse. He's forced to monitor himself constantly, be his own jailer 24/7. A horrible existence, but one he chose over death.


At first I was really mad at the writers for killing off Deb, and the whole final scene in general, but after reading your review it all makes sense. After all, Dexter is a drama series and that means no happy ending for our favorite killer. It makes me sad that this is the last time we'll see him, but that scene at the end gave me the chills!!! I think it would have been too easy to kill him off, 'cause him being alive and alone with his darkness is far worse than death itself.


Batista and Quinn pretty much telegraphed their understanding that Dexter deliberately killed Oliver Saxton. And we knew that, especially given the fact that the camera caught him pressing the panic button *after* he deliberately stuck the pen into his neck. It couldn't be more obvious. Batista and Quinn looked at each other to see if they understood what they saw, and then silently agreed with each other when Quinn said "well it was OBVIOUSLY self defence. I wish i'd done it." All in all a mediocre ending. Of course it suffers by great comparison with another wildly popular show whose season is ending in a week's time. *cough*

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