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VINE VOICEon 19 January 2014
Possible Spoilers

It's very hard for me to mark down such an excellent series such as Dexter and maybe as a fan I should not have built up my expectations. There are three principal themes that season 8 follows, as we see Dexter forced to revisit his past when he comes across Dr Evelyn Vogel, a woman who claims to have structured the code for him alongside Dexter's father Harry. The season deals with a new serial killer in Miami that, almost surgically removes pieces of the victims brains. Lastly we see Debra beginning to self-destruct as she is unable to deal with the fact that she murdered LaGuerta - who was also mentor and friend?

I am sorry to say that Quinn's narrative, seems to be almost a filler if not a distraction here, since season 7 the Quinn character seems hold little or no worth as an associated character in Dexter. This is a season where the intricate machinations of the `code' are looked at. Some of the season's 12 episodes are good while others are not so good. However, if I were rating the overall series I would, without doubt give the series 5 stars - as it stands I would give this last season 4
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on 12 May 2014
This review contains spoilers and must be taken in context. I have watched all of Dexter's entire box sets from beginning to end, so I can only review S8 as a concluding part to a long running saga. I cannot review this without giving away the plot, or without sounding annoyed, so be warned.

Let's be clear: This season was the last chance for the writers to redeem themselves, to restore the tension, mystery, intrigue and suspense to Dexter and pull everything together in a satisfying concluding act that answered the key question of what happens when Dexter finally gets exposed. The death of a key person at the end of S7 was a perfect trigger for the net to close in on Dexter and for Miami Metro to turn Miami upside down looking for the killer.

The opening two episodes of S8 seemed to be nicely pushing us toward a manhunt with Dexter in the spotlight, with the smart and unflappable Dr. Vogel seemingly teasing Dexter with hints and suspicions. So it seemed that S8 would become a brilliant test of Dexter's ability to deflect suspicion while trying to survive long enough to kill a cruel bad guy.

But then the writers decided not to bother. Instead they brought back Hannah and the pathetic fatal attraction storyline. Then they revealed this season's killer to be a bit-part character who'd only spoke two lines. (At this point it became clear they were making it up as they went along). Then they introduced a possible protege for Dexter (a teenage killer) to teach 'the code'... but then killed him, off-screen, for no reason. Then they killed Vogel, on-screen, for no reason. Then they killed Debs, off-screen, for no reason. Then they killed the sub plots for Angel, Masuka and Quinn by simply abandoning them mid-story and never mentioning them again. Then they had Dexter fake his own death and abandon his son for NO GOOD REASON AT ALL having built up the fact he loves his son.

This whole season felt like a desperate grab for ideas, none of which stuck, and all of which were aborted in later episodes. The very end was terrible and made no sense at all. If only they'd piked just ONE idea and stuck with it, this could have worked. I can imagine the writers' meetings, with everyone having the "best" idea of their own, and the chief writer saying, "Calm down lads, we'll find a way to use them all. Now let's go for a beer."

People talk about how awful this final season was, or that it started going bad as early as S6, but for me it went wrong in S7 when Hannah was introduced. She destroyed the whole premise of Dexter. She gave him too much humanity and emotion. She turned him into a simpering fool who's nothing more than a lovelorn puppy. She also provided him a way out of trouble, somebody to confide in and keep his secrets. She was somebody for him to lust after, which is totally out of character for him. Dexter is a killer not a lover! And then we are asked to care less whether this woman escapes justice and we have to see Dexter try and protect her. No! We don't want this! She ought not to be in this series at all. Get rid of her! Every moment she appears is a moment of worsening quality of Dexter.

There are other mistakes too. The utter refusal to acknowledge or allude to Quinn's earlier suspicion of Dexter (in S5) is a major irritation. With Quinn randomly falling back in love with Debs (who incidentally murdered the police chief and got away with it) it seemed the perfect point to ramp up the pressure on Dexter... But no. Instead it's just a sub-plot romance between Debs and Quinn, with Dexter not involved at all. Quinn seems to be best friends with Dexter in this season and it's not realistic at all. They should have made Quinn suspicious again and work with Vogel to bring him down.

The S7 cliffhanger is conveniently glossed over, nobody suspects Debs or Dexter of anything, and it quickly becomes obvious that it will stay that way. It felt like even if Dex and Debs walked into Miami Metro shouting their guilt to the rafters, nobody would bat an eyelid.

The utter anti-climax of Debs' death is quite frankly ridiculous. She effectively dies off-screen (goes brain dead in a coma) and then Dexter switches off the life support in secret while the doctors are distracted by a big storm. Eh? Seriously? Is that the best they could come up with? It would have taken guts for the writers to have Deb confess everything and land Dexter in trouble, but no, the writers had no guts.

