[WARNING: 'Dexter' Finale Spoilers Ahead!]
September marked the end for two of the most popular dramas on television. While Breaking Bad finished with an incredible finale that tied up all loose ends – providing viewers with a sense of closure – Showtime’s Dexter ended the series with mixed reviews from fans and critics alike. Many believed the series was past its prime, but fans stuck with it until the bitter end.
Now new information has surfaced about what happened behind the scenes before Dexter’s final send off.
Dexter ended in a strange and unsuspecting way. When Deborah died, Dexter dropped his plans of spending the rest of his life with Hannah and Harrison for the much more logical idea of driving his boat into the eye of a hurricane about to hit Miami. After the hurricane passed, viewers caught a glimpse of Dexter, still alive and living out the remainder of his life as a lumberjack.
Many fans were unhappy with the ending and it seems like the writers may have been, too. Recently, Variety spoke with producer John Goldwyn about how the writers decided to end Dexter. According to Goldwyn, Showtime wouldn’t let Dexter end in one particular way:
“They [wouldn't] let us kill him. Showtime was very clear about that. When we told them the arc for the last season, they just said, ‘Just to be clear, he’s going to live.’ There were a lot of endings discussed because it was a very interesting problem to solve, to bring it to a close. People have a relationship with ‘Dexter,’ even if it doesn’t have the size and the ferocity of the fanbase for ‘Breaking Bad.’ But it has a very core loyal following.”
Goldwyn doesn’t seem to be too happy about how Showtime denied them the option of killing off Dexter. Goldwyn mentions the fans of both Dexter and Breaking Bad, and how they are both incredibly large and passionate. Although both shows ended, only one show’s fanbase was almost unanimously satisfied with that ending.
Though it’s possible that Goldwyn wanted to conclude the series with the death of Dexter and was denied the option, executive producer Sara Colleton told TV Line that Dexter’s death was never in the cards because it wouldn’t have been “a fitting enough punishment for him.” So perhaps the point was moot?
Regardless, after eight seasons, it’s surprising that Showtime wouldn’t allow the writers to kill off Dexter at the end of the series. The writers have been crafting the story of Dexter Morgan for eight years – shouldn’t they be the ones who decide whether the character lives or dies? Obviously, their request that Dexter be kept alive had to do with leaving open the possibility to revisit the character in a spin-off series or feature film.
Personally, I’d very much like to see a spin-off or a film because of how betrayed I felt with the finale. Besides Deb, no one else in the series was given any form of closure. Dexter abandoned his son and girlfriend, killed his sister, and may have possibly ruined Quinn’s life. Quinn broke up with Jamie for Deb, and now she assumes that the child she has raised for years is dead. Besides Dexter and Deb, the characters that fans have been watching for years didn’t get any kind of proper ending.
Hopefully, Showtime will make the decision to not kill Dexter off worth it by actually continuing his story and giving it another shot at a great ending.
Dexter aired October 1, 2006 – September 22, 2013 on Showtime.