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Dexter

Dexter Season Finale Review: The Ruined Reveal

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Dexter finally went there to conclude season six. It aired the scene many viewers have been clamoring for for years: Deb witnessing her brother in all his blood-filled, Dark Passenger-based glory.

Many fans may believe this will make up for an incredibly sloppy, disjointed, suspense-free season. I have no doubt the producers are banking on that, as sites and message boards and water coolers will now be dominated by talk of where things will go in season seven.

But don't count me among those cheering because we're seemingly headed in a new, exciting direction. I can't let go of how we got there.

A Panicked Dexter

It was simply a mess of a season. Two cases in point from the finale: Travis is literally feet away from Harrison in Dexter's apartment... only instead of snatching him (what, was he afraid of Jaime? Is she tougher than the cop on the roof he killed without hesitation?), he sneaks into the children's pageant and does the deed there. Why? Simply because the script called for it.

And are we really meant to believe that not a single police officer had stepped inside the house where Travis painted that mural? No one had seen Dexter's face painted on the wall because EVERYone was waiting for the blood splatter specialist to arrive? We've seen enough crime scenes on this show to know that's never happened before.

That sort of leap in logic, that kind of desperate attempt to drag the season out, littered almost every episode. It was lowlighted, of course, by the insulting Gellar-is-dead reveal, which was as transparent and as terribly-written as any storyline on any show in recent memory.

So, really, there's no point in over-analyzing "This is the Way the World Ends." It was as heavy-handed and predictable as any other outing. And, really, it's not what anyone will be talking about tomorrow. I find it hard to believe anyone cares about the fate of Travis Marshall; or LaGuerta's words of rooftop wisdom; or Quinn and Batista's pointless bickering, which almost came across as a wink-wink from the writers that nothing outside of Dexter matters (these two fought, Batista tried to get Quinn transferred, and the end result was... nothing. It was just Quinn telling Batista he won't be getting transferred).

All anyone will be discussing is The Moment.

Let me state this: I'm glad it finally took place. I am VERY curious to see how the show will handle this discovery going forward.

But, my goodness, I'm appalled at how it got there. Why the writers felt it necessary to throw in the disgustingly misguided notion that Deb is in love with Dexter is positively mind-boggling. Really? Is that the only way they could come up with her arriving at the church? Because she simply had to tell her sibling how she felt at that moment?

And, really, did the writers have so little faith in the Deb/Dexter relationship as it had been constructed that they had to conjure up this wayward storyline because they think the reveal will now have more of an impact on Deb? It's legitimately insulting to all those who have watched the show from the beginning.

The Deb and Dexter connection has been the focal point of the series. They have been brother and sister in every sense of the world. As I wrote last week, it's been refreshing and unlike any other male/female relationship on television. It's also simply been very well done. Did any viewer doubt the love between this pair? Did anyone feel it necessary to throw an incestual wrench into the show, as if extra gravitas was needed for when Deb finally found out her brother's secret?

And does anyone even think this development accomplishes that goal? Are you more curious to see Deb's reaction next year because she's in love with him, as opposed to "merely" loving him?!?

To watch Deb give Dexter some sort of lovelorn look when he got close to her was nothing short of gross and staggeringly tone deaf on the part of the writers. NOBODY wants to see these two together. (Okay, correction, in our poll of nearly 2,00 readers, 24% wanted to see them together. To all of them, I say: EWWW.)

Look, Dexter has been through three showrunners. Seasons four, five and six were each manned a different person. It's very difficult to maintain consistency in these situations and it's possible Scott Buck, the current head, wanted Deb to have feelings for Dexter all along, but he could only implement his vision now that he's in charge. I obviously have no idea.

But I do know that the constant changing-of-the-higher-ups has had an impact on the series as a whole. To many, myself included, season four was the apex; season five a letdown; and season six an outright mess. Am I anxious about where events now go on season seven, based on the final moment? Of course.

However, I'm also upset that this season really served as nothing more than a set-up for next season (can I get 11.59 hours of my life back, please?) and I'm absolutely mystified by the decision to mar the Deb/Dark Passenger discovery by the former's unnecessary, repulsive revelation of love. I'm more confused than angry. What ON EARTH are the writers thinking?

What did everyone else think?

Review

Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
  • 3.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.8 / 5.0 (496 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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OOPS! didn't realize other half of my comment got cut off as to why it makes no sense for Dexter to be evolving the way the writers are going.... He is not like Trinity - Trinity was darker because his own father was a cruel abusive man which he passed on to Trinity.....which is also repeating itself in Jonah. And he is not like his brother Rudi - who apparently was not fortunate enough to fall into a loving foster family like Dexter did. So Rudi and Trinity both reflect the darker experiences they had. But Dexter was raised by a loving father, which has allowed Dexter to become one as well. Harry made the mistake of teaching Dexter how to kill and assuming that his darkness could not be healed. Even now Dexter sees that error......so why are the writers pushing him further toward darkness? If he sticks with his code and only takes out the trash that the system failed to do, thereby preventing further innocent deaths - he can still be the hero and the good guy. And maybe all the better if he finally has someone to share at least the knowledge with, perhaps Deb. I liked Luman too and she would have been a good mother and wife to him.

