Dexter Series Finale Post Mortem: EP Reveals Why [Spoiler] Had to Live and [Spoiler] Had to Die, Talks Alt Endings and Dissects That Final Scene

Dexter Series Finale Post MortemWarning: This story contains spoilers from Dexter‘s series finale. Read on with caution…

Now that you’ve had some time to process the events of the Dexter series finale —  in which Dex became a reclusive mountain man, Deb died (sob) and Harrison most likely wound up as an illegal immigrant of Argentina — let’s delve deeper into the bound-to-be polarizing send-off with a little help from executive producer Sara Colleton.

Here, the EP — who has worked on the Showtime saga since the very beginning — details the decision to let Dexter live, explains why the ending fans saw was the only one on the table (pun intended), breaks down the significance of that haunting final shot and much, much more.

TVLINE | Was there ever a scenario planned in which Dexter actually dies?
No, and the reason there wasn’t is that it’s not a fitting enough punishment for him. Going into exile away from everything that he knows and has become attached [to] in his whole infrastructure is a more fitting punishment for what his journey toward being a human being has cost everyone around him. If the central idea from the pilot on was: Here’s a guy who thinks of himself as a monster and yet yearns to be human… We’ve seen him on this journey – he started off as faking it but then became real somewhere along the line – and we’ve seen year-to-year what this journey has cost him. So, in the finale, the final price comes through… If he had listened to the Dark Passenger and stuck to the Code, he would never have left Saxon, he wouldn’t have thought that he didn’t need to kill, that he’s got a stronger pull. Deb, who was his touchstone and soulmate, died — and this was the only fitting punishment. He banishes himself, if you will, into exile. When he looks into the camera in the end [of the finale], the rest is silence; there’s not even a voiceover there anymore. It’s just emptiness… Committing suicide is too easy; that’s letting himself off the hook.

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TVLINE | It seems as though the writers approached the penultimate episode as Dexter’s happy ending and then the series finale as his realistic ending.
Yes! And that’s the cost of being a human being. Do you know how much easier it is to be a sociopath, and not to think and not to have anxiety and not to have hesitation or to love? I’m hoping that in addition to it making sense for Dexter’s specific journey, it is an analysis or a look at how hard it is to be a human being.

TVLINE | Is the takeaway meant to be that he’s no longer killing, but rather just living his life in solitude?
Yes. Anything that was a part of his life that gave it meaning is gone. He’s banished himself as far away from Miami and anyone he’s loved.

TVLINE | What went into having Dexter look directly at the camera in the final shot?
It’s that it’s just silence. There’s always been so much that you’ve been able to read into Dexter – twice before in the series, he looked into the camera, but always with a voiceover. And here he’s just got nothing. Nothingness. The rest is silent. Empty.

TVLINE | Was it always the plan for Deb to die?
Well, not from Year 1, but certainly two years ago when we mapped this out. Dexter [in the finale] is as close to being a human being as possible – he’s within a plane ride of achieving his happiness — but he hesitates that one moment. And Deb, who is the closest to him of anyone, [suffers].

TVLINE | Were there any other possible scenarios in which Dexter “kills” Deb, other than him taking her off life support?
That was always [planned]. In a completely fully-aware [moment] of love, at his most human, he does something that he’s had to do a million times: to take someone’s life. That’s the irony of that. There is a certain bravery because she’s living as a vegetable – I hope that if that ever happens to me I have a brother who loves me enough to take me off life support. But Dexter’s now aware enough as a human being that the guilt and the punishment of that will last a lifetime.

TVLINE | What, if any, alternate endings were thrown around the writers’ room? Did you always envision he’d end up where he ended up the way he ended up there?
[There was] never [an alternate ending]. We felt that it would be really cheating not to have an ending that was specific to what we wanted to say… This is always as we have planned it. I’m sure there will be a great bit of discussion and controversy about it, but for those of us who have been involved with the show from the very beginning, it feels — and it felt — right.

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TVLINE | Was there any concern that Dexter‘s rabid fanbase might take issue with the lack of any real closure on some of the storylines? For example, the manhunt that would inevitably happen for Harrison and Hannah, or the fallout from Dexter taking Deb from the hospital, etc.
All of those beats were fully discussed. [Showrunner] Scott Buck and [executive producer] Manny Coto, they nailed [the finale] in the first draft… There has to be a certain degree of ambiguity, because we can’t tie up [everything]. There was so much to do in a one-hour episode – I know people will wonder what’s going to happen to Quinn and Harrison and Hannah and everyone, but this has always been Dexter’s story. All of those things will be left to chew over, but we very specifically didn’t feel that those needed to be wrapped up.

TVLINE | Talk about the brilliantly loaded looks Quinn shot Dexter’s way after watching him kill Saxon.
Quinn’s always thought that there’s more to Dexter than meets the eye and that maybe he’s shaved off a few corners, but I don’t think it’s ever occurred to Quinn the extent of Dexter’s nocturnal journeys – and certainly not that he’s the Bay Harbor Butcher. But those looks are that Quinn completely knew that Dexter went in there with the intention to — and did indeed — kill Saxon. And Quinn absolutely approves. Finally, at this moment where their relationship is over, they have this relationship of mutual respect.

TVLINE | Was your understanding that Hannah believes Dexter is in fact dead?
Oh, I think she believes it. She knows that the hurricane was bearing down. At that moment, she believes that the reason she hasn’t heard from Dexter is because he was lost in the storm.

