Developed By: James Manos Jr.
Starring: Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, David Zayas, James Remar, Desmond Harrington, Yvonne Strahovski and Charlotte Rampling
Synopsis:A Miami police forensics expert moonlights as a serial killer of criminals who he believes have escaped justice. (Source)
Despite everything the performances by Michael C. Hall and Jennifer Carpenter as siblings Dexter and Debra Morgan were stellar throughout every episode of this final season. Carpenter especially stood out with her journey through Debra’s spiral into self-destructive behavior following her shooting of Lt. LaGuerta in the last episode of the 7th season. Watching Deb abuse herself with drink, drugs and wanton casual sex was painful to watch and Carpenter put on an acting tour-de-force. Hall by contrast had to play Dexter as a bit more restrained just because of the character’s difficulty with his emotions but he was just as good especially in scenes with season long guest star Charlotte Rampling.
As Dr. Vogel, Rampling was the primary bright spot in this season and her great performance and chemistry with the rest of the cast had me pretty bummed that she was not added to the show a few seasons earlier.
For a final season nothing ever felt like it was heading towards an ending to me. Instead it seemed like any other season of this show with a season long Big Bad and tons of useless subplots for the supporting cast that never amounted to anything. What was the point of Matsuka’s long lost daughter showing up? Why were we forced to sit through the god-awful Quinn/Jamie relationship? What happened to Det. Miller after she got the promotion over Quinn? What was the point of introducing U.S. Marshall Cooper? Wouldn’t it have been a better use of the cast to have one of the cops at Miami Metro be on the trail of Hannah? And why did the show take so long to introduce Saxon as the brain surgeon? All of the false identifications of who the serial killer was did nothing but kill any momentum the show was trying to muster.
Also the writing for this season was mind-numbing stupid. You could drive a bus through all of the plot holes and the way the show ended will go down in history as one of the absolute worst TV show finales in history.
Hannah McKay was a wanted woman for the majority of this season yet she did nothing to change the way she looked. Instead she wandered all over Miami looking just like the insanely hot blonde from the TV series CHUCK and even strolled into an airport expecting to catch a flight out of the country without anyone noticing anything. Was it not in the budget to give her a wig?
Best Episode: Every Silver Lining (Ep. 2)
This episode follows up on the cliffhanger from Ep. 1 where Dr. Vogel drops the bombshell on Dexter that she is the person who helped Harry develop The Code. The budding relationship between Dexter and Dr. Vogel was very compelling to watch and had this weary Dexter fan feeling incredibly optimistic about the way this series was going to wrap things up.
This episode also continued to show Deb’s further mental and moral decline with her hunting and ultimately murdering El Sapo, the crook who worked her over pretty good in the previous episode. Dexter’s discovery of Deb’s latest victim hit him like a ton of bricks and pushed an already on the edge Dexter even closer to losing his grip. It also solidified his relationship with his “spiritual mother” by episodes end. An all around good hour of TV that teased viewers with the promise of what could be coming.
Worst Episode: Remember The Monsters? (Ep. 12)
I fully understand the monumental task it is to satisfactorily wrap up a long-running TV show. No mater what you do it is likely to upset some portion of the audience but even with that realization I do expect more than the tired bullshit that the showrunners at DEXTER gave us with this episode. There was no emotional resonance with anything in this episode not even the death of a major character and the ending was dreadful enough when it just looked like Dexter was going to abandon his son to be raised by a fugitive serial Killer but that added coda showing Dexter as a somber lumberjack was just the height of crappy TV and makes my fond memories of the good times with this show (seasons 1 to 4) much less happy.
And Deb getting shot doesn’t warrant even one appearance from Harry? That made no sense that Dexter wouldn’t have even a brief conversation with his dad.
Final Verdict: A once amazingly gripping, appointment viewing TV show that slogged on though several bad seasons to ultimately end with a poorly conceived and executed whimper. This show would have gone down as one of the best shows on TV if it ended on a high note with season 4 but now I am just glad it is finally over so I no longer have to hate watch it.