‘Dexter’ Ending: Showtime Wouldn’t Let Writers Have Finale They Wanted

Published 2 years ago by , Updated October 9th, 2013 at 6:21 am,

Dexter Season 8 Plot Details Dexter Ending: Showtime Wouldnt Let Writers Have Finale They Wanted


[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?

Dexter Cast web Dexter Ending: Showtime Wouldnt Let Writers Have Finale They Wanted

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.

Source: Variety & TV Line

Follow Al Mannarino on Twitter @almannarino
TAGS: Dexter
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  1. I wasn’t satisfied with the ending. I really didn’t like Hannah at all. I was really upset when he let Harrison leave with her. I also think it was rushed, as many others have stated. I still kind of wish he would have had things work with Lumen. They seemed to be a good fit until she changed her mind.

    I wish we could have see. What happened to Aster and Cody. I wasn’t thrilled when they moved away, as they had been a part of the show since the very beginning.

    I still can’t believe it’s over. :(

  2. I was very upset with this ending and couldn’t stop crying. I don’t understand why he couldn’t live happy with his son if Hannah made his dark passenger subside. I don’t get also why he had to dump Deb in the ocean. I understand she was never going to be the same and he was “Saving” her but still…With all the other rapists and murderers. She deserved better! I still liked Lumen better than all of them and was super upset when they killed off Rita. You think the writers would realize how disappointed we’d be after all the time we put into watching this and attached to the characters. They really disappointed me.

    • He didnt go with her because her realized he needed his dark passenger because without it or him he messed everything up wehter it be rita or deb

      • Yeap. It was his mother all over again. He has no control and everyone dear to him gets hurt. So he cages himself in the cabin. The monster that he’s been told he is his whole life.

      • The Dark Passenger was what killed Rita and Deb. If it wasn’t for the Dark Passanger, Rita wouldn’t have been killed, Deb wouldn’t have found Dex mid-kill, nor struggled to shoot the right person, nor suffer with the guilt, nor help him damning her own life.
        The show removing the need for the Dark Passenger was what the whole point of the show seemed to lead up to. He found that not only was the Dark Passenger ‘made up’ in Season 8,but that it didn’t control him. He controlled it.

  3. I feel like since the show had such a uneventful ending, then if they started up a new show they would have to take a serious turn. Just hear me out… So dexter lost everything to himself, Everyone he has ever known had been destroyed by him. He has lost the urge to kill people but the cost was unbearable. Now he’s alone working as a lumberjack and completely cut off from everyone he has ever known. Everything up to the current point in his life was just a waste.
    What if something different happened. Dexter doesn’t need to kill anymore, and if he did it would remind him of everything thats happened, everyone he has killed. What if now that he is alone a drastic change of events happens. What if there was some kind of outbreak… Im serious… Like Zombie outbreak. Listen. Dexter is trying to live without having to kill. without having to face all of that again and he knows damn well that if he had to kill he would be back at square one. So what if theres this crazy outbreak. whole worlds going to hell. Massive panic. People are dieing a Walking dead style crazy outbreak. Well what if he had to survive in a world where all of a sudden its just him and on his own. He would have to make conscious decisions to save people and what to do with his life now that everyones dying. He could reinvent himself in a world that could actually accept him as a hero. Not a fake hero where everyones unaware. but someone who can save innocent people who would never judge him, by doing what he knows best… Killing. Imagine what he would have to go through if he had to survive a zombie outbreak. Killing zeds would remind him of his past yet he would have to do it to survive. But now that the worlds gone and there is no power telling him what he can and cant do to protect the people he cares about. What if now he can actually pursue hanna and Harrison and try to find them in this new world. He would have to travel a crazy distance so the show could last a while. And if we have learned anything from shows like the walking dead then the tragedy is still there. But the show could have a completely different meaning of moral dignity. What he was before the world went to hell is going to save him. But he would have to use what he knows to travel and protect himself from zombies and hostile people. I could see that he might have some of his equipment still. Maybe the knife that he used to kill everyone in the old world will be the knife he uses to save lives now. But not in some unorthodox backwards method of justice but in true survival. He wanted to make sure that his family’s life would not be destroyed because of his lifestyle. but now he would have to find them because they are the only ones left that he truly loves. Dexter could be alone but still have harry to talk to. He might not be the dark passenger anymore but more of like a guide in the world. Who knows what could happen. But I feel that this could be revolutionary in the way shows are made. Could you imagine the response this show would get for this big of a turn. Not only would it keep the original fanbase but then everyone from the walking dead series would come to watch this as well to get that extra fix. I feel like a zombie story is so fitting for such a tragic end to dexters own world.
    Thank you for reading my opinion – Colin Kersey

