‘Dexter’ Ending Was ‘Forced On Writers,’ Says Producer
A Dexter producer said the series’ ending was forced on the writers by Showtime.
Executive producer John Goldwyn told Vulture that the network was adamant that serial killer Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall) needed to stay alive in the finale.
“They won’t let us kill him,” Goldwyn said. “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.'”
Goldwyn added, “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 fan base for Breaking Bad. But it has a very core loyal following.”
SPOILER AHEAD. DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE DEXTER SERIES FINALE.
The series finale ends with Dexter disconnecting Debra’s (Jennifer Carpenter) life support after she is shot by Oliver Saxon (Darri Ingolfsson). He brings her body on his boat, the Slice of Life, and drops it in the ocean. Dexter sails into the coming storm of Hurricane Laura, and the Coast Guard calls Angel Batista (David Zayas), Dexter’s “best friend” and says they found the wrecked remains of his boat. Dexter is believed to be dead, but he is living under an assumed identity and working for a lumber company. He sits down in an empty shack and stares into the camera as the screen fades to black.
Former executive producer and showrunner Clyde Phillips told E! Online that he had a different vision for the series finale.
“In the very last scene of the series,” Phillips said, “Dexter wakes up. And everybody is going to think, ‘Oh, it was a dream.’ And then the camera pulls back and back and back and then we realize, ‘No, it’s not a dream.’ Dexter’s opening his eyes and he’s on the execution table at the Florida Penitentiary. They’re just starting to administer the drugs and he looks out through the window to the observation gallery.”
Phillips went on to say that the people in the gallery are all of Dexter’s victims, including the Trinity Killer and the Ice Truck Killer.
“All the big deaths, and also whoever the weekly episodic kills were. They were all there,” Phillips said. “That’s what I envisioned for the ending of Dexter. That everything we’ve seen over the past eight seasons has happened in the several seconds from the time they start Dexter’s execution to the time they finish the execution and he dies.”
Phillips added, “Literally, his life flashed before his eyes as he was about to die. I think it would have been a great, epic, very satisfying conclusion.”