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How A Former Showrunner Would’ve Ended ‘Dexter,’ Plus Who Will Get The ‘Dexter’ Spin-Off?

By / 09.23.13

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Presumably, you’ve either now seen the finale to Dexter or you have read the recap (or you have plans to do neither), and you know that Dexter’s series finale was a complete, abhorrent mess, a total sh*tstorm. A LUMBERJACK, people. A LUMBERJACK. (*shakes head*). Clyde Phillips — who ran the show for the glorious first four seasons, and who has been critical of this final season of Dexter — had an idea for an ending while he was still running the show that he thinks is better than last night’s finale.

It sure couldn’t be worse.

While conceding that he thought they did a “good job” with the final episode (he’s just being nice), Phillips laid out his idea for the finale to E!:

“In the very last scene of the series,” Philips explained, “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.

“And in the gallery are all the people that Dexter killed—including the Trinity Killer and the Ice Truck Killer (his brother Rudy), LaGuerta who he was responsible killing, Doakes who he’s arguably responsible for, Rita, who he’s arguably responsible for, Lila. All the big deaths, and also whoever the weekly episodic kills were. They are all there.

“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. 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.”

I like it. Better, yes? An “epic, very satisfying conclusion?” That depends really on how he got to the execution table. If Debra was responsible for arresting and putting away Dexter, then absolutely. I can definitely see how it’d work well, and it’s sure as hell better than what Scott Buck came up with.

I do like the inspiration for the ending, too.

Phillips further explained that his idea for the ending was inspired by An Occurence at Owl Creek Bridge, the 1890 story by Ambrose Pierce about a Confederate soldier that is famous for its time-altering, plot-twisting ending. When the soldier is hanged, the rope breaks, he falls into the river, swims to shore, runs toward his family, see his wife and children and right before they are reunited, the rope catches and he dies. It turns out that the entire story takes place in the two to three seconds between the soldier’s initial drop and his neck snapping.

Speaking of Scott Buck, he’s really not letting that Dexter spin-off idea go, despite the negative reception this final season of Dexter has received.

Asked about a couple of possibilities, Scott Buck tells The Hollywood Reporter that he’s open to them.

THR: Is Hannah and Harrison’s story something you’ve talked about for a spinoff?

Buck: Absolutely. I love Yvonne Strahovski, she’s a terrific actor and has brought so much to the series. Who knows? We may see her again in the future.

Later in the interview, though he noted that there have been no discussions yet on what the spin-off might be, he also seemed to suggest that a show centered on Quinn could work, too.

I could see, maybe, the Strahovski spin-off working, as long as Scott Buck is kept as far away from it as possible. Still, whatever the spin-off may be, we do have to contend with the fact that Dexter is still out there, so if a spin-off is greenlit, the question of him returning will forever hang over it.

(Sources: E! and THR)


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