the problem with Dexter

Having finally watched the very last episode, like everyone else, I am not happy. But probably not for the same reasons.

Dexter narrates in a grandiose fatalistic tone, as if there was nothing that he could have done to make things happen differently.
He says essentially that Deb died because of him, and therefore Hannah and Harrison wouldn’t be safe if he were around either.
Deb did die because of him, but not because he was a killer and he poisons everyone around him and they all die. She died because he made a a mistake. He didn’t kill Oliver when he had the chance. He didn’t even stick around to make sure that she had him in custody. He was sloppy. So, Dexter, if you think that you are no good and shouldn’t be around people you care about because you’re a killer, you’re wrong. The real reason that you can’t have friends or family is because you’re a chump. You stopped being sure of yourself because you have this internal struggle with juggling the two lives. In actuality, you juggle the two lives just fine. But your belief that the two lives cannot exist side by side is where you have developed a problem. Like, I get that you want to be with Hannah, but you could have killed Ollie in like two seconds, problem solved. Then there’s dealing with the body, but still, you’d have that done in no time. Leaving your sister with the Brain Surgeon? Really? It does hurt to see Deb die in such an avoidable way.

Rita died because you were sloppy too. Remember that moment when he could have let John Lithgow fall off a building site, but instead saved him? Unforgivable. Also kind of ridiculous… maybe it was about wanted to have the kill ceremony, but that’s just a bit too romanticized and impractical. If he could have pretended to not like killing people quite so much, maybe Harry would still be alive too. If Dexter would just be more pragmatic, maybe he could have had friends and a family.

My other bone to pick is with Dex pulling Deb off of life support. Apparently the writers were really pleased with all of that, but haven’t they ever heard of a happy ending. I guess that it would have felt a little bit edge-less for the series to really end with Dexter escaping to Argentina and Deb and Quinn starting a life together, but would it really have been worse than Deb’s unceremonious death and Dexter becoming a lumberjack? I guess it would have been unsatisfying, but I like happy endings. Please feel free to comment with alternate ending ideas. Halfway through the season, I was hoping that Dexter’s protege would carry on his legacy. He could teach him the tools of the trade, and maybe start a spinoff.

Dexter dumping Deb’s body in the ocean, faking his own death, and becoming a lumberjack to protect the people he cares about just feels like fuzzy logic to me. It was unsatisfying because it just doesn’t compute. It seems like he isn’t killing anymore. Deb died because he didn’t kill the guy he was supposed to. How would him going to Argentina to be with Hannah and Harrison hurt them, unless he began tracking serial killers again, almost killing them, and then leaving his loved ones on the premises with them? He might be punishing himself with isolation, but he is punishing his girlfriend and child as well.

I also don’t think it was unfair to unplug her and dispose of her body the way that he did. It was really selfish. Quinn probably would have liked to have a say in it, and even though it was very unlikely that she would have regained her faculties, unplugging her after one day seems a bit premature. No one got to say their goodbyes, and her body was GONE. If it ever happens to me, I’d like to be given more than a day, just to have the benefit of the doubt. The writers were acting like this had to happen. Deb had to die. I don’t buy it. Super disappointed. If I could write a yelp review of that ending, it would probably gone 1 star.

People compare Dexter to Walter White, and some have bemoaned the fact that while Breaking Bad ended with the hunt of Walt, no one was even on to Dex in the last season. But Walt and Dexter aren’t the same. Dexter kills bad people, he’s a good guy. Yes he’s made a few mistakes (Doakes and LaGuerta). He got no joy out of killing them, and as the viewer, I never wanted him to get caught. Walt on the other hand… he makes drugs that ruin people’s lives. He is terrible to his wife and super fake to his kids. He manipulates poor sweet Jesse. As the viewer, I was pretty conflicted about whether I wanted him to get caught or not. Hank was such a good detective, and I didn’t want all of his detective work to go to waste. He deserved some affirmation. When Doakes and LaGuerta were on to Dexter though, I just wished that they would stop. And when they died, it was shocking, but not as devastating as Hank’s death. Although Dexter was guilty of killing lots of people, all of the people were bad, so why couldn’t Doakes just turn a blind eye? Drugs are just a much more complicated issue. And that’s the difference… Dexter is much more black and white. There have been grey moments. Walter White was kind of a huge dick to everyone who was close to him but he’s still the protagonist, it’s sort of a “gray matter.” Sorry.


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