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?


Editor Rating: 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+.


This season was an insult to our collective intelligence. I'm as willing as the next guy to suspend disbelief when called upon to pretend that Miami Metro encounters a new diabolical serial killer, oh, every 12 months or so. But, please don't ask me also to forget how simple things work! They are asking us to pretend that we don't know that caller ID even from a cell phone will register on the 911 system; that nobody from Miami Metro a) listened to the 911 call or b) recognized Dexter's voice (which even I recognized immediately when I heard it on those car commercials); that Dexter was able to get an unconscious body off the roof of a building without a) anyone seeing him do it or b) being caught on the surveillance system with which all self-respecting ultra-modern skyscrapers are currently equipped, etc, etc, etc!!! It seems like this season, in their haste to get to the part where they shock us with the whole psuedo-incestuous Deb-Dexter love thing, the writers didn't bother to make anything else make sense. This season was just silly.


@ Tugboat Jackson: LOL! I agree. Every time they said "tableau," I wanted to puke!


I guess I'm in the minority. I loved this season. I reran many scenes. Was fascinated by the paintings. Didn't see it coming that the professor was dead all that time. I don't care about the little things that may not happen IRL like waiting for Dexter before going into the last house. If 90% makes sense I can overlook the 10% that doesn't.
Although, I HATE the ending. Deb is suddenly in-love with her brother, so stalking him she finds out his secret. I wondered how they'll dig themselves out of this.


"Why? Simply because the script called for it." Or could it be that if he took Harrison too early his plan would be foiled? He had to time it (in his mind) perfectly with the eclipse. That's why waiting for another several hours made more sense. "and the end result was... nothing. It was just Quinn telling Batista he won't be getting transferred)." Uh, please tell me you don't actually believe that's where it ends. If so, you're an idiot. It's clearly set up for the next season. Just because that's where the scene ended, doesn't mean Quinn has any say in the matter. Of course "the moment" is what will be discussed. That's what the writers wanted. Just because these other issues don't matter as much, doesn't mean they aren't appropriate in the episode. You're clearly just stating your own opinions without using any logic whatsoever.


@ Snoozan Susan youre right!
I just hope that Deb wont be too depressed about it. I mean yeah of course she will be, but i have seen enough of the crying in the corner - Deb.!!! But i feel sorry for her.. even her brother is a serial killer. Thats pretty shit I have to admitt ;)
I just hope she wont help him killing people now.. that would be shit.


@Rick B.
That is called "Ellipsis".
Anyway, this season sucks.


Did anyone else notice that it took Travis about ten seconds to paint that pretty detailed portrait of Dexter? Now that was a bit far fetched. Even so I enjoyed watching the characters this season, albeit less than last year with Lumen which was my favorite so far. The interaction between Dex & Deb is a bit weird for me since I know the actors broke up in real life. I didn't find out until a few weeks ago that the actor playing Travis was Tom Hank's son! Don't see him topping his father in his craft.


I'm just glad I won't have to hear the terms 'dark passenger' or 'tableau' for the next 10 months. Enough!


may the powers that be "let go" of scott buck, he singlehandedly drove dexter into the ground.
who ran dexter's fourth season? rehire!


I don't think that the plot line of Deb + Dex is going anywhere. During all of Deb's therapy sessions, she is realizing that she picks all the wrong men (Ice Truck Killer, Lundee who was murdered in front of her, ex partner Quinn) and is consoled by her brother time and time again. This explains why she could be "in love" with him. However, now she has seen Dexter kill DDK. Where will season 7 go with this? Her love will be shattered because ONCE AGAIN, Deb has chosen the wrong man to love. Dexter is not the savior she thinks he is. Killing serial killers is still murder in her eyes.

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