Dexter Worst to First List….(finally completed)
SPOILER ALERT - IF YOU HAVE NEVER WATCHED DEXTER OR HAVE NOT SEEN IT THROUGH THE END, PLEASE STOP READING!
When it comes to this list, which I first started months ago, I can’t help but think of the Smiths song, I Started Something I Couldn’t Finish! You see, I had it all figured out. To dovetail with the last season, I planned to countdown my favorite Dexter seasons from worst (still ok, btw) to first and then do a post-mortem (pun intended) on the last season, Season 8, since it was pointless to evaluate it until it was over. I got through 4 seasons on my list and then…I saw the finale.
I was so disappointed in the finale that I lost any desire to finish this, although I knew I eventually would. I think I just needed to step away but now that I’m resolved to finish this just thinking about it disappoints me all over again. Dexter had a lot of momentum and excitement going for it entering the last season. And how could it not? Season 7, to me, was a very strong season (the strongest of the last 4 seasons), and regardless of whether you thought that the series should have ended a bit sooner, going into Season 8 everyone wanted to know the same thing - would Dexter finally get caught or would he even die?
And with that momentum, Season 8 started off well. Although it came out of nowhere, I liked Dr. Vogel’s character and her scenes with Dexter were great. Even better was the new dynamic between Deb and Dexter, which carrying over from Season 7 was tense and riveting as Deb became completely unhinged. The new villain - the Brain Surgeon - was also intriguing. But then as the second half of the season came, it was as if the producers didn’t know what to do next. Like the whole Zac Hamilton thing. It wasn’t Hannah’s inevitable return - that was fine (and somewhat expected). But given that the series was coming to an end, you would have thought that the suspense would have hit a fever pitch. But it didn’t. The last few episodes felt slow. They plodded along and then tried to resolve everything within the last episode and a half.
And then came the end. Deb’s cruel and undeserving fate was rushed (though still sad and yes, powerful). As to what happened to Dexter….it still makes no sense whatsoever given the evolution of his character. Here’s my theory - I think the producers got caught up in doing one last twist (which the Dexter show was pretty good at up to this point) to go out with a bang. They wanted to shock everyone with an ending that no one expected as opposed to just taking a position and sticking with it. I get that a final episode is not easy - no matter what you are not going to please everyone. But this one at best satisfied a small minority of fans. It was poorly done and you couldn’t help but feel that you watched this show loyally to the end for nothing.
So, without further ado, here’s my final list from worst to best seasons:
8 - Season 5 (the Lumen year) - still the worst IMO.
7 - Season 3 (the DA Miguel year)
6 - Season 8 (Based on the first half to two thirds of this season, I would have ranked this one a little higher. If they only ended it with the brunch episode with Dexter, Hannah, Zac and Vogel…)
5 - Season 6 (The Doomsday Killer - I initially had this one ranked 6, until Season 8)
4 - Season 1 (The Ice Truck Killer - many fans may rate this one higher than me - It’s a terrific season and one of the best. I just liked a few others a bit more.)
3 - Season 7 (A surprise for some to be this high… It was by far the best of the last 4 seasons. The dynamic between Deb/Dexter was intense from beginning to end, as was LaGuerta’s hunt for the Bay Harbor Butcher. I hated the whole Deb loves Dexter theme (which started Season 6 and continued through 8) but it wasn’t present enough in the plot for me to give this season a lower rating. Hannah and Sirko were great new characters - Sirko was one of Dexter’s best foils throughout the series. The season finale was one of the best as well, maybe second overall to my #1 choice. It also set the table nicely for the last season…until they ruined it. )
2 - Season 2 (Doakes/Lila/Lundy…and the Bay Harbor Butcher - what else needs to be said. Just a great season overall. The suspense was terrific.)
1 - Season 4 - The Trinity Killer (Could I have picked any other season? No way! Best season of the series with the best finale. This season was the peak - the show arguably jumped the shark after this season. But what a peak! Lithgow was an excellent villain.)