TV Review: ‘Dexter’ Finale’s Sloppy Sendoff

Dexter Series Finale Review

Despite moments, the finish underscores show was past its expiration date

Dexter” had been running on creative fumes the past few seasons, and Sunday night’s series finale — despite its emotional flourishes — merely underscored that this was a series well past its expiration date. Some of the sloppiness in the finish was perhaps the biggest surprise, given how meticulous its serial-killer leading man usually is.

For starters (and be warned: SPOILERS lie ahead), the show took its time this season before finally settling on an antagonist for Dexter, played brilliantly, as always, by Michael C. Hall. But the notion of essentially giving him a spiritual twin — another killer, with similar appetites, born to the woman (Charlotte Rampling) who helped devise the vigilante “code” devised to constructively channel his homicidal tendencies — felt like a bit of a cheat.

Perhaps foremost, though, the series wore out its welcome with the various cartwheels performed surrounding the relationship between Dexter and his adopted sister, Deb (Jennifer Carpenter). Initially a key connection to humanity for Dexter, Deb went from doting sibling to woman with semi-incestuous crush on him, from hard-bitten cop to accomplice, albeit grudgingly and guiltily, in his murders.

Sunday’s finale — written by Scott Buck and Manny Coto, and directed by Steve Shill — brought closure to all of that, but in the most expedient way possible. And while one can appreciate that the police would be sympathetic toward Dexter essentially exacting vengeance against the man who shot his sister, it’s hard to envision a scenario where a suspect is fatally stabbed in the throat while in police custody and the cop who did it just walks away, no harm, no foul. The show’s set in Miami, not L.A., for crissakes.

The best part, arguably, dealt with Dexter’s internal struggle regarding whether it was possible for him to live a “normal” life, even if that meant fleeing the country with his girlfriend Hannah (Yvonne Strahovski), herself an accomplished killer; and his young son. Dexter’s ultimate choice might have had a certain poetry to it, but its backdrop — against the cleansing tide of a massive storm — felt a little too steeped in symbolism and melodrama. (One can also question whether Hannah is really an ideal guardian, given her background, but at this point, why quibble?)

At its best, “Dexter” set up engrossing cat-and-mouse games, pitting its eponymous antihero against killers every bit as determined and twisted as he was. Understandably, that level of narrative discipline proved difficult to maintain, which perhaps explains the Dexter-Deb contortions undertaken to compensate for it.

For Showtime, the series’ place in history is certainly secure — not only ranking as one of the pay channel’s first original hits, but the springboard that helped launch its Emmy-winning breakthrough “Homeland.” Dexter might have left behind “a trail of blood and body parts,” as the character observes in the finale, but TV-wise, the series cast a long shadow.

That said, it was long since time for the series itself to breathe its last. And in this case, that farewell came too late to feel satisfying — or merciful.

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  1. Holly says:

    What a completely disappointing ending. So, Deb just gets dumped in the ocean while Dexter scampers off to the Northwest? no closure for Baptista, Quinn? no mourning of Deb? no final awareness of who they were dealing with all along? no peak into Harrison’s future? I would have liked to have seen Deb come back to Dexter – as his guide – like their father did for all those years – perhaps seated behind Dexter during the closing scene of a bearded dexter lamenting his life. I mean…something…. seems like the writers just got sick of writing and copped an easy way out. like reading a page-turner book, only to find the last chapter anemic in creativity. The fans deserved more than this. It would have been better to have a 2 hour series finale. that is the second series ending disappointment so far this season… Burn Notice was a disappointment too.

  2. Martha says:

    Dexter’s realization that he had longed to be “human” and have feelings for so long and now that he did, he just wanted them to stop was powerful. I am sad that it’s over and wished for a happy ending. The significance of Deb dying and Dexter’s burial at sea was huge to me. Ultimately, Deb was his last victim despite his love for her. Dexter took her to bury her at sea like he had all of his other “victim’s” .
    Deb was wrapped in a white sheet, though, not in the plastic bags and when he pulls the sheet back from her, he held her face in his hands with love and tenderness. The symbolism of this gesture and the white sheet touched me deeply. When he threw the phone into the ocean, his only link to Harrison and Hannah, I knew that my hopes for a happily ever after were not to be.
    What a tremendous show. Michael C. Hall is a compelling actor. I feel a bit today like I did when Six Feet Under ended. Kind of like a good book that you can’t wait to finish to see what happens but are sad when it ends. I was a late comer despite my admiration and familiarity with Six Feet Under and Michael. I couldn’t imagine wanting to watch a show about a serial killer. I watched episodes for the first three seasons in a period of a couple of weeks and could not get enough.
    Jennifer Carpenter is a fabulous actor. The entire cast was perfect. Thanks to all of them and to the writers for giving us so much with this show.

  3. “it’s hard to envision a scenario where a suspect is fatally stabbed in the throat while in police custody and the cop who did it just walks away, no harm, no foul. The show’s set in Miami, not L.A., for crissakes.”

