Dexter Season 8 series finale review: Remember the Monsters

October 6th, 2013 donnahoke

  • Once I got over the bleak and total sadness that was the Dexter finale, I came to accept why it would end this way. There are no guarantees that love would change Dexter for good–in fact, the odds are overwhelmingly against it given his history–but I’m still left with a lot of things that really bother me:

    1) Why would Clayton, a federal marshall, not recognize the city’s most wanted sitting in his own kill chair? Aren’t those guys on top of APBs? That he didn’t kicked off everything from there on, and it all hinged on a most implausible premise.


    2) Dexter chooses a very inopportune time and person to decide that he doesn’t need to kill him. Okay, he didn’t need to, but he HAD to; there’s a difference, and one that,  in reality, would not have stopped him, and ultimately didn’t. Like Clayton, it was way too convenient.


    3) Why did Vogel and Dexter ever believe that Yates was the brain surgeon when there was absolutely no evidence to support it and he was clearly in the middle of continuing to follow his current m.o. of holding girls, breaking toes, etc.?


    4) Why choose the final season to give Masuka some depth and then do it in such a cliche, choppy way?

    Nikki: “Hi, I’m your daughter.

    Masuka: “Don’t wait tables half naked.”

    Nikki: “Okay, DAD! Oops, that just slipped out.”

    Masuka: “Don’t do drugs.”

    Nikki: “Having this weird dude as my dad is weird awesome!”



    But back to Dex: I understand why we have to feel that the idea of Dexter living with Hannah happily ever after is an illusion, and probably even that it sends a bad message that there is no punishment for his crimes. And I love the idea that to be human is to suffer, something they only touched on, and I wish they had expanded.  I could have lived with the idea that losing Deb was suffering for being human, something he would have to live with for the rest of his life; that would have been enough punishment for me.  But his ultimate punishment notwithstanding, there remains something illogical about his worst consequences resulting from his choice NOT to kill. I guess this makes him feel that no matter what he does, he ruins lives, but for the audience, it makes us feel like somebody like Dexter is NEEDED (Rita was also killed as a result of him NOT killing Trinity) and considering that the writers sent him off to self-imposed exile rather than give him a shred of happiness, that seems like a message they didn’t want to send.


    Best moment: Dex, Quinn, and Angel watching the tape of Dexter killing Oliver, and knowing the truth. More thoughtful stuff like that would have made it a much more satisfying ending.


    I know I’m late to the game on this, but just had to record my thoughts.



Written by donnahoke


Dramatists Guild Council member and ensemble playwright-in-residence at Road Less Traveled Productions, Kilroys List and award-winning playwright Donna Hoke’s work has been seen in 46 states, and on five continents. Her full-length plays include ELEVATOR GIRL (2017 O’Neill finalist), THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR (Princess Grace semi-finalist, currently in its fourth year in rep in Romania), SAFE (winner of the Todd McNerney, Naatak, and Great Gay Play and Musical Contests), and BRILLIANT WORKS OF ART (2016 Kilroys List, Winner HRC Showcase, Firehouse Festival of New American Plays); she’s also authored more than three dozen short plays that have had hundreds of productions, and has been nominated for both the Francesca Primus and Susan Blackburn prizes. She’s also a two-time winner of the Emanuel Fried Award for Best New Play (SEEDS, SONS & LOVERS).

Donna is also a New York Times-published crossword puzzle constructor; author of Neko and the Twiggets, a children’s book; and founder/co-curator of BUA Takes 10: GLBT Short Stories. For three consecutive years, she was named Buffalo’s Best Writer by Artvoice, the only woman to ever receive the designation.

In addition, Donna is a blogger, advocate, and moderator of the 12,000+-member Official Playwrights of Facebook. Recent speaking engagements include Citywrights, Kenyon Playwrights Conference, the Dramatists Guild National Conference, Chicago Dramatists, Austin Film Festival, and a live Dramatists Guild webinar. Her commentary has been read at #2amt, howlround, the Official Playwrights of Facebook, the newly released Workshopping the New Play, and

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