‘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. Everybody let’s be honest , we all have that dark side that we do not share with anyone ; we will all protect what we love . The show is the best thing that happened to cable tv . I only started watching the show the last two seasons . I really think Deb should wash ashore still alive and not have any pyrallasis . I think it should be broadcast on tv and have everyone talking about how it was a miracle and Dexter finds out . The story line can have Dexter being recruited by the CIA and have Deb move down to Argentina with him . He will be back with Hanna . The story line can continue forever . Come on Hollywood , if you cannot create new and exciting story lines than shut down the whole industry because that means the writers have no ideas for new or old shows . Times are changing , let us have Dexter back just like James Bond . The problem with any business is getting it to work . Show time you have something great . Soap operas lasted for 50 years . The show works and 75 percent of the people that watch the show want it to continue ; you know everybody will watch the show even if it continues forever . People love Dexter and Deb and all the characters . Just bring Deb back alive , the hurricane washed her ashore , and if your so called writers cannot create story lines please hire me . Please give us Dexter back and Deb . Dexter has a following that you do not even understand . Every one I know watches the show . They may be a little embarrassed to admit they watch a serial killer show but they do . I know people even in there 80′s that watch the show .

    • Breaking Bad was the best thing that happened to TV, and they knew how to make a great final season! Ok, we still have one episode left, but come on, this whole season was great. The eighth season of Dexter was already bad, and made me think “Oh, God, please tell me they can at least give us a good finale”. But nope.

  2. All hail deb. After 8 seasons to end the show like that was horrible. the burial at sea come on really Hannah and Harrison in Argentina and Dexter with a beard must have been some serious writers block on that series finale . should do like a little 3 show mini- series for the fans to provide some closure

    • My only family gathers around the TV on Sunday night just to tune in to
      Dexter. I have watched from season one and been blown away by all of the
      interesting story lines. I thought season 8 was starting off kind of slow,
      but it picked up. I can’t believe it’s over….it shouldn’t be. I’d really
      like to see season 9 happen……there are so many ways it could go.
      Please don’t end our DEXTER like this……we are open and bleeding…..no

    • I truly agree with this comment. Dexter, Hannah and little Harrison need to be together and have happy endings. It is nnot fair for this kid to be stranded with a total stranger and he needs his father. They all need each other. I feel bad for Debra who knows maybe she would have been happy with Quinn, but on the other hand she had serious coping disorders and i think she would have done something to end her own life but she didn’t deserve to die because of Oliver Saxon.

      • Neither Dexter or Hannah deserved a happy ending.

        Debra did.

  3. The pacing of the last 4 episodes was just plain awful. Nothing happened. I yawned when Vogel died. I could barely even watch the last few episodes without my mind wandering since it was so boring and obviously leading no where of consequence. I think I was mostly annoyed with Hannah’s inability to hide properly and change her appearance. Dye your hair and wear some freaking glasses.

    Having said that I thought the ending was acceptable given what had come before. The previous 4 episodes were trash and did not give the build up required for an epic ending. So to answer the question proposed here, the finale was acceptable but I must say the season overall was complete trash.

    A+ for the boobs though.

    Everyone keeps wondering what the point of that story line was… she was hot.

  4. I will just state:
    Dexter Season 8 had a bad finale to its worst season

  5. I could go for a season 9. They left him in an interesting place (PLENTY of unresolved stuff). Also I could go for Kevin Spacey as a guest star, lol. I’m just saying.

  6. Thought Dex was going to tie himself to Debs body on the boat, to me that would have made more sense then powering off into the hurricane. Gutted that Debs died, but, was a truely moving ending, apart from Dex turning up as a truck driver!?

    • I agree they should of let Dexter die with Deb – I thought he was going in with her – crying my eyes out and then he shows up as a truck driver- put a meh on what could of been an ahhhh (angels singing)

  7. I thought it should’ve ended with Harrison sitting in a pool of Dexter’s (or even Hannah’s) blood. Kind of a “sins of the father” kind of thing. Possibly with a post-script of Deb teaching him the code. That would’ve been my ending.