    Do you SEE the people getting away with shit in FL these days? This scenario is the most believable, I think. LOL

  4. James says:

    Daniel should have been intrudeced in an earlier season or have an extra season still as the Brain surgeon but to be stopped by Dexter and Vogyl who trained Daniel in the same way as Harry trained Dexter, Bring in Zack still and make him like Dexter’s son who he trains himself without the help of Vogyl, Daniel gets jealous of how his mum and Dexter pay more attention to Zack (Have them a story line how something like Daniel’s girlfriend cheats on him with Zack) Daniel kills his girlfriend and it sets off a huge argument between Daniel and Zack understandably Vogyl sides with Daniel and Dexter sides with Zack, Zack goes and kills Vogyl this would make Zack and Dexter fall out with Dexter, Daniel and Zack the three monsters she created out in Miami Daniel as the Brain surgeon and Zack with his own fucked up code, Zack and Daniel are both trying to kill Hanna as a way of hurting Dexter, Hanna is in the car with Harrison and Daniel ends up shooting at the car and then he turns and see’s Zack in a car behind him he shoots Zack in the chest but losing control and goes off a cliff, Both Zack and Daniel are in ICU and both close to dying Dexter realises that he has to kill both to save Hanna and Harrison he kills them both but gets caught on CCTV, Quinn ends up arresting Dexter but Deb convinces Quinn to just let him go but say he got away just give Dexter a chance of getting away, Dexter escapes but leaves Hanna to get caught with Harrison, Harrison gets put into care and moves from family to family and then you see Harrison as a 22 year old and he meets Hanna who he see’s as his mum outside of prison when she’s realeased he is outside in a white Van which Hanna gets into Harrison takes her back to his apparentment (Dexters old apparently) and there is Dexter laying on the Table the same as how Dexter does it the room is covered in plastic and there is pictures of everyone he has killed and a picture of Rita and 4 year old Harrison, Harrison walks over to the kitchen he goes into a cupboard and pulls out a Wooden box there is hundreds of Glass slides with blood like Dexter kept in the vent, Dexter wakes up on the table and Harrison turns around with a sick physopathic smile and says Hi daddy while out from the shadows walks Quinn he is an old man around 60-70 years old and walks up slices Dexters face and takes some blood, Harrison stabs Dexter through the Heart you see Dexter bleeding out the table is lifted (Raised like the Table Brain was killed on) and then sits at the bottom of the table the blood starts flowing and covers Harrison (Like how Harry found Dexter) then the Music starts and it ends

  5. rob says:

    The ending was great considering dexter found his humanity in a sense i just wish they dident leave such big gaps in the story over all im a die hard dex fan and always will be

  6. One thing about what the writer of this article wrote and then my opinion on the final episode:
    “it’s hard to envision a scenario where a suspect is fatally stabbed in the throat while in police custody and the cop who did it just walks away, no harm, no foul. The show’s set in Miami, not L.A., for crissakes.” Keeping in mind that Dexter was a cop and cops cover for each other, along with being in FLORI-DUH, the State that didn’t convict Casey Anthony or Gerge Zimmerman…it’s easier to see Dexter slide through the gaps in Miami, rather than L.A.

    The symbology as I took it:
    1) Deb being dead and wrapped in a white sheet, as she is buried at sea, was a death to the one thing of purity that he had in his life, throughout the majority of his life. All he could do with her gone was ruin Hannah and Harrison’s life from that point is how he saw it, so he stepped back to give them a chance at a decent life in a new place. Harrison gave him a silent permission by whispering to Dex that he loves Hannah.
    2) The arranged death at sea for himself stops any pursuit to find him, along with him being in a, clearly, different environment as a lumberjack in the mountains.
    3) Business as usual, for Dexter was wrapped up with Saxon’s death, along with any physical risks to the ones he loved.
    4) The story is left open, REALISTICALLY(Sorry to scare you, but it’s the truth.), as much as Zodiac never being caught or BTK serial killer being found leading a completely different life 30 years later. IT’s nice that you want to put it in a litte box and tuck it away, but it isn’t realistic, as many serial killers of the past have slipped away into the night and are PRESUMED dead or in jail, but that doesn’t make it so.
    5) We are left with a final look into the eyes of Dexter: a look of emptiness, sadness and PTSD in a form. It’s fitting for the serial killer who has finally realized he can’t be close to people, has lost all those he loved and is now subject to a life of nothingness for the rest of his life.
    6) In addition, we don’t see Dexter talking to his Dad anymore, thus the killing may be done, as he doesn’t need the image of Harry to talk to or guide him. There’s been a lead up to that, this season, as he stopped following Harry’s advice.
    7) Somewhere out there, we know..Dexter is still alive and he is always subject to change or..return to his old ways.

    To be honest, it’s a perfect ending for the Superhero Serial Killer Dexter.

  7. LW says:

    I agree. It was disappointing and not up to the series legacy of clever writing and plots. Oh well.