TVLINE | Any significance to Deb’s focus on hiking before she died?
She’s drugged up and coming out of it, so she was having weird thoughts. She’s already thinking about when she comes down to visit them in Argentina because there are mountains there.

TVLINE | Were any Deb/Dex scenes from previous seasons in contention to use in place of the newly shot flashback?
Nooo, because we wanted it to be about Harrison’s birth in the hospital and about the responsibilities of being a big brother and a father – which inform his decision to [kill Deb]. When he was driven just by the Code and the Dark Passenger, he could have just taken out the life support, but as a fully aware human being, he’s aware of the consequences and what the cost will be. But he loves his sister enough to know that he cannot leave her behind.

TVLINE | So, we now know that a potential spin-off likely won’t center on Deb or Kenny Johnson’s dead U.S. Marshall. Was there ever actual discussion about centering the project on either of those characters?
It was amusing more than anything. We would hear something about a U.S. Marshall spin-off or a Deb spin-off and we would laugh amongst ourselves, wondering where these ideas were coming from. We just wanted to complete the series; eight years is a long time.

TVLINE | Is there any one thing in this finale that you’re most proud of?
I love Dexter’s sum-up of his eight-year journey, before he goes in and knows he’s got to disconnect Deb’s life support: “As much as I may have pretended otherwise, for so long all I’ve wanted was to be like other people, to feel what they felt… Now that I do, I just want it to stop.” It has such a human feeling, the pain of being alive, and he feels it so acutely. It’s a beautifully written piece of voiceover that sums up the entire series…. To me that’s a very powerful moment where I understand that he understands what all of this has cost, and what he’s giving up.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. CountryQueen says:

    The more the ending sinks in, the better I like it. And yes, it’s Dexter’s story, so we don’t get to find out what happens to everyone else – because he doesn’t know what happens to everyone else.

    But I was BORED! I was bored last week, and this week. I wasn’t even that bummed about Deb because I wasn’t riveted to my TV like I wanted to be. I wanted to be on the edge of my seat. Nothing about this season had me eagerly anticipating the next episode. So, for me, that’s where the writers truly failed.

    Interesting how Michael C. Hall was in a show with the best ending of any series (Six Feet Under), and then there’s Dexter.

  2. me says:

    don’t talk about the finale talk about this whole season, it was a joke I can’t believe they let be aired. it was the worst finale ever and i hope this writers will never ever work again they should be ashamed

  3. the danger says:

    Can anyone explain/justify the pointless plot line of Masuka’s daughter? I sincerely want to know what the point was.

    Seems like a lot of screen time that could have been used for something that would add credibility to final season.

    • Guest says:

      Well if you ask Bored Now or Jess, the whole storyline about Masuka’s daughter was awesome because it was cool, and if you don’t get it and enjoy every moment of it, you’re an idiot.

      • frankman777 says:

        I was wondering about this too… but either way it doesn’t hurt to throw in something random once in a while. Maybe throwing the actor a bone as if to tone down the risque humor/ dialogue across practically the whole series… have him seen in a slightly different light for the benefit of future roles on TV. I did have the sense in latter half of the season that Masuka’s daughter would sort of step in and pick up some of the slack after Dexter’s departure. There was a close sense of family in the Miami Metro amongst the main actors.

      • Bored Now says:

        Never once, in any of my comments above, did my arguments include the words ‘cool’ or ‘idiot’. Nor were any of them as pointless as yours. The Masuka’s daughter storyline was neither here nor there for me. It gave Masuka something to do, basically, during a season where they would probably have been better off writing the character out altogether, but I’m not one to see an actor out of work for no good reason so I’ve no problem with the attempt to keep him relevant during season eight. Was what it was. Filler.

  4. Quaffer says:

    i like how it ended. it wasnt the ending anyone wanted or expected, but it was the ending we deserved. him being alone in the end is the ultimate punishment. and we deserved that for sticking by him throughout the years. its damn sad, but it was the right ending and i wouldn’t have it any other way. and to everyone who is comparing it to the ending of lost, i disagree because lost ended very abstractly and didn’t really make much sense. dexters ending is completely understandable (with the exception of how he survived riding his boat into a hurricane).

  5. I cried. A LOT. Therefor, as a loyal fan for 8 seasons, it was a successful ending

  6. cjeffery7 says:

    i think there were definitely some unrealistic expectations out there about how this show should end. some might go for the happy ending in rio (BORING!), some might go for an all out return to sociopath kll-of-the-week dexter (SEEN IT ALREADY!). the problem is those endings are too predictable. i always love it when finales surprise me, rather than being predictable (Fringe was pretty predictable, im sad to say, still love it though). what’s the point of telling a story if you’re just going to circle back around to the beginning, ya know? i personally enjoy character development, even if it’s totally depressing and makes me sad. the fact that it made me feel something (uh oh, i sound like dex!) is what makes it satisfying, not that it worked out perfectly or how i wanted.

  7. Dave Smith says:

    What was going on this season with Masuka?! They built up the whole long lost daughter thing and it went nowhere?!

    • jheela says:

      Masuka as a caring father clearly illustrated that personal growth is possible even in the most single dimensional of characters. His change is in many ways even more shocking than the changes Dexter went through.

