Dexter Series Finale Review: “Remember The Monsters?” (Season 8, Episode 12)

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But we can’t escape any discussion about this finale without looking closer at Dexter’s final choice: to ride into the hurricane. I’ll admit, I admired that he dumped Deb where he left the rest of his victims, because simply put, she was his last victim. It could have had a bigger emotional impact if Harry made one last appearance or Dexter spouted any parting words, but it was sufficient. But his decision to protect Hannah and Harrison from himself by faking his own death is questionable and, in my opinion, selfish.

Dexter has no issue handing off Harrison to Hannah, a woman who tried to kill his sister, poisoned him to announce her return to Miami and is a wanted fugitive who refuses to alter her looks to avoid detection. I never fully bought Hannah’s transformation, and I especially didn’t buy Dexter’s transformation from murderer mentor to docile kitten who never wants to kill again. It’s easy to understand why he wants Harrison to have a new life with Hannah, but he’s hardly doing the kid any favors. His mom was murdered, and now his dad faked his death in order for him to have a “better” life. That’s three kids Dexter has managed to distance himself from throughout the series.

In truth, Dexter’s decision to run away makes some sense, since he attempted to leave after Rita’s death as well. The only loose end is his abandonment of Harrison, who’s going to have as many problems as his father if not more. It’s official that some sort of spin-off from the main series is in development, so whether we’ll see more of Hannah and Harrison remains to be seen. I honestly wouldn’t mind checking in on the poor kid a few years down the line just to see if Dexter passed a little bit of the Dark Passenger onto his son.

It’s a shame that Dexter ends with a whimper, because the first half of the series had such potential. It did start to fall into its own trappings, with each season feeling more or less routine, but at least it was interesting. The newer seasons should be applauded for trying a new direction, even if only a few of those choices paid off in the end. I’ll be the first to throw a stone at Lumen, but kudos to the writers for introducing a twist into the series. This final season tried the same thing, but the changes just didn’t fit in with the attitude of the show.

I’ve always enjoyed reading fan theories and predictions for Dexter, and I’ll admit that I had my hopes high after reading a few of the proposed endings that fans put forth. Of course, the writers are never going to hire a fan off of a forum to pen a season for them, but sometimes the one who watch the show know best. Dexter in particular has always drawn interesting ideas from fans, so maybe a fan-made miniseries could satisfy any lingering curiosities.

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As a whole, Dexter was an important part of television history, especially for Showtime, even if it couldn’t keep the quality consistently great throughout the years. This finale didn’t ruin the show’s reputation, and it certainly won’t turn fans against the series, but it was just unremarkable. For a show that used to deftly deliver constant drama and twists, the ending isn’t exactly spellbinding or game-changing.

Perhaps that’s the reason I could only sigh as the credits rolled: of the eight finales that have rounded off each season, the final twist was the weakest, and it hardly left any jaws dropped. Dexter tells better stories than this, and it’s a shame they couldn’t come up with anything more captivating or coherent than what we were given. I still hold the fourth season in high regard as one of the single greatest stories ever told in television. Dexter was a fantastic show at heart that lost its way just as it overstayed its generous welcome.

But enough of what I think. What did you all think of the finale? Was it what you were hoping for, or do you feel unfulfilled? As always, and for the last time, let us know in the comments below. Thank you for reading these reviews throughout the years, and be sure to keep an eye open for any news regarding the spin-off series. You never know when the Dark Passenger might return.