  8. Greg says:

    He tried ‘normal’ and couldn’t get that right, then went off the code’s rails, and even sent his dad packing. Is it possible, that by driving directly into a deadly storm, Dexter was committing suicide? If so, then I thought it was deliciously ironic that the all time best killer can’t even kill himself and ends up in a shack of purgatory. I can suspend disbelief one more time for my man Dexter.
    Plot holes – yes. Better possible ending – certainly. Decline since season 4 – yup. Dumping Deb in the bay – ouch. And It’s OK to call the writers on it. But I’m still sad that I won’t be PVRing my favourite TV anti-hero anymore.

  9. Valerie Overton says:

    The ending SUCKED!!! I was so disappointed. Dexter deserved to be happy. How could he just leave his son.

    • Brian says:

      Dexter did not deserve to be happy… He was a serial killer whose actions destroyed his family several times. He was a serial killer!! He gets nothing ad deserves nothing because he ply brings death to life ad now he has to deal with that fact cold and alone until he dies

      • Geoff says:

        Hey Brian, your an idiot! the whole point of the show is to see how someone can rid the world of the evil it has within it. If all you took away was the Dexter was a bad guy and deserves to be alone, you truly never watched the show or understood anything about it!

  10. rick says:

    The actors did a wonderful job portrayin the life of a serial killer. Even though serial kiilers have no emotions I felt Dexter was full of them. I hope this is not the last of Dexter.

  11. Missy says:

    ***SPOILER ALERT*** The final scene wasn’t necessary. They should have just let him die in the hurricaine – don’t get me wrong, I’m Team Dexter, but he was completely unraveled & after he put Deb’s body in the Ocean, it would have just made sense. That’s just my opinion. I’m not bashing anyone elses, it’s just how I would have liked it to end.

    • I just said the same thing to my fiance! At least that would have made more sense to have him just die in the storm. We would’ve been ok with that, although we wanted to see him end up happy And, it would have been a real conclusion. It just left it hanging and the ending was not good.

    • Kerry says:

      I agree completely – leave Dexter’s fate questionable.

  12. Stu Padaso says:

    Here is my ending that would have been much better!

    SPIOLERS AHEAD –

    Leave Debra in the hospital instead is her bloated body washing up on the beach someday. The doctor says it would take a miracle and that is the end of her story line. Is she a good person and deserves a miracle or bad person that should be punished? Leave it up to the viewer’s opinion of her and let them decide.

    As for Dexter –

    He goes into the storm saying he ruins everyone’s life. Screen goes black, then you see this criminal looking guy open his apartment, walks down his hall, turns on the light, you see a room covered in plastic, photos hanging, you see all this from his point of view, then you see the view shake, like a struggle then the vision starts to go blurry and dark until it’s gone….The end…meaning Dexter is just going to keep ridding the world of bad people. For those that think he should be punished, he is by not being with Hanna and his boy.

  13. Louweegie272 says:

    Season 7 was great. Not sure why this writer has such a hard on for the show? Fickle.

  14. Michael says:

    Worst series ending ever. Selling my blu rays. It actually makes re-watching previous Dexter seasons unappealing knowing where this once great show ends up.

  15. Craig Buckie says:

    Although Dexter is missing on plot points, Breaking Bad, the present darling, is doing the exact opposite and telling the viewer too much. Both are poor writing and hackneyed, but only one is called out on it.
    Less said is better, but truthfully, what little was said up in this show was kind of weak and scrambled. However, that ain’t going to be said about Breaking bad. Why? Both are ending shittily.

  16. acicxAcic says:

    Des should stay alive.
    No need to die.
    Stupid part of finale.

  17. Cortney says:

    Okay so I’m not totally mad about how it ended if a bunch of things made ZERO sense! 1 does nobody know what happened to Deb like oh she was a vegetable I guess that she’s missing is no biggie 2 does anybody wonder where Harrison is? since nobody knew he was with Hanna like hello and 3 how did dexter escape a hurricane that people on land wouldn’t of been able to survive?

    CAN SOMEONE PLEASE EXPLAIN THIS TO ME!

    ps. what about Aster and Cody why not send him with them like wtf

  18. Gaurav says:

    My Alternate Ending: Deb stays alive a little while longer and she still regrets killing LaGuerta so much so that she commits suicide but not before explaining everything about Dexter in a suicide note. (She would have to somehow prove that she wasn’t lying, but it would be the writer’s job to figure that out). Dexter discovers the note and goes on the run. He would be the most wanted man in america at that point. He delivers the exact same message to Hannah and Harrison [(the one he gave them before he chucked his phone in the water)-(he would have to contact Hannah before the news went viral)]. So now Dexter finds his new home and job, the lumberjack thing works. BUT, after receiving the news that Dexter had been found out she starts to resent him for leaving her with his kid in a foreign country with no plan and barely any money. One day Hannah catches Harrison with a dead rabbit and she knows that he is the same as Dexter so she trains Harrison and teaches him how to kill without being caught. She would put her own twist on the way he killed, maybe by teaching him about the plants she used to use. And Harrison knows about his dad; with the persuasion from Hannah, Harrison finds himself hating Dexter for leaving him and Hannah when he could have just fled to Argentina but Dexter chose not to. The final minute of the show would play out like this: *Hannah has passed away due to illness and age*. We find a young man sitting alone outside of a cabin eating an oreo cookie, he walks into the cabin lined wall to wall with plastic. On one of the walls is a picture of a 4 year old Harrison along with a picture of Hannah. In the centre of the cabin is a table with an unconscious, aged man wrapped up in plastic….fully constricted. The man regains consciousness and finds himself looking into a pair of two dark and unforgiving eyes….The old man could have sworn that he was looking into the past…seeing a son which he abandoned…the final line would be Harrison saying “Hello dad”. Harrison looks into the camera with the same creepy look that only a psychopath could achieve and the screen goes black….

