Dexter Series Finale – *fizzle*

dexter

Hannah and Dexter in the final season of the show.

I don’t know why I kept watching Dexter, season after season, not enjoying it. I hoped it would get better. I couldn’t bail so close to conclusion. I’m a bitter-ender. But I haven’t thought the show was good, truly good, since season four. As I discussed last time I wrote about Dexter, the final season suffered by airing on the same night as the final season of Breaking Bad. When you watch both shows in a row, Dexter is laughable compared to the strength of Breaking Bad.

If you’ve seen the series finale, or if you quit the show long ago and want to know how it ended, click through.

For a series finale, most of this episode moved at a snail’s pace. Remember when Dexter used to be so exciting you might puke? This was not like that. I didn’t care if Hannah got caught. I didn’t care if Dexter escaped for a happy ending. I barely cared that Deb died. (Yes, folks who did not watch, Deb died.)

For those of you who did not watch the past several seasons:

Basically, Dexter went after this season’s lame-o “Big Bad” while his fellow murderer and girlfriend Hannah tried to escape to Argentina with Dexter’s son. The Big Bad, a stiff and uninteresting man named Saxon, had shot Deb. Deb survived for a while, had a blood clot that caused a stroke, and ended up on life support.

Dexter, despite not-really-anymore working for Miami Metro, went to give Saxon a forensic test. He baited Saxon into stabbing him in the shoulder with a pen, and swiftly grabbed the pen and stabbed Saxon in the neck with it, killing him. He then calmly hit a panic button and tried to claim self-defense.

Dexter took Deb off life support, tossed her in the ocean, and then decided that he ruins the lives of everyone good around him. It looked like he was killing himself, by driving his boat into a hurricane, but he was just faking his own death. We last see Dexter with a ginger beard, working in manual labor. No one ever finds out that he’s the Bay Harbor Butcher, his son lives happily ever after with a pretty blond murderer in Buenos Aires. The End.

I said before that I thought Deb dying would be good for the show, because Dexter would be facing consequences for his actions. I was wrong. Dexter pulling up to a hospital by boat, walking in, taking his sister off life support and carrying her, draped in sheets, back to his boat, was one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever seen. Almost as ridiculous as Dexter surviving the storm, while his boat does not.

I can’t believe how much of this past season was wasted, pointless material. Aren’t you so glad that Deb and Quinn reconciled before she died? Yeah that was super useful. All so that Quinn could glumly back up Dexter’s claim of self-defense, and lament that he wishes he could have killed Saxon himself. So glad we went through the whole relationship with Quinn and Jamie to get to this point.

And hey, aren’t you so glad that we met Masuka’s long-lost daughter before the series finished? There’s a storyline that really went places.

I don’t know about you guys, but I was so glad when Harrison whispered to Dexter that he loves Hannah. Of all things, I was most concerned with whether Harrison would end up with a mother. I’m so glad the show really took the time to build that relationship, allow us to get to know Hannah, and create some actual stakes so that we cared whether Hannah escaped the country…oh wait. They didn’t do any of that.

The problem with Dexter is that the writers always put too much emphasis on the “hero” part of anti-hero. Dexter was too easily let off the hook for breaking his code, or given outs in situations where, realistically, he would have broken the code – like Lyla killing Doakes for him, and Deb killing LaGuerta. Dexter knows he ruined Deb’s life, but Deb’s last words were to absolve him of that. To wish him happiness and tell him nothing will ever be his fault. It’s the opposite of Breaking Bad, and it’s much less effective. Overall, I’m very disappointed with the direction Dexter took for the last half of its series run, and this last season in particular.

What did you guys think?

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About Jill

Pop culture junkie and TV aficionado. I write sharp and snarky TV recaps at www.couchtimewithjill.com
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7 Responses to Dexter Series Finale – *fizzle*

  1. Aaron Sirois says:

    I thought him driving into the storm was bad enough. Him living was probably even worse. No resolution. But then again, I suppose that was their point. To have him wallow in his own misery, finally able to feel and utterly alone. In a way, it’s worse than death for him. I’m kind of torn on that part.

    The rest of it? Yeah. Screw the writers for this season. I really dug last season and it brought back my hope for what the series could be, even if other people didn’t like it as much. This season was so pointless. The Hannah storyline was a cop out, any interest in Vogel died quickly, the bit where they thought they got the brain surgeon was silly (for god’s sakes. why didn’t anyone make note that the guy stuck to the same m.o. of kidnapping and torturing women, which was nothing at all like the surgeon’s m.o. at the very least, there should have been doubt), the thing with zack was somehow even more useless than the stuff with Miguel, all the side plots went nowhere, etc. Just so much nowhere. I don’t think I’ve ever been so disappointed by the ending of a show.

  2. KC says:

    Yeah, it was disappointing…they could have done so much more this season! I was really hoping Quinn would be the one to find out about Dexter but then be torn because he was in love with Deb. The only scene that I enjoyed was after Dexter killed Saxon and he was telling Quinn and Batista it was self defense. I liked Batista’s reaction. He was hesitant, but kind of understood at the same time.

  3. Jose says:

    There was a lot of things disappointing about the finale, but I will just skip to the end because that was just plain weird. I thought the scene where Dexter stopped Deb’s life support was one of the better scenes that the show has had in a while. That being said, him loading her into the boat was one one of the sharpest turns from emotional to bizarre that I can remember. The walk to the board was a huge “huh?” moment. I thought that him throwing her into the ocean sort of made sense. He felt responsible for her death, so it made sense that this was him sending his final victim out to sea before killing himself in hurricane Laura (someone pointed out the symbolism of this, as in Laura Moser, Dex’s birth mother). I don’t quite get why he faked his death to live in isolation with his guilt.

  4. Dana says:

    I stopped watching 4 or 5 episodes into this season, I just lost interest and based on this and a few other blurbs I heard, I am glad I stopped.

  5. Alex says:

    Everything that happened with Debra this episode ruined the series for me.

    They could’ve at least just had this season suck without destroying every single episode that came before it, but no. Now all of Deb’s story and journey and growth for EIGHT SEASONS was for absolutely nothing except to make Dexter have a sad face. Senseless. Pointless. Worthless. Most nihilistic finale I’ve ever seen from writers that have nothing but contempt for their viewers and the story.

    Thanks, show.

  6. Jill says:

    Seems like fans of the show are pretty unanimous on this one. What a disappointment!

  7. Bud says:

    You all said it way better than I ever could. I finally got to see the grand finale two months later, without seeing any spoilers. All I had to go on was the word “fizzle”, and hearing how disappointed people were through the grapevine. I really feel that the reason they (the writers) left him alive at the end was to leave the door open for a feature film – but who wants to see one now?

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