Michael C. Hall Reflects on ‘Dexter’ Finale; Not Interested in Returning for a Spinoff

Published 7 months ago by

Dexter Michael C Hall inter Michael C. Hall Reflects on Dexter Finale; Not Interested in Returning for a Spinoff

[WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS for the 'Dexter' series finale!]


While its likely that most TV fans and critics would still rank Dexter as one of the medium’s finer drama series of the last decade, there’s no doubt that almost all of those viewers would tell you they were disappointed by the show’s rather anti-climatic (some would say bizarre) series finale.

Whether you sat miffed, puzzled or downright furious as the final shot faded to black, you can at least find solace in knowing that others understand what you are going through – including Dexter himself.

In a recent interview with IGN, Michael C. Hall reflected on the role, the series’ ending and the nearly unanimous dejected reaction from fans that followed.

With regard to the character’s development, the final season and whether the ending was fitting or not, Hall said:

“You know, Dexter morphed. It was a many-headed creative monster, and certain heads were lopped off halfway through the life of the show. It was difficult to maintain a cohesive narrative in many ways, but primarily, in terms of the conception of the character, once he started to move into murkier, blurrier, more human territory, it became a very difficult thing to wrap my head around.

“But in the end, I think Dexter was always a pragmatist and, well, self-centered. I think it was his version of selflessness upon recognition that anyone close to him was going to be destroyed if he continued to indulge in intimate relationships. You know, his dad died, Rita died – well, once he decided that, he faked his death and erased himself, but he didn’t want to die. I honestly find it to be a pretty dark ending, and I think it upset a lot of people. Certainly, the shakiness of certain aspects of the eighth season maybe made that ending less palatable to people. I don’t think people were ready to be told that, because they were already feeling a sense of ambivalence for the show. But the idea that he imprisons himself in a prison of his own making I think is fitting [for the character].”

dexter season 8 premiere date1 Michael C. Hall Reflects on Dexter Finale; Not Interested in Returning for a Spinoff

Even in arguing that the final episode was thematically appropriate to the character in some ways, Hall couldn’t deny the final season wasn’t without its fair share of problems. So, what ending would Hall have chosen?

Said Hall:

“It’s tricky. Sometimes I wish he’d offed himself, wish he’d died, wish Deb had shot him in that train compartment – of course, that would have made an eighth season difficult to do.”

Many fans also expressed desires for Dexter and his seemingly irredeemable Dark Passenger to meet their demise, but according to producers, Showtime wouldn’t allow Dexter to die in the finale. Some theorize this could have been a play by the network to leave the door open for a possible continuation or spinoff, but reprising the role of Dexter is something Hall is not interested in – at least, not in the foreseeable future.

Said Hall:

“It’s very difficult for me to imagine someone coming up with something that is compelling enough for that to be worth doing. I certainly have no interest right now in playing Dexter. You know, some time passes and somebody has some newly imagined landscape for him that I feel is worth exploring, I would perhaps consider it. Beyond that vague notion, I really can’t say, and it’s not something I have any immediate plans to do. He is still alive, but for right now, I’m leaving him in the cabin.”

Dexter season 7 premiere Michael C. Hall Reflects on Dexter Finale; Not Interested in Returning for a Spinoff

Hall’s comments could be bad news for Showtime, especially after the network admitted that a spinoff wouldn’t happen without Hall returning to don the “kill suit.” Of course, the news is also inconvenient for fans who still desperately want the opportunity for Dexter Morgan’s story (and life) to end in a satisfying way.

Still, Hall – like many others in the industry – has, in his own words, “learned to never say never” when it comes to a series’ continuation or conclusion. So, we’ll simply have to wait and see if he warms up to the idea and if Showtime pursues a spinoff with or without him down the line.

It’s hard to imagine Dexter without Hall, but is a spinoff a good idea in general? What is your reaction to Hall’s recent comments? And how do you feel about the Dexter finale nearly a year after it aired? Let us know in the comments.


Source: IGN

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  1. While I am not disappointed with the ending, it would have been stronger if they had ended on the next to last scene.

    I don’t really see the point in a spin-off. Heck I don’t even what they would actually spin-off into its own series.

    I wouldn’t mind if they revisit with a mini-series or movie though, but it would have to be with Hall as Dexter. At least he is honest enough to never say never.

    • “I don’t really see the point in a spin-off.”