    • Nice – Thats a way better quality ending.

    • That would be interesting. I was thinking along the lines of Dex returning to his serial killing, because of his mistake of letting Voguls son live. Leaving Miami to be a truck driver was a bit unexpected, but OK.
      Then the show could’ve ended like that but with Dex saying, “Tonight’s the night and it’s going to happen again and again…”.
      When the series starts that way, it’s got to end that way. And thats what makes Dexter so good. His struggle with his dark passenger. It never goes away.

    • nice.

  8. I would have been okay with the ending if the scene with Hanna and Harrison in Argentina would have been the last one. But no… after the fade to black they had to tack on the cop out ending of Dexter being alive after all (how?!).

  9. i think the debra arc was fine,, but the ending doesnt end with anything, i mean he will obviously go back to his old ways if he is left alone with no family. but he will kill again, pity it will be in some crap forest town rather than miami with all the modern stuff(i.e police database).
    there will be a spinoff. the show creators are very detm on this. so who knows?

  10. First of all, I wanted Dexter to end last season. Taking it to an eighth season was for me a mistake and this is one of the worst finales I have ever seen on TV. I get that the writers are trying to do a morality lesson: showing how Dexter’s serial killing finally catches up with him and hurts everybody he loves. But you know what? The reason a lot of people fell in love with the show was precisely because it provoked conventional perceptions of right and wrong, i.e. serial killers are bad, but what if there’s a serial killer who only kills people who murder innocents? I am pissed that they killed Deb, because if there is ever a spinoff it won’t involve Carpenter, who I think is one of the best young actors out there. I also don’t get why Dexter dumped her in the ocean and then saved himself, it seems out of character.

    • Yeah, no balls at all.

  11. So Dexter’s a lumberjack…. does he wear women’s clothing and wants to be a girlie just like his dear papa lol

    Kinda gave up after season 3…. is it worth catching up?

    • You didn’t watch season 4? Well then you missed out.

    • He’s a lumberjack and he’s okay, he sleeps all night and he works all day.

      • I was expecting more people to get that reference, hehe.

  12. Dexter leaving his son behind was a epic fail!!! disappointed to say the least…I waited 8 years for that! And what’s with him putting Deb in the ocean with the rest of his kills…she didn’t even deserve to die let alone be dropped in the water like that…seeming they did a horrible job with the ending they should have ended it with Dexter dead (for real) not held up somewhere being a bum..boooooo!!!!!!

  13. I think the problem that I am having is the ending seemed so un-Dexter like. Let me clarify, the new Dexter, not the Season 1 one.

    In Season 1, if Deb died, I have no doubt that Dex could just move somewhere else and start over. But with all that happened through the last 8 years, actually starting a family, having a fully open relationship with his sister (who knew all his sins) and coming to terms with his “need to kill” and realizing he has something more (his son and Hannah) that replace that (as he told Saxton), the ending was weird, even with the death of Deb.

    He avenged her death, took out Saxton and should have been with Hannah and Harrison, since they are the reason he does not need to kill anymore. Deb dying actually helps sever all his ties to Miami.

    I think I would have been more mad if Dexter killed himself. That would totally go against his personality as we know he would never do that.

    Masuka’s daughter was a weird side story. In the Dexter tradition, the finale would have been more impactful if Saxton took her out and even took out Jaimie.

  14. This season was just lazy writing. I mean, I understand where they were going with the overall concept but it failed. The end scene of being a truck driver was just horrid. At least the writers and the show of Ray Donovan made me forget about that lame series finale

  15. Terrible writing.

  16. The Hobbit gets 3 two+ hour movies for one book and we can’t even get a double length episode for the Dexter finale? ..Seriously??? As for originality…I picture the writers sitting around a dart board with random plot hooks and throwing darts to decide the ending. It was so lame that I can’t believe Showtime actually tried to pass that off to us as “the end”.


  18. Very disappointing, after 8 years of watching dexter grow, the ending was a big let down. It’s like he journey all the years to connect and become more human and when he does in one episode he leaves his son with his girlfriend, lets his step kids think he’s dead and there little brother is gone from there lives and he runs away and becomes a Lumberjack!
    They could have so much better.

