If you’ve been following this series, which why wouldn’t you have been, then you’ll notice we’re in a new month and that means it’s time for a new theme! This month we’ll look at shows based around crime. Whether they were about prisons, cops, or the bad guys on the outside, November explores our love of the outlaws. So I was going to go with Oz first, but I am in the middle of moving and had to do a finale I already knew well enough. I say enough, because like most people, I’d like to forget that last season of Dexter ever happened. With that, we’re starting with the blood guy down in Miami who peaked halfway through the series and wound up giving us a finale that I kind of loved and hated all at the same time.
Name of Episode: “Remember the Monsters?”
Premiere Date: October 1, 2006
Finale Date: September 22, 2013
Impact on Pop Culture
Dexter didn’t invent anything new. There were shows before it that created a character you weren’t supposed to like but for some reason loved. Archie Bunker and Al Bundy ring a bell? Except here he wasn’t some middle class man with a bad attitude, he was a good guy by day and a serial killer by night. BUT he killed with good intentions, so he got a pass? Dexter wasn’t just a character fans fell in love with, he was a damn obsession and it showed. The series was Showtime’s shining star as it continued to deliver them their best showings in the ratings with each premiere and finale. Of course even those who didn’t watch knew what was going on when that fourth season finale aired. The shock gasped about around the world. That’s still one of the most OMG moments in TV history.
Facts & Stats
- All the blood was a maple syrup blend.
- The kill rooms usually took over 10 hours to prep.
- According to a fan that sat and counted, Deb drops the f-bomb 996 times throughout the series.
- The show may’ve been set in Miami, but most of those outdoor shots were done in Long Beach, CA.
- Melissa Rosenberg wrote for the show for the first four seasons before leaving to work on the screenplay for all those Twilight movies.
What I Knew Before Watching the End
Pretty much everything since I was one of those people absolutely obsessed, but I was late to the party. Knowing my fascination with serial killers, my roommate suggested this show to me right around season four ending. Fate served up a free preview weekend for Showtime and over two days, DONE. I fell fast and hard for this show and then worked backwards: season 4, 3, 2, and finally 1. I got done just in time for the premiere of the fifth and I watched dutifully the rest of the series’ run. While I never missed a single episode, that last season was rough and I barely remembered it when rewatching this finale.
Let’s just be real. This finale didn’t stand up to the greatness that was the show. Which is a shame because when it was good, Dexter was one of the best programs out there but this last run? Again, it was rough. While it wasn’t the best, I actually would not say it was the worst. We’ll get to why in a second.
First though, if this was your first time watching this finale you wouldn’t really have any clue what was going on. I didn’t feel like you would understand all that Dexter’s past entailed, but you would feel connected to a man losing his sister. Without anything else, you could tell they were all the other really had. You also wouldn’t know why his girlfriend was getting followed by some weird guy through airports and bus trips. I’d give it a little pass though because crime shows are more layered than a comedy. You can watch any episode of Friends and get the gist. It’s simple compared to a show like Dexter.
Now to the finale from a fan’s point of view. At first I hated it. How could he just go and be a lumberjack and leave his son?! Why did Deb have to be brain dead? Where was Masuka? Why did he wind up having a kid? So many questions ran through my mind that night I skipped a concert to sit at home and stream this finale. I think my initial reaction was confusion intertwined with a sense of loss. One of your favorite shows ending is very emotional if you’re as attached to television as I am. So after some time, I thought about it and even today when I watched once more, I realized it wasn’t too bad.
This finale will not make the top 10, and possibly not even the top 20 finales we talked about this year but here’s why I liked Dexter being alone in the end. There was something Deb said in that flashback that struck a chord and combined with the title of the finale that shined a light on the situation. Dexter has always been different and his adopted dad found a way for him to exist without turning into a total psychopath. Deb mentioned these “monsters” on the wall and said that Dexter said they were but shadows on the wall due to an absence of light. It’s funny that Dexter remembered that moment since he himself has an absence of light — his dark passenger. BUT unlike those scares as a kid, he still sees himself as a monster and not just a shadow. He even says himself that he didn’t want to hurt those he loved anymore and that’s why he must live alone.
The entire series is this man trying to live a life where he balances a typical existence while at the same time killing those he feels are evil. In the end he realizes he is no better than those whose lives he took, therefore a fate worse than death for himself was living away from the last two people alive he cared for.
Not the greatest finale, but I can see where they were coming from. Would I have liked it to end a little different? I kind of wish he got caught. While I am very intrigued by serial killers, I never want them to get away with what they’ve done!