Succession finale: Destined to be a failure

This finale symbolizes Succession’s ultimate problem: It never had a second idea. Succession began, stayed and finished in the board room. There was no in between for the show or any of the characters. They spent 38 episodes having the same conversation. That’s why this show can’t take a place next to The Wire or Breaking Bad in the pantheon of prestige television. It didn’t go anywhere.

We spent four seasons watching three children argue with each other about who should lead their father’s company. They didn’t say anything to each other in the final episode that they wouldn’t have said in the first. 

The whole series boiled down to one question, posed to Shiv, about Kendall: Yes or no? 

Now ask yourself one question: Was Shiv capable of voting against Kendall in the Succession premiere? The answer is yes (and we know that because she and Roman tried to position themselves against him as they bargained with Logan over adding Marcia to the Board). If she had, how would Kendall have reacted? Exactly the same way we saw him react in the finale, that’s how. There’s no journey there. No growth, no change. 

That’s just not how great shows work.

Characters in great shows react to what life throws at them and emerge different people on the other side. The Walter While we saw stumbling out of the RV in episode one was not capable of being a drug kingpin because he had yet to discover the rage and hunger for power that drove him to topple Gus Fring. That’s storytelling. Succession couldn’t or wouldn’t do that. Shiv watched her family repeatedly stab each other in the back. She watched her father die. She watched her husband betray her at work multiple times. She’s about to bring a child into a loveless marriage. And she voted the exact same way she would have before any of those things ever happened.

That’s not prestige television. It’s pathetic television.

The only scene where finale got anywhere close to letting its characters evolve came in their mom’s kitchen. For the first time in the entire series we got to see them be kids. Fuckin’ around in the kitchen at night, disobeying their mom and making fun of their goofy stepdad’s cheese; these were children. I watched this thinking okay, this is what these characters are like after the enormous weight of succeeding their father is taken away. I like it. Maybe this is what they would have been like if they were born without the silver spoon.

Did the show let them build on that as people? Nope. It was a scene that existed solely so the ultimate outcome in the boardroom would shock us.

It’s frustrating because I really think Succession deserved better. The acting never failed in this series. Not once. The dialogue was tight. The style and setting carried the world the show wanted us to see and feel. 

But its storytelling failed. The random, rambling course of its last episode shows why:

Breakdown? What breakdown? Roman subjecting himself to riotous self harm at the end of episode nine was completely ignored. One minute he’s getting trampled in New York, the next minute he’s all bandaged up at mommy’s house in the Caribbean. WTF? I can’t think of a better example to prove my point that the show just had no interest in evolving its characters. When they had a chance to do something incredible with Roman they chose to spend the finale making him, once again, Kednall’s bitch. Weak.

Shiv and Roman just…gave up? Aside from the hilarious Jeremy Strong impressions, the scene between Shiv and Roman on the beach was empty and stupid. After four years they all of a sudden decide to just give up? Nothing in the jokes about killing him led to their decision to let him take over. It felt like the writers threw a bunch of nonsense lines into the script because they needed a beat before Shiv and Rome swam out to Kendall on the dock.

Shiv’s unexplained change of mind. I’ve seen people say that actually seeing Kendall in the big chair made her do it. Or that it was because she thought back to what he did on election night and chose saving the country over anointing the person who titled the election for Menckin. Or that she was testing Kendall to decide based on how she saw him react to the threat of losing his life’s dream. Or that she realized he would just be Logan Roy 2.0. Or that she wanted her child to one day succeed Tom (a stupid theory when you think about Shiv willingly condemning her unborn child to the very life she led). Any or all of those could be why she did it. We’ll never know. All the show gave us was that she didn’t think he would be good at the job. I’m sorry? We watched this show for four seasons only to have the decisive moment of the series come down to Shiv’s vague assessment of her brother’s ability to be a CEO? That’s insulting. 

