‘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 feel like they didn’t take any risks on the finale. It was very cliche. The umph that was there in the beginning of the series lost its risk, and it showed in the last episode. Sad to see it go, but it was past its prime and ready to go.

  2. Sad to see it go. The last few episodes made for a great build up to a less than stellar payoff. While the ending was a great premise it just felt rushed and not very good. SPOILERS – the fact that dex was able to just waltz in and unplug deb then just walk out to the boat with her body out of the hospital to his boat was pretty weak. then unexplained he survived driving into a large hurricane?? just expected more with maybe a manhunt or something to blow us away.

    • Only reason that I believe he couldn’t be killed by the hurricane: the name. The hurricane had the same name as his mother. No way a mother could destroy or kill her own child. that little tibit made me smile.

      • What was his mothers name? I forgot.

        • Laura Moser. Hurricane Laura

    • @Mike the reason Dexter was able to just walk in and get deb out was because there was a hurricane on the way and everyone was panicking trying to get the other patients out so no one was really paying any attention to what was happening in Debs room

  3. Extremely disappointed with the ending. If they were not going to let him have the “happy ending”, it should have been more than what it ended up being. They needed a few more episodes to really close it out right I think.

  4. Oh my God! Are you kidding me with this?
    In terms of a finale, this one wasn’t even half-assed.
    Deb’s death didn’t feel “earned”, either. It was, as the reviewer correctly points out, just inserted for emotion’s sake.
    And why didn’t they simply stick with the self-sacrifice?
    Is being a lumberjack Dexter’s version of limbo/purgatory?
    They might as well have gone with a happy-ending instead.
    I mean, what did they hope to achieve with this last minute reveal and his breaking of the fourth wall. Did they purposefully go for “unintentional funny” or is there a subliminal/artsy message somewhere in there I’m missing at the moment?

  5. Disappointing into what this show turned out to be the last years !
    Glad it’s gone since it was on this low quality !
    The old Dexter was one of the best shows around !


  6. my preferred ending would have been this,

    after Deb goes back and forth over her knowing about dexter she confesses everything to angel and turns over some sort of evidence as im sure no one would have initially believed her. The old guy detective realizes the super annoying laguerta was right and launches a statewide manhunt. eventually Dexter gets the last killer on his table and does him in, only to have the building surrounded by The feds and Deb goes into the bulding to talk Dex into surrendering. After a brother sister moment Dexter forces Deb to shoot him and end his suffering. Harrison goes to Deb and Joey and it ends with them at his grave site along with Harry in the background.

    what could have been.

  7. Definitely not satisfied with the finale, but really didn’t expect a happy ending either. I mean Hannah is supposed to be a fugitive and yet she got on a plane without any problems? I know her passport was faked, but I call bullship. As for him surviving the hurricane, I guess it’s possible that he didn’t plan to, but did and wound up as a logger. For all we know, he doesn’t remember who he is. Far fetched, but possible.

    • And why didn’t she AT LEAST dye her hair? Or do ANYTHING to change her appearance… ESPECIALLY after she was recognized and reported by the nurse when she brought Harrison to the hospital?

  8. Overall this ending made me sad but not sad in the way the producers wanted. I’m sad because the ending was terrible.
    I guess I have no one to blame but myself for that because since the shows resurgence in episodes 1-7 of season 7 it’s been downhill ever since.
    It’s not the plot holes that bother me, it’s not the questionable character motivations or pointless plotlines (daughter boobs) it’s the simple fact that Dexter Morgan was one of the most fascinating characters in all of tv but in the end he was just a weird comic book superhero who never really had to face any consequences for his actions.
    Deb dying ? Nope, Dex was already leaving her behind without really caring about what he had done to her. Heck she even apologized to HIM.
    Leaving Harrison and Hannah? Nope. All Dexter ever wanted was to be left alone.
    Becoming a trucker? Really??? and what guy never wanted to grow a nice depression beard? ;)

    • Also,
      If I was Hannah I’d be even more mad at Dexter than after last season.
      Not only did he turn her into the police now he dumped his kid on her.
      Wouldn’t Harrison have been better off with his real family ya know? His brother and sister???

