When Did ‘Dexter’ Jump the Shark?

We have all experienced some of our favorite TV shows turning sour. Viewers often can pinpoint the moment when a show took a nose dive — or “jumped the shark.” “Jump the shark” was coined after Happy Days put Fonzie on water skies to literally jump over a great white shark. A jumping-the-shark moment is one thought up by writers who have become desperate to keep viewers interested.

Showtime’s Dexter was about a serial killer who only killed bad guys. Dexter had a large fan base, but eventually it joined the list of favorite shows that jumped the shark. So when do fans say that happened?

How did ‘Dexter’ initially end?

Actors Jennifer Carpenter and Michael C. Hall of 'Dexter'
Actors Jennifer Carpenter and Michael C. Hall of Dexter | Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images

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In the original Dexter series ending, Dexter (Michael C. Hall) plans to leave for Argentina with his son, Harrison, and love interest, Hannah (Yvonne Strahovski). However, a private detective is determined to arrest Hannah. So Dexter sends Harrison and Hannah ahead and promises to join them later.

Deborah (Jennifer Carpenter), Dexter’s adoptive sister and a cop, is shot in the stomach while in pursuit of a serial killer. She has complications during surgery and ends up in a vegetative state. This causes Dexter to decide to abandon his original plans.

While a hurricane is approaching Miami, Dexter takes Deb off life support and takes off in his boat with her body. Pieces of his boat are found, and it is suggested Dexter was lost at sea. However, in the very last scene, it’s revealed that Dexter is actually alive and well, living as a lumberjack in Oregon. Many fans were quite angry with this ending. 

A ‘Dexter’ reboot is on the way

Actor Michael C. Hall
Actor Michael C. Hall | Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

PopCulture.com reports that a Dexter reboot is expected to start filming in January 2021. It will air on Showtime toward the end of 2021. It will consist of only 10 episodes, and Michael C. Hall will return to portray Dexter.

The original showrunner, Clyde Phillips, will also be returning for the reboot. Phillips had left the original show halfway through its run to spend more time with his family. He had envisioned the show ending differently, so it will be interesting to see what details he has in mind for the revival.

In an interview, he said it will take place 10 years after the original series ended and said they aren’t setting out to undo or reset what has already happened. The reboot will also occur in a new location away from Miami. Still, the exact location has yet to be revealed. In addition to this, Phillips confirmed that Dexter will still be a serial killer.

When did the original show jump the shark?

Many fans feel Dexter took a turn for the worst before its lackluster ending. And there are a couple of opinions on when exactly the show jumped the shark. 

Both Rolling Stone and some fans on Reddit feel this took place in Dexter‘s fourth season. Rolling Stone reported that while Dexter started to take a downturn in season 2, the actual jumping-the-shark moment came at the end of season 4 when Dexter murders John Lithgow’s character, the Trinity Killer. One fan on Reddit said, “I was enjoying it until he (Dexter) found his ‘serial killer mentor’ guy who had a family and such. Then I was meh.” Another suggested watching until the end of season 4 and then stopping. 

However, Entertainment Weekly had a different opinion of when Dexter jumped the shark, suggesting it took place in season 6. It says the jumping-the-shark moment happened when Deb finds out Dexter is a serial killer. She vows to keep an eye on him to make him stop killing. However, this act falls to the wayside because it defeats the purpose of the show. Dexter needs to be free to go kill. The article also says a jumping-the-shark moment is when Dexter decides to sleep with Hannah instead of killing her in a Fifty Shades of Grey kind of scene.

Let’s hope the reboot doesn’t make the same mistakes and can give Dexter fans a more satisfying end.