Spoiler alert! Alternate Dexter ending revealed … and why it ended like it did

Sep 24th, 2013
Spoiler alert! Alternate <i>Dexter</i> ending revealed … and why it ended like it did
Sep 24th, 2013

After eight seasons and a scrap heap of dead bodies, Dexter has finally taken its last gasp, but not without a bit of controversy.

Fans have called the finale everything from "the lamest series finale since Seinfeld" to comparing it to "having a friend of eight years suddenly drop-kick my puppy".

The ground-breaking Showtime series aired its final episode overnight, farewelling TV's favourite serial-killer-with-a-heart, Dexter Morgan (Michael C Hall). Do NOT read ahead if you haven't watched the episode yet …

In short, Dexter speeds his boat into a hurricane after putting his dead sister Debra (Jennifer Carpenter) to rest in the ocean. Dexter is pronounced dead, and by all means, he shouldn't have survived.

However, the last scene shows a bearded Dexter somewhere far away working as a lumberjack. He enters a small cabin, takes a seat at a desk, and gives an ambiguous look to the camera. It seems to imply that he's sentenced himself to a solitary life to atone for his sins. Or maybe something else?

Dexter's former showrunner Clyde Phillips has revealed an alternate ending he had in mind when he worked on the show from 2006 to 2009.

"In the very last scene of the series, Dexter wakes up," Clyde told E! Online. "And everybody is going to think, 'Oh, it was a dream', and then the camera pulls back and back and back and then we realise, '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."

Phillips adds that everything from the past eight seasons would flash past in the time it takes for Dexter's execution. "I think it would have been a great, epic, very satisfying conclusion," Phillips said.

Current showrunner Scott Buck has defended his decision to end the series the way he did.

"We wanted to leave it all in the viewers' head," Buck told The Hollywood Reporter. "I don't know what [Dexter's] thinking in that moment; I know he's in this self-imposed prison and the reason he locked eyes is essentially so we can feel as uncomfortable as he does in his world.

"He's someone who was just moments from taking that final step toward humanity who then has to face himself as the monster he believes he is and decide his own fate. He gives himself what he deserves. I don't think in that moment he's fighting the urge to kill; he's dealing with the reality of the misery of his life in that moment."

Buck also told Entertainment Weekly that he pitched the idea of Dexter being forced to kill his sister years ago, and that the final scenes "were pretty much unchanged".

Despite the fan uproar, the final episode broke Showtime records in the US, delivering the show's highest ratings ever with a total of 3.3 million viewers. It also became the highest-rating original episode in Showtime history.

Farewell, Dexter. Well, there is a spin-off in the works … we wonder which character it will follow. Any ideas, fans?

Check out the hilarious Dexter-themed merch out there in our slideshow of cult TV show toys for adults ...



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