Why Dexter Ended The Way It Did

The eighth and final season of Dexter was an abomination marring a once-respectable TV series. With largely piss-poor new characters, killers and plot development, Dexter spiraled downward into a finale that defied not just odds but main character Dexter Morgan’s M.O. in life. But for all the questionable choices found therein, star Michael C. Hall is able to put the finale’s final scenes into a justifiable perspective, at least inside of Dexter’s head if no one else’s.

Hall recently took part in a Reddit AMA in promotion for his lead turn in Broadway’s Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and he was of course asked about Dexter’s escape from Miami by faking his own death and eventual life as an Oregon truck-driving lumberjack. Here’s how he explained the serial killer’s mindset.

Though…given what he’d been through, and his attempts to have his cake and eat it too in regards to indulging his compassion to kill AND have a more authentic life, his self-imposed exile did resonate.I think Dexter came to believe that…anything he touched would eventually be destroyed and so he felt he needed to let it all go. Of course, Dexter is also a pragmatist and a self-preservationalist so he didn’t do himself in. But rather put himself on hold.”

I kind of like that explanation. Like a neat freak gunshot victim who walks to the hospital because he doesn’t want to get blood in the car, Dexter found a way to reach a solution that worked for his more obsessive needs. Even if it spit in the face of years of yammering about his Dark Passenger never leaving him. Looking back, I would have been fine with Dexter just showing up in Paris as a blood splatter specialist name named Drexler. But it’s the life of a burly man for him.

Now, I left the arguably more interesting part of his answer out. Before getting into the Dexter talk, here’s what Hall answered, in direct response to being asked his initial reaction to reading the lumberjack reveal.

pondersProbably sadness.

At first I thought he was taking a sly jab at the episode, saying he was bummed that the massive switcheroo happened, and that he would have been happy with Dexter’s death being legitimate. But then it’s possibly just the actor feeling sorry for his character having to live a life of solitude and partial misery without the family he’d been so accustomed to. (Or not accustomed to, in the case of the always pawned-off Harrison.) Or maybe it’s something else entirely.

In any case, it’s now time to start some pondering of our own over what Hall saying “put himself on hold” means in terms of seeing the character return in the future.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.