Dexter Series Finale
Did anyone else watch the Dexter series finale, and want to talk about how stupid it was? Or am I the only one here foolish enough to have stuck with this awful show to the end?
I hear it was stalked by a psychopath who likes to ruin shows about psychopaths
We watched the finale last night, and my wife and I (who both watch a lot of televised mayhem) agreed:
This was the dumbest hour in recent tv history.
There are so many other ways they could have gone.
And that epilogue was simply bizarre.
Ok, no real spoilers, other than to say "what were they thinking?"
Over the years this show produced some memorable moments:
John Lithgow as a serial killer
Edward James Olmos the ice cube
A near incestuous relationship between brother and sister who are married in real life
Gruesome murders that would make Temperance Brennan cringe
Innumerable kitchens, warehouses and abandoned buildings draped in plastic for the purpose of ritualistic murder of guilty people (and the occasional innocent person who was getting too close to Dexter's secret)
The arc of Dexter is that a boy witnessed his mother's murder, became a psychopath, and was nursed by his father to follow a code and to avoid emotions and attachment - then later in life develops emotions and attachments, but then loses most everything he loves, and never finds his soul.
This last season it appeared that he was finally going to hang onto something he loved, but in the end he determined that he would only hurt those he loved, meaning that a true psychopath cannot be reformed.
Although we the fans tend to root for the protagonist, however evil or disturbed that person may become (ie, Walter White), we hold out hope that there is in fact a glimmer of hope.
The last scene of Dexter is perhaps akin to the last scene of The Sopranos - just kind of an unsatisfying ending. The producers have essentially gotten away with the murder of a perfectly good tv show.
Now let me add, over the past few seasons the writers have also gotten away with murder. In the first few seasons, Dexter was a blood spatter expert, forensic technician. He went to crime scenes, took photos and smashed watermelons with weapons trying to re-create bludgeonings. However more recently he was involved with autopsies, DNA tests and seemed to have free-run of the entire police department, not to mention having the most flexible work schedule outside of the googleplex. That guy was almost never at the office, and nobody seemed to question the endless alibis he came up with to explain his whereabouts or his odd proximity to murders.
The show sort of jumped the shark when his sister Debra found out the truth. They could have ended the show there, because the final two seasons just got kind of ridiculous. More ridiculous than a science teacher cooking meth? Maybe not.
Agreed. The original showrunner wanted to end with Dexter being executed by the state and, as the drip starts, he would look into the viewing room and see it populated with all his victims over the course of the series. That would have been a heck of an ending.
John Davidson | President / Creative Director | Magic Feather Inc.
Here is one way they could have gone:
Dexter shows up at the last moment and takes the bullet fired by Saxon, saving Deb - this is the ultimate act of love, sacrificing himself for his sister. Plus you could have the marshall and the PI closing in on Dexter and Hannah in the same scene and the only way to let Hanah get away with Harrison would be to let himself get caught or killed. Accomplishes the same thing - completing the character arc but more satisfying for the audience.
It just occurred to me that Dexter stole the ending from the Dark Knight Rises.
[Mike Cohen] "It just occurred to me that Dexter stole the ending from the Dark Knight Rises."
Haha, it's true! The only thing missing was a slight nod from Michael Cane.
One thing I came to realize over the last few seasons, and technically it relates to the whole series, but Miami Metro is the WORST police force in the history of police forces. They have an open murder case for every single person Dexter has ever killed. I think Saxon made a joke in the last couple of episodes about how Miami has a 20% crime solving rate or something. Makes sense then why they would promote Batista (who, I THOUGHT retired to run a restaurant last year? Now he does both?) and then rehire Deb as a detective, even though she was a failed lieutenant and I believe quit without notice. ALSO, Dexter uses the police department's computers to investigate everyone he kills. I'm sure they have history information on that. If anyone was seriously investigating whether Dexter was a serial killer (as La Guerta and Doakes did), they should have just started there. "Hmmmm, every suspected murder and/or missing person in Miami for the last 10 years has had their records looked into by our blood spatter guy, Dexter... MUST BE A COINCIDENCE."
Finally, I don't understand why Dexter decided to carry Deb out to his boat (wasn't anyone suspicious of a guy carrying a dead body through the hospital parking lot?), and then throwing her into the ocean. I mean, I GET that it was a callback to moments when the show was good (i.e. when he used to murder people and throw them into the ocean), but what does that mean? Does he consider Deb to be one of his victims? Is she worthy of having her body dumped on top of a pile of dead murderers? Shouldn't she be worthy of, like, a proper burial? Nahhhhhhh, lets just dump her body in the ocean... I'm sure THAT won't arise any questions with the hospital or the police after the storm passes. JUST ANOTHER MISSING BODY. WHO CARES?
I don't think it's fair to attribute the incest-y vibe between Dexter and his ADOPTIVE sister Deb to offscreen stuff. Hall and Carpenter filed for divorce in 2010 after a long separation.
Because they were only "related" through adoption, it would have been no weirder than, say, Greg and Marcia hooking up 20 years after the fact. Okay, LESS weird than that.
My idea for the ending branches from where Deb quits the police force because of feeling guilty for helping Dexter with a coverup. Instead, she stays on the job, and wrestles for an episode or two about what to do about it.
