Good, Bad & Ugly Review: Dexter Season 8


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Developed By: James Manos Jr.
Starring: Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, David Zayas, James Remar, Desmond Harrington, Yvonne Strahovski and Charlotte Rampling
Channel: Showtime

Synopsis:A Miami police forensics expert moonlights as a serial killer of criminals who he believes have escaped justice. (Source)

The Good:
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.

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The Bad:
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.

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The Ugly:
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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

Rating: D

10 comments

  1. simondaniel27 · September 23, 2013

    I love your point of view… I had similar thoughts in the review I am going to upload this week, especially about the lost daughter… and every episode I yelled at the TV Screen, “HANNAH GET A DAMN WIG!” but … NOTHING… LoL… I agree that after season 4 it kind of went down the hill… but I feel like even though the ending was far away from stunning as they announced, it made sense. Dexter always wanted to feel like a real human being but never thought about the pain people go through. And I believe that they ended it that way to make a movie… Just my thought.

    Like

    • Derek · September 23, 2013

      That ending just felt so off. As a matter of fact the entire season felt off to me. maybe if they get the chance to do a move they can get the original showrunner back to fix things.

      Like

      • simondaniel27 · September 23, 2013

        exactly… to my it felt a little all over the place. But not the worst season! ๐Ÿ˜€ Maybe different writers?

        Like

      • Derek · September 28, 2013

        It was as bad as Season 5 (Lumen will go down in history as the worst character ever created for a TV show) but it was pretty darn close.

        Like

      • simondaniel27 · September 30, 2013

        yeah I was not feeling season 5 either…

        Like

  2. Tim The Film Guy · September 24, 2013

    Weak! Bring back season 1-4 ๐Ÿ˜€

    Like

    • Derek · September 28, 2013

      I have decided that Dexter ended with him finding Rita dead in the bathtub. Those following seasons never happened.

      Like

  3. craft fear · September 24, 2013

    “Dexter, you don’t neeeed me any more–oooOOOOoooo”

    Such bullshit.

    Like

    • Derek · September 28, 2013

      I fecepalmed about 20 times while watching that series finale. There was so much crappy writing crammed into one hour that I almost couldn’t stand it.

      Like

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