The very final scene? All I can say is just, what the hell is that all about? Dexter having killed his sister, faked his death and abandoned his son to the care of a serial killer who's fled the country, sits in an unexplained log cabin and stares into camera looking miserable. I like to think he's silently apologising on behalf of the writers for the mess he's made us watch. If only he'd shrugged his shoulders, it would have been perfect.

This final season was a wasted opportunity.

My perfect final season would have gone something like this: Dr. Vogel appears and (wrongly) suspects Dexter of being the Brain Surgeon, puts him under pressure and then finds something linking him to other killings in the past. Quinn too begins to reignite his own suspicions from S5 and the two of them go to Angel with their concerns. Angel dismisses them but then he begins to suspect Deb and puts two and two together. Vogel pursues Dexter and using her psychologist skill gets him to accidentally confess. Dexter takes the blame for LaGuerta's death and clears Deb of any trouble. He then spends the final 3 episodes trying to escape the team. In a final shoot-out, Dexter ends up dying in front of Harrison who sits in a pool of blood and is destined to become the new Dexter. Debs resuces him and brings him up as her own. The End. (And no Hannah anywhere to be seen).
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on 18 January 2016
Spoilers ahead, but really: if you haven't seen this series yet, that's the least of your problems

Sad to say, this season managed to exceed my worst expectations. Okay, it started out decently by introducing Charlotte Rampling as Dr Vogl, Harry's counsel and originator of the code, but even then you have to ask: Why has she never, ever been mentioned before? Aside from that, there was also - for me - the memory of S7's rather bungled ending, with LaGuerta getting killed off by Debs in an offhand, anticlimactic way, and this program's now-customary inter-seasonal memory dump. A quick funeral and then on with the show is all it takes here, and apart from Debbie going all melodramatic and doing the customary "drowning my sorrows and hating everyone" bit, LaGuerta doesn't seem to have left much of a mark.

The Vogl storyline, meanwhile, unravels in a welter of red herrings that, inexplicably, bring the Morgans closer together ("The family that kills together..." jokes Debbie, which goes against pretty much every character trait on display so far). At what looked suspiciously like a mid-season break cliffhanger, Hanna McKay reappears to drug Dexter, leave him somewhere. Just because she can. There follows a bizarre alliance of "good" serial killers, the promising idea of a protogee (don't get too attached to him) before the season stumbles towards its uncertain conclusion. In previous seasons, despite all the plot holes and implausibilities, there's been a forward momentum, a tension, that's kept me watching. This season lacks anything like that, as if everyone had just given up on it and were randomly throwing out half-baked ideas and making it up as they go along. I've just read somebody here put it much better, but the only thing I could think of as I watched was that the writers had put all their disparate ideas up on post-it notes on a wall and left it to an office junior to type up. Nothing makes sense, nothing has any pace. A minor character steps forward in the last few episodes as the season's killer, is a stereotyped Oedipal loon lacking any of the charm or guile of Dexter's best adversaries. Vogl, a renowned and respected psychiatrist, reads everything wrongly, acts like an idiot and pays the price. A policeman/ranger/whatever apparently hasn't seen any of the constant news bulletins that have identified the killer...and pays the price. Debbie is careless and pays the price. Basically, everyone starts acting like an idiot only to advance the creaking, leaking plot. It starts to build up to a promising show-down at the hospital where Debbie is being treated during an oncoming hurricane, which has potential for a great set-piece. But no, there isn't, and I let out an involuntary "Oh, come ON!" at this egregious fumble. By the way, do they really have silverware in Florida hospitals rather than plastic sporks? I guess that wouldn't have looked too impressive. And..why is the place conveniently deserted one minute and then bustling with people the next? It all gets horribly ghastly from there on in, as it has promised to do. Dexter abandons his son, his one remaining legacy from his one healthy relationship and whom he's constantly declaring his love for, to the care of Hanna McKay: a serial killer whose main excuse is her terrible choices in men. Nice one, Dexter. Good thing your son's conveniently too stupid to even miss you. And finally Dexter, believed dead, appears in a one-minute prologue as a lumberjack. The end.

Jesus wept.