  8. Azerty says:

    Ok it didn’t end how I tought it would and not how the spoilers described the episode (I read spoilers last week about Quinn killing Saxon with Dex’knife and becoming the new BHB while Dexter has an happy ending with Hanna). The last scene was awesome acting from Michael C Hall. I still have some issues (Masuka’s Daughter, Astor and Cody, etc.) but my most important question is…how Baptista can be such a dumb cop? seriously I get it Quinn don’t care because of Deb’s death but Baptista watches Saxon’s murder, Dex calling the cop after the kill, sure it looks like self defense, but still…

  9. Nin says:

    She makes a lot of good and valid points, the problem was the show completely failed to get them across.
    At no point have I felt like the writers understood that Dexter isn’t a good guy. He needed to be punished and the final episode punished him severely, but it was so badly communicated that you felt sympathy for him, instead of justice for the destruction he’s caused to everyone.
    Upon rewatching I may feel differently and view it in a kinder light, I can see what they were trying to do but right now, that finale is probably one of the most depressing endings (in various ways) that I can remember. There isn’t a shred of happiness in it and what’s tragic is the true hero suffers a horribly undignified ending.
    Personally I’m torn on Dexter surviving. The writer in me says he should have killed himself on the boat, it would have been a savage, shocking ending and a truly memorable way to go out. My human side agrees with Sara, exile is a far worse punishment, especially for a man who has just found his humanity.

  10. J. May says:

    Jennifer Carpenter must have royally pissed off someone in the writer’s room to have had so much crap piled on to her character. Foster brother is a serial killer, boyfriend season 1 is a serial killer (and Dexter’s brother), FBI boyfriend killed by the estranged daughter of a serial killer, in love with Dexter, etc., etc. I am so glad I stopped watching last season and avoided this calamity.

    • Actually, I thought the being in love with Dexter was genius and should have gone further. They are both so f’d up, I thought they would make a great couple.

      • Nin says:

        I agree and it would have completely negated the need for Hannah too.

        • Exactly, he and Deb could have come to terms with their brokenness together and said “f it” and left Miami for a new start. Not quite a “happy ending” in the traditional sense, but one in which 2 totally screwed up people who can only be understood by the other try to make a life together.

          Instead, after such a brilliant maneuver in having Deb fall in love with Dexter, realize it and then seeing him actually murder a person (something which could have seriously cemented their bond, because now she knew everything about him), they sort of just trivialized it the next season into almost being a joke, like “Hey Dexter, remember that time I fell in love with you, haha!” I thought it could have been amazing. I’m wondering if too many people freaked out about it and made them pull back, but I loved it.

      • J. May says:

        I can see that, and It might have been a good plot twist if it wasn’t for everything else that had happened to her. It just started to make me too uncomfortable to enjoy watching the show.

  11. mandy says:

    After having sometime to digest all of this, I have to say I am okay with how it ended. For me, Deb and Dexter’s relationship became the core of the show. She was really the one true person who could ultimately bring him down. And I knew she could never arrest him, or expose him, so her death was the only thing that would make sense to end Dexter, and the show.
    It was such an emotional hour. I feel like I did when Rita died; completely gutted. But, it was worth the ride.
    Bravo to the cast and crew! A series to mourn, and remember.

  12. So many Dick riders. Why can’t you just admit that it’s a bad ending. You and all your delusions and idolizer ideas. You don’t have to be so deep to understand how sloppy and anticlimactic this entire season was made, you bunch of hipsters.

  13. And because he loved Deb so much, he dumped her body right there with all the serial killer monsters he ever got rid of. Great idea. :-/

  14. Faster says:

    This finale was terrible, and I can’t believe how many people are on here saying that they liked it. Not even touching on the fact that Dex took Deb out of the hospital with no one knowing or caring and that he somehow survived a hurricane 100 feet away from his boat and ended up in log-town, the whole season was the sloppiest piece of garbage I’ve seen pass for a series finale in a long time. The entire season focused on a doctor that was just introduced and who we weren’t sure that we should like or not, and the Big Bad was not even remotely related to Dexter. We are supposed to care about this guy who causes problems for Vogel, who we barely care about in the first place? And that’s the Big Bad of the series finale?! The thing would have been better if they freaking resurrected Dexter’s brother and explored more of Dexter’s origin and mythology that way than what we saw.
    Not to mention that the Dexter/Hannah love story is insufferable, that Dexter obviously didn’t care about the well-being of his son after his death (Hannah, the murderess, really? Who could herself be discovered at any time? Hello, the kid has grandparents and siblings), and I won’t even get into the introduction of all these side-story lines. And what really gets me is that we never had the fear of Dexter getting caught, even if that’s not where the writers wanted to go with the finale. The entire show is premised on Dexter’s lifestyle and his proximity to getting caught, and this wasn’t very meaningfully explored in the series as a whole other than the Bay Harbor Butcher fiasco, but I expected some of that same initial suspense that drew me to the series in the finale season. I’d feel much better if the writers and crew just admitted that they had a deadline, didn’t know what to come up with, a severely dropped the ball. Moving on to a much superior Showtime show, Homeland.

  15. Justin says:

    The finale wasn’t bad, its just that they missed a few things that in my opinion would have really gave it weight.
    First is the ending would have made more sense if Dexter would been found out and had to escape and become someone else. We would not want them hunting Hanna and Harrison so he stays away and becomes someone else.
    Second, Deb’s death came off as an after thought, and cheap.
    This is how I think they should have done it;
    Dexter and Deb have their final conversation and Deb starts to seizure and is carted off into emergency surgery. She suffers the stroke and is brain dead, sending Dexter and Joey into a rage both looking for Saxon. Dexter finds him first, kills him and Joey walks in mirroring Deb’s discovery of Dexter. Joey is too stunned to shoot and Dexter runs. Joey calls in the department so everyone now knows Dexter is the Butcher. Dexter goes to the hospital to while everyone is searching for him and he takes Deb off of the life support and brings her with him into the storm assuming that he will die with Deb by his side. Everything else was fine.

