The critical response to the long-awaited finale of Dexter was almost entirely negative. Some were angry, some were upset, some were just plain disappointed. Spoilers, spoilers and more spoilers await.
My problem with 'Remember the Monsters' was less about the pretty ludicrous events and more about the execution. Dexter has often gone for plot strands that tested the limits of credibility, but these were done with skill and wit, two forces severely lacking in the Season 8 finale.
However, showrunner defended the controversial ending, particularly the unexpected image of Dexter living the life of a lumberjack.
This is absolutely the ending I wanted. We wanted to leave it all in the viewers’ head. I don’t know what he’s thinking in that moment; I know he’s in this self-imposed prison and the reason he locked eyes is essentially so we can feel as uncomfortable as he does in his world.
He’s someone who was just moments from taking that final step toward humanity who then has to face himself as the monster he believes he is and decide his own fate. He gives himself what he deserves.
Perhaps this last shot did fit with the ending that the showrunners had wrought for themselves. The problem is, Dexter should never have gotten to that point in the first place. Defending the finale at this stage is like picking out the best aspects of your Dodge Dart when you should be driving a Ferrari. Buck continues:
I’ve also heard that some viewers are not happy with this season, and they all have different reasons for it. This is a show that’s run for eight years, and in order to sustain interest you have to continue to grow and evolve. So yes, I am happy with where we ended the show.
And now for some comments from a showrunner who's longer on the Dexter payroll. , who served on the first four seasons of Dexter, revealed the much more appropriate ending that he had envisioned for the show:
In the very last scene of the series, Dexter wakes up. And everybody is going to think, ‘Oh, it was a dream.’ And then the camera pulls back and back and back and then we realize, ‘No, it’s not a dream.’ Dexter’s opening his eyes and he’s on the execution table at the Florida Penitentiary. They’re just starting to administer the drugs and he looks out through the window to the observation gallery.
And in the gallery are all the people that Dexter killed—including the Trinity Killer and the Ice Truck Killer (his brother Rudy), LaGuerta who he was responsible killing, Doakes who he’s arguably responsible for, Rita, who he’s arguably responsible for, Lila. All the big deaths, and also whoever the weekly episodic kills were. They are all there.
That’s what I envisioned for the ending of Dexter. That everything we’ve seen over the past eight seasons has happened in the several seconds from the time they start Dexter’s execution to the time they finish the execution and he dies. Literally, his life flashed before his eyes as he was about to die. I think it would have been a great, epic, very satisfying conclusion.
This sounds like a great ending; it just feels right when you think about it. You can almost see the sharp focus on Dexter's face when he's on the table, hear his monotone thoughts running through his head, feel the emotion as you realize that eight whole seasons of the show have built up to this ambivalent moment as our hero-villain is brought to justice.
Instead, we got a badly-written rush-job and a CGI hurricane. Discuss.
Quotations taken from Slash Film.