For seven seasons viewers have watched serial killer Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall) narrowly avoid getting caught for his crimes, so that he could return to kill again the following year. But season eight will be Dexter's final hour. Without having to worry about what future seasons will hold, the show finally has the freedom to tell a high-stakes story that could end with its protagonist behind bars, but is it too little too late?
The eighth and final season finds the members of the Miami Metro Homicide Department still mourning the loss of Maria LaGuerta, who Dexter's sister Debra (Jennifer Carpenter) killed in order to protect her brother's murderous secrets. In the wake of her dramatic choice, Deb has quit her job as a cop and now works as a hard-drinking private investigator, while keeping her distance from her sibling. Aside from his sister's cold-shoulder, Dexter is happy as a clam. LaGuerta's death isn't weighing on him at all as he continues to balance his killing ways between work at the police department and his son's soccer games. But when Dexter becomes aware of Deb's self-destructive behavior, he begins to feel guilty for having put her in a compromising position. Enter Dr. Evelyn Vogel (Charlotte Rampling), a psychiatrist consulting on the police department's latest murder investigation. Vogel acts a mother figure, claiming to have worked with Harry (James Remar) to develop "The Code" that Dexter lives by and she adamantly defends the actions and decisions that he and Deb have made to protect his secrets.
One of the best things to come out of Dexter's middling seventh season was Deb's transformation from one of the show's most annoying characters into the emotional anchor of the series. Carpenter continues to sell this turmoil extremely well, but the damage done to Deb only serves to make Dexter a more odious character, a path he's been on since he murdered a random guy in a bar at the beginning of season five. To watch his sister go through the pain of having killed someone reveals Dexter to be the cold, remorseless monster that he truly is (and always has been). And yet, the show still seems to cast him as the good guy that we're supposed to root for, hoping he'll slip safely away into the night to kill again. But this game just isn't fun anymore. Dexter is a bad person who has destroyed the lives of friends and loved ones. At this point, it's hard to imagine a comeuppance that would properly suit his crimes.
RECOMMENDED: Read an interview with Michael C. Hall.