  16. BoucheDag says:

    Dexter was a great show, the last few seasons were not classics, but when it was good it was really good. I don’t feel that the finale did the previous eight seasons justice, it felt rushed and too many things conveniently fell into place:

    1.) Dexter conveniently mooring his boat at the hospital, then killing Debra and casually wheeling her to the boat, in front of numerous witnesses. Using the storm/hospital evacuation as an excuse is pretty pathetic, surely he was caught on camera at least a dozen or so times. He was hardly discreet about wheeling the corpse of his sister to the boat.
    2.) Hannah, a fugitive on the run with a small child, failed to notice that one of her pursuers is sat in the next seat on her bus doesn’t seem right you’d think she’d have paid more attention. Why she spared Elway is beyond me, surely giving him a lethal dose would have aided her escape, unless the magical animal tranquiliser also induces amnesia?
    3.) Dexter sailed into the heart of a storm, had his boat destroyed and then what? Did he have another smaller boat stashed on the Slice of Life, or did he simply swim to shore in the midst of a storm?

    It was a sad way to end a great show, I wasn’t demanding that Dexter was caught or killed, I just felt the character deserved a better send off.

  17. Phil says:

    The very last scene with Dexter staring dead eyed at the camera was near identical to Patty Hewes’s stare at the end of Damages. Except the scene was much more poignant, striking, just all round better when Glenn Close did it!

  18. victoria says:

    If they weren’t going to let Dexter have a “Happy Ever After” they should have just ended the episode with Dexter heading into the hurricane. Dexter wouldn’t have left Harrison. Harrison was the one truly good thing that Dexter had given the world. I just don’t see Dexter voluntarily separating himself from Harrison. Ever. I do believe that Deb’s death was the only thing that could make Dexter feel human. Besides Harrison, Deb was the only person he ever really loved. Even when she was a potential danger to him, Dexter never considered hurting her. It makes sense that he would take her off life support because he loved Deb and tjat would have been what Deb would have wanted him to do…but why take her out to sea? He should have left for to have a police funeral with bagpipes and a 21 gun salute.
    I know my opinion doesn’t matter but as a fan who watched EVERY episode for 8 Years…..the finale left much to be desired.

  19. Doug says:

    I don’t know why people are upset. The show has been a shell of its former since the season 4 finale. Did they really expect this season and its finale to be great after 3 seasons of sub-par television?

  20. ashrun says:

    Nice ending! Reasons:
    1. Dexter was all alone from the beginning, emotionless and indifferent. Rita got into his life and then came Harrison and many others but the one person whom he truly cared and connected with was Deb.
    2. All Deb wanted after knowing about Dex was for him to stop his killings and do some soul searching. And yes he was capable of suppressing his killing instinct completely. This justifies the ending where he lives in solitude with no more killing!
    3. Deb was a beautiful selfless character and he being responsible for her death, weighed him down entirely and he definitely could not go join Hannah and Harrison and live happily although Deb would have wanted this. So ending is apt again!
    4. He was a tough man and can live like one right till the end without anyone! Debra was the one person that mattered most to him and he realized that and rest of the world didn’t matter anymore (needless to say that he knew Harrison would be fine with Hannah and Aster and Cody were taken care of).
    Writers and others need not be judged. Its a story and how it ends is upto the one who writes that. We just have to read, watch and move on. If you don’t like it, thats absolutely judging needed!

    • DebFan says:

      Fair enough. But the reason that many people watched the show was because of it’s lighthearted, fun dark-comedy flavor. The ending completely changed that.

  21. alex says:

    I for one was rooting for a happy ending because i believe dexter would have earned it. Hundreds of murderers are dead thanks to him thus indirectly saving who knows how many innocent lives. The ending would have been just had dexter never abandoned the dark passenger but the fact is that he did. people fail to see that the only reason dexter ruined the lives of those around him was in fact his need to kill and habit of bringing dangerous people to his life. what i’m saying is that bad stuff doesn’t just “follow” him around. therefore his argument of “protecting those who he loves” and his decision to exile himself for the same reason makes no sense whatsoever for he is no longer a threat to anyone.
    also what is the point of punishing someone who realizes one’s actions and their consequences and is ready to learn from their mistakes? yes this is highly theoretical but anyone studying the criminal law knows that the main aims of a punishment in modern societies are mainly deterrence, rehabilitation and Incapacitation – none of which apply to dexter who as far as we know will not kill again and acknowledges that he himself is a huge reason why rita and deb are now gone. this is why i hated the ending because it lacked anykind of logic and on top of that was sad as hell.. again, for no reason

  22. Mikael says:

    There should have been a much better final villain. At first I hated the young kid Vogel wanted Dexter to train, but I liked the direction it went in with them realizing that he was already a killer and couldn’t adhere to the Code, emphasizing that Dexter is unique. Vogel had already pointed out that he wasn’t a total sociopath. The Brain Surgeon could have been executed much better. Saxon just wasn’t good enough to be the final bad guy. They really needed another Trinity. I like the idea of Quinn knowing who Dexter really is the whole time and becoming the new Dexter after being driven mad by Deb’s death. It would also explain the giant plot hole of Quinn investigating Dexter and then forgetting everything he found out because Deb asked him to.

