All good things must come to an end, even our weekly dose of serial killing. We mean watching it on Dexter, of course.
Way back in Season One, Dexter (Michael C. Hall) didn't think he was capable of having a loving relationship. Now, he's had many, including marrying Rita. We would even argue that Rita wasn't his most significant relationship achievement because she didn't know he was a serial killer. He's had relationships since then with Lumen and Hannah, both who knew about his passion for death. The show has really proven there's someone for everyone. We all have a dark side.
Dexter reminds us that just because we do bad things doesn't mean we're bad people. This is especially apparent with Deb (Jennifer Carpenter), who killed LaGuerta last season. She's struggling morally with that decision and is blaming Dexter for forcing her to call everything she believes into question. Still, it's because she struggles morally with these things that means she has a heart. She's human and wants to do the right thing.
Dexter is the serial killer superhero. He's a bad guy that catches bad guys and does what no one else can: kills them. (Superheroes kill bad guys all the time!) With his code at his side, his killing suddenly doesn't seem so morally wrong, and we root for him to get the bad guy, which he always does in the end (though it may come with hitches along the way).
Each person on this show feels like someone you could know, which makes the show more creepy (when it's a serial killer) or comforting (when it's someone like Batista). Sure Dexter may be an extreme metaphor for humanity, but he has flaws just like any other person does. No one is perfect, and the show capitalizes on this making us sympathize because we can relate.
There is a sense of relief after watching the show in a, "whew, at least I'm not a crazy serial killer" kind of way. Things may get rough in life, but we always find our way out. At least our mistakes wouldn't mean death row if we got caught.
We're just going to give you a few examples. (Reader discretion is advised.)
"S*** a brick and f*** me with it, you're never going to believe who this truck is registered to."
"A baby? A motherf***ing rolly-poly, chubby-cheeked s*** machine? Are you kidding me?"
And on and on she goes. Who comes up with this stuff? And please let them write more. It's as uncomfortable as it is genius.
Through his moral ambiguity, Dexter actually works through some pretty big life questions.
“Every year we would come up with some aspect of human behavior and really chew through how Dexter would explore it,” Sara Colleton, one of the show's creators, told NY Daily News. “Without trying to sound grand, I will miss the passionate, philosophical conversations about human nature that we have had.”
Is Dexter's affinity for killing wrong as long as he abides within the code? Of course our instinct is to say yes, but sometimes it's not such a simple answer. The show causes us to question our own codes and maybe even redefine them a little bit.
CBS wanted to air reruns of the show in 2008 minus the sex and gore, but the idea instantly drew criticism from the Parents Television Council. According to New York Daily News, the leader of the group, Tim Winter, said the show "compels viewers to empathize with a serial killer, to root for him to prevail, to hope he doesn't get discovered."
Dexter has even been linked to a few real-life killings. There are always going to be crazies that take things to the extreme. The fact that the show is willing to take things to another level is one of the reasons we appreciate it.
We can't help but root for Dexter, but the end of the series means an end to Dexter evading captivity. Will he run away to some remote island with Harrison and live out his days in peace? Will he be killed or find his way to death row? We don't know which is worse, having a definitive answer or an ending in which Dexter just goes about with his usual patterns. It's nerve wracking!
What will you miss about Dexter now that it's coming to an end?
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