Watching both final seasons side by side, it is easy to see where "Dexter" has gone wrong and where "Breaking Bad" has been getting it right. Here are some final season lessons from "Breaking Bad" that could have massively improved the final season of "Dexter."
1. Don't add too many new characters.
The final season of "Dexter" introduced a ton of new characters, including Dr. Vogel, Oliver Saxon, Niki, and Zach. But for many fans, all these new faces distracted from Dexter himself. In the show's farewell season, the focus should have been on Dexter and not on new faces.
In contrast, the final season of "Breaking Bad" has not introduced many new characters. Instead, minor characters from previous seasons have been given more to do, creating a more emotionally engaging final season.
2. Make the characters harder, not softer.
One big fan complaint about this season of "Dexter" has been that Dexter has gone soft. His declarations of love for Hannah and his caring relationships with Dr. Vogel and Zach have struck many fans as odd developments for a serial killer who needs to be on his guard.
On the other hand, "Breaking Bad" has pleased fans to no end by making characters like Walt, Jesse, and Hank get even more hardened and bitter than ever before.
3. Don't use stalling tactics.
For many fans, the final season of "Dexter" has used too many stalling tactics. Every fan is expecting major fireworks in the finale, which has made other episodes in this season seem a bit slow-paced. It's almost as if the producers are saving all the action for the final episode.
In contrast, "Breaking Bad" surprised fans by having the long-awaited confrontation between Hank and Walt happen several episodes before the finale episode. This ratcheted up the tension level and got a great reaction from fans, who expected this confrontation to be saved up for the finale.
4. Encourage the cast to be active on social media.
As the Uproxx TV blog pointed out earlier this month, very few members of the "Dexter" cast have been active on Twitter or social media during the final season. In contrast, the cast of "Breaking Bad" have been making TV appearances and staying active on social media. This has helped to build interest among fans.
5. Care about the little details.
In the same Uproxx article referenced above, it was pointed out that Dexter was holding his phone upside-down in a recent episode. There have also been several continuity issues with outdoor lighting. This lack of attention to detail has angered many fans.
"Breaking Bad," on the other hand, has long been praised by fans for its meticulous attention to detail. Little details are often used as a way to foreshadow big changes, and fans really enjoy picking up on little details on repeat viewing.
The series finale of "Dexter" will air on Sunday, Sept. 22 at 9 p.m. on Showtime.