    And Hannah couldn’t wear a wig or something?? And why did they have to fly out of Miami? Why didn’t they drive to another city weeks ago and fly from there? It’s not like there were roadblocks looking for Hannah anymore. Why didn’t they think to just have Hannah & Harrison go to Argentina and have Dexter meet them before? And don’t get me started on Dexter taking Deb’s body and no one noticing.

    The final season, I think, should have been Batista looking into LaGuerta’s death and discovering Dexter.

    • DebFan says:

      Yeah, I think the show should have ended with Dexter’s past being revealed. That would have been true to the texture of the rest of the show. This ending was just too heavy. See my alternate ending below.

  23. stef says:

    Although I’m OK with the finale, season 8 SUCKED for me. And I do mean BIG time. (I prefer the finale that former producer Clyde Phillips announced he would have done had he stayed on the show) One thing that was VERY disappointing for me was how sloppy the show got. Hannah and Saxon had their faces all over the news yet both strolled through airports, hospitals, buses, etc without ANYONE recognizing them? Including a U.S. Marshal who had no clue who Saxon was when he found him? Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy. That NEVER would have happened in the earlier seasons of the show.

  24. Jen says:

    I don’t think the ending was satisfying at all. And I can definitely understand why people are disappointed. As soon as Dexter’s boat went down I had a strong feeling that he was not gone. That isn’t the ending I wanted. But that part of it was at least somewhat okay. Although I would have preferred to have Dexter and Hannah leave Miami together. The part I did not like at all was having Deb die. I don’t get it. I don’t like it. It was not in the ending any viewer wanted to see.

    • Alex says:

      Deb’s entire arc this season that ended with her being tossed in the ocean like garbage was the most insulting character assassination I’ve seen done on television. Her death was totally unearned and done almost as an afterthought.

      The creepy scenes of Dexter cradling and tossing her corpse off of his boat as she sinks into the abyss was a hideous thing to do to a viewer who invested emotionally in this show and that character.

      I can’t even imagine going back to watch previous episodes when THIS is the ultimate fate of the heart and soul of this show. Both Debra Morgan and Jennifer Carpenter deserved better.

      Oh well. One more Woman stuffed into the Refrigerator, I guess.

  25. Tiarella says:

    Dexter was a dark comedy about America’s favorite serial killer. The writers didn’t respect that that was what the fans loved for years and betrayed the fans by removing the comedy and our favorite serial killer. Stupid writers.

    • DebFan says:

      Well-said. I liked the dark-comedy lighthearted nature of Dexter. There were actually great parts to Season 8, such as the dinner party with Vogel, Hannah, Dexter, and the serial killer kid. That was Season 8’s best scene, because it represents what was so FUN about the show…serial killers acting normally and having normal aspects to their lives. The last episode completely changed the whole feeling of the show. Honestly, I was betrayed by the show.

      See my alternate ending below.

  26. Axel says:

    I was highly disappointed. The idea was ok but there were just too many plotholes:

    –Dex didn’t kill Saxon on ep 11 because he didn’t feel the urge. Who cares? He didn’t feel the urge with the butcher impersonator on season 2 but did anyways because he killed innocent ppl.
    Also, Saxon killed vogel and threatened to kill all his loved ones. This kill was as personal as it gets. Yet he opted not to and didn’t help deb with the arrest where she clearly needs to untie him to then arrest him, next to Dex’ knives ._.

    –US marshall didn’t recognize Saxon from the most wanted killer plastered all over the news that day. He also let his guard down, trusting a complete stranger.

    –US marshall died on duty, yet they didn’t investigate his death nor sent other marshalls.

    –Masuka’s death (l know he wasn’t killed) but his personality did die. Just cuz he has a daughter doesn’t mean he has to stop making sexual puns and being the comic relief of the show. Also that story didn’t have anything to do with the main storyline which normally connects at the end.

    –Quinn wants a promotion, why not investigate Dexter’s secret fully? Naaaah!!

    –Matthews and Batista knew about LaGuerta’s theory. Wasn’t it a bit suspicious that Estrada (you know, the man that chopped Dexter’s mom up) and Maria (police captain accusing Dex of being the butcher) double KO’ed on a ship container (the place where he was locked for days as a child in a bloodbath with his family) during new year’s eve where dexter never showed up to Batista’s party? Yes it was, alot of material for a potential final season which was fully ignored.

    –Hannah, wanted fugitive. Didn’t try the least of changing her appearance. Hair dye, hoodie, hat, shades, wig, fake mustache? anything!

    –How did little petite Hannah carry dexter into her van? Dex might be at least twice her weight.

    –Hannah was never trustworthy, having a family and all Dexter should have never returned to her arms. With Dex out of the way, she might have poisoned Harrison’s ice cream for all we know.

    –Even if dex wanted to stay with hannah, he could’ve just let her go in that small plane and met her a few weeks later. She has his #. Remember the 1st rule of the code.

    –RIP Asthor & Cody. Oh they’re alive? REALLY?

    –Jaime never suspected a thing eventhough Quinn and Batista could have ruined his overtime alibi.

    –Why would Harrison want Hannah as his mommy over Jamie and Deb? He barely spend time with her.

    –Batman survived an atom bomb and Dexter survived a hurricane! Too bad the boat was destroyed though. Dexter’s body is apparently stronger than a boat. He would make a perfect lumberjack!

    –That hospital with VIP boat parking had terrible security. Dex killed, rolled and carried Deb off to the hurricane and nobody noticed!? He didn’t even put scrubs on or retrieved the body in a believable way.

