[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].”
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?
“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.
“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.”
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.