“It’s just the absence of light, Deb.”
Eight seasons have passed since Dexter first made the leap from the pages of Jeff Lindsay’s Darkly Dreaming Dexter onto televisions everywhere. Eight seasons of a serial killer turned human being struggling to compartmentalize the different roles in his life: a forensics analyst, a father, a brother, a husband and a vigilante killer. Eight seasons and it is all over now.
Let’s talk about Dexter‘s final episode, “Remember the Monsters?”.
In my last Dexter review, I made some predictions about how I thought Dexter‘s final moments would unfold and revealed a few of my thoughts about how I thought it should end. While I wasn’t too pleased with the direction the second half of the season went (specifically with some of the writing), something can be said about how wrong I was on most fronts about this season. Dexter‘s writers might have dropped the ball from time to time in the last season, but they did manage to tell a story that I feel wrapped up Dexter’s life in a way that is sufficiently satisfying. There is no way I would have accepted Dexter being able to walk away from Miami with a happy life with Hannah and Harrison in Argentina. “Good guy” or not, Dexter (like Walt in Breaking Bad) is a murderer and an anti-hero at best — neither deserve a happy ending in my eyes.
Dexter didn’t get one.
Unfortunately, the one thing I did get right about the Dexter finale was the one thing I didn’t want to be. As much as I loved Deborah Morgan, she needed to die. Dexter needed some consequences for all of his missteps — something that would really cut his ties to Miami forever. There were only two options: either Dexter dies (which he did, kind of) or Deb does. Otherwise, what would really be stopping him from leaving the wild penguins of Argentina to go back to see his sister? The first news of some serial killer striking in Miami and Dexter would have been back to make sure Deb was okay. There was no way both of them were leaving this series with their lives intact. Even accepting these facts, it didn’t lessen the blow of the loss of Deb. She deserved better than what she got, but the show is called Dexter for a reason — Deb’s fate (and everyone in the series, really) ultimately revolves around what needs to happen to Dexter at that point in his life.
While I believe at this point that I enjoyed the Dexter finale, there was one thing that consistently bothered me: how oblivious the people of Miami are to their surroundings. How did no one notice Saxon knock out a man and steal his car? How about when Saxon cut out a man’s tongue in front of a visibly packed hospital? Are you telling me that the victim didn’t scream or make any commotion at all when he knew Saxon wasn’t going to leave him unharmed? How about Dexter going into Deb’s room, pulling the plug on her, then walking out of the hospital and onto his boat with a body? I’ll give them that one because Hurricane Laura was about to strike Miami.
You would think with a murder solve rate hovering around 20% the people in charge of Miami Metro would be changing out every month or two until they fixed the problem, but I guess it isn’t the police departments fault when their citizens have no peripheral vision whatsoever.
I also am a bit disappointed with the open-ended side stories that were sort of dropped off the face of the earth since they didn’t have much to do with Dexter:
Why did we have to meet Masuka’s daughter and deal with her for so long? I am guessing it is because they needed someone to fill Dexter’s shoes after he left and Masuka needed something to do for the last season, but I feel pretty unfulfilled here. Masuka was beacon of light in a series about murder and was one of my favorite characters because of it. I will never forget the scene where Masuka breaks down his theory on a crime scene back in Lumen’s season. Thank you for your service, Masuka.
Why would Dexter leave Harrison with Hannah when he could have let him go life with his half-siblings and grandparents? Sure, Dexter didn’t plan to leave the two of them on their own, but he also showed that he did not care about Astor or Cody at all in his final moments. Sure, they weren’t really his kids, but if he doesn’t care about telling them he loves them one last time, what makes him think Hannah will be content taking care of a child that isn’t hers once he’s gone? Poor choice, Dex.
And, seriously, what happened to Angie Miller? We were told she was a smart, hard-working detective who deserved to move up the ranks more than Quinn, but vanished off the face of the earth once Batista decided to consider Quinn instead. Speaking of which, why did we even need that storyline? It didn’t go anywhere. Which also leads me to wonder why we needed Jaime and Quinn to be together? Sure, she held Quinn’s interest while Deb was emotionally unavailable, but she also was used to motivate Quinn into the unnecessary Sergeants’ Exam storyline. I was hoping that Dexter would give Jamie his old apartment since he didn’t need it and Jamie didn’t have a place to live since she broke up with Quinn.
Nope, no love for Jamie. Oh well.
Dexter has been a bumpy ride, but a fun one, nonetheless. The series has consistently managed to be one of the better offerings on television for eight years and I uphold that even the worst season of Dexter (Season 3, in my opinion) is better than your average television drama. While some of the earlier seasons were definitely better than the later seasons, I would not change the series one bit. Overall, I am very happy with my time with Dexter and he (and the rest of the cast) will be dearly missed here.
Goodbye, Dexter Morgan.