Episode Review: Dexter Series Finale

  • Publish Date: September 22, 2013
  • Comments: ↓ 8 user comments

Updated 9/23 at 10:32am

Dexter, Episode 812: "Remember the Monsters?"
Original airdate: September 22, 2013 on Showtime

Spoiler warning: This page contains descriptions of events in this and previous episodes.

Congrats to all those of you who had "Dexter becomes a lumberjack" selected in your Dexter finale pools at work. What did critics think of the concluding seconds and the minutes that came before them in Dexter's series finale? We sample their responses below. Note that if a publication provides a grade or score for the individual episode, it is noted below (converted to our 0-100 scale).

Great Extremely positive reviews

"The series finale was the best Dexter episode in years. ... It was also one of the strangest episodes in the show's history ... It's like watching a different series, one that was more compelling than the show it served to close."

— James Hibberd / Entertainment Weekly

84 "Sure, there were elements to 'Remember the Monsters?' that smacked of hackiness. ... But about halfway into this finale, the gears switched and the stakes shot up exponentially."

— Matt Fowler / IGN

90 "Dexter's season finale delivered drama and excitement not found in other episodes this season. Or last season. And maybe even the season before that. It wasn't perfect by any means, but it wasn't a complete disappointment."

— Miranda Wicker / TV Fanatic

Positive Positive reviews

"The finale was not without its faults. There were some enormous plot holes ... But the final episode got the big strokes right -- a darkness that the show needed for its ending."

— Andrea Reiher / Zap2it

Mixed Mixed/so-so reviews

"I wish the season had taken a different direction earlier on so that tonight's finale could have felt like the event it should have been, instead of the conclusion of another weak season."

— Kelly West / Cinema Blend

"The action unfolds with all manner of finale-absurd nonsense, including a hurricane a'brewin' off the coast of Florida and a very worrisome parceling out of Dexter's young son, Harrison, into the hands of another, albeit apparently former, serial killer, Hannah (Yvonne Strahovski). It ends with Dexter faking his death and fleeing to the Pacific Northwest where, presumably, bad guys had better watch their backs. But the parting scenes between Dexter and Deb, possibly the most powerful sibling bond television has ever seen, gave the show the send-off it deserved."

— Mary McNamara / Los Angeles Times

"So much of the show's swan song was so boring and devoid of urgency, and this finale was mostly the same, with a slight uptick in quality. It was entirely mediocre: typically dumb in spots, but not Season 6 levels of dumb, or even as bad as last week's penultimate episode. People won't be angrily tweeting about it in five years, because it just didn't have any impact at all."

— Cory Barker / TV.com

Poor Negative reviews

"The lamest series finale since 'Seinfeld.'"

— Frazier Moore / Associated Press

0 "It's a feat for a finale to make you regret having watched a single moment of the series, but 'Remember The Monsters' made it look easy."

— Joshua Alston / A.V. Club

"A bizarre series finale that will undoubtedly prove polarizing to the show's substantial fan base. ... In some ways, [it] felt like a cop-out."

— Chuck Barney / Contra Costa Times

"Remember the Monsters? was a final figurative nail in the coffin of this once great creative endeavour."

— Billy Grifter / Den of Geek

"Of all the possible endings, the writers created one of the most boring ones imaginable."

— Nick Harley / Den of Geek (U.S.)

"Would I have preferred for 'Dexter' to close out its run with Dexter's identity exposed and/or with the show admitting that we've been rooting for a villain (albeit someone dealing with even worse villains) all these years? Probably. But at this point I would have settled for anything dramatically interesting on any level."

— Alan Sepinwall / HitFix

"It was all horribly heavy handed, an attempt to inject deep feeling into a show that thrived on playful shallowness."

— Tom Gliatto / People

"It wasn't a great final season for Dexter, and tonight's last episode muffed its chance at a fully satisfying conclusion by falling into the trap of one twist too many."

— Mitch Salem / ShowBuzzDaily

"The final season of Dexter has been problematic, to say the least. ... But nothing, and I mean nothing, could have prepared me for the absolute swing and miss that was the final scene of 'Remember The Monsters?'"

— James Queally / Star-Ledger

"None of this rang true for me. I can't think of any reason why Dexter joining them in Argentina wouldn't have been the better choice, as everybody would have been much happier and much safer."

— Luke Gelineau / TV Equals

"'Dexter' had been running on creative fumes the past few seasons, and Sunday night's series finale — despite its emotional flourishes — merely underscored that this was a series well past its expiration date."

— Brian Lowry / Variety

"As the closing scene faded from my television screen, my reaction wasn't shock or sadness. It was anger. This is not a violent anger. It's more fueled by outrage than actual rage. It's the kind of anger you feel after investing so much time into a show that you once loved, only to watch it fizzle out in the most unsatisfying of ways."

— Richard Rys / Vulture

What do you think?

