Major spoilers ahead! Sunday, Sept. 22, was a big night for television, and not just because of the Emmys. While many viewers were tuned into the 65th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards in L.A., many others had their TVs set to Showtime for the series finale of Dexter, which ended its eight-season, seven-year run with a bang — or a whimper, depending on whom you ask. (Seriously, spoiler alert. Do not read any further if you have not seen the finale.)
The final, dramatic hour of the series — which starred Michael C. Hall as a Miami Metro Police Department employee who also leads a secret life as a serial killer — took some strange, shocking, and even sad turns. A lot happened, but the two biggest and buzziest plot points revolved around the fates of Dexter himself (Hall) and his sister, Debra (Hall's real life ex-wife, Jennifer Carpenter).
After being shot in the penultimate episode, Deb winds up in the hospital. It seems initially as if she'll survive, but midway through the finale, she suffers a devastating stroke that leaves her comatose, brain dead, and on life support. Distraught over her sudden turn for the worse, Dexter takes matters into his own hands, unplugs his sister from all the machines at the hospital, and then disposes of her corpse in the ocean, as he has done with so many other dead bodies.
"I'd change everything if I could. I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry," he says as he takes her off life support. "I can't leave you like this. I'm your big brother."
Prior to Deb's death, Dexter had been planning to run off to Argentina with fellow serial killer Hannah (Yvonne Strahovski) and his son, Harrison (Jadon Wells). But he ultimately decides that he's better off alone.
"I destroy everyone I love," he explains in a voiceover. "I can't let that happen to Hannah and Harrison. I have to protect them from me."
With that in mind, Dexter fakes his own death by taking his boat directly into the eye of a storm. He resurfaces later in the Pacific Northwest, bearded, exiled, and working as a lumberjack. The finale ends with him sitting alone in a room and staring blankly into the camera.
Critics and fans alike took to the internet immediately after the episode aired to voice their opinions on the final hour, and while the reactions were certainly varied, a good number of them were disappointed, or even angry. Many viewers said they — and the characters — deserved better than the ambiguous ending, which left several questions unanswered. (Namely: Is Dexter still killing?)
Tell Us: What did you think of the finale?
What did you think of the Dexter series finale?
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