Finally I sat down long enough to watch the last season of Dexter. I was a little leery of spending time to watch the last season since it was not well-received by fans. However, other people’s opinions are just that, respected but not adopted.
I get Dexter fans’ disappointment. The last season had some good moments but it was a slow, linear burn to the end, which was clumsy and not at all in keeping with what had become a fast-paced, action-packed series filled with curves.
That said, I get what the creators were doing. In CM Hall’s other show, 6 Ft Under, the series finale wrapped up every character’s fate in what has become the best 10-minute segment ever recorded for television. In Dexter, the entire final season was an attempt to answer some unanswered questions about how Dexter came to be the serial killer who kills serial killers. I think it was just too drawn out which left me feeling bored and somewhat disconnected, since the story line wandered in its attempts to consolidate the mythology.
Some people objected to the sequence of events during the final episode. How else was it to end? Despite the season teasing us into thinking Dexter had outgrown his dark passenger, did we really expect a killer to sail off into the sunset with a happy ending?
The final season was certainly the weakest but I still loved this series. Aside from the interesting high-level story, the highlights for me:
CM Hall: He had 5 years of practice playing a distorted, internally-conflicted character with his role in 6 Ft Under. He was excellent at giving Dexter an unspoken depth and ambiguity; I was always torn between believing the character’s childhood trauma deleted his ability to empathize and believing it was there but dormant.
Jennifer Carpenter: The final season set up an internal conflict for her character which really showed her acting skills; its a shame her moment to shine was obfuscated by questionable story line choices. Her terrets-inspired monologues are still some of the best I’ve heard; even NY-ers would respect her flowing delivery of the f-word.
CS Lee: The writers had fun with his character and CS Lee was a convincing vehicle. The pervy, dead-pan Masuka delivered what I thought was one of the funniest lines in the series. ‘That is not opinion, its SCIENCE. And science is one cold-hearted bitch with a 14-inch strap on’. Not even the cast could keep a straight face.
John Lithgow: His performance as the Trinity Killer was arguably the best villain of the series. His ability to turn on a dime from cold, calculating killer to internally tortured man-child was chilling.
Given the series ending, I strongly suspect there will be a Dexter feature film in the next few years. I just hope there is not a sappy reunion and happily-ever-after ending for our favourite anti-hero.