The series finale of Showtime’s serial killer drama Dexter was one of the worst endings to a show I’ve ever seen. Surely, it was hurt by coming just one week after the absolutely stellar conclusion to Breaking Bad, but the real culprit was a total cop-out of an ending that erased any goodwill longtime fans may have possessed toward Dexter.
Individuals close to the show have defended the ending, but the real reasons for why they chose to send Deb to a watery grave and Dex to a remote woodland cabin were soon revealed. Apparently, Showtime wouldn’t sign off on letting Dexter die in the finale.
For a show about the life of a serial killer, that must have been a crippling blow for the writers. Showtime’s motivations were clear; though Dexter was ending, the program had been a huge cash cow for the premium cable network and they wanted to leave the door open for the character to return in a spinoff. Now, however, star Michael C. Hall is throwing a monkey wrench in those plans.
Speaking with IGN, Hall said the following about a possible return:
“It’s very difficult for me to imagine someone coming up with something that is compelling enough for that to be worth doing. I certainly have no interest right now in playing Dexter. You know, some time passes and somebody has some newly imagined landscape for him that I feel is worth exploring, I would perhaps consider it. Beyond that vague notion, I really can’t say, and it’s not something I have any immediate plans to do. He is still alive, but for right now, I’m leaving him in the cabin.”
Like many others, Hall was dissatisfied with the ending, though he was happy to discuss the path of the show. He said:
“You know, Dexter morphed. It was a many-headed creative monster, and certain heads were lopped off halfway through the life of the show. It was difficult to maintain a cohesive narrative in many ways, but primarily, in terms of the conception of the character, once he started to move into murkier, blurrier, more human territory, it became a very difficult thing to wrap my head around. But in the end, I think Dexter was always a pragmatist and, well, self-centered. I think it was his version of selflessness upon recognition that anyone close to him was going to be destroyed if he continued to indulge in intimate relationships. You know, his dad died, Rita died – well, once he decided that, he faked his death and erased himself, but he didn’t want to die. I honestly find it to be a pretty dark ending, and I think it upset a lot of people. Certainly, the shakiness of certain aspects of the eighth season maybe made that ending less palatable to people. I don’t think people were ready to be told that, because they were already feeling a sense of ambivalence for the show. But the idea that he imprisons himself in a prison of his own making I think is fitting [for the character].”
At least Hall was able to acknowledge that fans had trouble swallowing the ending. Naturally, the actor had his own ideas about where he wanted his famed character to end up:
“It’s tricky. Sometimes I wish he’d offed himself, wish he’d died, wish Deb had shot him in that train compartment – of course, that would have made an eighth season difficult to do.”
And doesn’t that just hit the nail on the head? In its greed for more seasons, Showtime sucked the creative life out of Dexter and wasn’t willing to let the writers pen an appropriate ending. It’s not the first time that Showtime has pulled a stunt like that. Network president David Nevins has stated that a spinoff won’t happen without Hall, so maybe his lack of interest will send a message to Showtime, so that the network doesn’t similarly bleed shows like Masters of Sex, Penny Dreadful, House of Lies and Ray Donovan dry (it’s probably already too late for Homeland).
Source: Screen Rant