Looking back, what I’ll remember about Succession is the yawning gap between its superior acting and empty storytelling. I wish we could go back in time to the end of season two and see what would happen to the show if it were in the hands of someone capable of having more than one idea. 

Minnesota Twins new uniform review

Editor’s note: At points of my own choosing I may cover topics not related to television. This is one of those points.

Before we look forward at the new Twins uniforms, let’s look back at the club’s history. The Twins began in 1961 in a white home uniform with navy pinstripes and “Twins” in cursive across the chest. In a sign of how much looser conventions were at the time, their road uniforms were also white but lacked pinstripes. They made their first change in 1972 by dropping the pinstripes at home and switching to grays on the road. The next year brought minor tweaks to the home set and introduced powder blue for the road. That look held until 1987, which brought the block style the team wore through its championship years and the Metrodome era. #RIPMetrodome 

Uniform malaise set in when they moved to Target Field in 2010. Road pinstripes were gone in favor of a new “Minnesota” cursive that was clownish from the start. Home pinstripes disappeared and a gold drop shadow debuted in 2015. All of this happened while the “M” hat gave way to variations on the original TC headwear from the 1960s. A series of lackluster alternates left the team in a mishmash of looks that clashed with time, with style and with good taste.

For years I hoped they would someday go back to the 1961 homes and the 1972 gray roads. That would have been a top-10 uniform. Like a cute Bumble match that turns out to be a spam bot, my hopes were dashed. The team opted for a full modernization in 2023. And that’s fine. I’m not opposed to new things. I’m opposed to bad things. 

Overall, the new look doesn’t have any truly bad things and most of the improvement is from what they got rid of. Gold is gone from the palette entirely, so is the hideous Minnesota cursive for road jerseys and the red alternate. Immediate win. Removing outlines (a first in team history) makes the jerseys feel different. Not better, not worse. Just different. 

The only truly new elements in the new kit are the M hat and a custom font for letters and numbers (the first time the Twins haven’t used traditional block numbers). I’ll share my thoughts on the M had in the headwear section. I have a mixed opinion on the font. They softened the serifs on their TC logo so much that it’s probably san-serif now. The “Minnesota” road and alternate jersey lettering matches, as do the player names. But the numbers have the serifs. None of this looks bad, it just doesn’t make sense. Why remove serifs from one element only to add them back on another? Are we throwing back to something at the same time we’re getting rid of it? Confused. 

(There are some other minor new elements like a state outline on the sleeve, but until that gets put on a hat or a chest I don’t think it’s worth getting worked up about.)

Here now are my thoughts on the uniforms themselves, rate out of a maximum of five stars.

Home whites ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This is the uniform that tells us we’re not in the Metrodome anymore. The new Twins cursive is feather thin, as if it floated onto the jersey. Bright red against crisp white, they look wonderful in the sun and under the lights. Removing outlines is most notable here because it makes the revised cursive “Twins” seem naked. It’s like a looking at the skinny Diet Coke can next to the traditional can. I think that feeling will wear off as we get more used to looking at them. I also wouldn’t be surprised if the navy outline comes back down the road as the team iterates on the new style. 

Few other teams will look like the Twins in these. That’s a good thing. One star for the name and number being readable. Three stars for the uniform being sharp, distinct and pleasant to look at. 

Road grays ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Best look of the new kit. Going back to the pinstripe grays was not anywhere on my bingo card. I thought those were universally hated in the Metrodome era. This new iteration is extremely well done. The strips are so very light that you can only see them up close, which is actually kind of cool. Contrasted against the bright red and white piping (inspired by the 1970s-era uniforms) we have some visual dimension here that we don’t usually get from baseball jerseys. Applause. 

One star for the name and number being readable. Four stars for just being really sexy. 

Blue alternates ⭐︎

Big problem here: The names aren’t readable unless the player’s back is in direct sunlight. In other lighting they’re barely visible. A jersey’s one job is to identify the player wearing it. Hard to do when you can’t read the name.

