Confession: Two of TV's most notorious antiheroes are signing off for good, and we are conflicted.
This Sunday, Dexter is finally bringing Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall) killing spree to an end after eight years of murder on Showtime, and the following Sunday, Walt White's (Bryan Cranston) reign as Heisenberg comes to a close on Breaking Bad, whose final season has been so good, it's literally made us physically ill. (That's a good thing, we swear.)
They lived. They sinned. They killed. They entertained and frustrated the crap out of us. But should they really die?! And do they deserve to? That is the question we are tackling today, presenting arguments for why both Dexter Morgan and Walt White deserve to die...and why they should survive!
Why Walter White Should Die: Since this outcome is the lesser of two evils, we want Walt to die in a blaze of glory getting revenge on the people who hurt his family. All we know now is that his brother-in-law Hank (Dean Norris) is dead, but we are very worried about his former partner Jesse (Aaron Paul), his wife, Skyler (Anna Gunn), and the rest of his family. He started this whole journey for them, so it's only fitting that he would end it by trying to protect them (or avenge them) one last time. Even though Walt has completely become the evil Heisenberg, we still have a slight glimmer of affection for the man, and seeing the show end with Walt taking out the White Supremacist in an epic battle that ends with his death would be the best possible outcome. He's gone way too far to get out of this unscathed, so his death would actually be the easier ending.
Why Walter White Should Survive: Then again, Walt has sold out Jesse, caused the death of his brother-in-law, poisoned a child, murdered, lied, schemed…the list goes on and on. So the only punishment we think is suitable enough for the awful Heisenberg is to lose everything: his family, his money and everything else he cares about. Imagine it: All Walt wanted was to make enough money to support his family. Now imagine if he loses both his money and his family and is left with…nothing. It seems he has already done enough to sacrifice the people he cares about in the name of protecting his reputation, so maybe all he should be left with is the fact that people fear him. And nothing else. That's punishment enough, in our opinion.
Why Dexter Morgan Should Die: If karma is any sort of real thing whatsoever, Dexter Morgan should pay a very serious price (i.e., being Saran Wrapped on his own table) for ruining the lives of every single person who has ever loved him: (1) His adoptive sister Deb (Jennifer Carpenter), who saved Dexter's ass by shooting her boss (Laguerta) dead in a storage container, developed a serious drug problem in order to cope with horrific deed, then tried to kill Dexter and herself by driving her car into a lake…all because she couldn't deal with his "Dark Passenger." Oh, and then when Dexter oh-so-conveniently dropped that Passenger in the latest episode and chose not to kill, Deb again paid the price and got shot in the gut. So. Not. Cool. Brother; (2) Rita (Julie Benz). We still have no words. All she ever did was love him and birth his son, and her horrific death in that bathtub will continue to haunt us til the end of time; (3) Harrison. Seriously, is there any chance that kid is going to be OK after seeing, among other things, his mother's death, being left for hours to cry in a pool of blood? Shudder; (4) Astor and Cody, who also tragically lost their mother, and got shipped away to grandma and grandpa's to question if dear old stepdad Dexter ever even cared about them at all. Probably not; (5) Hannah (Yvonne Strahovski). Just kidding. We don't care so much about any felon who can't even think to dye her hair or throw on a baseball hat while evading the Feds, but we have a feeling this whole love affair will not end well with Dexter. He already got her thrown in prison once, after all.
Sure, Harry Morgan (James Remar) gave Dexter his "code" for who to kill, but couldn't he have given him a code for the living? The very premise on which this show was built is that Dexter should never make the innocent suffer. And it could not be more obvious that he has failed.
Why Dexter Morgan Should Live: The very reason we loved this show in the beginning: Despite all of Dexter's outrageous and horrifying wrongdoings (including Nos. 1-5 listed above), you can't help but root for the sick and twisted freak! Michel C. Hall just makes him so darn likeable, despite being a sociopath. Not to mention, the writers have made a very clear effort to show us that Dexter now apparently wants to embrace his humanity, ditch his serial killer ways and run off with Hannah and Harrison to Argentina to live a life of empanada-tasting and beach-hopping. Where's the harm in that? "There is a human being in there even if you can't see it," Deb told Dexter in the latest episode, right before Dex told his latest prey, Saxon, "This used to be my favorite moment, the kill, but I feel a stronger pull now. I don't need to kill you." It all feels rushed and forced and, frankly, ridiculous, but the hard-core Dexter fan in us from the early seasons can't help but hope Dexter will change his ways for the good and tango off into the sunset with his soul mate and son. (Just promise us she'll go brunette, OK?)
Dexter's series finale airs Sunday, Sept. 22 at 9 p.m. on Showtime. Breaking Bad's series finale airs Sunday, Sept. 29 at 9 p.m. on AMC.
Now we want to hear from you: Do you think Dexter and Walt should die or survive? Why? Sound off in the comments!