The ‘Dexter’ Finale Is Still 1 of the Most Hated Series Endings of All Time

The series finale of Dexter launched a thousand think pieces and many, many fans complaints. After all, having a pitch-perfect series finale can make or break a TV show. Creators grapple with what finale best fits the show and what could possibly be considered a misfire. Unfortunately, many consider the Dexter finale the most hated series ending of all time. Some argue the lack of cohesion between the storyline and the finale is to blame for this.

How the ‘Dexter’ finale played out

A bearded Michael C. Hall as Dexter Morgan in season 8 of 'Dexter'
Michael C. Hall in the ‘Dexter’ finale | Randy Tepper/Showtime

Dexter was one of the most popular TV drama series of the 2000s. It ran a total of eight seasons. The series followed the titular character, a blood splatter analyst working for Miami P. D’s Homicide department who, in his free time, would moonlight as a serial killer murdering people he considered deserving of death. 

Played by Michael C. Hall, most of the show revolves around the moral dilemma in which Dexter finds himself. He attempts to work through his insatiable murderous cravings while still maintaining his image as the devoted family man.

In the final episode of season 8, Deb, Dexter’s sister, is brought in for emergency surgery following a gunshot incident. At the same time, Miami is on high alert as a hurricane approaches, and as a consequence, the hospital is involved in a chaotic evacuation. 

Dexter decides to unplug his sister from her life support machine and takes her out to the sea just as the storm hits. He fakes his death in the storm. Dexter disappears from his life, setting up roots as a lumberjack in Oregon, and essentially abandoning his son, Harrison.

Why the finale was poorly received

Many argued the final episode of Dexter felt a bit forced. Some critics even cite that the ending as an absolute anticlimax. These sentiments are further fueled by the revelation that the showrunner for the first four seasons, Clyde Phillips, had planned on the show coming to a close with the death of Dexter. However, John Goldwyn, who produced the show, announced that the decision not to kill the character.

This finale might be considered totally inappropriate for where the show was heading. But it works if you critically consider the body count and enemies the protagonist had accumulated for himself. Still, critics note the Dexter finale lacked the cohesiveness to make the it compelling, even after several weak seasons.

Other disliked series finales from the past

No series finale ever meets all audience expectations. Still, some earn the recognition of being unanimously declared the worst possible finales. These include the ending of Game of Thrones, where fans felt the finale was plagued with production problems that took away from the narrative and style of the hyped series. 

According to the Independent, many also feel that Seinfeld, the acclaimed sitcom, had such a terrible finale that necessitated re-production of its finale. How I Met Your Mother marks another sitcom whose ending did not match the rest of the show. The finale was so loathed that it has been theorized that it jeopardized the entire show’s legacy.

Often, fans will be divided as it pertains to whether or not the finale was a flop, like with Lost. While the show always contained mysteries, some fans found the finale too long, unnecessarily confusing, and overly indulgent. Another show with a controversial finale? Roseanne. Purporting that Roseanne imagined Dan’s heart attacks didn’t go over well with some and simply failed to tie in with the rest of the narrative.

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