    –Dex attempted suicide eventhough he never approved suicide he thought it was pathetic. (he said that to matthews on season 2 after discovering that Harry killed himself)

    –Dex exiled himself from Harrison and Hannah to protect them from him… It didn’t make sense because he got rid of his dark passenger on ep 11. He was trading his darkness for his family. Yet he traded it for emptyness eventhough Deb’s wishes was for him to leave and be happy.

    “What would YOU have done!?”
    Deb shoots Dex on season 7 finale. Dexter in his last breathes is glad that Deb followed the code. The story of the bay harbor butcher is all over the media. Some people get inspired and continue Dexter’s legacy (Lumen, Jonah, Hannah, Deb?) aka us the audience.


    Matthews, Quinn and Batista reopen the bay harbor butcher case because of LaGuerta’s death. Deb confeses everything, has a nervous breakdown and is sent to a mental facility. Dex flees because he doesn’t want to kill more innocent ppl. FBI man hunt. Batista calls Jamie and tells her about the butcher. Jamie promises to keep Harrison if Dex disappears alone, forever. Dex refuses, sedates Jamie, takes Harrison but his apartment is sorrounded. Dex lets Harrison go to Batista, Quinn sees Jamie on the floor and shoots Dex in the back, (he thought that she was dead) dex is now in a wheelchair. Dex gets life sentence on isolation locked in a dark room (so he doesn’t kill his cellmates) ln there, dexter is crawled up in a corner (off the wheelchair) stuck with all his demons covered in blood, his big kills (Rita, Harry, Rudy, Trinity, Doakes, Lila, Miguel, Chase, Travis) they’re all there with their respective fatal wounds glaring at dexter in silence while the camera zooms out and fades to black.
    Harrison moves in with Rita’s parents, Asthor & Cody. Harrison ends up killing their dog.

  27. Alex says:

    There was no way for the finale to make up for the dull, senseless melodrama that was Season 8, and even still it failed miserably.

    F grade from AVClub.
    F grade from TWoP.
    Roundly hated by fans.
    Tanked hard in IMDB ratings.

    Critically reviled and loathed by fans, the “perfect storm” of silly garbage.

    Burn in Hell, Dexter.

  28. Ricky says:

    dex should have died. deb should have adopted harrison who starts showing the same homicidal tendencies as his father did as a child (both having witnessed their mother’s murders – “born in blood”) deb begins to teach harrison the code, just as her father did for dexter. poetic. that’s how it should have ended.

  29. Ryan in L.A. says:

    The worst person to ask about the “Dexter” finale is the producer, who was probably sleeping in her office when it was written. The show lost all of its inspiration when Scott Buck took over in Season 5. All of this story dissection is kind of pointless and gives the show more credit than it deserves.

  30. ra says:

    well this is all a lie. considering showcase made them stop the original ending they had planned.

  31. xikum says:

    I’d have been satisfied with Dexter catching up with Hannah and Harrison in Argentina, and Deb marrying Quinn.

    Dexter was really messed with by his adoptive father, who was mislead by a psych who had gone somewhat crazy herself at the loss of her son who was a killer, so saw sociopathic killers everywhere… thus misdiagnosing PTSD in a small child as sociopathy. Dexter worked his way away from the ‘Dark Passenger’, found an ember of humanity and nourished it to a more whole personality, with depths he had never known before, both the pain and the joys

    It was time for him to finally begin his life, not live the one orchestrated by his father and the psychologist.

    Both I and my partner felt cheated, so disappointed by the ending. It felt like something that was dictated so as to meet the approval of some ‘moral majority’ demanding his punishment. Letting him go would have been more of a statement of the shades of grey in real life.

  32. Ruby says:

    I felt that the finale just made no sense. I mean, what about all the other lose ends? Matsuka and his daughter? Quinn now alone? Hannah & Harrison live on and never meet this ‘lumberjack Dexter’? It’s absurd. I am a firm believer that Dexter was always a good person, that although he was a serial killer, that he did not deserve to be executed as long as he stuck with his ‘code’. However I think I’d have rather seen him in jail than in exile, knowing no-one and seeing no-one. Where was the big close? HBO hit the nail on the head with the ending to Breaking Bad, but I’m afraid they completely missed with Dexter. What a shame, it was my all time favourite TV show. I’m absolutely devastated HBO! I’ll never forget my Dexter marathons, but I’ll also never be satisfied with that horrible ending!

  33. D says:

    I thought dexter might go hiking and throw deb’s ashes off the top to blow away in the wind. Not quite sure how I feel about him dumping her with all the scum he got rid of. Is this really what dexter would do with his dearly beloved sister?
    I also felt that the raw emotion of debs death was a little lost – maybe because it was so rushed… she deserved a little more attention with the writing here. I get the irony of dexter taking her life but maybe there would have been more emotion involved in him having to give consent and then watch the doctor turn off her life support.
    All in all though I haven’t stopped thinking about it and I think that shows some pretty good writing and creativity.
    For those who want a simple character with no depth who is nothing more than a monster-I would suggest you watch something else. Dexter has always been a complex character battling between being human and a monster. In my opinion he sees himself as a monster in a similar way an anorexic sees themselves as fat and ugly. Things are never that simple!

  34. Blake says:

    The link to this page is a spoiler in itself. Thanks a lot.

