Spoiler alert: the following article contains major spoilers for both Dexter and Dexter: New Blood.
One of the most popular drama series of the 2000s, Dexter, which follows Miami forensics expert and serial killer, Dexter Morgan, became widely regarded as having the worst series finale of all time… yes, it’s even more hated than Lost’s infamous ending.
The show won a total of four Emmy’s during its eight-season run, and was beloved by both critics and fans alike; until, of course, the ending aired. The reasoning behind why so many loathed the finale was because it felt forced, rushed, and ultimately, anti-climatic.
After many seasons of following Dexter Morgan killing people he deemed as ‘bad’, using his knowledge as a forensics expert to evade the authorities, and struggling to be a better man for his family, fans spent literal years waiting for a satisfying conclusion.
Instead, the Dexter writers gave an almost non-ending; Dexter, played by Michael C. Hall, was never found out as the ‘Bay Harbor Butcher’ serial killer. And, despite faking his own death to start a new life, he surprisingly didn’t take his infant son with him. Therefore, Dexter was never punished for his crimes but also never really redeemed himself; an ending that was completely underwhelming.
Clyde Phillips, the series showrunner for seasons 1-4, which are hugely regarded as the best seasons of the show, originally wanted the series to end with Dexter’s death. But according to Vulture, the show’s network, Showtime wouldn’t allow the writers to kill off the titular character when it came to the final season. Dexter producer, John Goldwyn blamed this limitation as to why the finale was so disappointing.
Despite Dexter’s final episode leaving something to be desired, the television series was granted a chance to redeem itself. Phillips developed a mini-series, Dexter: New Blood, that would continue Dexter’s story and would see Hall reprise his role. The show premiered in November last year and was applauded for having the same charm, nuance, and interesting writing that made the original show so good.
Therefore, fans were highly anticipating the ending of Dexter: New Blood, as many had high hopes that it would undo the mistakes made in the original’s finale and would finally give audiences a satisfying end to Dexter’s story. And yet, the ending to Dexter: New Blood was somehow even more disappointing than the originals.
Phillips finally killed off Dexter; the ending he originally wanted for the character… but eight years later, it’s too little too late. Especially considering, Phillips and other Dexter cast & crew members made it public knowledge in 2013 that that was how the original series should have ended. Therefore, this ‘shocking’ ending was rather predictable.
The ending was also unsatisfying for many other reasons; for example, Dexter’s death cements that there won’t be any more seasons of Dexter: New Blood. At least, there won’t be more seasons with Dexter in them, as Phillips teased to Deadline that a season 2 could happen but would centre around Dexter’s son, Harrison instead.
Another reason the ending is gaining negative reviews is poor writing; the whole season of Dexter: New Blood showed Harrison having similar dark tendencies to his father as well as emotionally bonding to him… character development which was abruptly abandoned in the last episode when Harrison kills his father without an ounce of hesitation.
Another example is that in the original series, Dexter evaded Miami Metro and Agent Lundy for years and yet, in Dexter: New Blood, he was quickly found out by his girlfriend, Angela Bishop, a small-town detective, who is shown to be inept as she hasn’t been able to solve a missing girls case for years.
Plus, Bishop uses simple things like Google and a podcast to discover that Dexter is the Bay Harbor Butcher and makes the revelation in a very short amount of time… which seems trivial and simply doesn’t do justice to Dexter’s character.
The show also teased that Dexter and Batista would meet once again. Batista in the original series was a detective who worked with Dexter and considered him a close friend but never learned that Dexter was the serial killer dubbed the Bay Harbor Butcher or that he faked his own death. Therefore, when Batista made an appearance in Dexter: New Blood, it seemed that he would finally learn the truth and fans were desperate to see Batista confront Dexter on screen.
However, this interaction never happens in the finale and, now, will never happen because Dexter was killed off. Plus, Batista’s plotline wasn’t given a real conclusion in the finale either, as he says he’ll come to Iron Lake but his arrival is never shown, something that many are calling sloppy and displeasing.
Overall, it seems that perhaps Dexter: New Blood should have never been made as it failed to fix the original series’ inadequate ending and, arguably, had an even worse ending. Although, the amusing uproar on Twitter almost makes up for it. Here are our favourite Twitter reactions to Dexter: New Blood’s poor final episode:
You can stream all of Dexter and Dexter: New Blood on Paramount+ Australia.