    But I would also have Dexter (before Dexter is killed) attending the funeral of his long time and only true friend Bautista…watching from afar, bidding his final farewell to his friend. Quinn is Deputy Chief, Matsuka is working for the FBI as the head of the forensic department. And i would have Cody (Dexter’s stepson) working for Miami metro as sergeant (He would be about 30-40 years old). MEGA SURPRISE TWIST would be that Astor would be married to Harrison!!! (Yes, there is about a 15 year age gap but Astor is a single alcoholic) Astor would have no clue that its Harrison because he would have changed his identity to be with her. Why would Harrison be with Astor? He’s a psychopath.

    i think it would have taken another episode after they established Dexter being in exile. It would be an episode filled with familiar faces living their lives with the addition of an unrecognizable Harrison. Harrison could even work for Miami Metro as the blood spatter analyst…who knows. the possibilities would be endless.

    I feel like my ending is better for me and it literally took 30 mins to make up out of thin air,,, it doesn’t even feel like Dexter is over. Not for me anyways.. ;)

  19. vencam says:

    The fact that a bunch of relatively intelligent people (including Michael C. Hall) brainstormed for thousands of collective hours and finally said, “Perfect! This is great storytelling! This does justice to the series and provides meaningful resolution for the fans! Let’s celebrate on a job well done!”… just blows my fucking mind. The whole season was so disjointed and filled with irrelevant characters and plot lines, it made me feel like I just watched 3 different seasons that were hastily thrown together like a late homework assignment. Aside from feeling extremely disappointed, I actually feel profoundly embarrassed for the creators.

  20. cvmmorris says:

    Regardless, I am glad that I was finally put out of MY misery with this Dexter finale!

    This show went from one of the best to not. Pinnacles? There were many, including the very notion I might LIKE a serial killer. But this last season, where the wrong people were offed and the useless remained. I will not even comment on the creepy bro/sis relationship with Dexter and Deb or the sometimes irritating little boy.

    RIP Dexter! I know I now will!

  21. cvmmorris says:

    Regardless, I am glad that I was finally put out of MY misery with this Dexter finale!

    This show went from one of the best to not. Pinnacles? There were many, including the very notion I might LIKE a serial killer. But this last season, where the wrong people were offed and the useless remained. I will not even comment on the creepy bro/sis relationship with Dexter and Deb or the sometimes irritating little boy.

  22. JustAFan says:

    I’m going to miss this series, I was relived when Deb made it to the hospital and it looked like she would pull through eventually – but of course, then she took a bad turn. I would have been happy to see her and Quinn have a future. Also, when Rita passed, I was very bummed about that, and no one filled her shoes until Hanna came along. Dex, Hanna and Harrison was definitely a happy ending I could get behind. In the review above, they comment whether Hanna is a suitable guardian and I say of course, she mentioned how she wanted a child. But she also wanted and deserved Dexter. Deb, Dexter, Hanna, Rita, Angel, and all the Miami Metro gang – it’s been one hella ride.

  23. Dexter says:

    Did Jennifer Carpenter pay them to make everything about her?

  24. It’s a miracle for Deb to recover, but it’s not a miracle for Dexter to survive a Hurricane in a fishing boat? That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

    Thank you for not actually using an iceberg. Which, yes, I do think would have been a possibility considering how appauling season 8 became. You had a fantastic opportunity with Dr. Vogal. I feel it could have been so much more. Yes, it made sense, but boring things do. It’s why they’re boring.

    After Dr. Vogal died it became an emulation of the intensity you felt with Trinity. This could have been suitable for, perhaps, an earlier season. It would have been a better Dr. Vogal worked with Dexter to begin therapy with her son. It would have been more entertaining if Saxon had become an influence on Dexter. Say, by feeding his dark passenger.

    I would think you could liken this to Rudy, but I believe this could be effective if done subtly enough. I think Saxon being treated as a physical manifestation/influence of Dexter’s dark passenger may actually give us, the viewer and Dexter himself, a better understanding of it. As, let’s be honest, that whole thing felt a little wasted.

    This also would have built on the original theme of Dexter having a prodigee. Maybe DExter could have changed him. This would have built on Dexter breaking his code, thus breaking his cycle. If he breaks his cycle he can cure himself, maybe? If he could forgive Saxon for his past murders (This would of course be post-Deb-getting-shot and before he kills Dr. Vogal) and start to teach him then maybe this would have allowed Dexter to move on. Saxon could even replace Dexter.

    Hell, that would have been a better ending.

