‘Dexter’ Series Finale Review – What Did You Think?

Published 2 years ago by , Updated September 27th, 2013 at 9:06 am,

dexter series finale Dexter Series Finale Review   What Did You Think?

After 8 seasons on the air, Showtime’s hit series Dexter has finally come to an end. In the highly-anticipated conclusion to the tale of Dexter Morgan, everyone’s favorite blood spatter analyst ends a life for the last time. But did the right life come to an end  – and, more importantly, what did you think of the ending?

Throughout Dexter’s season 7 & 8 journey, the once thought-to-be emotionless serial killer has been attempting to explore another side of himself, hoping to understand what it means to be human and to feel human emotions. Thanks to Dr. Evelyn Vogel, as well as Debra and Hannah, Dexter was able to touch upon the origins of his creation, the everlasting love of a sibling and the potential to live happily ever after. But in the end, it was Deb who fell because of Dexter’s sins and Hannah who took on the responsibility of Dexter’s most prized possession. As for Dexter? He somehow skipped out on more child support.

Yes, it seems that, with all the foreshadowing and exploration of Dexter becoming more than he was meant to be, the path that he chose to go down was based on one thing: everyone he loves ends up getting hurt. With that, Dexter has given up the chance to begin a new life with Hannah and Harrison; instead, Miami Metro’s one-time finest has decided to become a lumberjack, for the time being. So… was the Dexter series finale somewhat of a letdown?

dexter series finale dexter Dexter Series Finale Review   What Did You Think?

As with any series, Dexter has had some high and lows throughout its run on the air, but audiences were still ready and willing to explore whichever avenue producers decided to go down. When Dr. Evelyn Vogel first appeared on the show, it was thought that it would be her who would bring down the Butcher, but as the season progressed, her story-arc allowed us to explore more of Dexter’s past, allowing fans to learn much more about the character before he walked off into the sunset. Still, no matter how much character progression and evolution the season introduced, it was as if the finale threw it all away for a twist ending that is not only wholly unoriginal, but was also awkward in execution.

It seems, at least in part, that Debra’s death was ultimately the only way producers would be able elicit an emotional response from viewers. If Dexter died, viewers would (momentarily) be sad, but would ultimately understand (he’s a murderer, after all); if Hannah died, viewers would be happy; if Dexter was caught, viewers would want to know what happens next.

When caught between a rock and a hard place – or, in this case, a series that’s coming to an end – it appears that the Debra’s death was the only way to end the series; that is, if Showtime president David Nevins is still trying to drum up interest in a Dexter spin-off (which probably wasn’t helped by AMC’s spin-offs of Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead).

dexter series finale hannah Dexter Series Finale Review   What Did You Think?

That said, television shows are never really about the start or ending – it’s about the journey. So while Dexter’s series finale was much more a forgettable conclusion than the ending of an earnest opus, it’s impossible to deny the fact that Showtime has brought 8 great years of entertainment to our televisions. Sure, there were a few hit or miss seasons here and there, but Dexter will forever be known as the show which made the world fall in love with a serial killer – and unfortunately, like with most tales about serial killers, this one ends poorly.

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Dexter aired October 1, 2006 – September 22, 2013 on Showtime.

Follow Anthony Ocasio on Twitter @anthonyocasio
TAGS: Dexter
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  1. I was let down. After all the intensity of all 7 seasons, I feel the writers got very lazy on the final three episodes of Dexter. For instance: Dexter would NEVER leave a serial killer on the table and wait for his sister to take them into custody; Who thought up that bright idea? Also Deb gets carried out of the hospital after being put on life support, and no one at the hospital notices this?? Really? Then Dexter dumps his sister in the ocean wrapped in a sheet? Bogus!!! The whole hannah comeback was unbelievable also. A very sucky ending to a brilliant series.

    • I agree. If Dexter didn’t want to raise his boy he should of sent him off to live with his brother and sister, not some psycho. I haven’t any idea why he carried Deb out of the hospital instead of letting her colleagues, family, etc bury and mourn her. Whomever contributed to this scrip should of ended up on Dexter’s table.

    • I agree. If Dexter didn’t want to raise his boy he should of sent him off to live with his brother and sister, not some psycho. I haven’t any idea why he carried Deb out of the hospital instead of letting her colleagues, family, etc bury and mourn her. Whomever contributed to this scrip should of ended up on Dexter’s table (figuratively please).

