The team over at Hypable.com have made a bold prediction about Season 8 of "Dexter," which is set to premiere this summer. Their theory: Season 8 will explore the famous five-stage process of grieving.
"It's incredibly interesting to read into Dexter's cryptic voiceover in the final scene [of Season 7], with him describing the situation as 'the beginning of the end,'" the Hypable team theorizes. "Will Dexter be going through similar notions of the five stages of grief in the final season? Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance could be…explored in Season 8."
If "Dexter" does explore the five stages of grief in Season 8, it will be following a long tradition of TV shows that have plumbed the depths of this psychological concept. Here are some examples of other beloved TV programs that also explored the five stages of grieving.
The Season 6 premiere of the show saw the titular psychiatrist going through the five stages of grief. But rather than grieving over a loved one, Frasier was grieving for the loss of his job in the previous season. Throughout the episode, title cards appear that reference each of the five stages. In a very funny moment at the end of the episode, Niles says that he expects his divorce proceedings to go smoothly. The scene then cuts to a title card reading "Denial."
For all of its light-hearted humor, "Scrubs" could get very dark after a patient died in the hospital. The entirety of the episode "My Five Stages" has both J.D. and Dr. Cox cope with the death of Mrs. Wilk. The episode also features Dr. Lester Hedrick, an end-of-life grief counselor.
Considering this HBO series was set in a funeral home, it made sense that the series would spend some time exploring the five stages of grief. One of the most memorable explorations of this theme was the episode "In Case of Rapture." After the death of his wife, Nate struggles to cope with the loss. So when he encounters a widower who is completely placid about the loss of his wife, Nate kind of loses it. The episode is a great exploration of grieving and highlights how hard it is to reach the final step, acceptance.
"Evangelion"The Japanese TV series "Evangelion" has been an underground cult favorite in America for well over a decade. It's an incredibly dark series that revolves around teenagers in a ravaged, future version of Tokyo. One "Evangelion" fan theory posits that each of the main teenage characters in the series is actually the personification of one of the five stages of grief. Hot-tempered Asuka represents anger, Shinji represents despair, Toji is bargaining, and the apathetic, docile Rei represents acceptance. The one flaw with this fan theory is that no one character clearly represents denial.