How did they screw this up? I assume they do more than mock these up on a computer screen. Did they not sew up some samples and have people wear them, oh, I don’t know, on a baseball field at night? Did they not look at them through a video camera to make sure there’s enough contrast between the navy blue fabric and the red lettering? The same thing happened with the previous alternate blue alternate, making this mistake even more inexcusable. 

The simple solve here would have been to make the names white, like the incredibly visible numbers below it. Maybe they thought that looked too much like replica jersey or minimized the presence of red (which is otherwise only on the TV numbers). Another solution would be swap the colors so the name is white and the giant number is red. Maybe they tried and it looked like shit. What do I know. Not the name of any Twins player on the road, that’s for sure.

What really sucks is this is otherwise a neat jersey…on the person sitting in front of you. The dark navy, bright red and brilliant white go together very well. I think of stars in the midnight sky over the Boundary Waters. 

Four stars for a jersey that looks great in the pro shop. Minus four stars for failing to do it’s actual job on the field.

Home alternates ⭐️⭐️

Not long after I moved to the Cities, I found a bright yellow shirt at Walgreens that said “Proud to be from Minneapolis!” in bold blue cursive. Cheesy af but I bought it. That’s what this jersey looks like to me: Something generic you’d find at Walgreens for $9.99 and wear as a joke. 

The Twins are trying to be the team that gets to associate its brand with the locals. I get it. In that context this is a home run. Bald guys with long beards who drink craft beer will love it. Maybe it’s because I’m not “one of us”. Maybe it’s because I moved away. But this version of a hyperlocal jersey falls flat for me. It’s just…lame.

This version. I love the interlocking flags on the sleeve with logos of the Minneapolis Millers and St. Paul Saints. Putting that on the left chest would make a legendary uniform. Le.gen.dar.y. Like something straight out of 1915. Maybe that can be an iteration down the road.

One star for the name and number being readable. One star for being meh and relegating the actually cool feature to a sleeve patch.

Headwear ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Like the Twin Cities jersey, the new M hat is an obvious attempt to make the Twins hat something more than just a Twins hat. I thought the TC was that, so I don’t understand why they had try for a second one. I mean, come on. If the TC hasn’t become that in 60 years then get rid of it. 

Will the new M become what the Twins hope for? I don’t think so. It’s weak. A star above an M. How cliche. The hat matches the rest of the kit well and looks okay on the field. It just…it’s not amazing. I would like to see the new sleeve patch—a solid navy blue state map graphic with a red star over the Twin Cities—on the hat instead. That would be more clearly and uniquely Minnesota.

(Like others, my initial reaction to this one was “Hey, that’s the Marlins!” But Miami ditched that look a few years ago so I think that association will fade.)

The refined TC hat re-balances the interlock between the two letters. Fine. They also softened the serifs on each letter. I’m not a serif savant, but I think the design would now qualify as san-serif. Neither of these are changes worth caring about.

There’s an alternate TC to wear with the Twin Cities home uniform, and it’s the first monochrome TC color scheme ever worn on the field. I don’t recall anyone asking for this. The M-StP flags from the sleeve of the Twin Cities jersey put on a hat would have been, again, instantly iconic.

As we talk about hats we have to acknowledge the Twins have separate hats for home and road for the first time in team history. Stupid. Great brands have one mark. Doubly stupid for the hats to repeat what’s on the jersey—TC with Twins at home, M with Minnesota on the road. Why not switch them up? “Here are the Twin Cities Twins and the Minnesota Minnesota!” is basically what they’re saying. The The Angles Angles would be proud. 

Lastly, we have a new home batting helmet. Red with a white front panel, it is absolute fire and might be the best helmet in baseball. It turns me on physically. They wear the new M on the road helmet but I think this one would look good with the road kit, too. It would look good anywhere, because it’s sultry.

(Side note: Why does MLB let players smear pine tar all over their helmets? It’s ugly as ass and the league should tell players to put it somewhere else.)

Five stars for the sexy batting helmet. Minus one star for the boring M, minus one more for the needless monochrome TC. 

