Many people, are disappointed at the Series Finale of “Dexter”. Like the “Soprano’s” series finale I am in the minority of feeling it was the right ending for the show. Though, the quality has diminished since season 4 (like many shows do as the writers who make these shows so good leave) I feel the ending for “Dexter” was great one for the show.
Dexter should not have had a happy feel good ending; it might have felt good to have Dexter live his family in Argentina (interesting choice, as many NAZI’s went to liver there) but it is a good rule in art that a sinner must pay for his sins or becomes a hero and rises above them. Dexter was art (not just his blood splattering but for how it made us explore morality) and followed Joseph Campbell’s “The Heroes Journey.”
Dexter is a different type of sinner, as he plays God enacting justice. In those first riveting seasons, Dexter had a cruel detachment from humanity, if we would compare Dexter to the God of The Old Testament they would be very alike, as Dexter’s Dark Passenger is very much inline with God working with The Devil in the story of Job.
Is a psychopath like God? He or she can be very close to One, and Dexter acts like the fire and brimstone God of The Jews deciding who lives and who dies.
The more we look into Dexter, not as man but as something higher, he has the same characteristics of the Old Testament God: cruel, inhumane, and willing to sacrifice others for the chosen ones–his family. His real family; his sister.
If Dexter is Yahweh, Deb is the Jews. Like Yahweh, Dexter has his own code, his own law that he must abide by that his father wrote for him to rule over his universe.
The New Testament of Dexter comes with the death of his wife and birth of his son. In a way this brings characteristics of a the New Testament God–Jesus Christ. This Dexter begins to feel empathy, love, and though still believes in wrath and his law it starts to change because of this love brought upon by his son and eventually romantic love with a fellow killer–his equal in strength.
Yet, like Yahweh keeping his pact with The Jews for better or worst, Dexter is there for his sister. It is when she is lost and he gets vengeance in The Old Testament way, that he truly becomes The Christ figure that Harry his human and flawed father kept him from becoming– a man who could live without any sin.
Many complain that Dexter should have ended up with his family, but Dexter isn’t just any man, from the Buddha to Jesus both reject their family for a greater sacrifice; in this ‘Heroes Journey’ Dexter accepts himself, his destiny, and like Christ sacrifices himself to save the ones he loves. He sees that he brings death, is at one with death, enjoys bringing death which is his purpose, which brings him peace but also brings destruction to those he loves.
Dexter greatest sacrifice would be to give up death and his loves ones and accept life with neither. His feelings of love toward a son and of a woman like him, while still being psychopathic/Godlike gives him a choice now. In the steps of Christ, he chooses pure altruism, faking his death, to reborn with a beard into the wilderness.
He doesn’t overcome his sin, he conquers it with love and sacrifice as Dexter will not kill, will not make waves; he live untill he dies so his family can. The ones he loves can have the life he wasn’t able to because of the sins his mother put on him. He redeems his family from his sins with his sacrifice.