That’s the question that Entertainment Weekly put to its readers yesterday after last Sunday’s episode drew the highest ratings ever for a Showtime original series, 2.6 million viewers. Should a ratings peak — for a penultimate episode, no less — prompt the network to extend the series, even after the series showrunners have set an end date?
The answer, of course, is no.
Let’s just ignore for a moment the fact that the previous two seasons of Dexter were not very good, and go with the opinion shared by some that this season has been a creative rebound. If you believe that, it’s only because after wondering aimlessly since the death of the Trinity Killer, Dexter finally has a direction. I don’t necessarily like the direction the show is heading toward (I think that Debra will ultimately become not just another serial killer in the family, but a rival one), but I appreciate that it’s going somewhere.
If, due to exploding ratings, Showtime decides to extend Dexter, they’ll have to push the end game (Dexter’s capture/death/rehabilitation) back yet another year, which means that next year would be another stall. It would mean an entire season of Debra or LaGuerta or Masuka or someone else in the department circling Dexter. It would essentially be a repeat of season five or six, only with a different underlying theme. Dexter would find yet another “soul mate,” and at this point, how many people with whom Dexter shares a thirst for killing can the man realistically meet?
Eight seasons is enough. It may be too much, but at this point, I’m so invested in the show I’m not going anywhere. But if they extend it another year (and unless it involves A LOT of Yvonne Strahovski) I might take a season off unless they think of a super creative way to reset the show the way Chuck did every half season. For instance, here’s an idea: Dexter moves to New York, and he tracks Ted Mosby’s mother. It might not prevent another season of Dexter, but it could prevent a ninth season of How I Met Your Mother.
Now, if they wanna give Hannah McKay her own spin-off, well, that’s a different story all together.