Spoilers for the series finale of Dexter lie ahead.
After a series finale poorly received by viewers and critics alike, many loyal fans of the Showtime serial killer drama Dexter questioned how the once-acclaimed show could have gone so terribly wrong, loudly communicating their dissatisfaction across social media.
However, recent news suggests that the writers may not have been entirely to blame. Show producer John Goldwyn recently told Variety that Showtime refused to allow Dexter‘s writing staff the creative freedom to end the drama in the way that many fans had previously assumed could be the only logical ending for the show:
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 sound too happy about the limitation Showtime placed on his show, and understandably so. In the weeks leading up to the Dexter finale, many speculated that protagonist Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall), a serial killer who worked by day as a blood analyst for the Miami Police Department, had to die, either by his own devices or at the hands of sister Deb, a devoted detective who had been grappling with Dexter’s secret since the end of the show’s sixth season.
Instead, Dexter‘s series finale found the character escaping his life in Miami to become a lonely lumberjack. After Deb was rendered brain-dead following a shooting Dexter could have prevented, Dexter abandoned his quest to elope to Argentina with murderous girlfriend Hannah McKay (Yvonne Strahovski), instead imposing self-exile and choosing to live out the rest of his life chopping down trees in woody Oregon.
Fans who had persevered through three middling seasons of Dexter in hopes of seeing the character get a proper send-off were mostly outraged by the ending, but Showtime’s rationale for not killing Dexter seems clear. As is the case with most successful landmark franchises, the network opted to leave a door open for the character’s return in case they ever chose to pursue a Dexter spin-off.
After eight seasons of Dexter, it seems strange that Showtime didn’t trust the writers to wrap up the show in whatever way they saw fit, but then again, they aren’t AMC.
Are you still keen to see a Dexter spin-off, perhaps based on Desmond Harrington’s Joey Quinn? Let us know in the comments section!