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Hypable

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.

  • http://twitter.com/rogXue rogXue

    AMC is the new Showtime, Sho had a nice run but continued to grind their good shows to the point where people hated them. Was not a fan of the final season of Dexter and the last ep felt very bland.

    • alexa

      ^COMPLETELY AGREE. even though AMC just lost breaking bad they still have Walking Dead, Mad Men, Hell on Wheels, and basically the best compilation of shows out there

  • Gilad Winogron

    They should have killed Dexter (while he was rescuing Debra and sacrificing himself) and let Debra have a happy ending (living with Quinn and adopting Harrison as her son). Debra deserved something better than that horrible ending.

    • CliveRogan

      I’ll never forgive them for making her kill LaGuerta, If I had written Dexter I’d have had Debra kill Dexter there and then, keeping her character in character and saving us from that final season.

      • Loretta Lynn

        I think in the end Dexter should have killed himself by wrapping his arms around Dead Deb and jumping feet first into the ocean. The reality is Deb’s character was ruined the minute she shot LaGuerta, her character as in her personality. She suddenly was a killer too. They both should have died at the end and less sloppy. Or when Dexter was in the room with the pen he should have killed him raised his arms up, and said, “I am the BayHarbor Butcher.” At the same time Deb flat lining with Quinn next to her and Angel arresting Dexter. It would just symbolize the true destruction caused by Dexter Morgan.

        • CliveRogan

          Given there was a hurricane one of the things that annoyed me most about the episode was that the sea was so still. The shoreline was really windy, but the sea was completely flat. Both logically and thematically it’d have been best if we’d have just seen Dexter from shore, taking Deb’s body and sailing into the storm.

          Or had the balls to do what you said and had him be arrested.

    • guest02

      That would have made so much more sense for debras arc, especially after what she went through in the last season. Also leaving harrison with her makes more sense than with a serial killer. I couldn’t care less about Quinn but if it gave her the happy ending then sure.

      Dexters final season had a lot of issues, including the finale. the last shot of any episode, especially a series finale is so important; its the last image that’s left with the audience and dexters really was a kick in the balls. Dexters pulling the plug and throwing his sister into the ocean was so overly melodramatic. Not to mention dexter driving into a hurricane named after his mother…ughh.

      I would have had the last shot be dexter standing in a crowd of walking people on the street and as one person passes by the camera and briefly covers it, dexter vanishes. That would have conveyed more of dexters mysterious lifestyle and left it open ended as to whether he died or disappeared.

    • Lemoncakes

      What was done to Debra Morgan over the course of the final season in general was disgusting and an insult to the work and writing put into that character.

      • Gilad Winogron

        I feel really sorry for Jennifer Carpenter. She was AMAZING as Debra but she never got the recognition for that – she was never nominated for an Emmy (for 8 years!!) and then came the last season with the finale and ruined her character for good. If we ignore the finale, Debra had a chance for happiness in her life and she was f**king awesome :)

    • tdawgid1

      Thank you! I’m pretending this was the actual ending, and erasing that abominable one they gave us from my memory!!

  • Alive285

    Killing Dexter wouldn’t have made me like the last season any more. If it was a book in the series it would have been called Deeply Disappointing Disaster.

    Showtime really needs to break the cycle they seem to be stuck in of not knowing when to end their shows and instead letting them just go on and on and on. Weeds should have ended in Season 3. Seasons 3-5 of The L Word weren’t that good (and I pretend that train wreck of a season 6 never existed – I mean who ever heard of having a murder mystery with no resolution?). Dexter hadn’t been really good since Season 4. The only exception I can think of is The Big C, which ended perfectly (though it was a surprise to all us fans since Season 3 wasn’t as good as the first two).

    I also don’t like that they have so much input in a show’s plot – telling writers not to kill characters. I think that’s where Showtime differs from HBO. HBO seems to be a writer’s network. They practically give their writers free reign to write the story they want to write without too much interference.

  • FrodoFraggins

    The problem wasn’t him living, it was that they chose not to give us a compelling final season. One where he eventually gets caught/discovered and everyone he ever knew sees what a monster he really is.

    Everything was in place for him to finally get caught and they decided not to because it would be predictable. Bunch of hacks running the show.

  • zonkos

    dexter showrunners, stop the blame game it is done, it was a great tv show all in all, let it go.