    If Debra didn’t get shot, would Dexter have blamed himself. Probably not. Would all of this have been possible, yes. I think Saxon would have taken to a brother understanding his urges to murder. His feelings of rejection and not fitting in. The similar situation of not having a mother. Yes, Saxon would be vengeful towards Dr. Vogal, but being in such an accepting environment, he might (at least open the door to) change.

    Dexter becomes replaced, Dexter moves away with Hannah, he looks after his son, raises him right (as he has so far), Debra gets with Joey, Batista smokes a cigar and gives her away at the wedding, we see Jamie’s bewbs one last time and Saxon reconciles with his mother and becomes the butcher. HOWEVER, have Saxon cracking at the last minute, he goes on a rampage and Dexter takes him down. Maybe have him kill someone close to Dexter…(Thinking, thinking)…Maybe, maybe Debra could kill Saxon. It would still be tragic as Dexter created her?

    Dexter would look at Deb and just leave, moving away. “I ruin everything, I hurt everyone close to me”. Then move away with the murderer and your already traumatized son. Stop being a p***y.

    Maybe Debra could take his place. You could end with her standing over a rapist at a table. A shoddy table, she wouldn’t be pro yet.

    This would be a thousand times better. I realise there are plot holes, but this did only take me 10 minutes…I still think this is better than what paid writers took several weeks to think up…

    P.S In the end have the camera pan up into the clouds. Have Doakes nodding with approval smoking a cigar. Then have him look at the camera with surprise and look shocked. Have hi say “Surprise mother fuckers!” (This is called a joke)

    P.S.S I have never seen a finale so bad, that it made me look back on all of Dexter and planted the seed of “Actually, was the writing ever good….?”

  25. Kelli Corbett says:

    That was the worst ending I have ever seen in a TV show. I couldn’t be more disappointed. Sad.

  26. Geecee says:

    Terrible, terrible ending. Lame and extremely unimaginative.

  27. bbvffghnn says:

    I thought season 5 and 6 were great. 7 and 8 had their ups and downs.

    I thought the finale was AWFUL. Debra gets killed and Dexter becomes a LUMBERJACK? Dexter just abandons Harrison? Lame lame lame.

    • That’s the part that pissed me off royally. Someone whose entire world was built upon losing a parent would NOT just abandon their child like that. Also, Hannah feels like a Lila but with a much higher body count. They realized how great the Lila/Dexter relationship was and tried to recreate it.

      Also, Dex and Deb just leaving Saxon ALONE while they went to discuss things is such a cheap way to make Saxon a threat. Dexter was too smart to ever leave a victim alone, and they had no reason to leave the building to chat.

  28. I think most people could identify with Dexter in some way. His back and forth struggle to fit in, not because he necessarily appreciated the “normal” world, but because it was the best way to divert attention from his Dark Passenger. I’m actually quite saddened by the choices made in this finale. I don’t feel it was worthy of Dexter and all he has been through, nor what he has learned or is capable of. I would have loved to see Masuka lamenting with the other guys at the station about the disappearance of Dexter’s boat (and therefore presumably Dexter himself) then the camera following Masuka home, maybe sharing an awkward parental convo with his daughter on the phone, grabbing a beer from the fridge and finally following him into the basement of his house where he too has a kill room..it sounds extreme, but it would have perhaps demonstrated the reality of all these other characters living alongside Dexter yet completely out of his periphery…and it would have shown how despite him feeling so emotionally isolated for all this time, he was actually more like others than he thought. I don’t believe that showing him living some new, miserable life as a hermit honors his journey or quite honestly, ours as viewers. Dexter craved what he didn’t understand. Once he got it, he was still unsure. He tried and failed. The finale failed us all. His expression in the ending scene was one of emptiness, and in one way I understand that…but in another, I think it would have been far better to show his anger having returned. A glare. A reminder that you can’t always escape who you are. Not a shell of a man, but a monster reborn. Maybe one with no virtues left at all.

  29. isaac says:

    i just think it was really stupid how be can just forget about his own son, like why waste time living a new life? it would have been better to just kill himself. i mean im disappointed because the writers didn’t give us anything to be happy about. okay yes deb one of the best on the show dead , yes it is sad. but why leave hannah and harrison to live alone? thats just an all time sad ending. i won’t get over this. i’m hoping for a season 9 just to fix everything even if this season doesn’t come for a few years

  30. Omer Amir says:

    If I was in control of the ending I would have made dexter jump in the ocean with Debra. Yeah he was a protagonist but he was still a killer. Him dying along with Deb would have been the greatest ending to the greatest show.

  31. owen says:

    There is one reason I really liked the finale in spite of numerous logical leaps we must endure. Dexter found out that he had something to live for that was more important to him than killing people. He was set to have a life with Hannah and Harrison. But, part of having humanity is dealing with pain and suffering and imagine how powerful that emotion would be if you experienced it for the first time. To me that is the whole beauty of the series. We were teased with the idea that Dexter had a human side that just needed to be brought to the surface. We as viewers wanted that because we wanted a reason to like him. But ultimately Dexter is a psychopath who stayed true to his selfish nature of protecting himself from emotion at all costs. The finale was terrible in regards to how it ended for every character besides Dexter, but in the end Dexter is the only character that matters. And what is the big deal if he is a logger or a fisherman or a bar tender or any other low profile job because we all know he really is just a serial killer.

