Being a huge Dexter fan I was tuned into the finale much like everyone else did last night. However, my reaction was different than the majority of people on Twitter. The majority of people on Twitter last night, HATED the ending of Dexter. My initial reaction to the finale went from tears, to confusion, and then to an epiphany with a smirk on my face. I’m not ashamed to say that I did shed a few tears during the end of Dexter (no, not when Deb died) when Dexter made what I anticipated was his final call to his son Harrison. Once the show faded to black for a quick second after Harrison and Hannah walk off into the distance, I sat there confused for a minute, only to be surprised when we flash to the logging camp. The way the show ended, with Dexter alone, I thought was poetic. After I let it sink in (and re-watched the last five minutes over again) I went to Twitter to get a feel for other fans’ reactions to the finale. I was a bit surprised at how much flat out HATE there was for the ending. As the Twitter feed with the hashtag #Dexter flew by, I tried to count the ratio of hate to like tweets. It was roughly 25 to 1. Because of all this hate, I felt the need to address the three most common Twitter responses to the Dexter ending.
1. “Harrison and Hannah, WTF?”
There was a lot of confusion and anger towards the fact that Dexter “just left” his son with Hannah. Tweets of “deadbeat Dad” and he’s “leaving Harrison with another Serial Killer” ran rampant through the Twitterverse. Harrison was left in what seems to be capable hands (remembering Hannah DID risk herself in potentially getting caught by the US Marshall just to take Harrison to the hospital for a non-life threatening injury). The question I pose to this response is: What else could Dexter have done with Harrison? Nothing else really fit, or made sense as to Harrison’s fate.
2. “Eight years and this is the ending we get?!?”
This response was particularly funny to read with a lot of people claiming to say that we, the audience, ended up being Dexter’s final victim with that “horrible ending.” With such the unique, large, and rabid fanbase that Dexter has, I think the writers’ were in a no win situation. No matter how they ended Dexter’s story, people were going to complain, a lot.
3. “A freaking Lumberjack?!?”
Instantly after the Finale (I did watch the Twitter feed during both the East and West coast airings of the final episode) the most rampant tweet was the fact that after eight years of television, Dexter just had become a freaking lumberjack. There were even a few somewhat funny memes posted with Dexter in over the top lumberjack gear. With people complaining that he became “just a lumberjack” I can’t help to think just wanted an impossible clean ending resulting in Dexter’s death, or voyage to Argentine (thank God that didn’t happen). There was never a clean end for Dexter. In the end, Dexter is still Dexter. He lost the battle to the Dark Passenger, left his remaining family behind, and goes on (what we presume) to live a life of solitude. It has little to do with his job as a “lumberjack” and everything to do with his penance. His life alone is his punishment for every person he has killed, and all of the lives he destroyed in the process. The beauty of it all, is that he self imposes this dark fate onto himself, not the police, and not another enemy serial killer. Dexter chose his own his fate. This was the darkest of endings to one of the darkest (yet lovable) TV anti-heroes of all time. The expectations and hopes for a cleanly wrapped up show in a tidy box with a bow on it is not what we got. What we did get, was the dark, depressing, lonely ending that Dexter deserved. Dexter: The Seventh Season