(This post contains spoilers)
I first saw Dexter via bootleg DVDs a friend made for me of the first three seasons. I was quickly enamored with the story of a Miami blood spatter analyst who, in his downtime, kills the violent criminals who slip through the cracks of the justice system. I devoured the series in large chunks, staying up late into the night to find out what happened next. I ordered Showtime so I could follow along with new episodes. I talked about it with friends and co-workers. Needless to say, I was hooked.
Like a lot of fans, I felt the show peaked in season 4. The theme of Dexter finding a balance between family life and his need to kill, not to mention the incredible chemistry between he and John Lithgow’s Trinity Killer, made for exciting television. And that ending! How it shocked us all.
Season 5 just felt…off somehow. New show runners and a shake-up on the writing staff probably didn’t help as the series progressed through seasons 6 and 7. There have been great moments, to be sure, but circular storytelling, hack situations involving imaginary characters, and “Deus Ex Machina” style plot devices have prevented the show from reaching a level of greatness I had expected at one time. While I can see why some of my friends have given up on it, I’ve stuck with the series, mostly out of sheer desire to see how it ends.
When last we left the Morgans, Deb had shot and killed LaGuerta to save Dexter. But Deb isn’t like Dex. She has a conscience, and this will disturb her forever. How she is able to cope with it (or not), as well as what will go down once the rest of Miami Metro start looking into LaGuerta’s disappearance, will drive the majority of the final season.
New characters will help provide dramatic tension. One of them is Dr. Evelyn Vogel, described as “a formidable and whip smart neuro-psychiatrist in her late 50s who assists the law in profiling criminals.” Parallels to the late Frank Lundy are obvious here. Will she have better luck than the deceased FBI agent? Another, Jacob Elroy, is said to be a “straightforward former cop who now owns his own private eye business” and is not exactly averse to crossing legal and ethical lines to crack a case. Could this be the show’s attempt at reviving a little bit of what they lost in James Doakes? Certainly, the recently retired Angel Batista will be back to take the lead in the investigation. Will former Deputy Chief Tom Matthews get involved? And what role will Hannah McKay play in all of this? Time will tell.
Fans seem split on whether or not Dexter should end up facing justice for his crimes. Do we really want to see our favorite serial killer behind bars? The series began with Dexter believing he was a monster incapable of human emotions. Over time, we have seen that is not true. He has experienced love and loss. Askew though they may be, he does have feelings; he does have a conscience. But there may be only two other human beings he truly puts before himself – his sister, Deb, and his son, Harrison.
So, what will happen to Dexter? The short answer is, “I don’t know.” But that’s what makes it kind of fun. I do, however, have a thought on how it may end and, while it doesn’t involve him on Death Row, it doesn’t involve him living, either.
It seems to me that the walls are closing in, and Dexter cannot evade retribution forever. He has broken “Harry’s Code,” at times for selfish reasons, and he has involved the people he loves in his crimes. Dexter will soon have to face reality: they, too, have become his victims. I think he will allow Debra to raise his son, knowing she will give him the stable life he never could. He’ll take his boat out to his favorite dumping grounds for one final kill. Throwing himself overboard, he’ll be buried at sea, along with the rest of his sins.
What do you think? Will Dexter live? Will he be brought to justice? Sound off in the comments and let me know how you see the series ending!