[continued from above]
And now some sad news. The Dexter seasons have come to an end. I saw the last episode last night. And ...
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And ahem. I'm disappointed.
Not because it was depressing. The end of the Godfather movies was depressing. The end of Breaking Bad was -- well, certainly depressing in that the main character died. But that's different. Those were two story arcs in which you could rather sense how it was going to end, from start to finish. You knew Walter White was gonna die. You just knew it. And you knew that Michael Corleone was gonna lose everything dear to him. It was so obvious in how he started out as such an innocent, sinless character. The Godfather movies and the Breaking Bad episodes marched inexorably towards those tragic ends.
Now Dexter, I figured he was going to die. But abandon his loved ones, just so he could pull a Michael Corleone on us out of the blue? Huh? That didn't fit the show trajectory at all.
See here's the thing. The show had a lot of great mini-stories germinating in Season Eight. Every indicator in my mind was that they had at least two or three seasons of good additional material to work with. Yet in the final episode we suddenly find all those mini-stories tossed aside midstream. None of them got resolved. And while the main Dexter/Debra arc got "resolved" (rather abruptly -- Debra dies from a random complication and Dexter suddenly decides "screw everyone and myself?" Uhhh ...)
Technically Debra's death was realistic. People die from unexpected complications in "relatively minor" surgery all the time. But it didn't make for good storytelling. And Dexter racing into a hurricane, destroying his boat but somehow saving himself? First of all, why? Why not give in to the overwhelming elements combining to snuff his life out? The sharks. The treading of hurricane-whipped waters. The swimming -- how far? -- back to shore? Not only how's it possible, but what's the point?
Oh Dexter's been known to drop mini-stories before. Most notably, in the first season Marķa LaGuerta has a crush on Dexter ... and then, suddenly, that motif just disappears. Well, that's forgiveable. The overall story continues to be satisfyingly interesting. But the end of Season Eight? They seriously dumped a buttload of mini-stories, and "resolved" the big stories in a very abrupt, awkward way.
Don't get me wrong, the actors and actresses were in top form right to the finish. And yes, I can see things like, Well, now Dexter's human, he has human feelings and he can't take it, his urge to kill is gone, Debra was his major-life-decision compass and he's lost her, so of course he'd abandon everything including the kiss of death etc. etc. etc.
And ooh! a surprise ending! Right? Yeah sure ... except that sounds more like an excuse and a selling point to me than it does a master plan.
Wanna know what I really think? I think that someone -- the main writer/s -- got bogged down with other stuff in their real lives, and just didn't feel up to the (I admit it) heavy, heavy commitment involved in sustaining the Dexter story. They needed out, and couldn't wait for one or two more seasons to get out. So they just thought up a series ending that sounded kind of poetic and said, "Yeah, what the heck, let's run with it -- and see how fast we can do it," without really thinking through the details and overall balance like they usually do. That's my opinion.
Sheesh, I even wonder if they weren't planning to have Debra recover from the gunshot injury ... only to decide at the last second, "Say, let's have her die. That would really shake things up for Dexter, and just about explain anything he'd do after that." And what's up with tossing the eye-opening Dexter-Debra romantic motif by the wayside? Surely that would have been a story worth pursuing?
Bleah, what a bummer. The Dexter series deserved a much more extraordinary ending. Breaking Bad got fireworks finale ending. The ending Dexter got wasn't just depressing. It was plain old mediocre.
Now what do I tell all my friends? "Watch the whole Dexter series, you'll be glad you did, it's all 100% Grade-A great." Darn it. I can't say that anymore. The series ended with a fly in the ointment. Sooo depressing ...
Welp, got that rant out of my system. Bleah, and here I promised myself I wasn't even gonna talk about it.