by Joanna Orland

SPOILER ALERT:  This discusses key plot points of the series finale of Dexter.

I wasn’t going to write about the series finale of Dexter, but anger and disappointment have forced me to do so.  This has been one of the most turbulent shows in recent history, having some amazing highs such as the seasons of the Trinity and Ice Truck Killers, and some very awful lows including this final season.  Most fans continued watching in hopes of reliving the glory days of Dexter, when this was the best show on television.  It seems as though the quality bar died in the bathtub alongside Dexter’s wife Rita at the end of season 4.  Half of Dexter’s life withered away in soap opera style plots and increasingly unbelievable and unempathetic situations.  In spite of it all, we made it to the end.  One of the most frustrating series finales in history.

First of all, Dexter should have died, or at least have been imprisoned.  This wishy-washy ending of him having lost everything he cared about was not a strong choice.  It could have been made strong if he then decided to end it all on the boat as he drove off into the hurricane’s horizon.  Instead, it was very unsatisfying to see Dexter Morgan alive as a lumberjack so he could continue to go on killing as the unfeeling serial killer he believed he needed to be.  He chose killing over family in spite of minutes before claiming he no longer had the urge to kill because of his love for Hannah McKay.  Deb’s death certainly did not revoke his desire to not be a killer because as much as he did love Deborah, he perpetually chose Hannah over her.  There was a moment when he did choose Deborah as Hannah had poisoned her, but look how quickly he got back on Hannah’s side after her reappearance into their lives!  He spent the first few episodes proclaiming his undying devotion to Deborah trying to win back her affection, and in a heartbeat that is all out the window!

By the end of Dexter, these characters became shadows of what they once were.  I was still rather emotional at Deborah’s death as she has always been my favourite on the show, and one of my favourite female heroines in modern pop culture.  In spite of mourning what Deborah once was, I no longer had feelings for Dexter.  He used to be the ultimate anti-hero.  He was never a hero who was breaking bad, he had broke bad at birth and evil was in his nature.  Yet the audience empathized with him and had always rooted for him.  It’s such a tragedy that this series derailed as it did.  It could have been remembered as one of the finest in history, rather than the watered down soap opera parody that it eventually became.  RIP Deborah – but Dexter no longer has my empathy.

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