  32. I loved the ending… reading your boring drivel makes me question my sanity. The last scene was enough for me.

    All of you pissing and whining because your perfect ending was not the ending are pathetic. Shut up and enjoy it you crybaby ninnies. He’s a serial killer, fools!

  33. Jared Miller says:

    What can I say other than I’m sad, I’m hurt, and I am most of all disappointed with the ending. It was like 50 minutes of the finale were written by a genius and the last 10 were written by a person who just did not care about the fans of Dexter. My perfect ending would be Dexter hugging Deb as the hurricane storm comes through and cuts all power off in the hospital ultimately killing off Deb while Dexter holds on to Deb’s lifeless body, letting her go in a brotherly way with emotion finally, and without having to go through the whole boating scene. He talks to his fathers ghost one last time and Harry disappears telling him that he has found a new way to live life and that he must protect Harrison and Hannah. Hannah is giving Harrison breakfast in Argentina worrying about Dexter, she doesn’t see him and fears the worst with tears swelling up in her eyes, she goes to get up and leave with Harrison and Dexter comes from behind, he puts his hand on her shoulder from behind and whispers in her ear that nothing will come between them ever again. Harrison yells Daddy, they hug, everyone is smiling, Hannah is weeping with happiness, Dexter is smiling and camera backs off slowly showing Dexter holding his suitcase with knifes and needles. Roll fucking credits……..

    • lynn says:

      I like that ending too :).
      … It could still happen, after all, they are still alive.

    • Beatrice says:

      You’re another one who should have been on the Dexter writing payroll, cuz everything you said was better than the bullshit ending that we fans got!!!

      • nathan says:

        +1. Cant change it now but why tell a story of his impending happiness and then make him an isolated lumberjack. Is it that hard to finish with some hope.

  34. Beatrice says:

    This critique is spot on. As every Dexter fan knows the show flew to close to the sun with season 4 and was never able to reproduce the brilliance of that season. While the acting remained stellar he writing quality was consistently deteriorating over the last 4 years and culminated in this finale which was very weighted in sadness but still lacking considerable substance and sophistication. The finale feels as if the writers were going for the saddest finale of all time- using a slight of hand in a sense to detract from a satisfying, cohesive, logical, and lineal ending. There was no reason to kill off Deb. But then once Deb was dead why would that lead to Dex believing that no one is safe especially after he killed is antagonist?? I’m not sure what the writers were going for maybe they wanted us the viewers to take the leap and conclude that Dex’s guilt has lead him to believe that no one is safe around him, but that is incongruous with Dex’s intelligence if he felt he was guilty for Deb’s death then he would have punished himself based on guilt, but he walked away from possibly a happy life because he thought he’d some how bring danger to Hannah and Harrison if he remained in their life. It just didn’t make sense! If anything following that logic he should driven his boat into the hurricane in an effort to kill himself. Keeping Dex alive, but somewhere with a new identity makes no sense as he is a killer and presumably will still be out there hunting dirt-bags. So what now, given his nature won’t he at some point need a cover life so that he can stalk and kill? The only reason killing had lost its appeal is because he was happy and was looking forward to a new life, but now having taken everything away from him what is there for him but killing, and won’t that mean he’d need a cover life which would lead to new relationships ie; people, wife, kids, etc and then they’d be in harms way too? I could go one forever with why this finale sucked, but despite the fact that given the poor quality of writing the series should have ended along time ago, so I’m glad it finally ended before it got even worse. It’s sad cuz this show had all kids of potential, but it took such a serious fall after season 4 and only ever managed to be inconsistent thereafter, and this is why it will never be the best show of all time, but it will take a spot for most creative premise.

    BREAKING BAD RULES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  35. The ending scene was brilliant if you understood it….read below for that explanation. Some people caught on here. This last episode was slightly sloppy to where I found myself raising an eyebrow a few times, but it’s usually happened in my opinion with series finales.
    I loved this show, all eight years. I’ll miss it. Only show I was ever hooked on. Part of me went down with Deb. Haters gon hate.

  36. Eireann says:

    The ending was utterly disappointing. How dare he dispose of debs body by throwing her to the sea like all his previous victims. That would of been debs ultimate nightmare. He left his little boy with a serial killer and god only knows what’s going to happen to her. That is so disrespectful to Rita! The ending lacked everything and to justify it with stupid metaphors is insulting to the viewers of a series that has always been “in your face” I loved dexter with all my heart and watched it religiously but this last season was absolutely awful! Very, very unsatisfying.

  37. HollyG says:

    Dark Passenger clearly visible behind the eyes. Fade to black. Wait a few years, and – poof – we’ve got the springboard to the motion picture version of Dexter on the Big Screen.

    It didn’t go out as the tightly crafted show we grew to love and expect, but it beat the snot out of the series finale of The Sopranos. They shouldve called it quits when Deb found him at the church w Travis Marshall (Colin Hanks). Season 6 couldve been an excellent cliffhanger.

