I’ve been discussing the Series Finale of Dexter with a lot of people lately and now that the dust has settled a bit, I figured this would be a good place to put all of my thoughts.
Warning! There are Spoilers ahead! If you haven’t seen the finale, do not click on the link to continue.
This is the non-spoiler laden opinion I gave on Twitter the night of the finale: Emotionally taxing; the perfect way to end it. I spoke to several people who felt Dexter should have ended happily ever after. Dex gets on a plane and goes to Rio to meet up with his son and the love of his life and we imagine he lives the live he’s always wanted. However, I’m that I’m glad it didn’t end happily ever after because that’s not what Dexter is; he’s an anti-hero and I think it all working out would have gone against the fabric of the whole show. Dexter has led a life of pain and heartache (though he didn’t really feel it much until the last season) and I think it had to end like this. The fact that Dexter was so distraught, that he actually felt the pain of Deb’s death and the heartache of never seeing Hannah and Harrison again shows immense character growth that we wouldn’t have seen if it ended happily.
I also think it would have been too predictable for him to die; people (myself included) were half-expecting it. The fact that we lost Deb seemed right (no matter how upsetting) and provided a bit of a twist because we thought she was going to survive. I also though the silence between Dexter and Deb the last time she was conscious was very poignant because you could tell he wanted to say, “I love you,” but couldn’t until it was too late. Dexter realized that and that’s what put him over the edge.
After Deb’s death (by his own hand), he realized what the season was building to the whole time, explicitly stated by both Vogel & Harry: he can’t live in “both worlds.” It was time for him to disappear if he didn’t want Hannah or his son to suffer the same fate as Deb. The fact that Dexter lived through the hurricane shows he still has that survivor instinct. He goes into hiding, living for the rest of his life with the sacrifice he made instead of just killing himself. In a way, that is much more heroic.
The only think I can’t explain is Masuka’s daughter. It kinda just seemed like the writers were like, “Hey you know what would be funny? If Vince had a daughter.” Otherwise, I think this was perfect way to end such a great series.
PS: I read someone thought the series should have ended 20 years later, with Harrison taking up Dexter’s torch. I just want to go on record as saying that is really, really stupid. Dexter tried so hard to make sure his son wouldn’t be like him. At least he got that win.