Posted by: ckckred | November 15, 2013

Dexter: Remember The Monsters?

Episode 812

Editor’s Note: I know Dexter’s finale came out over a month ago, but since the show’s now available on Netflix I thought it’d be a good time to talk about it.  Also, spoilers.

The main weakness of television is that after a certain amount of time, a series tends to run out of ideas.  For the good of many shows, its fans tend to only celebrate the good days (despite where it’s been for the last twelve years, The Simpsons shall always remain for me the best sitcom ever produced on television).  Dexter, however, has gotten to the point where it’s hard not to distinguish its great seasons with its bad ones.  In its first four years, the show was one of the freshest and best things on television.  Yet soon afterwards it became clear that the writers didn’t know what to do with the show.  Storylines were repeated, characters stopped being interesting (how could the Miami police department not see through Dexter after all those years?), and the series became boring.  Dexter still had some strengths (Michael C. Hall always delivered), but I stopped watching the show a couple of years ago.  I hoped that “Remember The Monsters?,” the series finale, would help redeem Dexter but it only further reveals the weaknesses of the show.  It’s a punch in the gut for anyone who has ever loved Dexter.

There were so many problems with the episode it’s hard to begin.  While having Deb die isn’t a terrible idea, I found it unbelievable that Dexter would still care about her.  Plus Dexter wasn’t exposed as the Bay Harbor Butcher.  And worst of all, Dexter didn’t die.  No, Dexter decided just to fake his death and take a new life as a lumberjack.

While that last idea came courtesy of Showtime, it proves how aimless Dexter has been in recent years and felt like an insult to the show’s fans.  It also hurt that Dexter had its finale a week before Breaking Bad’s own one.  Both shows have similar premises (a man doing the wrong things for the right reasons while having a direction connection to the law), but the difference is how the shows transitioned their characters.  Breaking Bad had Walter White become increasingly more wicked and evil until he finally broke.  But Dexter made the decision long ago that its eponymous protagonist wasn’t an antihero but a good guy, the friendly serial killer more or less.  Breaking Bad ended with a spectacular bang where Walt faced the wrath of his sins while Dexter ended with its hero getting off easy.  It was a conclusion that for me may have destroyed my love for the show.  “Remember the Monsters?” was a forced hour on the fans of Dexter and an embarrassment for the once great series.

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Responses

  1. I’m still upset about how Dexter ended and am trying to sort out my feelings without being overcome by disappointment. I really wanted everyone to find out about everything that Dexter did. To have him get away with everything and somehow escape to become a lumberjack… it was such a letdown. Breaking Bad, on the other hand, was amazing!

    • Thanks for the comment. A huge letdown was right, even by my low standards of the show today. It really pale in comparison to Breaking Bad, which had a fantastic finale.

  2. Totally agree. Dexter was once great but like most series that have run past five seasons it just got worse and worse! In fact, name me any series that was still awesome after five seasons and I will eat my own hand!

    • Thanks for the comment. Yeah, after a couple of years, Dexter got repetitious and boring and the finale was pretty awful.

  3. Dexter used to be one of my favourite shows up until the 5th season. The finale is (like you said) just one huge insult. I mean really he is now a lumberjack?

    • Thanks for the comment. The finale was really terrible, particularly the ending. It felt so disjointed and an unfitting conclusion for a once great show.

  4. Season 2 was the high point for me, and honestly, once Doakes was offed, the series began to suffer. Even the early parts of season 4 (which is the season everybody loves) were very uneven, because I remember at the time thinking—after the bleh season 3—that maybe the show would never be great again.

    Then, the brilliant 2nd half and finale of the “Trinity Season” played, and you couldnt find anybody more eager to see what happened in Season 5.

    And I actually like season 5 more than most…I liked the Lumen character and storyline, although obviously it had the unfortunate trait of following the brilliant end of season 4. Season 6, however, was just terrible, except for the very end of the last episode.

    People were calling for the show to end after season 6, but season 7 emerged as a solid standing—somewhat along the pattern of the season 2 story, with Dexter barely escaping exposure. Followed by a stunning ending. It was a nice “return to form”—and even had people hoping that Showtime would extend the series PAST season 8, when people had been universally panning Dexter for the atrocious season 6 just a short time before.

    But my God…8 was a complete and utter mess, culminating with the king of WTF-were-they-thinking finales. And now, rumors abound that Showtime forced the writers to keep Dexter around somehow for the sake of the franchise’s future.

    Along with the rushed writing schedule (remember, they started extra early this year, whereas the series would normally just be ending right about NOW), it couldnt have been very easy for the writing team to come up with a solid season and ending, with the execs forcing them to end the series a certain way. And predictably, it was a disaster.

    • It was a disaster. It might not be completely the writers’ fault but they had to have had to be a better ending. This was just awful.


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