So I give the Twins new uniforms and headwear 14 of 25 stars. But that’s deceiving. The team absolutely nailed the primary home and road looks. Minor tweaks will surely come, but 30 years from now we’ll be aghast at the suggestion the Twins should re-brand. They’re that good. The alternates suffer from failed execution and general boredom, and the field hats are so-so. But overall a great leap forward. This team is now visually fun to look at. 

I am deeply aroused by the home batting helmet.

ChatGPT vs Me: Yellowstone and the inevitable march of progress

Since Yellowstone is a show about a man standing firm in the face of progress, I thought I would let this blog post take a similar theme. Below you’ll find my human-written post and two posts written by ChatGPT. What do you think: Is The Wandering Lostie at risk of losing out to the robots?

I binged Yellowstone so I can have a chance to hold a conversation with my parents over the holidays. They—like a large swath of America—are obsessed with the western drama. I gave it a raised eyebrow when it premiered. Kevin Costner on a horse is worth a try. But early reviews were not good. I wrote it off as a lame attempt to plug a famous movie star into a trashy TV show. 

Then mom and dad would not shut up about it. They needed the clothes. (Surprisingly hard to find back then. Now you can shop by character.) They discovered other people who watched and talked about it with them in person. This must have been what it was like to live in the J.R. Ewing era. And somehow they found it without the kids having to tell them what channel is Paramount Network. That’s when you know a show is popular.

When I found out my Comcast internet package includes Peacock Premium, I figured this is the right time to catch up. Wait, what? You just said it’s on Paramount Network but you’re catching up on Peacock? Yep. Because of a massive oopsie, Paramount Network’s biggest show streams on Peacock. The business of Hollywood is a spaghetti mess, and selling the rights to Yellowstone might bring more money than Paramount would earn from new and recurring subscribers.  But as all streamers desperately search for profitability, the execs at Paramount can’t be thrilled about their smash hit streaming somewhere else. As a brand marketer I’m dying inside over it. Their excuse is Paramount+ didn’t exist when Yellowstone premiered. Remember CBS All Access? It already included other Paramount/CBS/Viacom content. Seems like a no-brainer to me. I digress. 

I sat down for episode one expecting to see cheap, shallow television. I was wrong to assume. (Cheap in the narrative sense, not financially. One look at the sweeping ranch setting tells you this show costs money.) Yellowstone doesn’t try to explore characters like Breaking Bad or weave complexity like Lost. No one is going to come full circle on or end the show a different person than they began it. They’re all caught in a loop of anger and unhappiness.

Instead it blends universal themes other modern shows succeeded with:

Messed up kids and a bad dad. Yellowstone is Succession on a ranch. Jamie, Kayce and Beth Dutton are Kendall, Shiv and Roman Roy. Children of an bad father they can never please. None of them are happy. Jamie always thinks he’s one act of paternal service away from the approval his father will never give him. Beth stopped maturing the moment her mother died. Kayce is a real man with emotions struggling to live in a culture of Stetson men. Now that I think about it, Beth and Kendall would make a great couple. Hideous human beings deserve each other. 

Detestable characters like these (except for Kayce, who you could hang with and not feel dirty about it) can only succeed if the acting is too damn good to ignore. Both shows deliver. These six actors perform at the peak of their craft.

The inevitable march of progress. 

“I want everything that John Dutton has. I want the Yellowstone.” — Thomas Rainwater, Chief of the Broken Rock Reservation. 

“I don’t know how to kill cattle. You stupid fuckinging redneck. I’ll tell you what I do know how to do. I know how to crush empires. And I will crush your father’s.” — Dan Jenkins, California real estate developer, to Kayce Dutton.

“I am the opposite of progress. I am the wall it bashes against. And I will not be the one who breaks.” – John Dutton, owner of Yellowstone Dutton Ranch.