What did you think of last night's finale of Dexter? Are you satisfied with the way the series ended? Let us know in the comments section below.

Comments (8)

  • TheChaser1985  

    I agree with all the negative reviews and I LOVED this series. horrible ending! Just HORRIBLE!

  • TheChaser1985  

    I agree with all the negative reviews and I LOVED this series. horrible ending! Just HORRIBLE!

  • Jess182  

    I really don't know what to think I guess we all expected suicide dexter's style at the very end but they seem to let a door open A door open for what The show has been slow and uncreative for too long This ending reflects perfectly the lack of sense of the past seasons Bye Dexter Morgan you slowly die to an awful ending

  • HarrisonLapahie  

    The ending was sad. Dexter's sister dies. Dexter carries her to his boat and dumps her into the ocean. Dexter drives his boat into the storm, and supposedly, his boat is broken down by the storm, and Dexter dies from drowning. Dexter's girlfriend and Dexter's son, Harrison, make it to Argentina. And his girlfriend sees an internet posting of Dexter's death. She is able to accept it, and she and Harrison Morgan walk away into the city of Buenos Aires. At the very end, Dexter is working as a lumberjack; he didn't die! My though is he is somewhere in northern California. He goes into a small cabin after finishing work. Nothing inside the cabin but a table. He sits and looks into the camera. He seems alone, lonely, sad or miserable about his life or situation, and I felt his misery. Then the "Dexter" show ends forever. It ended horribly!

    After thinking about it. What I get out of this is that, someday Dexter will figure out how to get to Argentina after working for a short time as a lumberjack. Dexter is able to call his girlfriend because he has her cell phone number. He must return because he needs to be his son. He will eventually, be able to return to Argentina, to see his son, and girlfriend, and become happy and somewhat normal again. But probably that last detective who tracked Dexter's girlfriend might look for her again in Argentina, and also that Dexter might have family problems when he gets to Argentina, or his killing ability might again return in Argentina. There is a possibility for a 2 or 3 hour Showtime Special of Dexter showing what he will do to return to his family in Argentina. I just wished that the show didn't have to end. I enjoyed watching this show the last 8 years.

  • ReviewsForFolks  

    they should just make season 9 to repair the ending.

  • cbowell09  

    This season 8 was beyond saving, and the Series Finale Episode just dug the hole and buried it. Its a shame Dexter's last season had the potential to be really good and satisfying...Well at least there was greatness in the beginning of the show, that is how I will remember it.

  • zaphodl  

    Truly disappointed at the first fade away. ..even more disappointed with final scene. There were fairly high production values throughout this final episode, so I did appreciate that...rough spots here and there. What I most found interesting was how Dexter's emotions continued to unravel him (starting in previous episodes). Not dealing with the Brain Surgeon (twice!); the second time, preferring to say goodbye to his sister for the second time. When he quite consciously chooses to avoid the chance of Elway or others from following him by faking his death. (This was probably the single most poignant moment when we have seen the "whole person" named Dexter Morgan. Remember when he said to the Hamilton kid, "Always have a backup plan"? Clearly, Dexter's learned behaviours and adherence to the first rule of the Code (Never get caught.) have not been forgotten. However, his emotions are so strong now that he is able to say to his son "Remember I love you. Say that everyday until I see you." to his son knowing that it will be some time until he sees him again. I think, contrary to some views, that writers and others did care and managed to create an even more complex person than we recognize. I do remain confused about the feelings Dexter may have for Hannah; was she simply the best way to implement Dexter's plan? Clearly there is some effective connection, but I was at a loss to determine what it might be (even though I recall from Season 1 what Dexter said about relationships). As others have surmised, I too smell an X-Files movie at some opportune time. But not before the book author releases some novel in the Dexter series. My new hope is that any 2 hour movie does not resemble some Christmas special.

  • jldavis  

    It's been days since I finished watching the eight seasons of Dexter. To say that the finale left me unsettled is an understatement. The number of holes and illogical twists made the finale just plain ridiculous. It was fitting that Dexter would euthanize his sister, but to unceremoniously steal her body and dump it at sea was just plain implausible. It would have made sense if Dexter had also chosen to die at sea and be with buried with Deb. His dumping her body with his other victims although symbolic was ghoulish and robbed her of a proper police funeral and burial next to her father, Harry. Yes, there was a hurricane but weren't her colleagues and hospital staff going to wonder where Deborah Morgan was? And what about Harrison, what does everyone In Miami think happened to him?
    Dexter's reason for staying behind in Miami did not ring true for me and therefore everything that followed just felt off .Fans everywhere have developed their own version of events and preferred endings. To be sure, there could be no happy ending for Dexter. I would have loved to see Dexter, Hannah and Harrison leaving Miami and settling in Argentina. At some future point, perhaps when Hannah was tired of Dexter, it would have been fitting for her to poison him and move on to whatever chapter was next.
    For the record, I did not like former show runner Phillip's plan for Dexter to be executed.

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