Monday, September 23, 2013

"I've never seen a miracle"

Ah, Dexter... I'm shaking my head right now because last night was the eight-years coming final episode of Dexter.  For those who don't know, the titular Dexter Morgan is a highly functioning serial killer who hunts and kills other killers and people who "deserve it" based upon a code taught to him by his father.  Basically, the finale sucked.  Even more than that, it felt like a betrayal.

For the moment, let's put that aside, shall we?  Beloved TV series either have an ending or they don't.  Most of the shows that don't have any real closure ended before the writers had a chance to conclude the story and tie up loose ends.  Shows that know they're ending ahead of time have the opportunity to finish things... the right way.

There are lots of endings that are pretty good or fine.  They're passable without drawing too much attention to themselves.  A few are extraordinary, ending with a real high note.  Then there are those endings which do a complete disservice to what came before.  Finales that seem more like an injustice than a conclusion.  How many people loved the ending of Seinfeld or Lost?  Well, I'd be surprised to find out that the majority thought Dexter ended satisfactorily.

I'm not going into peripheral disappointments like the mistreatment or lack of treatment regarding Joey, Batista, Masuka, Matthews, Harrison's nanny, that black woman who made Sargent instead of Joey, and everyone else Dexter either worked with or knew and hadn't killed yet.  Why did the writers bother to built those characters up and introduce subplots only to have them stand around, helplessly witnessing the show's demise?

Even though I didn't want to, I was able to buy the fact that Hannah escaped and came back to Miami to seek Dexter's help (and possibly renew their romance).  That Dexter fell in love with Hannah.  That Deborah let Hannah stay at her place.  I was even able to buy the fact that Hannah "hid" in plain sight and refused to wear a disguise - even sunglasses!  And what about Zach's sudden murder - WTF?  Though I knew better, I suspended my disbelief enough to accept that Dexter's darkness was virtually gone.  No longer in need of blood and body parts, Dexter was cured...?  But letting his last victim go?  Even when Oliver knew all about Dexter and that he was a serial killer... seriously?!?

Everything that came after that was met with a resounding, "Bullshit.  That would never happen."  Deborah Morgan in a coma with severe brain damage... a vegetable?  No.  Killing Oliver in "self-defense"?  No.  Creative, yes... but, ultimately, no.  Stealing his sister's dead body to bury her at sea?  No.  Sailing into the storm?  No.  Making a new life for himself as a fucking lumberjack while the love of his life and son are living in Argentina?  FUCK NO!!!

Not only does it make precious little sense, it goes against everything we know about the character.  Dexter has evolved over eight years, but he hasn't suddenly become a totally different person.  And why throw Deb under the bus?  Didn't she redeem herself?  She didn't even die "saving a bus full of nuns".  She wounded the season's principal antagonist and then died in a hospital bed an episode later.  The finale was not only a downer of biblical proportions but not at all realistic based upon the parameters the series set.

Like Lost, Dexter ended one season too late.  Either that, or the last few episodes were such a bizarre and uneven disappointment that any new fan of the show should do himself a favor and tune out before the very end.  I've seen miracles - positive ones - but what I witnessed last night was the opposite of that.  It was a negative miracle, an anti-miracle... a black hole; the kind that makes everything suck.  Even seasons 1 - 7 will inevitably be tinged with wrongness because of this.

Now that it's done and the smoke has mostly cleared.  I'd like to know if anyone objected to this travesty before it all went down.  What did the actors think?  Did any of the writers protest?  Producers?  Executive producers?  Did those who objected get overruled?  By whom?  How could something like this have happened?  Is it possible to get a "do over"?


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