This is Downton Abbey on a ranch. Robert Crawley isn’t the stubborn bastard John Dutton is, but they both face the reality that their families’ way of life is incompatible with where the outside world is going. The Earl of Grantham does his best to make the transition easy. John Dutton would rather die (and damn near has). He may beat back Dan Jenkins, but there will always be another Malcom Beck. Another Market Equities. Progress never relents. I think we’ll know which Dutton inherits the ranch by the end of this show. Maybe it’s him, maybe it’s her. Maybe it’s grandson Tate. John’s loss of what family truly means makes certain they will be the one who breaks.

Money and power. Wealth is subdued on Yellowstone. The Duttons are extremely comfortable, and I think it’s smart for the show to not give them an opulent Roy-like lifestyle. John Dutton eating caviar would feel off. 

They are, however, rich in power. Political nepotism is not a concern here. John controls the Montana Livestock Association, which Jamie and Kayce both commissioned and everyone just kinda went along with it (his dead son, Lee, was also an agent). When Montana’s Attorney General wanted to step aside, there was no real debate about Jamie Dutton being next (until John changed his mind, which got ugly). Governor Lynelle Perry (who John is fucking) had no problems shepherding John to be her replacement. 

No one in fictional Montana seems to care about this, and that’s just as well. I don’t think this show would be very good at telling political stories. It does enough to establish that John fortified his thus far impenetrable wall with as much political power as he could tolerate. Season five shows him as a miserably bad governor, and I hope they don’t spend too much time making that a problem for him. His challenges should come from outside, not inside. 

Parents. Progress. Power. They’ve driven a lot of great television. They have another hit on their hands with Yellowstone. And this year I’ll have something to talk to my parents about on Sunday nights. 


ChatGPT Prompt 1: Write me a blog post comparing Yellowstone to Succession and Downton Abbey.

Yellowstone, Succession, and Downton Abbey are three popular TV shows that have captivated audiences around the world. While they may seem very different at first glance, they all share some common themes and elements that make them interesting and engaging to watch.

First, let’s take a look at Yellowstone. This show follows the lives of the Dutton family, who own and operate the largest contiguous ranch in the United States. Set in the beautiful and rugged landscape of Montana, Yellowstone showcases the struggles and triumphs of the Dutton family as they fight to protect their land and legacy from outside forces.

Succession, on the other hand, is a show about a wealthy and powerful family who own a global media and entertainment conglomerate. The show explores the cutthroat world of corporate politics and the dysfunctional relationships within the family as they fight for control of the company.

Finally, there’s Downton Abbey, which is set in the early 1900s and follows the lives of the Crawley family and their servants in a fictional English country estate. The show explores the societal changes and challenges that the family faces as they try to maintain their traditional way of life in a rapidly modernizing world.

Despite their differences in setting and time period, all three shows share some common themes. First and foremost, they all focus on the dynamics within wealthy and powerful families. The Duttons, Roys, and Crawleys are all dealing with their own internal struggles and conflicts as they fight to protect their interests and maintain their positions at the top.

Additionally, all three shows explore the challenges that come with trying to hold onto power and wealth in a rapidly changing world. The Duttons must grapple with the encroachment of outsiders on their land, the Roys must navigate the cutthroat world of corporate politics, and the Crawleys must adapt to the shifting societal norms of the early 20th century.

Finally, all three shows feature complex and well-developed characters who are struggling to find their place in the world. The Duttons, Roys, and Crawleys are all dealing with their own personal issues and flaws, and the show does a great job of exploring their motivations and desires.

In conclusion, while Yellowstone, Succession, and Downton Abbey may seem very different at first glance, they all share some common themes and elements that make them engaging and interesting to watch. Whether you’re a fan of the beautiful Montana landscape, the cutthroat world of corporate politics, or the opulent world of English country estates, these shows have something for everyone.

ChatGPT Prompt 2: Write a blog post about how you overcame your initial reservations to enjoy watching Yellowstone. In the post, identify other televisions shows with similar themes and compare them to Yellowstone.