This season, this final misfire, will stand as a shining example of how NOT to wrap up a series. It was always going to be difficult to build convincingly on the initial premise, but I really do believe the writers managed this for the first two or three seasons, tottered a bit in 4, stumbled in 5 but managed to keep the plates spinning uncertainly through seasons 6 and 7, and then nose-dived into the sawdust in 8. It's a sad ending to a once great and utterly unique show.
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on 2 December 2015
First of all I don't get why so many people are so negative about s8?! Is it one of the weakest seasons of dexter?? Yes but it's still brilliant with plenty of twists and excellent drama, every season of dexter is brilliant and other shows except a couple of rare exceptions (Breaking Bad, Game Of Thrones, Walking Dead, Banshee, Prison Break, 24) aren't even in the same league not even close, I think some fans felt let down by the ending and expected something spectacular but then they'd have to carry it on (which I've heard rumours about may happen) ok I'm not going to lie they could have done a better ending infact a much better ending but it certainly don't ruin the rest of what went on before(as some ediots say it does! How??!!) can't help but feel for dexter cos he ends up alone and in sorrow. The only ending that would have ruined dexter would have be the old it was all a dream ending!! The Brain Surgeon is a decent bad guy not up to the standards of Trinity or The Ice Truck Killer but who is?? Take my advice watch for yourselves and make up your own mind and be honest with yourselves. This season is still So much better than 95% of the shows, that just proves how good Dexter is!! Always 5 stars
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on 24 September 2013
Dexter was about a journey. The journey of the protagonist, from emotionless monster to fully emotional human being. Each year took him a step forward in that journey, with each experience Dexter got closer to his ultimate goal. By the time season 8 arrived he was pretty much there. At this stage the series could have gone a couple of ways: go for a plot based, crowd pleasing high drama manhunt season going out with a bang, or, explore the character now that his journey to humanity was almost complete. Perhaps bravely, perhaps stupidly, the writers decided to focus on the character. The result is a somewhat unsatisfying weak season that's low on drama. Yet I respect their decision, despite the many negativity reactions to the season, personally I can still appreciate it for what it is. We see Dexter dealing with things emotionally, but not doing a very good job at it. This results is him making stupid decisions, and struggling to stay in control. It makes for frustrating viewing at times, but what else would you expect from someone who is relatively new at this human emotions stuff? Add to that the usual plot holes and leaps of faith, the usual padding in the form of the secondary characters and the end result is something that feels lethargic and unfocused. Moving on from the main body of the season and focusing on Dexter's ultimate fate, I'd say it is tragic and in my opinion a perfect way to end the series. All in all, a very good series, with highs and lows (this season would probably count as one of the lows), but one that as a whole I will look back on with great fondness.
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on 7 April 2014
The final season, a wonderful finish to a very powerful and dynamic franchise and leaving the possibility and yearning for more.
Looking back, Trinity was Dexter at it's best, though there isn't one singular episode I haven't enjoyed all have become fond memory's !!
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VINE VOICEon 29 January 2015
i was forewarned before i had even seen a single episode of dexter that the ending was crap and the final season jumbled and messy but i dont see it. I have loved every season of dexter and i am gutted that it is now over for me and i will miss tvs greatest serial killer. Dexter was a show that explored many things and made us love a man who killed and killed again, that for me is talent from the writers. The cast has been so important throughout although i would say some key members fade into the background during this and thats a shame but there is only so much time dedicated to a series so i forgive.
The ending which i wont reveal pleased me, it was strong, it wasnt world class but i liked it, its what i wanted and i got it. Do i want more dexter, well i suppose i do but i am happy to let it lie now and forever.
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on 9 May 2014
love watching all the episodes of Dexter, when i first heard about this series i wasnt too sure about watching it. it took me a very long time to start and now wish i had watched it when it first came out.

The fact that he kills and more or less gets away with it, in some episodes you sat on edge of your seat thinking OMG he gonna get caught and then he doesn't, he does try stopping but you know yourself he can't. my favorite episode where the Ice Truck killer, that the ending of that was great how he learns he had a brother, but for his brother to be a baddie and that he had to kill him, i think if he hadn't would it have been different. Oh and The Bay Harbour Butcher, in this it made you think oh no he gonna get caught but he didn't

In all ive enjoyed watching them and a shame he had to end.
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on 22 August 2014
I think it is fair to say this isn't the best season of Dexter (Series with the trinity killer is my favourite) but it was always going to be a bit of a struggle with so many loose ends to tie up. Where this series is let down isnt so much by the closing off of these loose ends but by Dexters nemesis and the new psychiatrist. Both are a little clumsy and seem to have been put in there not because they are needed but because its something that hadnt been done yet and this was their last chance. As a result the episodes where these characters played the smallest roles were the best.

I'll leave the ending alone as thats for everyone else to decide on.

With the dexter series over, what will replace it, I for one will miss it despite its ups and downs
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on 9 April 2014
Absolutely fantastic. Ending left me haunted by the performance of Michael C Hall and what happens to his son with Hannah. Just a shame this has come to an end as I have been addicted to this whole series.
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