  35. imani says:

    I was disappointed bc I feel the writers underestimated our intelligence & commitment to the storyline.8 seasons & they wait til the 11th hr to bring in &bring back characters that were incomplete & unecessary instead of giving a fitting farwell to the established cast. Musuka gets a kid? Mr t&a becomes a dad when they rarely gave him a personaility or any background history? Just dumb!
    Deb driving hannah arnd in plain sight?hannah uses no disguises?hannah walks harrison into a major miami hospital with no disguise?really?
    How abt dr.v? The idea od her was genius but so close 2 a finale? I would’ve liked to see dexter realize she had manipulated harry into teaching the code& that SHE was actually a closet socipath who’d been watching dexter live out her wishes all these years. He realizes he isn’t a broken emotionless socipath but a victim of dr.V manipulation & he kills her when he sees her for what she is. Her son could’ve been her first failed attempt at creating the perfect socipath.meeting harry was a stoke of luck& she used harry to get dexter to be her next great experiment at building the perfect socipath!
    The cutie nubie-socipath zack? His protege should’ve lived& become the “next generation” legacy dexter trains to take his place when he dies!
    Dexters self imposed isolation? He should’ve killed himself with deb as his ultimate transition into human. Regret at the lives he’d ruined& realizing he couldn’t live without her either…especially realizing he prob didn’t have to be this way had it not been for dr. V. but he still believes he did some good in the zack will learn from his mistakes bc he gives him the tools & knowledge to be a better killer than he b4 he ends his life.
    I would’ve prefreed a more creative ending. Deserving of the series that broke new ground wth the dexter was a big letdown!

  36. Amber Smith says:

    They should find a way to bring Deb back from the dead, with Jennifer Carpenter playing the role. Give Dexter his sister back. if they make a season 9 of Dexter

  37. david mountcastle says:

    so why couldn’t deb and dexter wind up together? it would have been a killer ending and the perfect setup for another season. the season finale could have been this incredibly tender moment of dexter saying he is in love with deb and cant live without her and they have this incredibly emotional kiss and fadeout….. geez … it was set up perfectly when deb learned of how dexter was created (Frankenstein) and she understood why he was and who he is. BUT !!!!!!!!! … its not too late … next season, she is saved from dying by an alert intern and she goes to Europe where dexter is and she goes through a bunch of crap and dexter saves her and then you get the tender moment I was talking about and you are off and running with another season and get to see deb and dexter go after the most heinous of serial killers and they save people and all that crap. you were close when deb had that dream of dexter kissing her. so. you have the basis for another season. don’t thank me. wait till you get my bill. then thank me.

  38. david mountcastle says:

    I would venture to say you guys have totally blown this series. just for the heck of it, I skipped the last six episodes to see how it all ended and I was so disgusted, I didn’t bother to watch what I had skipped. I loved this series. you guys showed so much creativity in the beginning. sheer genius. im thinking another set of writers took over or something like that. its the only explanation I can think of. or maybe you had your high school kids finish it. you blew it. pure and simple.

  39. Noah McKee says:

    Hi I just watched the finale and I was very pleased with the show. I I’m sure as many others created this kind of connection with Dexter I cared about him his decisions and everything because it felt less like a TV show and more like I was reading his Diary or something, It was more real than any tv show I’ve seen the deep connection with each charictor and every decision every person he meets, it means something, his decisions made a difference in the life he would live. So to go on that would Dexter have still at one point became the same person he was at the end of the show if Deb didn’t die? Was he on a downward spiral or was it just Deb that caused that? They were very close but Dexter has been able to work through everything, he seemed so sure about him and Hannah and just as he was about to achieve his goal he goes and throws it all away. What was the difference between being with his Son and Love and being a Mountain Man? And also did he have feelings for people like Hannah? Or was he just reaching for a connection to be more human? -Thank You very much for what you have done!

  40. liz zapfe says:

    You cant end Dexter there’s so much more for him. Please please please bring Dexter back

  41. DebFan says:

    I don’t get the whole idea that Dexter has to be punished for trying to be human. Thus, I don’t get why there has to be an unhappy ending to the series. I understand that being human entails experiencing tragedy…which Dexter has had his fair share of…but couldn’t they spare Deb? And why did they have to make Deb kill off LaGuerta? Everyone knows Deb is the most loveable character…why make it so she can’t have a happy life and then kill her off? Shock value…and some twisted need to “punish” Dexter for wanting to be human and in the process, “punish” the fans. I like the whole story of Dexter developing his humanity, but I also like the lightheartedness of the show…and the feeling that there is always something around the bend. The writers just left us feeling down-in-the-dumps at the end. Just seems needless to me. In my world, the series would have ended in season 7 with the grand dilemma of what to do about LaGuerta. I never did believe that Dexter had it in him to kill LaGuerta. She may be annoying, but she’s ultimately innocent. And I think Dexter’s humanity would have prevented him from doing it.

    There were three major things that didn’t make any sense about the last two seasons:
    1) Dexter planning to kill LaGuerta.
    2) Deb being devastated by the fact that she was forced to kill LaGuerta…and then all-of-a-sudden Dr. Vogel convincing her that it was actually okay.
    3) Deb forgiving Hannah Mckay for attempting to kill her.

