Like millions of other fans, I watched the series finale of Dexter on Sunday evening. However, unlike the vast majority of those fans and nearly every media outlet, I thought it was an excellent finish. In the following paragraphs I will put forth what will likely be a socially suicidal defense of what I felt was a well-written, well-executed final season of one of my all-time favorite shows.
For the last 8 years, I have sat down at 9pm on Sundays to see Dexter and watch the title character’s complicated world grow and recede and grow back again. Like many fans, I had my moments of doubt. There were times when I wasn’t sure if the show was going in the right direction. I got so angry during the 5th season that I even took a brief hiatus from the show because I was infuriated by how Dexter handled his initial involvement with Lumen, played by Julia Stiles. After that break though, I remembered that with Dexter, you always have to look at the big picture.
My enjoyment of this series was not in relation to just Dexter himself. Other than Dexter, his foul-mouthed, smartass sister, Debra, was easily my favorite character. But strictly speaking in terms of Dexter, my enjoyment stemmed from my fascination with the character and the psychological growth he underwent as the seasons carried on. I always tried to view Dexter in relative terms, that is, relative to who he was in the previous season. Over the course of 8 seasons, I saw the character of this awkward, unassuming man and secret psychopath develop from a base animal who followed a strict routine in order blend in and avoid getting caught (the first rule of Harry’s code) to a man who had become nearly as human as the people in his life.
After the series finale on Sunday night (during which I shed several tears, and was outright sobbing–I’m not afraid to admit it–when he had his final moments with Debra in the hospital and at sea), and the following day when the reviews starting pouring in, I was completely shocked and astounded by the horribly negative responses this once beloved show received from its so-called fans and the media outlets which had previously given enormous praise to the show.
As one of the few loyal fans left standing now that the series is over, I am obliged to express my extreme discontent that so many fans of Dexter turned out to be traitorous shits-for-brains. Instead of marveling at the expertly crafted character development of a uniquely complex and psychologically rich character who held the attention of an eager and impressively large audience for 8 years, these assbags decided to ignore the brilliantly played out and blatant psychological themes that defined the character of Dexter throughout the entire series, themes which came to fruition, finally, in this 8th and final season, thanks, in part, to the introduction and subsequent death of Dexter’s maker, Dr. Evelyn Vogel.
The introduction of Dr. Vogel in this final season was essential for bringing this highly evolved psychopath’s journey of self-discovery to a close. Her very presence as a major character here at the end of the show is an obvious metaphor for the imperative of resolving the psychological conflict that Dexter grappled with for the entire series: how to be and feel human like all those around him.
As a result of Dr. Vogel’s prevalent role this season, Dexter did not perform his ritualistic killings anywhere near as often as he had in previous seasons. This final season was focused almost strictly on character development and reconciling who they (Dexter and Deb) were and what they had done in previous seasons with the people they had become here at the end.
The fact that the vast majority of fans and media considered this final season to be one of the worst ends to a TV show, that it didn’t live up to the greatness of previous standout seasons, leads me to one psychologically-charged conclusion: none of you are actually fans of Dexter, the character. You are only interested in watching him stalk his kills, spew their blood everywhere, chop their bodies up into neat pieces, toss it all into the ocean, and then cleverly get away with it. You are not fans of Dexter; you are fans of murder, perpetuating a modern culture that is obsessed with violence, and that makes me sick.
In fact, I have no doubt whatsoever that next week when Breaking Bad comes to its conclusion, you will repeat your whiney, bull-shit complaints, which really are just psychological projections of your own creative inadequacies, onto another team of brilliant writers. In conclusion, I leave you with these parting words in the language which was bestowed upon me by my favorable heritage: Vaffanculo, tu stronzo ignorante!
**As a final note to the writers of Dexter: great work. I loved it. And thank you for 8 years of brilliant storytelling.**
Matia Guardabascio is a proud citizen of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in both English and French Literature. As the daughter of a musician and a school teacher, Matia grew up in a musical household with parents who made a concerted effort to instill in her the value and importance of the arts. She is a music enthusiast, an avid reader, a writer of prose and poetry, a traveler, and an enthusiastic imbiber of red wine. The piano is her favorite instrument, followed by the drums, and she loves Impressionist artwork, especially because she doesn’t need to wear her glasses to see what’s going on. That’s right, the glasses are not for show. She wears tri-focals because she reads too much, or as her good friends might say, she actually 80-years-old.