      I feel that way about a lot of shows. The only ones I didn’t mind were Frasier (spin-off of Cheers that followed a popular character’s career in Seattle) and Ashes To Ashes (spin-off from Life On Mars, which moved Gene Hunt from 70s Manchester to 80s London and explained who he was and what happened to Sam Tyler at the end of LOM).

      • I’m actually about 50-50 when it comes to spin-offs. I really enjoyed Frasier, Angel, Stargate Atlantis, Deep Space Nine, and Xena. But what made those shows so successful IMO is they had established characters that I was already invested in and/or were part of a larger fictional universe that I wanted to continue exploring. Dexter has neither.

        His (surviving) supporting characters were pretty awful and pointless by the time of the final season (as was he IMO) and there’s not a single one I care to see again. And if someone’s thinking about doing another show with a serial killer as a main character – that field’s pretty full by now.

  2. I loved the show, and it’s in my all time top 10 tv shows in history. Well my TV watching history. I also loved the end and found it to be the only logical thing to do.

    Killing Dexter is too easy of an ending. His staying alive in that cabin is beyond perfect.

    I couldn’t think of a better way to end the series. I’d love to see a movie series spin off sometime. Michael C Hall is an awesome actor.

    • I don’t know how you can be satisfied with this ending. Just think about it for a minute. It’s a TV show, based on a homicide forensics analyst, who’s also a serial killer. And in all of it’s 8 seasons, the department he works for never completely catches on to what he’s doing. When you have a run for that long, and you know the show is ending, shouldn’t the ultimate showdown be Dexter vs. his friends and family finding out who he really is? that’s the most logical solution. In 8 years Dexter never had to explain to someone he works with.. someone that trusts him as a normal functioning person of society.. who he really is. Sure the occasional guest on the show gets a glimps into the work of Dexter.. and Maria and Dokes were close.. but all in all he never has to answer for who he his to his colleagues.. Bautista.. Quinn.. The Captain.. The final season should have been about Dexter running from his own little world that he created for himself… instead of some random killer and some random Marshal trying to track him down.. Deb finding out was great.. and she eventually sticking by his side was excellent.. shouldn’t the other characters have the opportunity to decide for themselves whether or not they can accept him.. or try to end him? that would have been a great 13 episodes.. Dexter on the run.. still hunting and killing people.. maybe he has to kill someone close to him to save his own skin? who knows.. they could have done so much.. but they made it into the hunt for 1 killer.. a love story.. and eventually a faked death.. just sub par.. but I still loved this show.. seasons 1-4 were probably some of the best television ever.

  3. Hey at least it wasn’t Lost

  4. Finale was disappointing. Glad the show ended; it was past it’s prime. I can’t even remember if Deb lived or died, and that says something right there. I also don’t care enough to google it.

    I enjoyed it in it’s prime.

  5. For a show that I always wanted to like, it sure was a pretty consistent disappointment. Guest star arcs were often fun, but the show reeked of complacency and mediocrity when it should have been shooting for the stars. For a show that wants you to grapple with liking a murderer, they sure made the kills about as antiseptic and PG as they could. How is that a challenge to us viewers? They flubbed obvious opportunities to add complexity, realism and relevance too. Why the hell did they set up Robocop Peter Weller as a guy who was dangerously in the way, and yet a target that didn’t fit Dexter’s code at all, only to have him die without any mention of the issue or struggle from the killer’s perspective at all? That was a perfect chance to either recommit Dexter to his rules, or willfully defy them in favor of a more interesting story. Instead the writer seem to have not had the conflict even occur to them. Way to phone it in. Reminds me of how I felt bad for some of the people working on Fringe, knowing that the show’s lack of ambition and cohesion was rendering their contributions moot. Hall is likable, and I would be happy to see a really high quality Dexter story, as much now as ever, but what are the odds that will happen after such diminishing returns? The show could have been and should have been better, darn it.