    • Agreed!

  2. bad bad ending to a great show hopefully there will be a season 9 and let the show end happy

  3. there was n0 ending at all only questions of what happens next come back with season 9 come on dont kill a great show like this with a trash ending

    • They should have killed off someone else like the captain or Hannah so Debra and Quinn could get back together . They could have ended it with Dexter getting his two step kids moving into a bigger house with Cassie and him walking Debra down the aisle to Quinn . A happy prefect ending

  4. I’m from Australia so I just finished watching season 8, for myself I couldn’t wait to see a episode week by week so I recorded all the episodes and watched it in my own time. I loved how as the story progressed that there was twists and turns through the story ( it reminded me of the first few seasons of dexter ). So when it came to the last two episodes of season 8 I was eager to see what was going to happen – I was completely caught of guard with how the writers etc decided to take dexter on his final voyage, for me the way I thought it should have ended was not with deb dyeing or dexter turning his back on Hanna or Harrison but with him faking his own death and meeting up with Hanna and some how leaving deb a clue that he was safe and still alive and well with Hanna and Harrison! I think the ending was a very sloppy way to write out a real terrific character that had so much promise in the start to a dismal end. What made dexter so well like globally was how well the show was written! How ever on this season in the end they fell well short for the dexter himself truly deserved, please guys do one more season – send dexter out the way he really deserved to be sent out!

    • Nathan ,
      The very end showed Dexter with what seemed like in the logging area of Canada some months later
      . Will Dexter make a comeback sometime in the future ? The creators have really left the door open . I still don’t like the fact that one of my favourite characters , Debra was killed off .

      • It was stated a couple years back that Dexter would end with Season 8.

  5. GreGree

  6. GreG

  7. Here is how we fix this finale betrayal. Showtime allots 2 hours for a Dexter movie event. In that event, we open with Dexter, now going by the name Patrick Reeves, and living in Oregon sitting inside his small rented room, staring out the window while it rains. As we look closer, we see he is rotating something over and over on the table as it taps, giving off a sound of glass clicking against wood. As we inspect closer, we see it’s an unused blood slide, the tapping is the only thing that cuts the silence in the room. A glazed over look in his eyes, we see Dexter peers blankly outside and we discover he is looking at a man, unnaturally staring at a couple running for a dry cover, laughing and embracing. Almost emotionless, Dexter observes the scene and continues to sit calmly, motionless. As the couple rounds the corner, the shifty stranger pulls out a handgun and sticks it in their faces. Dexter remains calm and collected. The aggressor then demands the couple hands over their valuables, removed from the vantage point of anyone other than Dexter. The couple, now terrified reaches out and hands the criminal their wallet, purse, and upon request, their watches and wedding bands. Dexter remains as aforementioned, sedated and numb to this crime. The assailant demands they get down on their knees with their hands behind their heads. The woman begins to cry and the man reaches over to console her and gets smashed in the head with the butt of the criminals revolver. He falls forward and out of instinct lunges for the assailant but before he can fight back, gets out down with a single gun shot to the chest. The woman screams as the criminal turns the gun to her, ending her life with a shot to the head. Blood spatters onto the cargo crates and pavement and mixes in with the rain as the murderer looks over his shoulder, and sees dexter has witnessed the entire thing. He looks concerned and turns his body to lock eyes with Dexter as he still remains listless. The killer nods, closes his eyes and puts the gun to his own head, pulling the trigger. Ending his own life. We see Dexter continue to peer outside and when we go back to the scene that just happened, all bodies have disappeared. It was all a fantasy. Dexter puts the blood slide down flat on the table and sighs.

    Scene cuts to Dexter turning on the shower water. Dexter looks in the mirror running his hand over his eyes and down his cheek. He takes a deep breath and seems somewhat distant from even himself. He continues to stare as the steam from the warm shower water fogs the glass until he con no longer look at himself. Dexter stands in the shower water running on top of his head, his eyes opened with a fixed gaze away from the camera. We then see him get out of the shower, as he dapps his face with a towel 3 times slowly. His beard and hair are long and he looks aged due to pain and emotional suffering.

