After eight (mostly) gripping seasons, Showtime's serial killer drama came to an end in a way that will no doubt polarize fans of the show. SPOILERS
It's been eight seasons, with a pile of dead bodies too high to count - including one wife and brother - but Dexter Morgan's time as Miami's most moral murder has finally come to an end. After eluding the Miami Police Department for so long, it's now time for Michael C. Hall's loveable killer, his serial killer girlfriend Hannah McKay, and his son, Harrison, to make a clean break and begin a new life in Argentina. Of course, it was never going to be that easy.
Michael C. Hall has said farewll to his serial killer character....
In our penultimate episode, we saw Deb coughing up her guts at the hands of Oliver Saxon/Daniel Vogel/The Brain Surgeon, whilst Dexter looked happily towards the future, whilst unbeknownst to him the odds were stacking up against his seemingly fool-proof escape plan. With the open of the final episode, the odds looked even more stack for Dex, who walks in on Hannah hiding in the toilet in a bid to hide from PI Jacob Elway. Always the man with a plan, Dex heads to a shop for a bag full of goodies and calls in a fake bomb threat, getting rid of Elway, but inadvertently evacuating the whole of the airport. With Hurricane Laura on it's way, his clean break is looking in increasing jeopardy.
“I’ve done things I’m not proud of,” a dying Deb tells Quinn, who reassuringly tells her "we all have." Oh what little she knows! We cut back to Dexter at this point, who received a phone call telling him of Deb's current position. He knows he shouldn't, be he can't just leave Deb to die without seeing her one last time as he leaves sticks Hannah and Harrison in a car at the airport to hide out further whilst he goes to pay his dues to the woman who covered for him for so long. But when he finally arrives to see Deb, she isn't happy at all, angry at the fact that he isn't in the sanctuary of Argentina.
“I didn’t want you to feel guilty about this, I don’t want you to be guilty about anything. Go live your life,” she demanded, but even in this prophetic goodbye Dexter found it hard to listen and was clearly caught in two minds about what to do. As the nurse reassures Deb that her recovery prospects are looking promising, an uninterested Deb continues to badger Dexter to get the heck out of there. She tells him, "your life is waiting on you. Now, leave." At this point we also got a flashback of Deb with a just-born Harrison, looking all maternal, but that wasn't necessarily important.
There are more than two killers on the loose though, as Saxon is still very much at large. He stalks the hospital before noticing a veterinary surgeon. “Stitch me up,” the gun-wielding killer tells the terrified vet, noticing that Deb's run in with him is on the news. "That was me," he slimily boasts.
Meeting up again, Dexter and Hannah discuss their next steps, with evacuation buses readying the crowd for the impending hurricane. Suggesting that they go their separate ways, a defiant Dexter demands that they don't resort to this - a trust issue, or something more lovely? It was something lovely, as he implores, “I have no problems with you taking Harrison, I don’t want to lose you, even for a few days.” Don't serial killers say the darnest things? But Dexter does have business to deal with, and must leave Hannah and Harrison for now, waving goodbye to them as they leave the bus station. Dexter needs to kill Saxon before he leaves, to guarantee Deb's safety. As Dex and Hannah share an understanding glare, he hugs Harrison goodbye and goes off to finish The Brain Surgeon for good.
Stars Julie Benz (L), Michael C. Hall and Jennifer Carpenter (R)
Pulled up outside the hospital, with the vet still in his custody, Saxon hatches a sinister plan to get to Deb, and it involves the vet. Dexter arrives at the hospital, the vet vomiting up blood in the entrance of the emergency room, her tongue cut out. “All eyes on victim, a perfect distraction,” he thinks to himself, before racing to Deb's room, picking up a butter knife on the way. Here comes the big, final confrontation, and it's going to be epic, right? Wrong, instead Dexter finds Saxon tackled to the floor by police, in custody and no longer a threat to Deb.
But it isn't over for Dex and his little sister, as the nurse arrives to tell him and Quinn some distressing news. Due to unspecified complications, Deb's brain is deprived of oxygen and she has suffered a stroke, basically rendering her braindead. Cue a second flashback, and Deb telling Dex how great a father he will be, knowing how good a brother he has been.
Getting back to Hannah and Harrison, who are oblivious to the ensuing chaos around them, a hand lands on Hannah's wrist. It's Elway, and he's here to collect his reward, but it doesn't take long for the ever-resourceful Hannah to get her way out of it. Stabbing him in the hand with a pen-disguised tranquilliser. Which brings us nicely back to Miami Metro, where Quinn and Batista are interrogating Saxon, and obviously getting nowhere. Dexter arrives, and easily makes his way into the holding cell (just how easy is it to get around Miami Metro? He doesn't even work there any more!) This is the showdown we've been waiting for, only it isn't because it last seconds and consists of three moves; Dexter taking out a pen, threatening to kill Saxon, Saxon turning the pen on Dex, stabbing him in the shoulder, and Dex then turning the pen back round, right in the jugular. All on camera too, the Metro now have evidence of Dexter killing, and in cold blood too!
“Explain this,” Batista implores. “You don’t even work here anymore” (tell us about it Batista!). Dex's response is cold, “I wanted to look him in the eye,” he says, unexpectedly being okay'd by Quinn, who stands up for Dexter for probably the first ever time. Dexter leaves the room (it was that easy) and the next thing we see is him sailing back at the hospital to get Deb, knowing he can't leave her in the hospital in a braindead state. With the hospital in mid-evacuation, he ascends the stairs and arrives at Deb's room. “I can’t leave you like this,” he says, flicking the switch on the life support machine off, placing her blanket over her head and carrying her outside to his boat in a storm, surrounded by people. At this point we're waiting for the twist where it turns out all the central characters are ghosts. He and Deb drive into the storm on his boat, and he rings Hannah to tell her and Harrison one last time that he loves them. As everyone knows, the best place to get reception is in the middle of a basin of water, during a storm. And after dropping Deb in the sea, he tells himself “I destroy the people I love. I can’t let that happen to Harrison or Hannah,” bombing it further into the hurricane.
And that, ladies and gents, is that for Dexter! We next see a sunny morning, and Hurricane Laura has passed. The wreckage of his boat is found (only the 'Slice' part of course), and Batista and Hannah each discover the news in a state of shock. But maybe that isn't that for Dexter after all. We don't know where it is, or when it is, but our departing shot of the series is of Dexter, bearded and with a few extra pound added to his frame. It might not be over after all.
That's it for Dexter. Or is it?