Season seven and eight of Dexter proved to be fairly easy to watch over most of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend and I had finished off the last six episodes by the following Saturday. If you have not yet seen these episodes (or the series as a whole) and wish to avoid spoilers you should probably not read any further in this post.
The last two seasons focused on Debra Morgan’s awareness of and complicity in the crimes of her brother. This called for actress Jennifer Carpenter to have an even greater involvement in the series, and based on my previous comments regarding her talents as an actress, this was clearly a problem. I may have to reassess whether or not my problems with this character are related to the actress’ performance or the way the character was written. I’m pretty sure, based on the way they tied up her story line, that the writers hated Debra Morgan.
These seasons also featured Hannah McKay (Yvonne Strahovski) as Dexter’s latest love interest, who was little more than a poor shadow of Rita (Julie Benz) and Lumen (Julia Stiles). As others have pointed out it seems as if Hannah was shoehorned into the last season to give Dexter the possibility of a happy ending, a new distraction for him to deal with and something for him to make a noble sacrifice over at the very end. And the last scene of the series, the reveal that Dexter was still alive and working in the timber industry (in Portland?) was rather pointless. Dexter is no better off alive than he would have been having died in the storm aboard the Slice of Life (his boat).
Although not quite as good a series as I was led to believe, Dexter is clearly entertaining and compelling television. For those with the stomach to deal with the blood and the darkness, it is an excellent way to spend a free afternoon.