The following entry contains spoilers for the final season of HBO’s Dexter. You have been warned.
Dexter has been a constant source of entertainment for my mom and I for the past several years. We were slightly saddened by the coming end of our favourite series, but at the same time, excited to see what would happen to the characters we came to know and love.
I’m still reeling in disappointment.
Let’s start with Dr. Evelyn Vogel. Ever since the beginning of the season, when she showed up with disturbing pictures drawn by a young Dexter, I had suspicions. She knew about Dexter’s urges, she helped Harry develop the Code, and now, this season’s murderer was sending her segments of brain tissue taken from his victims. I thought she was behind all of it. She had the build-up to be revealed as manipulating things from the shadows. I was certain she would be the mastermind behind everything.
But, nope, it was actually her crazy son who kills her when she tries to do the right thing. I’m very disappointed in how weak a character Dr. Vogel became when she had all this potential.
But let’s talk about her son. Or, let’s not. There’s nothing to talk about. Compared to all the other villains I’ve seen in this series—The Ice Truck Killer in Season 1, Miguel in Season 3, Trinity in Season 4—he was a generic “for the evilz” villain with mommy issues. How boring.
Then there’s Zach. They had built up that Zach was going to become Dexter’s protégée, and I actually liked him. There’s was a lot of black comedy revolving around how he had no idea what he was doing when it came to killing. With hearsay about a Dexter spin-off, I figured he was a good candidate for the protagonist of that.
Except just as him and Dexter patch things up after a disagreement, he dies at the hands of Mr. Mommy Issues. So, he existed for a few episodes.
Masuka also had this side-story this season about finding out he had a grown daughter. I didn’t get the point of it. The entire thing could have been cut. It only seemed to be there to give Masuka last minute character development and fill some screen time.
Hannah comes back, and she’s alright for the most part. But there was this whole issue about keeping her hidden because she was still a wanted criminal. And she gets found out, which causes a lot of problems for Dexter. So…why not dye and cut her hair? All the pictures circulating show a blonde woman with long hair. Dye it black and cut it short. Or if you absolutely can’t for some stupid reason, put a wig on her. Hell, if she has to go out, give her frumpy clothes. Hannah always looks fashionable. People notice fashionable, attractive women. But no one will look twice at a woman in jeans, a t-shirt, with her hair in a ponytail.
But I guess we can’t have that because Hannah needs to look sexy for the audience. At least she eventually did something useful by the end of the season. I was getting annoyed with the wanted murderess being unable to handle herself in a tough situation.
And I think she’ll make a good mother to Harrison.
And now, Deb.
Deb is my favourite character. I love her attitude. I love her potty mouth. I love how she’s a general badass who speaks her mind. I love how she was still able to come off as badass when she was struggling with life and was turning to Dexter for advice.
And then, as with many female characters, she must die to inspire the male lead into action.
I could have handled her dying, though I wouldn’t have wanted it. It was the way it happened that makes me angry.
Deb gets shot during a confrontation with Mommy Issues after the genius U.S. Marshal Max Clayton frees him from being imprisoned by Dexter, despite videos of Mommy Issues killing people being all over the news (thanks to Dexter).
He gets stabbed for his trouble and there was much rejoicing.
So, Deb is shot and taken to the hospital, where the doctors are optimistic. But her dialogue reads like bad foreshadowing for her death. A few minutes later, there are flashbacks with Deb and Dexter. Then the “Complications” arise. Deb is taken back into surgery because of a clot. Her brain was starved for oxygen for several minutes. She’s in a coma, and if she ever comes out of it, she’ll have to live off a feeding tube and be essentially brain dead.
Quinn, her love interest whom I was praying she’d finally marry, agrees with the audience that this is an insult to her character. Dexter is inspired to take down Mommy Issues once and for all. Later, he comes back and takes Deb off life-support, which you can see coming a mile away. The scene where he does it is brilliantly acted on Michael C. Hall’s part, and I’d probably have shed some tears for Dexter if I hadn’t been so angry.
I also might have been able to appreciate the symbolism of him stealing Deb’s body and dumping her into the ocean, as he sees her as one of his victims.
But I couldn’t. If Deb absolutely had to die, she should have died in a blaze of glory. Maybe saving Dexter from Vogel and Mommy Issues. The woman deserved a badass hero’s death. Not being reduced to becoming a vegetable because of some idiot not paying attention to stuff that’s vital to his job.
If they had to take the vegetable route because they wanted the most tragic option for the character, she deserved a proper funeral. I couldn’t appreciate the symbolism of Deb being thrown in with Dexter’s victims because I felt she deserved better.
Frankly, a lot of the choices in this season pissed me off. Normally, the writing in Dexter is excellent. What happened here? Were there new writers? Did a bunch of actors have to leave mid-season?
But, I’m sure there might be some curiosity about my feelings on Dexter’s final fate.
I thought it was fitting, though I disliked the events that led to it.
Dexter fakes his death to live a life of solitude and keep his remaining family safe. Harrison is taken in by Hannah and the two will presumably live a safe life in Argentina. Astor and Cody—who are only briefly mentioned—will not be bothered by Dexter’s enemies.
I could never see Dexter committing suicide, but I couldn’t really see him getting a happy ending either. It was a justified ending for his character. It seemed to be the only thing that fit.
I just wish others had gotten justified treatment as well.