Dexter told the story of a serial killer Dexter Morgan. It was a fun and macabre show that glorified violence and justified it in the deaths of Dexter’s victims. Though based on a series of books, the television series strayed heavily from its source material. It instead focused on various characters that were a part of Dexter’s life. In eight seasons there were a lot of decisions, both good and bad, and I wanted to take a look at them now that the show has finally concluded.
Season 1- Season one gave us our introduction to Dexter. He showed us his code that kept him from getting caught. Dexter along with his friends and family had to band together to stop the Ice Truck Killer. The twist was really solid and the writing was fresh. It seemed like the producers at Showtime had hit gold.
Season 2- Season 2 began the Dexter oddities. Dexter goes to rehab because Rita thinks he is on drugs. Rita also starts on a long stint of being painfully annoying. Then Dexter hooked up with Lila, a pyromaniac who would eventually cause a lot of problems for Dexter. He also had to dodge Sgt. Doakes until his death. This season seemed to be trying hard to capture the same flame but left most people wanting something else.
Season 3- Rita is pregnant and Dexter proposes to her. Dexter finds a friend in Assistant District Attorney Miguel Prado, played by Jimmy Smits. Dexter attempts to teach Miguel the code but Miguel uses it to his own end. The season ends in the marriage of Dexter and Rita. Rita is nothing but a harpy the entire season. Season 3 was an improvement from season 2. The villain was actually a threat to Dexter because he was smart and manipulative instead of a passionate murderer, like Lila.
Season 4- Dexter is now a family man. A new serial killer called the “Trinity Killer,” played by John Lithgow, is terrorizing Miami. Dexter meets him and finds what drives him and uncovers what sort of monster he really is. Lithgow steals this season and is amazing as the Trinity Killer. The twist at the end is incredible and it makes this the best season since the first. If the producers were wiser they would have ended right here on this amazing high note.
Season 5- Season 5 has Dexter dealing with the loss of Rita. He finds a girl named Lumen, played by Julia Stiles, who was in captivity in one of his victim’s rooms. She was gang raped and he helps her get revenge. This season was a huge drag, going from something as monumental as the Trinity Killer to a rip-off of Sudden Impact. There wasn’t even much of a threat from the central villains.
Season 6- The last fairly decent season of Dexter. He faces a new killer called the Doomsday killer that uses apocalyptic imagery in his kills. The killers are played by Edward James Olmos and Colin Hanks who bring a stellar performances. It had good moments that culminate in Debra finding out Dexter is a serial killer. Considering the let down of the season before, it was a gripping way to wrap up a season.
Season 7- This season was huge mess. A Ukrainian mob boss was after Dexter for killing his lover in the first plot. Then we have a woman named Hannah who poisons her victims. Dexter falls in love with Hannah at one point and then has an about face to turn her in to the police. She promptly escapes. The writing for this season was all over the place. The mob boss was an interesting character and it was just tossed aside in a very lame fashion. This season also ended in an event that was supposed to be a big deal but it was too little too late.
Season 8- The final season. Dexter introduces us to Dr. Vogel, a women who taught Dexter’s dad the code that Dexter lives by. It’s funny that we never heard of her before. The writer’s do a poor job trying to make you care for this character. Then they bring back Hannah so that Dexter can have some more interaction with a love interest. The end takes everything we know about the character and tosses it on its butt.
The end of Dexter took a likable character and made him into someone that is horrible. Why? It would seem that writers feel that Dexter is just a teenager inside and can’t tell the difference between teen angst and mourning. His family is filled with selfish jerks that have never thought about how things will go beyond the present day. The show had its good times and bad times but for the most part it’s a decent show. Sadly, it jumped the shark over halfway through the series.