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Here's another thought....... I don't know if anyone else has wondered..........why did Harry immediately save Dexter when their mother was killed and leave his brother behind? He wouldn't have likely known at that point if his brother was beyond saving. It seems to me that depending on the length of his relationship with Laura Moser.......isn't it possible it was because Dexter was actually his real son? Of course, that would change things and make Dex/Deb an incestuous relationship - and maybe it's discovery would balance things back toward brother and sister. hmmm.........

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If they know what they're doing and keep it interesting, I have no problem with them exploring the Deb/Dexter thing. We all know that technically it is NOT incest and so may be quite natural for them to be attracted. She doesn't really seem his type though and not the mother he might want for Harrison - lol. My problem is with the way they are evolving Dexter. I'm new to the show and just watched all the seasons online. It seems he went from following his code - which mostly entailed helping the cops solve the cases and only pulling out his tools in the cases that fell through the cracks. NOW he is actively trying to see that they don't solve the cases so that HE can handle them himself. Much more interesting the other way and would make him more like a Batman character. I guess some would say that his dark passenger is evolving that way, but that makes no sense. He is not like Trinity - Trinity was darker because his own father was a cruel abusive man which he passed on to Trinity.....which is also repeating itself in Jonah. And he is not like his brother Rudi - who apparently was not fortunate enough to fall into a loving foster family like Dexter did. So Rudi and Trinity both reflect the darker experiences they had. But Dexter was raised by a loving father, which has allowed Dexter to become one as well. Harry made the mistake of teaching Dexter how to kill and assuming that his darkness could not be healed. Even now Dexter sees that error......so why are the writers pushing him further toward darkness? If he sticks with his code and only takes out the trash that the system failed to do, thereby preventing further innocent deaths - he can still be the hero and the good guy. And maybe all the better if he finally has someone to share at least the knowledge with, perhaps Deb. I liked Luman too and she would have been a good mother and wife to him.

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@ Matt Richenthal - I think your critical views on this season is far too harsh as I personally loved each and every season of Dexter. Not once was I bored or thought that anything was contrived, terribly written or dragged out. Will always be a number one fan!
However, would also love for Lumen to come back on the show.

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This was by far the worst season,the first truly bad season. Agree with your comments and add that Dexter's code used to have meaning; he was punishing criminals who'd gotten away with their crimes. This season he was racing to catch Doomsday before the police, even deliberately obstructing the police and causing further deaths as a result. Brother Sam was the only good character introduced this year. Way too many soap opera subplots, Quinn wandering around such a mess because deb turned him down, Deb's promotion (c'mon), her shrink... If I felt that thevwriters were channeling Breaking Bad and deliberately turning Dexter into an evil person, that would be interesting, but it felt more like they have simply gotten very very sloppy and lazy in their plotting. Also Travis was by far the least interesting villain since the show started. A religious fanatic. Yawn.

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Agree. Season Six was a disjointed mess and didn't feel like a true continuation of the Dexter story. The logical inconsistencies aside, I never got the sense of internal conflict (Dexter fighting with his dark passenger) that was there in all of the others (even when the writers tried to bludgeon us with it by replacing Harry with his brother for two episodes). As far as the Deb/Dexter attraction, it actually detracts from their personal bond. It seems contrived and makes it seem like Debra doesn't really view Dexter as a real brother after all. I will watch the next season, but I really hope they do something to get away from the sloppy writing we saw in season six.

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Have you all got amnesia? Were we watching the same show? six was a great season. Have you forgotten all the stuff with brother sam? thats an aspect to the arc of this season rhat you are all forgetting. Dex and Deb are not blood related. Harry's affair with Laura Moser took place after Dex was born. However it makes you feel, it is good and consistent writing. Have you forgotten that Deb was engaged to Dex's brother? Those overtones have been there from the beginning. They've always been a little too close. i think this was a great season. Not as good as four but not much worse than four either.

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I am really disappointed with season 6, dialogs, plot, characters, and the final, I can not believe that this season was made for showtime... what happened!!!!! and the relation between Deb and Dexter Come on. really????

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"Travis is literally feet away from Harrison in Dexter's apartment... only instead of snatching him (what, was he afraid of Jaime? Is she tougher than the cop on the roof he killed without hesitation?), he sneaks into the children's pageant and does the deed there. Why? Simply because the script called for it." Notsureifserious Travis didn't go to Dexter's apartment to kidnap anyone. He needed a place to stay after his previous location was filled with cops. He was clearly trying to avoid getting spotted. He didn't even know Harrison was Dexter's son until he saw a picture of them, at which point he figured he'd be the perfect "sacrifice" after already thinking he killed his dad, saying "So the beast (Dexter) has a son"

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Seriously Mick season 4 was overrated? It was awesome. One of the best seasons of any series ever. And Matt Season 5 was not disappointing. It started a tad slow but once it got to where they wanted to go it was just a notch below season 4. I agree that season 6 was uneven. I loved the premiere but Travis was not done correctly or something. It just wasnt there. I loved Brother Sam and liked Deb finally caught him. Not sure I like the possibility of them together but I dont think that will happen. She has feelings for him but does nt mean he has the same for her. I would still like Lumen to return and play out as his true love who understands his Dark Passenger.