  9. Re-do please!!! What a horrible ending! They should have at least ended it with Dexter going into the storm and Hannah reasdng the news on the internet and wallking away with Harrison in Argentina. I can’t believe that Dexter could ever live without Harrison…

  10. To an extent I liked the emotional quotient attributed to the ending with the flashbacks to Harrison’s birth. All went well until after he kills off Saxon. The ending nosedived from there. About the ending, I felt the creators, gave dexter a Hulkish ending where we find Banner in a cabin in the woods… :) I almost smirked at that ending and was amused at an idea that popped in my head at that very moment which involved Black Widow or Nick Fury jumping into the cabin and asking Dexter to join Shield! Dexter – The Tragic Super Killer! Jokes aside, I believe Michael C Hall owns the character of Dexter same as RDJ owns Iron man! They are inseparable.

    On a general note, one thing I fail to understand is why don’t multiple shows on different networks continually collaborate to give characters a chance of a crossover, if only for a season or two or even a guestepisode. Imagine the possibilities of Dexter coming across The Following’s Joe Carroll’s cult. T-Bag did a crossover successfully from Prison Break to Breakout Kings.

    However, I also believe that the producers/network wants to keep the Book of Dexter open just in case they want to revisit him some years down the line when new shows/ideas aren’t working out, kinda similar to the idea of sequels that most of the movies get.

  11. I think most fans agree, this was a very weak season that had much potential. There were many ways to end this series even better choices within the storyline that was shot. It all seamed a bit rushed at times with trying to tie too many minor characters endings into it. All in all a great series that had some extraordinary moments.

  12. 5 of the BEST Tweets following the Horrible Dexter Series Finale (SPOILERS)

    Kristopher Tapley @kristapley
    Oh nothing just walking to my boat with a dead body. ‪#‎dexter‬

    Colin Penny @cpen902
    The biggest cliffhanger of all… WHAT TYPE OF ICE CREAM DID HARRISON GET!!!?? #dexter

    Andrea @andreanrx_
    i killed my sister, i abandoned my son and im a lumberjack now! who am i? #dexter

    Alec @AlecJace
    I don’t want to ruin the last episode of #Dexter for anyone.. But I will say that he becomes Wolverine in the end. ‪#‎SPINOFF‬ ?!?

    Liz Giordano @lizziegio
    Hey Hannah McKay if you don’t want to be recognized anymore…dye your hair, get a haircut, or wear a friggin hat! ‪#‎icant‬ #Dexter

  13. Best show ever, I will miss it like crazy. The ending was not what anyone who cared about these characters would have wanted.


    I thought it was a very good and unexpected ending to the show until they revealed he was alive.

    • I completely agree with you. Yeah it wasnt the greatest ending and they have rumoured season 9 so if they do they can explain how he got out from the hurricane and became a logger and how hannah and harrison got to argentina and even end it with the happy ending we want him becoming a man who used to kill bad poeple and then found something more satisfying. his family. but if they dont do a 9th season im happy with the ending in general but wish for another season. lol

  15. Ahahaha your poll is asking us what we thought of “This Is The End” starring Seth Rogen and James Franco.

  16. I agree with most people that it was a disappointing finale and season. I mean the way last season ended i thought season 8 would go totally into another direction. At this point if showtime wants to do a spin off the only character i can see is Harrison. Flash forward maybe 20 years into Harrison in his 20s and him starting to have the urge to kill and looking into his past of how his mother and father died. Although we know that dexter isnt really dead. But it would be cool to see Harrison learning the truth about Dexter.

  17. I agree with most people that it was a disappointing finale and season. I mean the way last season ended i thought season 8 would go totally into another direction. At this point if showtime wants to do a spin off the only character i can see is Harrison. Flash forward maybe 20 years into Harrison in his 20s and him starting to have the urge to kill and looking into his past of what happened to Rita and Dexter. It would be cool to see Harrison learning the truth about Dexter. Gonna miss this show so much. Really was hoping for a better season 8 it had so much potential

  18. I agree with most people that it was a disappointing finale and season. I mean the way last season ended i thought season 8 would go totally into another direction. This season had so much potential.