    Dexter walks into his bedroom, and opens his closet. Inside are a mundane array of flannel shirts. He pushes them around seemingly trying to make a selection. Upon his maneuvering, he slides all of the shirts aside and suddenly is frozen still, staring at one of his garments. The camera fixes on Dexter as he stares for a prolonged amount of time. It is revealed that he has been staring at his kill shirt. Dexter looks at it with continued emotionless gazing and extends his hand for it. His inches away from it when he stops. He turns his head a bit and then selects the flannel shirt next to it. Dexter dresses and puts on a heavy Carhardt jacket, and exits his rental into the rain.

    Still with no music or words, we see Dexter walk to a not so close to home run down log cabin resteraunt in the rain. Dexter enters the eatery, and sits down at the end of the bar. The place has a few other patrons and an older man walks up to our hero and says “the usual?” Dexter nods and is left to himself. Dexter remains in focus on the floor behind the bar when he slowly raises his long gaze and fixes on one of the other people dining. It’s the murdered he fantasizes about earlier. Dexter states at him and is served his meal, steak and eggs. The man at the bar looks up and gets his meal served as well, thanking the server right before going back to his book, “Being and Nothingness.” Dexter eats his meal and leaves money on the counter, walking past the other man on the way out.

    We then see the murdered from Dexters visions walk out and get in his car. He Begins to drive away. As he drives he feels a uneasiness, like he isn’t alone so he looks over his shoulder. No one is in the vehicle with him. He gets home and enters his house. From around the side of the house, Dexter appears again, standing in the rain. He slowly glides back around the side and peers into the window carefully. Upon looking in, he sees the man take his coat off and enter through a basement door. Dexter slides down the side of the house wall and sits near a basement window. He looks inside and a light comes on. As he looks inside. He sees the married couple from earlier unconscience and chained to a radiator. The murder enters the room and stares at the couple with a sinister smile. Dexter removes himself from the window and sits with his head in his hands. He then gets up and walks just a few hundred feet home.

    Back home, it’s now night time. Dexter lays silently in his bed. He closes his eyes and we see a vision of Harrison smiling and flying a kite. We then see Hannah walking along a beach and following Harrison. She gestures to him to look at the penguins. They sit together in the sand smiling as Harrison points. Suddenly, the scene darkens as Oliver Saxson viciously approaches them, waking Dexter from his slumber. He continues to lay there, but with every second, rage begins to build in his face. He trembles and begins to breath heavily, gritting his teeth, and trembling, pressure building as he begins I growl. He stands up and walks to the bathroom, running hot water. He begins to cut away his beard with scissors and then proceeds to shave. He had one final glance in the mirror, before making his way to the closet. The kill suit. He puts it on and turns and stares into the camera, as if he has transformed. He slides his black gloves on and laces his boots. We stalks his way up to the killers house. We see a large hunting knife slide down from Dexter’s hand. Just as he’s about to knock, he freezes. He stands there for a moment and then turns and walks away. He returns home, and when he gets there, he walks a little further.

    We see a scene where Dexter seemingly just finished a call from a pay phone, as he hangs up the receiver. He sits again in his house and suddenly we see flickering lights. Several moments have passed since the ATF agents have done their dynamic entry and apprehended their criminal. We see Dexter in a hood. Standing in the rain as the couple, still alive is removed by stretchers. Dexter then turns and walks back home. Upon arrival. He looks at himself in his reflection in the window. This time, he is the Dexter of old, young, fimiliar, kill suited Dexter. As he looks at his reflection, we get the first words of the movie…

    Dexter’s Inner Monologue: I always knew the day would come when I would know for sure my Dark Passanger was truly gone.

    Dexter: finally.

    We see exterior of an airport. Dexter buys a one way ticket to Miami. On the plane he dreams of Hannah and Harrison.

    He arrives in Miami and rents a car. He makes for his old apartment and goes around the back garden and begins to dig up what is a small black bag.

    We see Joey Quinn leaving his apartment and driving to a local bar. Dexter sits and waits for several hours before he sees Quinn exit and make his way to his car. We see now the contents of the black bag. It’s MD90, in a needle. Quinn walks up to his car and Dexter sticks him. Quinn faints into Dexter’s arms and Dexter carries him back to his rental car. Batista walks out from the bar and sees Quinn’s car is still there.

    Batista: finally smartened up took a cab for once.

    Quinn wakes up in a hotel room. He’s handcuffed as has tape very his mouth. He struggles.