    • Was the ending shocking…not really. It’s Dexter after all…if you are not expecting some kind of twist in the closing minutes…you’re not a fan. Now did I like the ending…no. The moment Dexter let Harrison go with Hanna…it just felt like a cheap way of writing Harrison and Hanna out of the ending. Dexter killing Deb, even as a mercy kill, was needed. Dressed in his kill clothes and taking Deb off life support, it was a proper way for Deb to go. Dumping her body in the water aligns itself to Dexter’s post kill ritual. His kills have evolved, and the ritual has changed over the years. He stopped taking slides, and he stopped cutting the bodies into little pieces. But there was one common thread left, dumping the body in the Bay. Maybe it doesn’t make sense to fans, but hey…we are (mostly) not serial killers. It was also likely his way of saying goodbye to her. Especially when his next act was to commit suicide.

      But actually, I can see them picking the story up at a later date. Especially a movie. It’s the only thing that makes sense now. All the characters have been left open ended. Think of it this way. Dexter intended to kill himself by driving into the hurricane. After the wreckage of his boat is found, WHAT IF…he was found washed ashore miles away. He has no memory, and no identification on him (he was in his kill clothes after all. He gets odd jobs like being a lumberjack. Something triggers some memories and dreams. He starts seeing and talking to Deb like he used to see his father. Because of this, he starts seeing a shrink to try and find himself. He struggles to remember who he was, and suddenly is involved in an accident with a lot of blood, he sees someone die. This brings back the dark passenger urges, and he starts to remember. But he is not the perfect killing machine he used to be. He is learning the code again. Learning how to kill “bad people” and not get caught. Now he remembers his son and Hanna, who have left Argentina, and returned to the States for some reason. Dexter begins to travel around the country trying to find them…killing along the way.

      On his tail, is a still grieving Quinn (he doesn’t know Deb is really dead, because the body went missing) who has cleaned up his act, got serious, and has become a US Marshall. He receives a tip from Elway (still obsessed with finding Hanna), and the two join forces to start to follow a string of missing people, (unknowingly all murdered by Dexter trying to find himself). Which eventually lead them chasing a cross-country murder spree.

      Now I would watch that. It’s got elements from the original series with tinges of The Fugitive.

      • Very clever idea, I agree! It’s something I would watch as well

      • You’re obviously a write of the show trolling on these boards. ;)

    • So, you want a Dexter cameo in The Walking Dead? I agree! Florida and Georgia are pretty close!

  4. Had too much to say. Here is tl;dr version;
    (IMO) The ending was super disappointing for such a great series.
    My ending = Deb Survives -> Dexter dies
    Preferably Deb would have killed Dexter. NO idea why they spent any time at all trying to make her understand him. Up to the Church scene the story stayed awesomesauce
    what happened? ;-;

  5. Worst ending I have ever seen for such a great show. It was thrown away. The writers are cowards that wouldn’t let Dexter have a happy life because society would see that as “bad.” The story arc should have involved Dexter coming to terms that he really was not a sociopath but was brainwashed by Vogel and Harry. That was the direction it was taking, and then bam this out of nowhere crap ending. Showtime u have wasted 8 years of my life. I think this was the worst ending I have ever seen. Dexter was never even a sociopath. He felt love, for Hannah, for his son, for Deb. It’s just a horrible ending plain and simple. The whole show was more dark comedy, and the ending is just too dark for the show. Sorry but it was stupid. It was not creative and it was a cop out. You mean to tell me that Dexter felt no urge to kill now and then dooms himself? Basically he should have realized that Vogel and made him a sociopath because her son as a true sociopath and Harry helped and if he had known about his mother and her fate and the reasons for his obsessions he could be healed. Now he is a lonely lumberjack? Cop out crap ending plain and simple!

    • I agree completley

  6. At least we won’t have to watch him being a slave to his cell phone anymore.

  7. The ending was a heart break for me the show itself pulled my attention real quickly and the writers have very creative minds im hoping the could continue dexter and make a twist to his return

  8. I want dexter back for more seasons i really miss!!! He has true loyal fans i wish he would continue them!!!!

  9. I was so glad to see the very annoying Rita meet her demise. Her acting skills included nothing more than loud breathing and inhaling and exhaling loudly. Every scene with her started with a loud intake of air and an over exaggerated exhale of air from her lungs. That constant extreme sighing was beyond annoying. So glad to see her go.
    Never cared much for LaGuerta either. They should have made her disappear early on. And why kill off Doakes? He was great. Every scene with him was worth watching again.

    • “And why kill off Doakes?”

      Because that’s how it happens in the book.

  10. I have to live with what I have created.
    Am I alone in this? Should I go to Argentina?
    With knowing that Deb isn’t out there…makes me feel empty.
    Am I the monster that I thought?
    Or am I just a human who misses their loved ones every time looking outside the window?