Many fans of Dexter were disappointed by the final season and its farewell episode, and today we’re learning Showtime may be to blame.

Speaking at an event in New York this weekend, Dexter producer John Goldwyn revealed that Showtime insisted that the lead character not be killed in the series finale.

“Showtime was very clear about that,” he tells Vulture. “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 fan base for Breaking Bad. But it has a very core loyal following.”

Dexter’s series finale aired in late September and depicted the titular character ending up as a lumberjack. The final scene depicts him with a beard staring into the camera, having just thrown his sister Deb into the ocean. It was symbolically his final kill.

While killing off Dexter wouldn’t have fixed all of the problems some fans had, it certainly would have been an ending with more sense.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard of Showtime forcing writers to not kill off lead characters. While promoting the most recent season of Homeland, showrunners of the terrorist drama confirmed that they tried to kill off Brody in seasons 1 and 2, but both times Showtime put their foot down.

Whether or not Brody eventually dies remains to be seen (it’s clear the showrunners want to send him out), but the critical issue with Dexter is that the show has now drawn to a close and mistakes like bad endings cannot be repaired.

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Edited by Karen Rought