    A voice can be heard behind him.

    “Quinn, don’t have a heart attack. You’re safe.”

    Dexter walks around him and Quinn’s eyes open as wide as they can. But the Quinn faints.

    Dexter looks puzzled but accepting.

    Dexter: s***.

    Quinn and Dexter are now sitting calmly, Quinn no longer subdued, talking freely with Dexter.

    Quinn: I have gotta tell you Dex, I have always had my suspicions. So all those scumbags that were murdered or missing, Rudy? Trinity? Chase? You took them all out?

    Dexter: it’s more than that. In responsible for some others that I’m not proud of.

    Quinn: well, I mean it sounds like, you did more good than bad. So why do you need me?

    Dexter: I need you to help me find Harrison and Hannah McKay.

    Quinn: How do you expect me to do that? I mean do you know where they are?

    Dexter: She’s living in Argentina under the name Claire Thompson.

    Quinn: ok….

    (to be continued)

    • wow!!!I would of like to see that. it’s still not going to be the same without deb. i think that no one wanted Dexter to end so i think that what ever happen wouldn’t of been good for anyone. i would like to think that i know Dexter well. with that said…. i never know that the ending was going to be anything like it was. I never thought he would of left his son. I LOVED DEXTER hoping he comes back

    • that’s must have took some time thanks for that I think the writers of dexter should look look out cuse you are coming their way
      send that in maybe they will make it

    • Never, would I take the time to write to someone I dont know for something like this but that was an amazing alternate story line. Bravo!

  8. I dont watch Dexter but from what I have heard this programme is beyond depressing. The finale sounds dreadful. Who would do that to such an important character?

  9. Wow, in Australia and I too just finished watching Season 8.

    What was building nicely turned in to a big let down. Were these the same writers of the shows prior to the last couple of episodes, or did they just rent-a-writer for the ending?

    I’m not going to go in to a big long talk about it, let’s just say I agree with most of what I have read in regards to the ending and how it was bad.

    In regards to how it should end…

    Well, I wouldn’t want to spoil a great ending to a great series for even myself, I’ll leave that for the real writers of Dexter to consider or rather, re-consider.

    But I will say, I do have an opening for two hour feature film which could allow them to try again and give us fans what we want, a decent send off.

    It would begin with the entire last two episodes being rewound at high speed, showing us Deb’s body being risen from the sea, returning to the boat, back to the hospital, back alive, back to when she was shot, and so on and so on as the episode undoes itself.

    The screen would then show static, and then switch to black before revealing Dexter’s face.

    We would have a voice over, ‘You don’t really believe that it ended this way? Do you?’

    Then the title, ‘What really happened.’ would come up.

    Then the writers of the show have two hours to redeem themselves to their fans.


    • Personally, I don’t even mind if Dexter is killed off, so long as it is an amazing send off…

      A two hour movie would do a few things:
      1) Give the writers a chance to redeem themselves.
      2) Give the fans what they wanted, a proper ending.
      3) Give them some more money from the sale of a movie.

      And what ever they did come up with… couldn’t possibly be any worse than what they’ve already presented to us… could it?

      • What I would have loved to have seen is Dexter getting done by another serial killer who has his own code that Dexter fits in to.

        Plastic wrapped room, Dexter on the table looking up at photos of all of the people that he had killed from season 1 through to season 8, and the ”other serial killer” pointing out where Dexter went wrong and killed people that did not fit his code.

        To me, that could have made for a powerful series 8 with an epic ending that has a montage of all Dexter’s kills and the ones that didn’t fit the code which lead him to the table of another serial killer – which could also end up being the beginning of a spin off series.

        That’s just my thoughts.

  10. Since the beginning the show has explored Dexter’s quest for humanity as he attempts to rise above the awful circumstances that “created” him. In the last season we find out that not only has he seen some horrible stuff, but he’s been programmed by his sole parent and a professional psychologist to become what he is.

    And what he is was never that evil on the grand scale of murderous behavior. If there can be a murderer deserving of clemency, he’s certainly a leading candidate. Not everything he does throughout the series is right, but he didn’t kill Rita or Deb; they were murdered by people far worse than him. There are lots of people sharing in the guilt for what he’s done, Vogel paramount among them.

