Dexter Reaction: A week later

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by Ashley Binion (@AshleyBinion)

They say there are five stages of grief. After eight years, there should be grieving of the revolutionary series Dexter. But, a week later this fan is still stuck in the anger phase. I thought a week later I would look at the series finale and the last season differently, but it hasn’t changed that much.

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

Dexter was always the most compelling when the title character worked to get out from under sticky situations. That could be why the three of the first four seasons are so highly regarded.

Some might say the entire last season was a waste of time. There were side stories, like Matsuka learning about his daughter, that didn’t fit into the overall narrative and it wasted valuable time that could have been spent on more compelling storylines.

Dexter’s romance with Hannah seemed forced and overdone. Their romance came to a natural end in the seventh season, so to bring it back felt boring and cliché. And who can forget Harrison’s treadmill accident earlier in the season? She walked right into the hospital and in a later episode an airport without a disguise. You’re a wanted fugitive and you don’t wear a disguise? Really?

The misdirection about the final season’s big bad was drawn out and mundane. However, Dexter’s kill of Oliver Saxon was quite fun to watch and gripping.

The introduction of Dr. Vogel in the season’s first episode was a strong idea, but unfortunately it was never fully developed.

Instead of having another guest staring big bad, the series should have had Dexter deal with the fallout of someone learning his secret, or at least getting caught.

To a point it makes sense that they didn’t want to go that route because in season two and seven, two of his co-workers found out about his deep dark secret. The writers pinned themselves into a corner they couldn’t get out of.

There was one aspect of the finale that worked: the death of Deb. His final kill was for a completely different reason than his other kills. Dexter had rid himself of his “Dark Passenger” and only killed his sister to set her free. Deb’s death served as one final lesson for the character.

Deb’s portrayer, Jennifer Carpenter, got the ending she wanted. As most recently as this year’s SDCC, she said the only way she would be able to move on from the show is if her character died.

The death worked. The imagery of the white linens in the foreground of an impending tropical storm was marvelous. What didn’t work was Dexter carrying her out and no one noticing. Seriously?

Dexter killing himself would have been an okay ending, and maybe the writers should have left it there.
But, they had to throw in Dexter as a lumberjack. Why a lumberjack? Yes, I know it’s as far away from Miami as possible, but it seemed like such a cop out.

Along with that, it wasn’t explained. Does he still kill even though he rid himself of his “Dark Passenger?”

Dexter the series deserved better, Dexter the character deserved better, and the Dexter fans certainly deserved better.


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