    Here is how the series ends:
    Dexter weighs killing LaGuerta against leaving the country… and he chooses humanity over his dark passenger…defeating the true antagonist of the show, which is Dexter’s history and his need to kill. Dexter makes a deal with LaGuerta that he’ll reveal his dark past and confess to being the bay harber butcher as long as LaGuerta doesn’t reveal any incriminating information about Deb. They shake on it and Dexter secretly records the conversation. He asks for a few more days to spend with his son before being arrested, which LaGuerta grants. Then he leaves the country with Hannah and Harrison (oh, and by the way, hannah never actually attempts to kill Deb). But before leaving, Dexter leaves the recording of the conversation on LaGuerta’s doorstep…with a note. The note tells LaGuerta that she can feel free to reveal everything about him to Miami metro and thereby exonerate Agent Gibbs (which is really what LaGuerta cares about)…but if she ever reveals Deb’s involvement, he will release the recording to Miami metro, revealing LaGuerta’s deal with Dexter and ending her career.
    So that way, the series ends without Dexter having intended to kill LaGuerta, without hannah mckay having attempted to murder Deb, without deb having murdered LaGuerta, and without Deb having died and Dexter having abandoned his son just to “punish” himself for letting Deb die. And even LaGuerta is happy, because Agent Gibbs is exonerated. And most importantly, the writers wouldn’t have to twist the actions of the characters and force them to do things that ultimately aren’t believable. Plus…it’s kind-of carthartic for the audience to have Dexter’s crimes revealed. Whereas the ending of the show as it is is not carthartic at all, it’s just depressing.

  42. The Judge says:

    Until season 4 it was all making sense, being though to believe that he was a monster with no feeling, he was starting to realize that it was not always true, it’s like he never had feeling since his mother died, to survive, like he killed himself inside to make it. But by saving life, the peoples around him and the love that he was receiving could of brought him back to life and make him human again. I actually read on this phenomenon and it seems that when you died inside to protect yourself, you can never feel again, so Dexter as always been dead from the beginning. The story make no sense, he can’t love but yet fall in love with 2 woman that knows him and when his sister, the one that really knows him, find out about him, he doesn’t feel himself with her…Like Deb you of said WTF…is F… going on here….I feel the writers wanted to give the same feeling they had in the 4 first chapter and started to reapeat themself and made no sense. The last 4 season I felt like the only thing happening in Dexter was him running around to kill killers which I really didn’t give a s… about. They really missed the boat on that series to bad because the 4 first chapter was pure gold in my opinion. My ending is that Dexter would be the first to revive from within himself, like the phoenix and angel from beyhond and he was destine to finish with Deb, the only woman that would ever understand him,and they both continue to work at the police station to avenges all the other victim, so watch out scumbags because they are out there watching your every move, and the law won’t set you free and justice, real justice, will be done. For me that is the real ending anyways…

  43. Mike says:

    Hated the episode. But this article does a great job of defending it.

    With the ending I felt the writers disrespected us viewers for the second time.

    (First was the fake web search engine they quoted in an ep., presumably to demonstrate how many clicks they could generate. Buffy would never have done such.)

    It put me in mind of the last half season of Star Trek Voyager. When many episodes seemed like they’d been written for expediency. Not of the story, but of the writers – to churn them out with as little effort as possible.

    Here too:”they nailed [the finale] in the first draft… we can’t tie up [everything].”
    But they had the whole season to tie up everything. It wasn’t a surprise cancellation.

    On balance It seemed to me the Dexter team were bored and wanted to get it over with as easily as possible. As she says, “We just wanted to complete the series; eight years is a long time.”

    If they did return to the story, I would not watch it. They abused my trust twice.

    I won’t be on the lookout for other series by the team.

  44. Monique says:

    The events which lead up to the finale require more than the usual suspension of disbelief, but the resolution is perfect. Not happy. Not satisfying. But perfect.

    “As much as I may have pretended otherwise, for so long all I’ve wanted was to be like other people, to feel what they felt… Now that I do, I just want it to stop.”

    That says it all.

  45. Dexter Mogan says:

    Dexter was a hero, a sick f’d up hero, but I still dont feel he deserved to be punished, especially not with Deb’s death.

  46. the Quinn look* -_~ says:

    why couldn’t they just flash forward about one year to a scene where Dexter Harrison and Hannah are enjoying a meal outside on a table under a sunny day, then Dex gets a call from Batista saying that he’ll be visiting over soon. (little did he know Batista wasn’t coming alone. He brought the whole gang :D PS *then dex goes out on the water on this speed boat he got 2months back and there’s a camera angle from the lower left aiming up at him (like seen on the series often) as ”Lucky” by Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat plays. and the screen then slowly reseeds to blackness.

  47. melody says:

    Hi my name is melody I recently got into Dexter about a month in a half ago I just finished season 8 last night and I wanted to Make a comment, I strongly believe that there should be a season 9 just think about it bringing Dexter back showing his son as he gets older dose he look for him what happens just the suspense of we the people watching wanting to see more wanting to know more would really get you a lot of viewers. Thank you for taking your time to read this if you ever did read.

  48. mrkrabs says:

    I took the ending a different way. At the end when he stares expressionless at the screen, I think it meant he was basically back to where he was at the beginning of the series. He has lost all ties to anyone, everyone thinks he’s dead, we know he knows a guy to get a new identity. And instead of going to Argentina to find his son that he supposedly loved, he takes advantage of his solidarity and chooses to go to a new city and do what he was born to do, continue being a serial killer.

  49. Hannah says:

    I wanted to see him get on the plane and live as if none of it had happened. Get away with it all.

  50. thedarkpassenger says:

    There were parts of the finale I enjoyed – Dexter killing Saxon with the pen was badass then Angel and Quinn seeming to know he did it on purpose but not caring – but I hated the last few minutes. I understand a show about a serial killer doesn’t seem like it should have a happy ending but this felt so cold and empty (which was probably the point but still). The redeeming part of the ambiguous ending is that no one can prove he stays alone forever! I like to think his self imposed isolation is temporary while grieving for Deb and everything that has happened, and that he will eventually go to Hannah and Harrison.