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?

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Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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I disagree with Evan Scott. I think the ending can be explained by something pointed out earlier in the review in connection with burying Deb at sea: It was ultimately a selfish act. However much pain Dexter might have been in when he "felt" things, he elected not to kill himself but instead find a way not to feel. Or try to find a way not to feel. Was he successful at that? Hard to say. He sure had his life pared down to the absolute minimum. And he still looked ravaged. I should say: I liked it better too when I thought he'd killed himself. I liked thinking he felt so utterly how devastated his life was at that point. The fact he didn't do that very much changes things. He found a way to pull back and be a whole lot less free. That's incredibly sad. But maybe it's right. Maybe it's Dexter.


You nailed it Evan Scott


awful awful awful. deb shouldnt have died, dex should have realized he truly loved her, he shouldnt have sent harrison with hannah. i would have preferred a flash forward to 3-5 years in the future with deb and dex getting married and it ends with them saying their i dos and everyone is smiling and happy with the future ahead of them full of possibilities


I'll explain the ending for you to make you all feel better. He buries Deb at sea just as he did all of his other victims because she is also a victim. Ok so far? He then fakes his own death to protect the ones he loves including Miami Metro from learning the truth. He fakes it because he still has work to do. So far so good? Last scene...Dex walks into the cabin and sits at an empty table. Cue up one of Dex's favorite lines..."I can't wait to get you on my table." He then looks directly at ALL OF US! For 8 years we have all been complicit in his handiwork. The empty table is for us all. This finale was a direct nod to the incredible fan base of the show. We have been responsible for Dexter and his work. It's now time to pay the piper. Feel better knowing you were recognized by the writers?