  6. This is a test… my comments aren’t being uploaded for some lame reason.

  7. I was ambivalent to the ending. I loved the show, but here’s some issues and other points I have:
    1- It seemed as though the last season wasn’t factoring it was going to end the SHOW as well. I was worried about that prior to the season when Showtime was indicating they could go on for another season. A high mixture of new characters and sub plots introduced resulted in all of those sub plots, and the main plot, being short changed, and rushed at the end. Fogel, Fogel’s son, the young psyho, Deb’s new boss… all were great characters but were crammed in there so late in the show.
    2- Deb’s boss shouldn’t have been the one after Dexter/Hannah. It should have been someone from Miami Metro. It would have brought things full circle to have Batista or Quinn on it. They eluded to Batista, but dropped that like a hot potato. Consequently, there was little emotional investment with Deb’s boss being involved like he was.
    3- The biggest plot hole though was Harrison. Ironically, it also involved Deb’s boss. Knowing that Harrison was with Hannah, an escaped murderer and former girlfriend to the missing Dexter, should have raised a significant amount of questions, and realistically a major investigation should have been underway. I imagine the FBI would even be involved. Sure, he was going for the money, but I think he would still reach out in some capacity to a law agency.
    4- A neater ending for Harrison should have seen him go to live with his maternal grandparents and half-siblings in the wake of Dexter’s presumed death.
    5- Deb should have just died. It felt too forced for them to try and have Dexter end her life like he did. It was like they so desperately wanted a poetic way to have him be involved in her death that they didn’t contemplate the absurdity of it.
    6- As far as banishing himself to his own purgatory, I didn’t like the scene at first. But as I have had distance from the show, it makes sense.
    7- Lastly, I thoroughly enjoyed the subplots and antics of Miami Metro. It would have been awesome to see a Miami Metro spin off show, with all those characters going after a major villain each season. Batista, Quinn, and Masuka were a great, diverse group of guys. Just toss in a couple new faces- a woman or two to please “THAT” crowd of course. Actually, I would have been okay with Deb being alive and rejoining such a spin off. Turn her into the main character, back as a detective. See her character grow and become something new. Frazier did fine following Cheers, afterall.

  8. For a spinoff, they could always follow the books, where Cody and Astor have their own Dark Passengers. They were trained by Dexter, and have made several kills. Astor wanted to be like Sgt. Auntie Debbie.

    The spinoff could take place say 20 years down the line, with Sgt.Astor and CSI Cody, Astor with the highest righteous kill rate in the department, and Cody quiet in the background. They both go offbook and vigilante kill in Miami, and clean up afterwards. The personification of the Dark Passenger could be Rita…

    • Now that would work!

    • NOT THAT’S AN AMAZING CONCEPT! dark tandem of astor and cody…eventually, Harrison sliding into the fray…going up against the step-siblings…with Harrison taught by a different code as he grew up by none other than..TADAAAH! HANNAH! ;D

  9. Maybe in a decade or so, as we pick up an older Dexter who is beginning to be challenged by the physical aspects of his work. I was disappointed in the last season largely because Dexter seemed to be losing the Dark Passenger, or the need to kill; a “reformed” Dexter was not very interesting. In fact, however, the series for me went downhill when Deb learned his secret.

  10. I myself was somewhat disappointed that Dexter did not join Harrison and Hannah. If I wrote a spin off I would begin it with his search for them but what else I am not sure of…..

  11. Even though it went downhill after season 4, season 5 was still very good, season 6 was pretty good until the ”twist”. Season 7 was way better than season 6 with a new dynamic between Dexter and Deb but season 8 was just terrible! They should revive the show in a few years, like they did with 24, to end it properly even though you can’t erase all the b******* that happened during the last season!

  12. He basically summed up how I felt about the final season as a whole, that it had many problems, but that the ending itself was actually very fitting for the character. I loved the finale, didn’t love the final season overall though.

    As for a spinoff, I’m always up for more Dexter. But don’t recast the character if Hall doesn’t come back, it just wouldn’t work. And it’s like he said, only do it if it’s actually compelling enough.

  13. I found myself, as I often do, wishing that television studios actually had the guts to simply murder their characters (most recently I had hoped Marvel had the guts to kill that backstreet boy double agent).

    They must have realized by now that a reboot seems to be an eternal option for the creatively handicapped.

    Not only villains deserve to die. There used to be a time when an on-screen death was even desirable.

    P.S. is it really a cliffhanger season finale when the audience is supposed to believe the actual title character is supposed to have been killed? (i.e. Castle)

    • ” a reboot seems to be an eternal option for the creatively handicapped.”

      Very nice line. Sad and true.