    Why, then, can we not end this thing with Dexter achieving his goal after appearing to have done so after 95.5 hours of television? The switch flips, and he’s back to Season 1, Episode 1. What was the purpose of the journey?

    I do agree that killing Deb off was appropriate, as there is no way that she could ever really come to terms with shooting LaGuerta. This would have been sufficiently dark and edgy for the finale. As it is, pretty much everybody on the show except Vince ends up getting screwed one way or the other, and the whole thing left me feeling sad. Just listen to the theme music and ask yourself if the show is meant to be such a downer. All this time I thought I was watching a dark comedy, not a funny tragedy.

  11. There are several logical problems with the season finale, and the couple episodes that precede it. For one, Dexter and Debra were never informed that Hannah had escaped. Another is that it would seem a rather difficult task for Dexter to survive the hurricane when his boat has been smashed to pieces in the ocean. Yes, he’s a good swimmer, but come on… swimming that far, in ocean waters, in a hurricane?

    But the biggest problem as I see it is that Dexter, having Saxon on his table, has gotten to the point where he doesn’t feel a need to kill him (even though he has witnessed Saxon butchering his own mother, whom Dexter cared about.) In fact, not killing him is what ultimately costs Debra her life.

    But in the end, Dexter believes his dark passenger is somehow a threat to Harrison and Hannah. So, which is it? Is his dark passenger gone, or not? If so, why not do what Debra, and all who care about him, would’ve wanted him to do – go on and do his best to lead a happy life. If not, why didn’t he kill Saxon, who richly deserved it?

    Doesn’t make any sense.

    I’m glad Hannah survived and escaped, and her scenes on the bus were the best part of the finale. But I was really looking forward to seeing scenes from years later, with Harrison much older, and Dex and Debra and Hannah all getting along in Argentina.

    The moral of the story should’ve been that love is an incredibly powerful force that Dr. Vogel underestimated, in her study of psychopaths. Her diagnosis of her own son was of course fatally faulty (she paid with her life), and likewise she mis-diagnosed Dexter. He was capable of truly caring for others, and thus conquering his dark side. After eight years, Dexter should’ve won this victory, pulling his son, sister, and second wife through with him.

    Instead, the ending is just empty. If Deb died because of Dexter, it was because he didn’t commit murder when he could’ve. Not killing should’ve been Dexter’s grand victory over his demons; instead, it turned out to be the worst mistake he made.

    The characters in this series are all pretty likeable, except the villains, of course. They deserved a better fate. The ending was a real downer, somewhat nonsensical, and a missed opportunity for something that could’ve been far better, even classic.

    • Agree 100% with you, the ending was empty.

    • Wonderful assessment. I agree with you 100%.

  12. Man season 7 was so great! Then season 8 ugh! Season 8 should have been 7 and 7 should have been 8 minus Deb dying. And the awful, dark, dreary, ending well I guess I should have known that Dexter would not end in the happy neat little ending it lead onto for awhile.

  13. What people fail to understand in this disaster of a final season, was the fact that Dexter was faced with the exact same dilemma he encountered in season 2, for all who are confused by that statement, let me break it down for you. In Season 2, episode 6, Dex, Lies, and Videotape. Dexter encounters a situation in which there is a person stealing his identity, and harming “bad” people, why is this so bad? Because If this “vigilante” was to kill anybody, the full force of the FBI would be brought down upon Miami, not a nice thing for Dexter who is being hunted. So Dexter, the smart and calculated person that he is, hunts for this vigilante, and kills him. Now you may be saying, but Francis, in the penultimate episode of season 8, Dexter no longer has the urge to kill, and yes you are correct, but in this very episode, Dexter says and I quote “I have to kill you, i just dont need to kill you” Dexter is referring to his Dark Passenger or his “need” to kill, he himself states that he does not feel the need to kill anymore, but haves to kill Ken Olsen (the vigilante) in order to continue living a normal life. This is the exact same dilemma in Season 8, episode 11, Dexter has the brain surgeon on his table, and although he no longer feels the need to kill, he knows that killing him will allow him to live a normal live with Hannah and his son, he chooses to call Debra, and have the brain surgeon arrested and executed, instead of just killing him and being done with it, this results in Debra being shot, and dying later. This is idiotic writing and im surprised nobody has realized this, Also, how was Dexter able to drive into the eye of an hurricane and survive? Whatever, this season failed.