  19. At this point if showtime wants to do a spin off the only character i can see is Harrison. Flash forward maybe 20 years into Harrison in his 20s and him starting to have the urge to kill and looking into his past of what happened to Rita and Dexter. It would be cool to to see Harrison learning the truth about Dexter.

  20. Hopefully the writers of Dexter never work again. What a pathetic attempt at a final season, and last nights finale…. horrible.

    But there’s always Breaking Bad…… for one more week :(

  21. I was hoping that Dexter would get caught, or confess. That way all the previous seasons could be addressed in a wrap-up/round-about kind of way.

    • Been watching since the first series, and align myself with many views that this season had the potential to be provide a great conclusion, but generally was a let down.

      I think they rushed (probably due to having to screen it 3 months earlier than last year) trying to put a lot of things they wanted to do, without really solidly linking it all together. For me, the three historical story structures of Dexter were a) eliminating archenemy serial killers b) being ousted by his colleagues and c) coming to terms with who he is.

      Season 4 and 6 were great in terms of presenting Dexter with nemisis serial killers since they built up John Lithgow’s and Colin Hank’s characters. The story arc with Doctor Vogel and her Brain surgeon son had some great potential, but I think they should have directly introduced him earlier, rather than waste time with non-eventful characters at the start of the season, nevertheless his confrontation with Dexter in the final episode made some amends. Also the gruesome idea of a serial keiller victim having their brains sawed off seems like the grand daddy of serial killing deaths, but I felt it was over used and would have had better impact if they just did it the once.

      Similarly the re-introduction of Hannah McKey made a lot sense as the source of his motivation to happiness, but her escaping from prison with a new identy and a new (soon-to-be killed) husband, along with the Zac Hamilton character and Masuka’s daughter were a waste of airtime.

      For me what this season really lacked, and what it should of addressed, is Dexter finally being caught out by his peers at Miami Metro. Quinn, Batista, Masuka and Matthews were completely under used in this final season. The research that LaGuerta did, and her death from the last season were anchors for at least one of these characters to be an internal doubter but alias even after the quick deaths of Dexter’s neighbour, his colleague Dr. Vogel and finally Vogel’s son within the police station itself non of them batter an eye lid. Surely the writers could of got one of these guys to adopt the personna and doubt of Marshall Cooper Character, would have made more sense.

      Finally coming to terms with who he is, I think there was at least some closure to this, at least I did until the final 10 minutes when he decided to honor kill Debra by burying her at sea with all of his victims before sailing into the storm only to end up as a speakless lumberjack!

      I for one hope they don’t make an spinoffs or a season 9.

      • I agree with you 100% on the direction this season should have gone. In my opinion the season would have been fine adding the following to it. Quinn should have been the big bad trying to finally get Dexter. I mean he could have moved up in the ranks like he was and dating Jamie was a way to getting closer to Dexter and finally he getting back with Deb then nailing Dex. The introduction of Vogel and the brain surgeon were fine as long as the main focus was on Quinn getting Dexter. If you remember a few season ago Quinn suspected Dexter and he even had a retired police office looking into him.

        Deb dying was a given. I knew he was not going to leave her as a vegetable. In the final scenes it would have been perfect after the hurricane that he had chosen the dark passenger over his son and Hannah and the reason he became a lumberjack was to chase down the brain surgeon only to go into the room and have him on his table. It ends with him thrusting a knife into him. THE END.

  22. Wasnt the best ending for a show, but then again it wasnt the worse..
    yeah it had some, WTF moments (whole DEB thingy) – but all and all, it was ok.
    sad to see the show go, then again.. Is it really over ? ‘)

  23. You do not want to know what I think. Although, I doubt it would pass the censors anyway. Suffice to say, ‘Million Dollar Baby’ called. It would like its ending back.

    The principal crime of this final series is this. I no longer feel compelled to go back and watch the triumphant early runs. Sure, the majority pick season 4 (in my opinion, whilst Trinity was great, everything else was garbage), but season 2 was the masterpiece for me. The ultimate reversal of cobs v robbers if you like, with the audience never once rooting for the cop.

