Dexter series finale recap: Our Take on That Shocking, Strange Ending

The series closes with a surprisingly lovely, bold and moving hour. Here's what 'Remember the Monsters?' got right and wrong
Ep. 12 | Aired Sep 22, 2013

Dexter (Michael C. Hall) unexpectedly spends the entire series finale sitting in this chair staring into space.



1. Harrison's fate. The show tried mightily to convince us Hannah is a great surrogate mom. In this episode once again we have Harrison gushing about his affection for Hannah. But Hannah was a dangerous serial killer last season who we didn't remotely trust. This year she comes back, drugs Deb and Dex, and murderers her husband. Then Dex and Hannah seem to rather abruptly declare their love for each other an episode or two later and suddenly they're making plans to flee the country. There just hasn't been enough groundwork laid in the series for us to feel hugely comfortable with the idea of Hannah taking care of Dex's young child. If this is the direction the show wanted to go, Hannah should have returned earlier in the season and not made her entrance by drugging the Morgans. And, perhaps she could have had a couple compelling scenes with Harrison where you felt like she added value to his life, preferable with Dex observing this (instead of the instantly notorious treadmill scene).

2. Miami Metro's fate. The gang back at the station never learned Dexter's secret. We got a fun substitute scene in that interrogation room with Dex, Quinn and Batista, where the show flirted with Miami Metro getting a clue. But when a series launches about a guy who's a serial killer working at a police department, the central tension is "When will his coworkers find out and how will they react?" We got that to a degree in seasons 2 and 7 with Doakes and LaGuerta. But I really wanted Batista to have a juicy arc this season and see how he would react to such a huge betrayal. And can you imagine how Masuka would feel after working side-by-side with Dex and admiring him all those years? Moreover, twice the show has set up a huge ethical conflict where Dex is forced to choose between himself and a colleague, then maneuvered to have another character to have Miami Metro blood on their hands instead of Dex. The writers let Dex off the ethical hook about what to do with Doakes when Lila killed him. Then they let Dex off the hook again with LaGuerta when Deb shot her. Would Dex have killed likable big-hearted Batista or wimpy-funny Masuka to save his own skin? We'll never know.

I highly recommend you check out my finale interview with showrunner Scott Buck and longtime executive producer Sara Colleton. We talk about this episode, what Dex's fate means and they have some compelling explanations behind some of the controversial creative choices from this season. If you want to focus on the negative, here are my list of the 10 biggest fan gripes. We also have an updated ranking of the seasons and eight never-before-seen behind-the-scenes photos. Tomorrow I'll have my updated list ranking the Dexter seasons from best to worst. Thanks for reading. See you next spring for my recapping of Game of Thrones season 4!

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