Then she finds herself facing a killer that she can't stop herself from wanting to kill. She's trying, but maybe she beats the dude to a pulp, almost to death, when Dexter pulls her off.
Dex: "You don't want to do this, Deb."
Deb: She's crying. "Dex, I've never wanted to do anything so much in my entire life."
Dex: "It can't be like this. It can never be about rage or vengeance. It has to be about justice, and it has to be cold, methodical, and perfectly planned. There are rules."
Deb: Long pause. "Jesus Dexter, what the f***. What are you f***ing TALKING about? The f***ing rules say you don't kill people. I'm talking about f***ing BREAKING the rules. What rules are YOU talking about?"
[Tim's note: I haven't watched for a while. Is Deb still a cusser?]
Dex: Long pause. "Harry's Rules. I'm talking about Harry's Rules."
Deb: Shakes him off, turns to face him. "Who's Harry? My FATHER Harry? WTFFFFF????"
Dex: "He was my father too, Deb. You know what I was like when Harry first took me in. He helped me (struggles for words)....channel....these....impulses.
Deb: (Totally calm now.) "Tell me about these rules."
Then we cut to an "Eye Of The Tiger" montage. Dexter showing her how it's done, Saran Wrap, duct tape, various cutting implements, dudes screaming. She's a crazy mess though - flinging stuff everywhere. He finally gets her under control, they high five.
Still completely covered in blood, practically cheek to cheek, they turn...will they? won't they? will they? won't they? (I haven't decided. My first inclination - they kiss, HARD, I mean tongues down to the toes....then pull apart laughing. "Well, okay, glad we got THAT out of the way." Like I said, I haven't decided.)
They go their merry ways, doing their jobs, but Dexter discovers that Deb has really gotten a taste for this. She knows how cops think better than Dexter does, so she's a lot more efficient, and getting a lot better at it. Then she starts icing guys who aren't exactly the worst of the worst. Recidivist drug peddlers, that kind of thing.
Deb: "Screw Harry's rules, Dex. These guys need to go DOWN. Your serial killers might kill a handful of a**holes. The ones I'm killing are destroying HUNDREDS of lives. I'm not just better at killing these guys and covering up than you are. I'm saving more lives than you EVER did.
"But you never really cared about SAVING lives. Your obsession with fancy serial killers? That's not about justice. That's about your ego. That's f***ing CHESS. I don't want to DANCE with these f***ers. I don't I want to talk to them. I'm not their mommy. I don't CARE about their SINS, and I don't need THEM to care about their sins. I want to f***ing put them DOWN. I want them GONE."
Dex: "You're not supposed to be ENJOYING it quite so much, Deb. You're becoming one of THEM."
Deb: "What you're really saying is that you're pissed I'm not a p***y about it. The System is failing this town. I'm SAVING it. Miami doesn't need another judge. They need a SAVIOR. They need ME."
So now Dexter is actually afraid. He realizes that he has to take her down -- not just because she's gone crazy, but because he sees the glint in her eyes. He's the next target. We watch him make elaborate plans for a couple of episodes, then, as we're watching him at the computer making plans, Deb walks in.
Deb: "Whatcha working on there, Dex?"
Dex: "Uhm, nothing. Ebay. I have this new Monkees tumblr."
Deb: "Wow, I love The Monkees. Lemme see."
Dex: "Okay, you got me. It was porn. Hahaha!"
Deb's close now, so she just stabs him in the neck. Dex is bleeding out, "Why? Why did you do this to me?"
Deb: "We could have been a team, Dex. We could have been better than Harry, or even you, ever dreamed. The worst thing is how easy you made it for me to kill you. I didn't have to be a genius. I just needed to want it more. And Dex?"
Leans in close to whisper. "I've never wanted to do anything so much in my entire life."
Fade to black.
Scene fades up on police finding bodies, standing slack-jawed as they look at Dexter's killing room, all his tools. Deb standing by with mirrored shades, jaw set like iron. People wanting to get close to her, LaGuerta (STILL ALIVE) tries --- "Morgan, I'm so sorry that Dexter...." -- but her stony face with mirrored shades shuts everyone into silence.
Then, just as everybody has their back turned to her again, we see her with the tiniest glimmer of one corner of a grin.
Fade to black.
So we get it all. Dexter gets his comeuppance. We get the believability both of him and Deb kissing AND creeping themselves out with it...and her really, really becoming unhinged. Her boo-hoo-hoo-ing herself off the force never made the tiniest bit of sense. I never bought it. She always seemed better cut out for this kind of thing than Dexter, and I'd have liked for somebody to let a little opera out of the tires of this thing.
THAT SAID, I love that Dexter's not dead. I really hate it when the bad guy dies just because he's "supposed to." NO WAY Ethan Hawke gets to live when Denzel dies in Training Day. No WAY. I'm glad Denzel got a well-deserved Oscar for it, but he should have shot Ethan, lit him on fire, then pulled out a cigar, ripped off the tip and spit it at Ethan's burning corpse, then lit the cigar from the flames.
ANYWAY, I (obviously) felt Dexter had been off the rails for a while. The last episode wasn't going to be especially pleasing or displeasing one way or the other EXCEPT for the part about Dexter still living. I loved that.