    Sure, it suffered as a comparative to the way ‘Breaking Bad’ is ending. From that point of view, little could’ve been done to make it an equal. But still, the entire season was dreadful and hurt everything about the myth of the main character (and not to mention taking a dump on Rita). My advice? Take the end of season 6, put it on the end of season 6 and make that season all Debra and Dexter. Done.

    • *The end of season 6, put it on the end of season 5 and so on.

      Sigh. Obligatory edit button comment.

    • Agree with you that season 2 should have been saved for a finale.

    • Amen to that !
      Season 1 and 2 are really what this show was about.
      A Serial Killer and his persona !
      Turned out like Dexter is some normal guy !
      The writers just had no idea how to write a Psycho !

  24. That ending was baffling, I laughed at some of what was happening. The way Saxon was handled was fine. But everything else….*sigh*

  25. I think it was not just a terrible ending, but also an awful season. I had a few problems with the show in the last seasons, because it kept repeating the formula of having Dexter almost getting caught but finding a way of dodging the bullet in the last second. I was really hopeful this final season was to be Dexter coming face to face with all he has done and have some kind of standoff, with either the cops or Debra. Instead they gave us a lot of convoluted storylines involving Jake, Vogel and her son, and a bunch of others.. Really, what was the point of Masuka having a daughter, or Quinn trying to become a sergeant? It seemed like they tried to give an ending to all characters, without really giving an ending to any of them.. The only character who seemed to have her story end come full circle was Debra. For everyone else who liked this season I am really glad, perhaps it was just me who felt that it was so unfulfilling.

    • Unfulfilling to say the least. And I think it’s because the show Dexter has ended but the characters including Dexter will come back in a spin off show.
      In my opinion they could have made something of the side characters. To me the big bad would have been Quinn. He would be the one who finally or gets closest to nailing Dexter. After all they had the story to back it. Quinn was the one who already suspected Dexter of something a few season back and hired a retired cop. It could have been his motivation moving up to sergeant. They could have used the story of him dating Jamie to get even closer and the final straw was getting back with Deb. Masuka story was painful to watch. His quirky pervy persona was just thrown out the window.
      I would have liked it to end this way. Deb gets shot and dies while Quinn is pissed that it was some how Dexter’s fault. Dex isn’t going to leave his sister as a vegetable so he goes and gives her a burial at sea. In the final scene when everyone finds out that Dexter’s boat was found after the hurricane, Dexter the (lumberjack) walks up the steps in to cabin and on his table is the brain surgeon or Quinn for exposing Dexter. The final final scene is Dexter saying no matter what he is a killer and puts the knife through him!

    • Or even better he puts a knife through Harry his step father. This would show that Dexter has accepted that he is a serial killer and no one not even his step-father could help him.

  26. I loved this show and season 7 left me w/ high expectations for the ending of this season… However, this season was poorly written and really disappointed me beyond belief. This could have had such a strong ending to these characters that we loved so much… instead it was a complete misfire imo. So sad… Now BB do not let me down!!!!

  27. I’d rather have seen dexter get a happing ending ,then him becoming a lumberjack ! Whats up with that ?

  28. I also loved the fact that they showed Dexter shed tears first the first time on the show that moment was beautiful. It maybe have been a disappointing finale but that moment was so perfect.

    • He shed tears in the first season when he killed his brother. I don’t remember if he did or not when he freaked out and killed the random guy after Rita’s death in season five. Honestly my views on this finale have changed wildly over night, at first I was with everyone else yelling wtf and lumberjack!? At the tv, than I watched it again and my views changed. I thought it was a very poetic way to end the show. Dexter started off happy go lucky, killing, bringing donuts with only a desire to be fully human. At the end he was broken, still killing, and living with the grief of all he had done in destroying those he loved to fulfill his urges. The end totally juxtaposed the beginning and showed the end of his journey with the life he had lived. As for all the people who don’t like leaving Harrison with Hanna I think he knew Harrison’s best chance at a better life was with her. Dexter watched both his biological and spiritual mother get killed in front of him and Harrison witnessed his own mothers death, giving him a mother to look after him would be a better fate than with his broken father.