Recap: The Convoluted Existence That Is The Dexter Series Finale
So I have been a Dexter fan since the very beginning. I have impatiently waited for the 12 Sundays a year the show is on. I have learned who Dexter is, who he becomes, mourned the shocking death of Rita, cheered Dexter on when Trinity was finally on his table. I have even read the books (FYI book 1 loosely follows season 1, but only barely. The rest of the books don’t match the show which isn’t a surprise).
Season 4 was by far the best. John Lithgow played a calculated and scary being. Season 6 with the stellar Colin Hanks as Travis Marshall was a close second, but it all slowly started falling apart after that and ended last night in a heap. Much like throwing your wet towel on the floor after a shower, the final episode “Remember the Monsters?” was a wet and dirty mess which would have been easy to avoid but somewhere down the line a half-assed attempt was considered the norm.
True, there were some great moments in the the final season of Dexter. “A Beautiful Day” (0801) was the best in the season I thought. I loved Deb’s coked-out cover and her destructive “I don’t give a fuck” attitude. I really wish that Deb was *really* living that life and not a private investigator. She seemed to snap out of the drug binge quickly – maybe she just doesn’t have am addictive personality, but judging her character through the seasons I find that hard to believe.
Dr. Vogel was an interesting character. I thought all along that she was in fact the “Brain Surgeon”, but no, it was her thought-to-be-dead son Oliver Saxon, or Daniel as was his birthname. Saxon’s mini-transformation was an interesting one. When he was dating Cassie (Dexter’s neighbor) he seemed pretty normal. Then when he was found out to be the Brain Surgeon? Crazy Eyes.
I did appreciate that Dexter ultimately took care of Saxon. I mean, Saxon killed Dr. Vogel in front of Dexter, shot Deb which ultimately led to her demise, and killed Dexter’s protogé Zack Hamilton. It was only fitting that Dexter got the final word. The way it was done? While I would have loved to have seen Saxon on the table, at least he got what was coming to him. What I didn’t like it that the way it was done had so many loose ends. I hardly think Batista and Quinn would have been the only ones to view the tape of Dexter calculatingly stabbing Saxon in the neck with a pen. Obviously that didn’t matter since Dexter was going to meet his maker in the dramatics of a hurricane. Or was he?
The shining moment in the series finale was Deb dying. Her performance was definitely the highlight, even though the obvious foreshadowing of “see you later” was there and at that moment we all knew she was going to die, even though the doctor said she was going to be fine. When we find that she had a massive stroke and was essentially brain dead it wasn’t a surprise. What was a surprise was the way she took her last breath and the rest of the show. Not a good surprise.
So many questions about that scene. I mean, I know they were in the middle of a hurricane prep, but I hardly think a hospital would have a blatant disregard for their patients:
- WHY didn’t anyone on duty notice her machine was turned off? There were no alarms, no “code blue”. It was just a simple click of the off button. Surely someone would have been notified somewhere.
- Why was Dexter able to nonchalantly wheel her right out of the hospital and into his waiting docked boat? If he was dressed in a doctor coat it may have passed, but no – he was in his dark brown kill clothes. Nobody noticed him carrying a body-shaped white sheet to a little boat?
- Why was he able to ride off into the sunset with not even the Coast Guard there to tell him no? Wouldn’t they be there if there was a major catastrophic weather event imminent?
- How did Dexter get back to land, sans boat, in the middle of a hurricane? There was no hint of a cohort to save him. Deb was gone, she would have been the only one.
When Dexter drove into the eye of the storm (cue the dramatic music and long shots into the horizon), I was satisfied in knowing – THINKING – Dexter did a selfless thing and rid the world of the monster he was. But no. He lived. He’s now a lumberjack in Oregon. Looking sad, lonely, and quiet, then giving the “Dexter look” and a fade to black. This ends NOTHING. This ending didn’t give the die-hard Dexter fans the satisfaction of closing the final chapter. No tidy little bow. Just a sense of “oh my god, it didn’t end”. I wanted to throw my Dexter cupcake at the screen in a fit of unsatisfied rage.
Then there’s Hannah. The hugely wanted fugitive who looks the exact same as she did when she was arrested in the prior season. Would it have killed you to dye your hair black or wear novelty disguise glasses with the nose and mustache? That was something that really bothered me – if you don’t want to be recognized then change your looks. Plus it was almost painful to watch Dexter’s puppy-dog eyes and Deb’s willingness to give her brother up to Hannah, the one who tried to kill her in Season 7.
All in all I found the entire final season of Dexter to be convoluted. Too many things happening to focus and care about one story line. Too many characters introduced (and reintroduced). There was Elway, Saxon, Vogel, the bounty hunter guy, Masuka’s long lost sperm donation daughter, Batista’s little sister, the kid who wanted to be just like Dexter, the reintroduction of Hannah – who, by the way, drugged Deb and kidnapped Dexter, killed her husband, but she’s a “good person” who will be a fitting mother to Harrison in Argentina. ..wha?
Nothing got finished. It left me feeling completely let down. What did you think?