  19. Soooo…the big reason I’m reading for people not liking the finale is because of Dexter becoming a lumberjack at the end? I’m sorry, but if that’s all you took away from the final scene, you entirely missed the point.

    While the final season did stumble in quite a few places, its finale is one thing I thought it got right. A very fitting end to the character.

    • I remember sitting in a bar in Oregon with a logger (Lumberjack to you Monty Python holdouts). Someone said “I’d like to f**k that girl!” and the logger replied “I’d like to limb her and then f**k her…” So Dexter as a lumberjack seems perfectly fine to me.

      • Tried to remove this as it caame to me that logger humor is not for everyone. How do I get it off?

  20. Anybody mentionned that the episode is not called “The is the end” but “Remember the monsters”?

  21. I am sad about the series ending but I enjoyed what they did with the finale. Dexter is a serial killer who refused to let go. It cost him his sister, the closest thing to a mother, his lover, his son, his job, his friends, his wife, his home, his boat, his happy future, his everything. He didn’t deserve to ride off into the sunset but I also don’t think it was necessary for him to die or go to jail. It was a fitting ending. The show and the characters will be missed dearly.

  22. The ending was horrible, after a season that was bad as a regular season, and horrible for a last one.

    First of all, I’d like to address the whole “everyone expected him to die or to get caught”: well, it’s not the final outcome that matters, but HOW you go to it. I daresay that the final outcome of EVERYTHING is either a good or happy ending. Take Lord of the Rings, you kinda know in the end the ring is going to be destroyed, but it’s the great the way it actually happens. Take also the whole Harry Potter saga, you can understand from the very beginning that the final book would have had a showdown between Harry and Voldemort, and it was really 50% / 50%: either Voldemort or Harry dies, and that’s what happened, but nobody complained about it.

    Dexter is a serial killer, how can you NOT end a show about a serial killer with him being exposed? Season 7 was good and set up the ending very nicely: Dexter “ruined” Deb and he has to face the consequences of sending her out of control. But wait, no consequences – sure, she was messed up, but after the attempt on his and her life, they made it all up killing the NOT brain surgeon…. so the whole thing about Deb discovering Dexter’s nature and killing LaGuerta because of it was solved! they’re happy now!

    The way I would have done it would have for someone to realize how everyone close to Dexter, or against him, die. Hell, I’d have accepted for example an off comment from Masuka, “Dex surely is jinxed, look at what happen to those who go against him” (Doakes and LaGuerta), with Batista picking up on it.
    Jaimie, not a random neighbour such as Cassie, should have been a victim – this way Batista would have been even more distraught, and more open to realize how everyone close to Dexter die.

    And now, allow me to remind you two passages from the finale of the acclaimed season 4.

    1) Dexter talks to Arthur: “So what should I do, Arthur? disappear, fake my own death?”
    Trinity answers: “No, you’d still be you”. Well, good job authors in remembering your own series.

    2) Dexter after finding out Rita’s body: “It doesn’t matter what I do, what I chose…. I’m what’s wrong. That’s fate.”

    HE CAME TO THE REALIZATION THAT HE’S THE ACTUAL PROBLEM 4 SEASONS AGO! WITH HIS WIFE DYING BECAUSE OF WHAT HE IS! But he lives with it for other 4 seasons before remembering it again after losing Deb to…… NOT having a dark passenger anymore (Rita died ’cause Dex wouldn’t let go of his “mentor” Arthur. Deb died because Dexter DIDN’T kill Saxon!)

    Really, Dexter can be a problem for those around him because of his dark passenger. If he stops killing people, like his love for Hannah seemingly brought about, why shouldn’t he be with the woman that took away his killing urges to begin with? he feels guilty about Deb? he doesn’t say it, he doesn’t say “I don’t deserve to be happy”. He wants to protect Hannah from the very thing Hannah saved him for.