    • CliveRogan

      It was a great TV show, was meaning prior to that final season which was mediocre to it’s very core. I don’t blame them even slightly for trying to pass some of that off on Showtime. This explains how that final scene doesn’t connect to the one preceding it. It was literally tacked on, probably to spite Showtime

  • Tyler

    YO HYPABLE STOP WITH THE SPOILER TITLES THIS JUST RUINED THE WHOLE SHOW FOR ME

    • Doakes

      Honestly, the last season was completely meaningless and went nowhere. I read up on all the potential series-ending spoilers because ultimately it didn’t matter. No matter what they did, it wouldn’t have been earned and there was no journey for me as a viewer.

    • Lemoncakes

      Good, now you don’t have to watch it and be disappointed by how bad it becomes.

    • CliveRogan

      His lack of a death ruins the show more than any spoiler of it can.

  • Reload

    Killing Dexter wouldn’t have redeemed the clusterfuck that was the final season. Ending with him as a lumberjack was just a shitty cherry on top of the shit pile that was the entire final season.

  • Caroline J.

    i’m going to comment on what the article is ACTUALLY about, which is that Shotime has forced certain creative decisions, which i find interesting. i can understand them not wanting to kill off Brody. the show is still pretty new and they’re trying to get as much hype and money out of his character as possible (because for them its all about money). but why be so adamant about a season finale? what is there to lose at that point if you kill off the main character? could the same be said for Breaking Bad (i dont know the behind-the-scenes decision of that one, but its a similar scenario)? is it somehow playing it more safe to keep the main character alive? are they hoping for some sort of bonus content in the future which wouldn’t line up if Dexter had died. or do they just think it would somehow be the apocalypse if they did something controversial? typical suits.

  • 7Starrchasers

    I actually thought the ending made a lot of sense, especially if you apply some meaning to it. I choose to look it as, at the end of the day he is still a serial killer, he doesn’t deserve to be happy or to simply be killed. He deserves to suffer a long miserable life, as harsh as that sounds, its the truth. Then there’s that whole thing where people think he should have been caught, and to that I have to say, him being the perfect killer for so long wont just change in a few months, and the ending kept true to that, he will continue to be perfect in that way. He realised that in the end he is the reason everyone he loves died, having seeing both his “mothers” die in front of him, and essentially Debra being his last kill, he couldn’t do that to Hannah or Harrison because he loves them too much. Him riding into the storm was obviously him trying to take away his own life, but the fact that he survived could mean that because he is an “evolved” being, not even nature could kill him.

    Anyway thats how I choose to see the ending but I guess not everyone will be happy about it.

    • Lemoncakes

      Yeah, we get it. It’s stupid.

      It’s self-involved melodramatic garbage that delivers absolutely no payoff that we’ve been expecting for 8 seasons at the expense of a sensible plot and well-written characters. Hannah was an absolutely nonsensical creation that didn’t resemble what she was in S7 in the slightest. Dexter was a terrible serial killer in the final season and acted like an idiot over and over again. Everyone in the universe served solely for Dexter to feel angsty about like he was some anime anti-hero.

      It was laughable and went down as one of the weakest final season and weakest finale of recent history. It absolutely destroyed the legacy of the show.

      • HailWhedon

        I get the no payoff, but I don’t think it destroyed the show’s legacy…there were some aspects of season 8 that were strong, and most that were weak.

        • Lemoncakes

          Season 8 was a complete debacle, the only episodes that were strong were the first 2 or 3. The rest of it undid the impact and importance of those first episodes.

          Also, Debra’s death in the end makes the entire series meaningless.

          No really, a rewatch feels absolutely pointless when the character that grows and learns and develops the most anticlimactically dies in the finale, practically off-screen and out of nowhere, before getting dumped in the ocean like garbage.

          It was a disgrace and done solely to protect a dying Intellectual Property that everybody makes fun of now.

          • HailWhedon

            hmmm you have a point, but I always assumed Deb would die, at Dexter’s hand. Tbh I thought he would actually kill her cause she looses control…but that didnt happen technically, although he did “kill her” in the end. I’ve got mixed feelings about this episode and this season, but I didn’t hate it.

    • Jammy Jackson

      Sounds like you think it’s justified that Debra dies. And that you are a much better person than Dexter. He really made the world a better place by taking out of the trash. Sure there are some misfortunate killings, but that’s the price you pay for justice.

      To say that Dexter does not deserve to be happy and should live a long miserable life makes you a way worse person than Dexter can ever be. I hope I’ll never have the misfortune as meeting someone as heartless as you.

