What kind of ending does an unfeeling psychopath who has murdered so many deserve? Captured? Killed? The Sopranos creator David Chase decided that these questions about anti-heroes are better unanswered by abruptly cutting-to-black. How will Dexter end? Will the writers take a moral stance or will they (pun intended) cut-and-run?
Don’t get me wrong. I loved the ending to The Sopranos. I know it received a lot of backlash for its lack of resolution but I loved the sense of Americana, potential energy that crescendos with “Don’t Stop Believing” and our last look at Tony Soprano before the lights go out. Tony Soprano set the template for the modern anti-hero, and I can’t help but feel now with James Gandolfini laid to rest and Dexter and Breaking Bad also ending, the anti-hero is seeing its nadir. The question is, how are we supposed to remember them?
The Sopranos had its say on the matter essentially by throwing their hands in the air and letting the audience work it out. Brilliantly done, but now that it has been done this way Dexter will not get off so easy.
It is now six months after the harrowing events that ended season seven. Deb has left the force out of her guilt over killing LaGuerta to save her brother and is now a glorified bounty hunter who gets waaaayyy too close to her targets, too close like Basic Instinct too close. She wants nothing to do with Dexter anymore, telling him “I shot the wrong person.” Dexter, normally so much in control, is lost without his sister and I feel that the collapse of his relationship with Deb and the crumbling of Harry’s code that has guided him this far will be the theme of this season. He still has his son Harrison, who seemed to age 2 years in 6 months (True Blood fairy crossover? Too much to hope for), but even he seems to be more of a distraction to Dexter as he tries to reel his sister back in. Dex even takes him along for a stakeout (which of course turns into a stabbing) when he can’t find a babysitter.
This forced me to, for the first time in seven seasons, to not root for our favorite serial killer. I know, I know, rooting for serial killers is all the rage nowadays, but I simply can’t get behind the mass murderer who is also a bad father. How strange is that? And is that going to be their backdoor way of ushering Dexter down the plank? Turning the audience against him? I certainly hope that is not the case, as I still hold out hope that he becomes the best serial killer dad he could be.
To make this more difficult the police have brought in brilliant neuropsychiatrist Evelyn Vogel (former bombshell Charlotte Rampling) to investigate a new serial killer who scoops out the part of the brain that controls empathy. She takes a special interest in Dexter from the start, which Dex initially blows off until she shows him his childhood drawings of murdered stick-figures. When he threatens her she calmly tells him “You can’t kill me, it doesn’t meet Harry’s code.” And boom goes the bombshell.
How will Dexter end? Let us know what you think will happen by commenting, that way when it turns out you are right it will be documented and you can show your friends and family how quickly and brilliantly you figured it out!