When I first heard about Yellowstone, I was hesitant to watch it. The premise of the show – a family fighting to protect their land and way of life in the face of outside pressures – didn’t seem all that interesting to me. I was also put off by the fact that it was a modern-day Western, a genre that I had never been particularly drawn to. But, after hearing some positive buzz about the show, I decided to give it a try. And I’m glad I did, because Yellowstone ended up becoming one of my favorite shows.

One of the things that I love about Yellowstone is the way it portrays the struggles of the Dutton family. They are constantly facing challenges – from hostile neighboring landowners and greedy developers to environmental activists and government bureaucrats – and are forced to make tough decisions in order to protect their land and their way of life. The show does an excellent job of portraying the complex issues that the Duttons deal with, and it forces the viewer to think about the difficult choices that people have to make in order to survive in a rapidly changing world.

As I continued to watch Yellowstone, I began to see similarities between it and other shows that I enjoy. For example, the family dynamics on the show are reminiscent of those on shows like This Is Us and Friday Night Lights, where the characters are forced to overcome obstacles and work together in order to achieve their goals. The themes of family, loyalty, and perseverance are also present in shows like The Sopranos and Breaking Bad, where the main characters are caught up in a world of danger and uncertainty.

Despite these similarities, however, Yellowstone stands out as a unique and compelling show. The beautiful cinematography, strong performances, and well-written story all come together to create a show that is both engaging and thought-provoking. If you’re someone who enjoys shows that tackle complex themes and feature richly drawn characters, then I highly recommend giving Yellowstone a try. You may find, like I did, that it quickly becomes one of your favorite shows.

The Boys will be boring

The Boys will throw you for a loop if you think satire has to be LOL funny. It doesn’t, and The Boys isn’t. I had to look up the definition to make sure. “The use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.”

Based in a world where superheroes are marketable corporate assets, The Boys holds a mirror up to modern society and you won’t like the reflection. The joke is us. We are the punchline when Homelander lets a plane crash to gin up enough xenophobia to convince the government to let superheroes fight in the military. We are mocked when Queen Maeve agrees to turn being outed (by Homelander) into a marketing campaign. We are the ones made to look like fools for wanting The Deep to get a second chance.

Anyone who puts any thought into what they’re watching is going to feel icky after watching The Boys. Kudos to the show for such biting satire. At times it does feel forced, especially with Stormfront in season two. But you forgive. 

I’m only thru two of the three seasons, and I liked the second better. Sssssssort of. The thing about The Boys that I can’t get past is how unique and thoughtful the superhero storylines are but how cliche and boring “the boys” storyline is. Everything interesting about this show happens when the superhero characters are onscreen. 

(To back up, the title “The Boys” comes from the name of the group of characters who are out to expose the superheroes as frauds. I’ll use lowercase to refer to the characters and uppercase to refer to the show.)

The boys are boring af. There is nothing to the Billy Butcher character other than his obsessive use of the C-word, which gets old after the first six hundred times he says it. Hughie is supposed to be the one we identify with. Can’t. We’re supposed to believe he goes from a limp-spined nobody to a vengeful mercenary because his girlfriend was killed in his hands (literally. It’s very gory.)? Don’t believe it for a second. The rest of the boys aren’t worth wasting pixels on. 

Watching The Boys reminds me of something a sportswriter once said about the athletes he covers, “We don’t know these people.” The Boys introduces us to our heroes and they are not good people. They do awful things, they lie to us and we idolize them anyway. 

The Boys would be better if the boys were just as interesting. Instead they’re boring and the show suffers. I don’t recommend this as a priority show for you. The best use case is for long flights or when you’ve got an hour to kill here and there. Not a show worth bingeing. 

Why I didn’t hate the Dexter ending

It took incredible effort on my part, but I made it to the end of Dexter. Normally I won’t binge a show this hard during the baseball season, and in truth I didn’t intend to crush it as fast as I did. But some extra time on planes and the All-Star break opened the door and, boy, did I run through it. Seasons four through eight in barely one month. 

