6. Bad romance. Deb has returned to Quinn and Dex has returned to Hannah. It’s hard to get excited about romance when it’s a rerun of partnerships that didn’t work out the first time. Dex’s master plan this season is to move to Argentina with Hannah and Harrison. That makes Dex just about the worst father ever, dragging his child to Argentina because he’s fallen for a woman with a long history of poisoning people, including the Morgans. Harrison tells us he loves Hannah, but what does he know? He’s four!
7. Plot contrivances. Dexter has always existed in a heightened reality that required you to accept a fair degree of implausibility. As long as the storytelling was strong, fans went along with that. This season, spotting plot holes became a spectator sport: Dex and Deb crash a police pool car into a lake and almost drown and there’s no questions or consequences. Hannah poisons Dex and Deb in a major cliffhanger scene — then next week we find she simply left Dex on the side of the road for no discernible reason. Dex “stalks” the Brain Surgeon by standing in front of a diner window staring at him for nearly an hour then marvels when he’s spotted. Dex finally captures the Brain Surgeon after hunting him all season, then decides to give him to Miami Metro even though he’s certain to reveal Dex is a serial killer. Most commented on by fans was that notorious fugitive Hannah kept strutting around Miami — including on the arms of a famous billionaire — without making any attempt to change her appearance, even after learning that U.S. Marshall was closing in.
How not to stalk:
8. The Breaking Bad comparison. It’s probably unfair to compare any TV drama to Breaking Bad, especially this season. But if you’re watching both shows, it’s tough to avoid: They’re dark cable dramas about a seemingly ordinary guy who’s secretly a murderous criminal mastermind and they’re airing their final seasons in the same time slot. Except Breaking Bad put the focus where fans wanted — on the other characters realizing Walt’s secret and his behavior throughout the whole series having huge and devastating consequences. Every scene clicks neatly and logically into the one before it, like Lego blocks, with each character on the show having a crucial role to play. Here’s a cartoon that’s been making the rounds poking fun of Dexter‘s penchant to over-explain itself:
As one recap reader joked: “And then half the episode follows Steve Gomez thinking about starting a restaurant.”
9. Dexter’s too happy. Dex hasn’t been deeply challenged. Who would have suspected we would have started the final episode with Dexter still working at Miami Metro, happily dating his ex-girlfriend, nobody suspecting him and all the show’s regular characters still alive? The big life concept he’s been debating this season with Dr, Vogel is whether he’s taking on too much by juggling his job, Hannah, and the Brain Surgeon. If that sounds familiar, it’s roughly the same idea he wrestled with in season 4, whether he could “have it all.” He already learned he can’t, or so we thought.
UPDATE: Dexter producers explain finale, defend final season. And here’s our take on the finale.