  38. Kristina Stanfield says:

    I think many of your comments are missing the meta view of the series. If you get away from the mundane inability to suspend disbelief for a second, to see Dexter in the last scene, a grimy man alone in a rental room somewhere in logging land, without comfort of any kind, with no family, no love, you can see that he took the most punishing route of utter banishment from humankind. He chose to pay the price for all the unintentional death he wrought. Dexter was never a suicidal type of person. So, the last scene, we see him as who he would have been if Debra had never been that close, close person in his life, the one he always stayed near to protect. The one he built his persona for. And when she has died, and he returned her body to the water with all the others he has killed, there is nothing left to keep him from becoming that man in the cabin, perfectly anonymous in his creepy look, the isolation, the hard job. The beautiful duo of Hannah and Harrison will be fine. No one needs to know anything more about this shadow person who lived among them for a while. It goes dead silent for a final instant and Dexter is gone. Now it is just the Dark Passenger.
    Such a great ending.
    I enjoyed the series start to finish, call me too uncritical, but I couldn’t have written such a complex, morally compromising, oddly beautiful world for 8 years. Thanks to the creators of Dexter, all of you!

  39. Zelda says:

    Through tears of disappointment, “WHAT!?!?!”
    I’m going to take a tranquilizer now, go to sleep and hope it was a bad dream.

  40. Danny says:

    I wonder if Dexter Morgan (who’s no doubt now assumed a new name post-Miami) is probably now living in Dexter, Oregon, a logging town?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dexter,_Oregon

  41. I actually liked the finale. I know this season overall was really disappointing, but given the cards on the table, I think this turned out pretty nicely. Sure, there were moments that made no sense, but there were others that surprised me, such as Saxon getting arrested (the justice system outsmarts the killers). As for things “making sense” like Debra being taken away, I did think that scene could have been written better. When Dexter threw his cellphone into the ocean, I was sure that he was going to stand at the edge of the boat and stab himself in the heart, his body falling into the water. I trully thought that his last play would be killing himself after breaking his code and killing Debra, an innocent. I think it would have been more poetic. Alternatively, the only other change I would have made would be the last few seconds. The last scenes are a direct ripoff of The Dark Knight Rises: the hero faces seemingly unsurvivable circumstances, fakes his death, his loved ones are at some foreign cafe. Dexter’s last shot is obviously suppose to convey that the dark passenger is back, but for some reason he looks more bored than anything. I would have instead have him walking into a plastic-lined room, take out an empty box of slides, look up at the camera, and smile.

    • Beatrice says:

      ” Dexter’s last shot is obviously suppose to convey that the dark passenger is back, but for some reason he looks more bored than anything. I would have instead have him walking into a plastic-lined room, take out an empty box of slides, look up at the camera, and smile” Damn, that would have been awesome!!!! Dammit you should have been writing for Dexter all these years!!!

  42. kemba says:

    i think it should have ended with dexter being found out as a serial killer and the news going crazy about if he was right or wrong. dexter finding peace from his dark passenger is sappy.

    • Zerg says:

      Yes, such an ending where Dexter gets exposed to the public would have been more satisfying. A nationwide hunt, eventually Dexter eludes capture and escapes abroad, forever alone. Can you imagine the looks of Batista, Quinn, Masuka and Mathewson when that hits the fan?

  43. Marissa says:

    Highly disappointing, but honestly, season 8 hasn’t even felt as the same show it was back in seasons 1 and 2. This sounds like denial, but it’s really not: I just didn’t feel like this was the same Dexter I remember. Since it’s been like that for so long, this last episode didn’t bother me as much. It’s just been on the decline for too long.

    With that said, when I think of Dexter, I’m thankfully always going to think of the first few seasons (up to season 4). Fantastic series, sadly with a bad last season – but hey, it happens. Shows just go on too long to the point where its ending is long overdue, shouldn’t make us feel less about its triumphant beginning.

  44. Carmen says:

    Wow. Did not see this coming. Did not like it, either. The Deb death was disappointing. First of all, she was fine, fine, fine. Then oops, she had a major stroke. The doctor basically says–oh oops we told you wrong–now she’s doomed to live in a vegetative state on life support forever. Quinn, who supposedly loves her so much, would not have left her side if that were the case. Nope. Once they find that out, it’s too bad so sad for Deb. It’s just business as usual for everyone. Then, I can understand that no,she’d never want to live like that, but I doubt she’d want her body hijacked and dumped at sea as if she were just another Dexter, “kill”. I knew he was not going to die since he threw his cell phone in the water. If he had planned to ride off into the storm and die, no need to dump the cell, as it would have been dumped then anyway when he died. Next we see the shock from people that Dexter obviously went down with his boat. Where is the shock that Debra was kidnapped from the hospital? Where are the co-workers of hers saying— what?? What do you mean Deb just disappeared and is nowhere to be found? No. It’s like—what?? Dexter is gone?!!! Oh Deb, she was gonna die anyway so guess we don’t have to miss work now for a funeral. Then Hannah can pull it together to get ice cream? And Dex survives, really, how? And just like that– I’m a serial killer turned lumberjack and hey, who needs to be with their son anyway? Let him have a great time in Argentina. Yep, a 4 year old could adjust to that! Guess you will need a quick Rosetta Stone course, Harrison, when you change to kindergarten there. All over the place!! And the others? None of their lives are impacted and life just goes on like la la la la la– we have no brains.