I can’t honestly credit the show’s quality for the rush. The first season after Rita died was good, then things got wobbly. Unlike a lot of fans, I did enjoy the way the show took Debra apart in season six. She needed to evolve after Lundy and making her realize her true feelings toward Dexter helped sell seasons seven and eight. 

The real reason I raced through this show was to get to the end. I wanted to see what people so thoroughly hated. That sentiment stayed in my head throughout the last episode and to the very last scene when I thought…that’s what people thought was so awful? I thought the show ended fine. Not great, but fine. 

Why didn’t it piss me off? I can identify four reasons. 

Reason one: Will he or won’t he?

Season eight put this question to bed in the first episode. After Deb shot Captain LaGuerta to protect Dexter and the end of season seven, the show could have come back for a final run that saw Miami Metro turn on both Morgans.* Skipping ahead six months and bringing on new characters proved that wasn’t going to happen. Fans who wanted the finale to answer this question weren’t paying attention to the show telling them to forget about it.

Reason two: Season 8 lacked epicness

A great final season feels like it’s barreling towards the finish. Every episode makes you more excited to see how this will all come together. The second-to-last episode dismisses with the secondary storylines so the finale can end the series. This season of Dexter never had that feeling because we were just chasing another run-of-the-mill bad guy.

The introduction of Dr. Vogel really drives this point home. Revealing that Harry had help coaching Dexter into a serial killer would have been—should have been—really cool. In an alternate reality where the world knows the truth about Dexter Morgan, she could come forward to Miami Metro as the only person who can help catch him. 

Instead she played Dr. Phil to Dexter and Deb, and it did not make for compelling TV. Putting her in danger fell flat, too. Why should we care about the fate of a character we just met? Her son being a somewhat lackluster bad guy didn’t help. Season eight had a low ceiling with that as the main storyline. There’s nothing there that could build up to an incredible finish, so about two-thirds through the season I stopped expecting it to.

Reason three: I’m okay with Deb’s death

Some people were upset we didn’t get to see Deb suffer her stroke. I’m not. It might have had punch to see it happen while talking to Quinn about their future. It would also have been cliche. 

Her death sits well with me because, in the end, I think she got the death she would have wanted in that situation. Debra Morgan would not have chosen to be a vegetable. Dexter making that decision for her was bittersweet and the first time he’s killed for mercy rather than vengeance. A nice bit of character evolution in the show’s closing moments. 

Reason four: I’m also okay with Dexter’s outcome

This is what got people really fired up. Throwing Debra into the ocean, faking his death and running off to the woods is not the ending fans wanted. But it’s an ending true to the show and to Dexter’s belief that he’s a danger to everyone around him. Bingeing the show helped drive this point home because it all happened for me in rapid succession. Rita died because he didn’t kill Arthur Mitchell in time. Zach Hamilton and Dr. Vogel died because he didn’t get to Oliver Saxon. So did Deb. Would Hannah be next? Would Harrison? 

Dexter couldn’t take that chance. Standing on his balcony lamenting what it felt like to finally have human emotions showed him he couldn’t risk being in the lives of the people he loved. So he ran. What did you want him to do in the context of the previous four seasons? 

What I really loved about this was it is not a happy ending. That’s okay! Lesser shows would have given Deb and Quinn a life together or showed Angle making Captain. Dexter went a different direction. In a way it’s the ending I wish Revenge would have had.

I can’t put Dexter in my Pantheon of prestige television. It’s probably Showtime’s greatest show ever, but that’s grading on a curve because, well, Showtime is kinda lame. It lands firmly in that second level of shows I enjoyed watching, but can’t quite obsess over. We’ll see if that changes when I get to New Blood.

*This may have helped bring some epicness to the final season, but I think the show would have really struggled. Bautista, Quinn and Matthews were effective supporting characters for Dexter and Deb. They weren’t great supporting characters; they couldn’t have carried the season without help. A stronger Dr. Vogel could have been that.