From the perspective of history, the original DEXTER was a canny twist on the serial killer phenomenon that became part of the dark landscape of America in the 1970s and persisted into the 2000s. Its “meta” formulation led to an increasingly convoluted set of character conflicts, dosed with an elevated level of violence and sex that was surprisingly absent from the NEW BLOOD reboot, which focused on the fateful reunion of Dexter with his son.
As you’ll see in the DEADLINE article (published just hours before the tenth & final episode screened, showrunner Clyde Phillips (who’d left the original series after Season 4 after some disputes about how to continue the series from its most shocking season finale) had always lobbied for a conclusion that included Dexter’s death; the question had been how to engineer it in light of how the series had concluded in Its eighth & final season back in 2013.
In a nation riven by far more elemental issues than the (declining) incidence of serial killers, DEXTER may eventually be seen as a form of ironic nostalgia for a phenomenon that produced a plethora of exaggeration in an seemingly endless series of “forensic” variations on gothic dread that continues to engage an American audience in need of a collective catharsis that is also an escape valve for the collective dread that has come to encroach upon our sense of society. As the historians and analysts of the serial killer phenomenon (as found in the linked article below) note, the fallout from a series of ill-advised “proxy wars” may have fed the original serial killer phenomenon; that peculiarly American form of darkness reminds us that noir is founded on a Biblical proposition: “as you shall sow, so shall you reap.”