TV Review: Dexter Series Finale, “Remember the Monsters?”

Tonight’s the night we bid goodbye to the dark passenger

Deborah Cornelious September 24, 2022
  • Direction
  • Acting
  • Screenplay
  • Cinematography


The good news is that the leaked Reddit posts weren’t true. The bad news is, the finale would be a worthwhile watch if it they were true. There’s one word to describe the finale – unceremonious. It feels like we’ve been cheated of something we’re entitled to. There was so little right with the almost-one-hour show that it became hard to wrap our heads around what happened. Never has there been a more badly paced and anti-climatic end to any show and it’s downright disappointing. Our resignation today has turned into pure disbelief.

“Remember the Monsters?” picks up from last episode, with Debra (Jennifer Carpenter) lying in a pool of blood after being shot by Oliver Saxon (Darri Ingolfsson). Dexter (Michael C Hall) is on his way away from Miami, on his way to a better life with his son Harrison and Hannah McKay (Yvonne Starhovsky). Like it was too good to be true, Dexter gets called back because of his sister’s injury. In the apparent manic haze to avenge his sister, Dexter decides to get Saxon for himself, something he should have done much earlier. But the supposed super villain is also out for revenge. He wants to do away with Debra to satisfy himself and also get back at Dexter.

It reads well onscreen yes, but the execution of this vindictive battle was just downright sloppy. There’s no real aggression in Dexter’s demeanour nor is Saxon behaving like the level-headed psychopath he’s supposed to. If he was smart enough to burn down a hospital and escape, how come he’s stupid enough to walk the streets with a bloody arm? What about walking anywhere he likes in broad daylight, toting a gun, may we add? The writers literally paved the way for Saxon to get to Debra only to have him get so awkwardly arrested. When his end did arrive, it did little to satisfy us.

Then we come to Debra. Poor, poor Deb. Did she deserve what she got? After all that she’s been through, after what Dexter put her through? She spent most part of the episode silently strapped to a hospital bed waiting to be avenged by her brother. Inconvenience caused by the following spoiler is highly regretted but is unfortunately unavoidable. When Debra does breathe her last, it’s in a scene aimed to be one like “Million Dollar Baby.” Alas, it doesn’t have the same impact. Did her final resting place really have to be with Dexter’s other victims? All these rhetorical questions are the only answers we have to the dismal way the writers handled things. In flashbacks, we see how the doting sister always has faith in her older brother. He’s always been around to take care of her and, boy, has he faltered in the last season, when it has mattered most.

The other woman in Dexter’s life, McKay, is playing the wife dutifully waiting on her husband, taking the backseat. Her only shining moment was when she took care of meddling Jacob Elway (Sean Patrick Flanery) and even then it didn’t match her elite skills. Her dream to find herself a happy family has left her stuck with Harrison, what’s worse is that she made this choice herself.

Since the beginning, we’ve always wondered whether Dexter will get away with the sins he’s committed. He may have killed criminals, but he has still killed people. And the show wants us to believe he’s a truly reformed soul. He realised that he’s responsible for the hurt he’s caused the people he loves. But when the tears do fall, they do little to convince us. Perhaps, if , in the end, he had rebooted, gone back to the beginning and accepted that he’s just the psychopath that he is and led a solitary life, the show would have packed a punch than what we saw at the end.

Hall can rock any look, but for Dexter the serial killer to deign to his final place is just pitiable. If the show had gone the “Sopranos” way and left things to our imagination, we’d have an iota of respect left. Their attempts at providing us with closure just left us with a bitter taste in our mouths, one that’s going to go away only after we re-watch the best seasons of the show to remind us what good TV is all about. Goodbye, Dexter and we’re sorry to say this, but good riddance.

Side note: The creators ought to have invested in better effects. Does Argentina really look like a European city, complete with Victorian architecture and quaint cafes?

Also, that hurricane. While it’s raging behind Dexter, the water beneath Slice of Life is cool as a cucumber. Where’s the attention to detail?