  14. I personally liked the ending and totally agree with what C. Hall had to say about the ending…

  15. The whole final season was a mess…
    There was no tension whatsoever and the supporting cast was given absolutely nothing to do.
    Instead of Miami Metro finally coming after Dexter full force we were left with Masuka’s “daughter boobs” and Angel and Quinn just bouncing around.

    Not to long ago I was comparing the fan rating for the Dexter finale on IMBd to other series finales and it was by far the lowest at 4.9.
    That’s a huge drop even compared to the episode before that has a 7 rating.

    • “Masuka’s daughter” should be used as writer shorthand for an unnecessary subplot that goes nowhere.

      I thought maybe she was going to accidentally discover Dexter’s secret. But no. Just some eye candy.

  16. * IMDb

  17. i think the best way to end the series would of been a season long manhunt for dexter ending with bautista killing him.. and then show ends with a flash foward to the future where a 24 year old harrison closes a laptop/journal that use to be dexters we then see dexter similar to how we use to see harry talking to harrison as he follows a known pedo ….

    • Better than anything the writers came up with. I’d watch that.

  18. They need to come back and do a 2 hour movie to try and fix the mess they left behind.

  19. They should have had Miami Police find out or someone. In the end they could have had a killer kill one of the main characters like Deb. At the end Dexter could have died with Quinn or whoever finds out who Dexter really was covering it up at blaming the killer. They could have had the three main Miami PD characters cover it up bc they understand Dexter did a good thing or Quinn did it to return the favor to dexter and bc he loves Deb. Quinn would understand the grey area of the law.

  20. Why dont they bring dexter back but in future with dexters son?

  21. I am having difficulty after watching this show come to an end. It feels as if I have lost a set of friends. I know it is “just a show” but wow, I will miss Miami Metro, listening to the way Dexter thinks, and with the way the show ended – I miss the relationship Dexter and Deb had. What a sad ending but I think it tells a story of a serial killer who in the end may have not been caught but lost his first wife and now sister – two innocent people who were just caught in his lifestyle. I think Michael Hall and Jennifer C. were outstanding! I will miss this crew.

  22. I was disappointed with the ending and I would love to see the spin off of dexter. Dexter was my favorite show and that is the only reason I ordered showtime, and now have canceled it. I think it would be great idea to just make one more season.

  23. I think a short miniseries would be appropriate having Dexter continue offing bad guys and also being a father that impacts his son in a positive way. This miniseries could have Dexter retiring his Dark Passenger and become accepting of his past. The conclusion of the series with Dexter exiling himself in a cabin with his girlfriend and son in Argentina seems like a cowardly way out and not consistent with Dexter’s character.

  24. I havent been happy with the ending to any series in the last 10 years. I think its a hard thing to do on such a popular show. A few examples are lost and sopranos. Any way you end a show someone isnt going to like it. With sopranos there was no real ending. At least with dexter it was satisfying. You know what happened to him and can imagine how his life would be from now on. Instead of a guessing game of what might have cone of him. If he had been killed off i wouldnt have been happy. He would never have killed himself or given himself up. It would have been a complete character shift. I think the dr vogel character was un neccacery and what ruined season 8. Also i think debs death was a mistake if there ever was a return of the show it wouldnt be the same without her. This is one show though i would love to see come back. Maybe 2 more seasons. With deb noq as a harry vision. Dexter has to return because of harrison needing a blood transfusion like dexter did as a child (same rare blood type) claims amnesia or something from the boat accident. And i would like to see an end where he is caught and arrested possibly executed. Or he changes his ways and gives up killing and choses his son over his dark passenger. Or even he discovers harrison is killing like him and he steps in to tutor him. There are alot of ways he could come back. But if michael c hall wont do it then it wont be a good return.

  25. A spin-off without Debra Morgan…no way!!

  26. I thought the ending of the show was fitting. I don’t know though that Dexter intentionally faked his death or else that darnded hurricane failed to do what he hoped it would do. It is very sad that it took the death of his sister for Dexter to finally realize that he is destructive in and out of the plastic wrapped room.

    It probably would have been better if Dexter died in the hurricane but for all those hoping for a return to the series I guess it is better that it ended with him brooding in his cabin.

  27. Great idea for a show. It seems like we’re not getting the full story of why it ended. It is fiction so the stories should be endless. We would like to see Deb back. Maybe she could wash up on the same shore Dexter did with amnesia. Come on, they do it on soap operas all the time.