    These are my issues with the finale. In my dream final season, Batista would have realized what was up with Dexter, Deb would spend the whole season being a mess, and Dexter would finally be arrested and exposed, to have a MONUMENTALLY AWESOME scene with everyone (Quinn, Masuka, Astor and Cody) visiting him in prison asking him why.
    Then Dexter would escape (If Hannah did it, a serial killer with martial arts skills can surely do it as well), go after the Big Bad of the season who would have targeted Deb, and die to save Deb – this way he would redeem himself, giving his life to protect the one person he cared the most for, and that he destroyed driving her over the edge. Dexter would be exposed both for the serial killer he is, and for a person capable of love, that made the ultimate sacrifice to save Deb.

    • Ehm, I meant, as you may have guessed, “every ending is either happy or good”, also later “Dex tries to protect Hannah from the very thing Hannah saved him from”.

      Allow me some more bandwith waste by saying how the whole “perfect psycopath” thing should have been the major point of the season, giving a worthy final big bad.

      Saxon was already jealous of Dexter and how his mother was kind to Dexter giving him the Code – he should have went out of his way to prove he’s the perfect psycopath Dexter never really was, and this should have been the major plot of the whole season: Dexter, who believes himself to be a psycopath but he’s really not, faces a real psycho who’s out to destroy everything about him out of jealousy for his mother’s (lack of) affection. This also would have served as a rationale to have Saxon hunting down everyone Dexter loves, with Dexter having to sacrifice himself to save Deb.

  23. Aside from Deb dying, I didn’t have a real problem with the ending.

    Dexter, I suspect, will go on killing “monsters” — though perhaps on a smaller scale, unless he can somehow hack into some police database. Driving a truck certainly gives him some mobility, and no one keeping close track of him.

    I don’t like him cutting off Hannah — and especially Harrison — though I understand his thinking. Harrison has basically lost all his family now, since Hannah won’t dare risk exposure by contacting Harrison’s two half-siblings — and we have to wonder where everyone will think Harrison went? Was he theoretically on the boat with his dad? Will someone br looking for him?

    I’d rather him, Hannah & Harrison stuck together as a family, and he — with Hannah’s help — could have continued to assuage his Dark Passenger occasionally by removing some of the monsters among us.

  24. While watching it, I didn’t quite grasp just how the much the writers were “mailing it in” for the last season. In retrospect, I’m disappointed that a show as great as this had so many examples of creative paralysis as it wound down to it’s finale. Still, it ranks as one of- if not the absolute- best shows I’ve ever watched on TV. It may have been edged out by ‘Breaking Bad’, possibly “The Sopranos” but it’s definitely top three.

  25. I made my own version of DEXTER SEASON 8, you can check out part one right here. I cut a lot off crap, added new twists and different fates to characters. FEEL FREE TO JUDGE! http://splashreviews.blogspot.ch/2013/09/what-if-dexter-season-8-was-good-part.html

  26. I loved the ending. It was the perfect ending to a great series, however; like most of you, i really would love to see how season 9 will play out. I believe if played right season 9 will be amazing. That’s why like most of you i’m rooting for another season and one that won’t make my heart cringe. Although I love the tragic ending I wanna see how Dexter adapts to his new life and maybe how his old life affects his new one. That’s why I really hope for another season. Reply if you too think so.

  27. I loved the ending. It was the perfect ending to a great series, however; like most of you, i really would love to see how season 9 will play out. I believe if played right season 9 will be amazing. That’s why like most of you i’m rooting for another season and one that won’t make my heart cringe. Although I love the tragic ending I wanna see how Dexter adapts to his new life and maybe how his old life affects his new one. That’s why I really hope for another season. Reply if you too think so.

  28. I know how Dexter made it ashore during the Hurricane! He rode the shark he jumped last season!!

  29. I think the end was good. Deb had to many emotional issues to ever live a normal life, she definitely had to go, Dexter was a serial killer (despite of having our devotion), he needed some kind of punishment.
    He got the worst kind, lost his beloved sister, lost his child ,lost the only woman he really loved, lost the environment in where he shinned ,lost Miami (remember him in the introduction coming out of his apartment?),he always looked well groomed and happy).
    At the end he looked dead , but to spare us the pain of seeing our hero dead they left him like a zombie.