      • 7Starrchasers

        Did you not read what I said? I said that I’m assuming that’s what the writers were trying to say with the ending! The ending wasn’t so clear cut and there were a lot of themes etc, so I interpreted is as best as I could. How can you be so rude. This is a place where people can share there thoughts about stuff they like and there is no need to get so horrible just because someone else has a different opinion to yours. Don’t put words in my mouth, I thought her death was pointless but because it has already been done, there’s nothing I can do about it, I’m choosing not to whine about it instead trying to think about why they would do such a thing to her. If I could have it my way she would have married Quinn in the end, and dexter would be happy with Hannah, but then again even that ending would have pissed off so many fans. Either way dexter’s ending was never going to fully satisfy people cause after season four the fandom seemed to be divided all the time. And to say I’m heartless because of I comment I made makes you a really horrible judge of character so maybe next time just don’t say anything until you get to know someone.

      • HailWhedon

        So, why do you have to be such a jerk? They were clearly NOT saying what you thought they were, just grow up and let people have an opinion will you? It’s a free country.

        p.s Even if he did kill bad people, He WAS A KILLER. There’s no argument there. Comparing some person on the internet to a serial killer and saying they are worse makes you seem immature.

        • Jammy Jackson

          I’d rather not sin in silent.(not sin in a religious sense just ethical sense). I’m not the kind of person who likes nuts who escape the law to roam around to rape and kill but of course to each his/her own

    • Nicki

      Wow… this has put the ending into so much clarity for me. I was happy with everything but the lumberjack scene, but now I can be happy with it. It’s his ultimate punishment. He’ll never see his son or Hannah again, and he thinks he caused debs death. Clever way of looking at it. Thanks!

      • 7Starrchasers

        Yay :)…me and my brother talked about it for days! It was the only way I could make sense of the ending and I thought it really fit! Glad to see im not alone!

  • Dexter Fan

    At the end just prior to dumping Deb in the ocean, while looking up at the coming storm, he should’ve just repented for all the killing. A little dramatic but it would have shown the prodigal son’s return if you will. Regardless if they may have been justified killings, that would have been a confirmation that he was going to start over. That would’ve been the miracle he said he never saw. Instead they made him a broken and miserable man at the end. No good and very poor ending.

  • Bikkun

    Bad, bad, bad spoiler title

  • RazorShines

    I always felt a great ending would have been Dexter killed by another serial killer that had been stalking him. It would have been an ironic and justifiable ending

    • Loretta Lynn

      That also would be a terrible ending, because it has been ‘too close’ too many times if that had occurred than a ‘new and improved’ killer would be about. It still wouldn’t make sense.

  • Nicki

    Jeez.. I for one enjoyed every season of this show.. and everything but the lumberjack scene had reason for me. Yes, Deb did deserve better.. but she put her life on the line willingly every day to protect others, and this time it caught up with her. Just because she’s a great character doesn’t mean she will get the life she deserves. Rita certainly didn’t deserve her ending… but terrible things happen to nice people. That pretty much the point of the show. If Showtime weren’t such douches this could have been the perfectly tragic finale it was building up to. The same thing happened with Merlin and that lorry scene. But I’ll not have a go at the writers..only Showtime’s bad decision making. I feel dexter should have died with her in the storm. Other than that… thank you for all the years. And yes, Jennifer was definitely hard done by on the award side of things. One of the best actresses on tv in recent times.

  • Nina

    Every time I see something like this, I just get more and more disappointed at Showtime. It’s impressive how they manage to screw up their best series in their final seasons. First, the writers try to kill a character in two different seasons in Homeland (a great series, by the way) and they’re denied that. Then, in The Borgias, the last season was closed with a terrible ending and thousands of questions are still unanswered about what happens to Cesare and Lucrezia. And now this? Seriously, they should give their writers more freedom to finish their stories as well as they started them, if they wanna keep their loyal audience. Deb definitely deserved a better ending.

    Congratulations, Showtime. You’ve just killed, literally, another incredible series.

  • dee79

    The whole final season was ridiculous which was sad because it was such a fantastic show in seasons 1-4. The idea that Dexter would fall for another serial killer and then turn his son over to that person was ridiculous. He wanted to protect his son from himself but who was going to protect his son from Hannah? Crazy, stupid and made no sense. And then for Debra to die like she did. It was just stupid.

  • illwey1

    I think no matter what, people would be unhappy about the way the series ended. Everyone has their own ideas about how it should end and it can only end in one way, so with that said, I think the ending was great. Dexter is dead. The “Dark Passenger” lives and I think it gives Dexter a right of restart. If they do decide to do a spinoff or start up the series again, Dexter will only be referred to as THE Dark Passenger.

  • Chanda Kapoma

    It was a total crap finale!After 8 years watching the show, I felt cheated by the finale!

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