Dexter Season 8

"Dexter" ended its eighth and final season Sept. 22.

Showtime

Walter White and Dexter Morgan are both counting the hours until their comeuppance for years of deceit, murder and pastel dress code violations.

But only one of those characters' final seasons has been a thrill to watch. The other's has not. At all.

Where "Breaking Bad" has been a tense connecting of dots between a combustible present and a bleak, blown-apart future, "Dexter" has just been a dud. There's too many moving parts and too few hints of a satisfying final destination to even care what happens to Dexter Morgan at this point.

Any "Dexter" watcher has long imagined its last season would deal some justice to its titular serial killer — like "Breaking Bad," where the end feels tantalizingly nigh for Walt right now. But there's been not a single tease that Dexter's going to meet a similar fate — or any fate.

In fact, more people than ever know he's a serial killer: mentoring therapist Dr. Vogel (a terrific Charlotte Rampling), girlfriend and fellow killer Hannah, now-dead protege Zach. Even his sister Deb, after bottoming out with guilt over shooting LaGuerta at the end of season seven, has pretty much made peace with her brother's staggering body count.

After seven seasons of nihilism, then a failed relationship, then more nihilism, this Morgan family theme seems like promising soil for Dexter's fate: Just when he finally has it all, he's caught or he's killed or he chokes on a doughnut or something — anything.

But that doesn't seem to be the direction the show's heading. Maybe with Hannah, with whom Dexter plans to flee to Argentina. But everyone else in his life just feels incidental, like the supporting cast of a filler season. Zach's death rattled Dexter none, and he didn't seem too torn about trying to kill Vogel's son, Daniel, when they found out he was the season's big bad, the Brain Surgeon.

I suspected Vogel herself would be the killer. Predictable as it might have been, it'd be poetic. Master versus apprentice. Matriarchal themes. All that stuff.

But no. Vogel might soon turn against Dexter, but for now, the only danger is Daniel — and the only thing he looks like a danger to is the other competitors at a Ryan Gosling lookalike contest.

Normally I could sit through all of this show's face-palm narration, idiot dialogue (Masuka's long-lost daughter story has made me want to crawl in a hole and die) and horrible characterization (how is Quinn still around?) because I just wanted to see what happened next.

Now I don't. I just want "Dexter" to die already.

Lake Life Editor David Wilcox can be reached at 282-2245 or david.wilcox@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @drwilcox.

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