  45. Matt says:

    The ending seemed to have a lot more depth than what most of you think. Committing suicide was too easy of a solution for Dexter and instead of taking the easy way out, I feel as though the very final 30 seconds show that Dexter is instead taking the burden of everyone that he has hurt and is placing it on his shoulders… so he feels the pain. As he states, he has hurt everyone that has ever meant anything to him and his way of partially making up for it is to finally feel the pain that he has brought upon everyone else that has been close to him.

  46. Ivan says:

    As an 8 year devoted follower of this show, I cannot explain how disappointed I was with the final episode. If Dexter’s reasoning for faking his own death is to protect his son (Harrison) from himself, why not leave him to grow up with his siblings and grand parents instead of sending him off to South America with the only other surviving character on the show who also harbors a co-dependently harmful dark passenger.

    Not to mention becoming a lumberjack in what looked like Alaska. What is that about?

    If the series had a better ending, I would consider it to have historically been one of the best TV shows ever. This last episode ruined it for me.

  47. crystal scates says:

    I would like to say that I have been hooked on this show from the beginning. I have loved every episode of every season, until now. I watched this last episode on the edge of my chair and it was great. Deb being his only link to his life at Miami died, great. Through loosing her he realized he was no good to anyone, great. I thought this is a really good way to end the show. Let him ride off into the storm and then………WTF?? I wish someone could tell me why they always have to ruin a good thing. They had the perfect ending to a terrific show right there in the palm of their hand and they could not leave well enough alone. So how does this wonderful show full of excitement and drama end? Does it end sad with him dying, No. Does it end happy with him running away with his girl, no. Hey I got it let’s make him a lumberjack, cause that makes sooooo much sense. UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Pat says:

      ahaha yea… thats the worst i agree shit made absolutely no sense just abandons his son and his smoking hot girlfriend to become a fucking lumberjack jesus christ .. that was the holocaust of endings

      • InappropriateMomentForAnF-Bomb says:

        Dexter has gone from a man who could drive around with his kill tools in his trunk “I work for Miami Metro Homicide’s Forensics Department…” to a man who can drive around with his kill tools (chainsaw, hammer, etc) under a tarp in the bed of his pick-up. “I’m a lumberjack” ….& let’s not forget just what role a chainsaw plays in his origins. We are left to assume that Dexter shall remain as society’s janitor, disposing of those like him… though him using a chainsaw will make it more brutal & rage-filled. Given how his mother died, & the influence it had on him, being a lumberjack who handles a chainsaw is not a quiet end for him. But the writers only set it up for us to make that connection. They failed to spell it out properly.

  48. Lindsey says:

    I’ve watched the series since the beginning, and can honestly say I am sad to see it complete. This last season, while less interesting as a whole, still held a good amount of content in my opinion.

    Deb dealing with the whole ‘Dexter kills people/ we killed LaGuarta together’ by going off in a angry drug getaway was pretty unbelievable. For as much as she always wanted to do the right thing, for her to go that whole route was a bit extreme. Deb coming clean that quickly and to be back on ‘Team Dexter’ that quickly, also a bit hard to believe.

    I think the way Deb was killed off at the end of the series by her brother, essentially, then dumped into the ocean like all of his other victims was ridiculous. First of all, how did no nurse not respond to her vitals dropping, then no one else responding to Dexter just wheeling her out of the hospital like its no big deal??! Not realistic.

    How Dexter was able to get off for killing Saxon just because he’s worked for the department and they understand what he’s going through? A better ending would’ve been Batista being forced to arrest him.

    Overall, I think the ending of this show could’ve used some work, but I was glad to see that Elway or Clayton didn’t catch him!

  49. Doug says:

    I’m okay with those that died; I’m okay with those that were left behind.

    But I think the final thirty seconds should have been Dexter stepping out of the closet and using a syringe on another murderer with the voice-over saying “I can’t keep them safe with me, but – for my family – I can still keep the monsters at by.”

    Have Dexter smile at the camera and… cut to black.

    • Dave says:

      That was pretty much exactly what I was thinking. I would have been satisfied (at least content) with it if he had died, but when I saw him walking into that shack, I thought okay, he must be walking into a kill room here, gonna be a full on set up with someone strapped to a table, pictures on the wall, the whole 9… And instead, he sits at the table and breaks the 4th wall… Epic fail showtime…

      • Ashley says:

        I think everyone is looking at it in the wrong way. Dexter did die. Once Deb was gone he realized that he couldn’t live between both worlds anymore, so he made a choice. Dexter is no longer Dexter, and dying would have been the easy way out. And he knew that.

    • Jesse B says:

      Brilliant!!! You should’ve written that last episode!! That ending would’ve been perfect!!!

    • Matt says:

      That would of been perfect. Maybe I can pretend that was the ending…

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