SPOILER ALERT: This piece includes major details from the season finale of Dexter: New Blood.
After an overwhelming amount of backlash from both fans and critics, series creator Clyde Phillips reunited with Michael C. Hall to write the wrongs of Dexter’s original series finale. Set 10 years after Dexter Morgan went missing in the eye of Hurricane Laura, New Blood brought us a new look at the character as he tries to build a life for himself in a new home.
In the new series, Dexter is revealed to be alive and well living in Iron Lake, NY under the alias Jim Lindsay. With a new girlfriend, job, and place in the community, things are looking good for everyone’s favorite fictional serial killer. But the Dark Passenger can only stay dormant for so long…
Events have continued to escalate during the past few weeks as the series headed to a gripping conclusion that finally revealed the fate of Dexter Morgan. In a shocking showdown, Dexter is finally outed as the Bay Harbor Butcher and makes a desperate attempt to flee with his son Harrison. Upon the revelation that Dexter killed an innocent man during his escape, Harrison draws a rifle on his father and pulls the trigger. A move prompted by Dexter himself.
Whether fans like it or not, there is no going back now.
“Dexter Morgan is dead.”
In an interview with Deadline, Clyde Phillips confirmed the death and also stated that he knew the serial killer’s life would end when meeting with Michael C. Hall to discuss returning to the role. Phillips gave further details on the decision, saying:
“We knew this had to happen, and I think it had to happen for the audience as much as for the character. To see him get caught time and time again and get out of it time and time again is a disservice to the audience. And I think there’s a certain truth and authenticity in the storytelling. So early on when I went to go and speak with Michael, it was about two and a half years ago in early July 2019, I told him my ideas. We met after I received a call from Showtime president Gary Levine who told me they were interested in revisiting this. Michael gave me a big hug and told me, “I’m in.” He knew how this would end.”
He was then asked about how he felt New Blood completed Dexter’s story:
“How often does a show get to do a second finale? I think the answer is never. With the bad taste that the original finale left in everybody’s mouth, we had this rare opportunity to redeem the show and to give the audience the respect it deserves, the authenticity it deserves, and the gratitude for sticking with us. The numbers have been exploding for Showtime, I think we’re their No. 1 asset. I’m so humbled by that.”
Questioned on the potential fan response to the death, Phillips added:
“Well, it’s interesting. You should know that I lurk a lot on social media. Maybe I have too much time on my hands? [laughs] But everyone has a different sort of opinion. Some people say the end of Season 8 was great. Some people said it’s the worst thing they’ve ever seen. Some people have guessed exactly what’s going to happen. Some people think that Harrison isn’t really Harrison and that the person we see killed the real Harrison. Some people think Harrison killed Hannah [Yvonne Strahovski]. There’s got to be a panoply of opinions. So I just can’t take it personally. We’re ready for anything.”
As previously mentioned, Phillips definitively confirms the characters fate:
“I have three words for you: Dexter is dead. I wouldn’t do that to the audience. It would be dishonest. Here, there is no question that this is the finale of Dexter. Dexter is dead.”
Those expecting some miraculous turn of events can now sleep easy – or worse – depending on how you feel about it all.
With Dexter officially taking his last breath, the discussion moved on to what could lie ahead for the franchise. Phillips confirmed he would like to tell more in a continuation:
“As I mentioned, this show is a huge asset. When people start bingeing this after the finale, I’m confident the numbers will continue to go up. It’s up to Showtime to make the call to me if they want more. If they ask me if I’d like to make a continuation of this, I would say yes. I have a lot of things going on but I would drop everything for this and say yes in one second.”
Asked what a continuation would look like, Philips said:
“Harrison is such a complicated character and he has within him the seeds of the dark passenger. He’s capable. Look at that takedown of Dexter in the end, what’s in Harrison is that he has to kill this man. Also, Harrison brings a different perspective to the vigilantism of it all than Dexter did, which was kind of surprising to Dexter. He brings this youthful, optimistic innocence, that he and his dad are basically Batman and Robin. Think of every time we take out one of these bad guys how many lives we’re saving, that this bad person is not going to kill. Dexter never thought of that. Dexter was only taking out bad guys because that was his code.”
Speaking more about the emotional conclusion between Father and Son, Phillips added:
“He helps him see that he is a villain. When Harrison yells at Dexter and tells him, “Open your eyes and see what you’ve done.” He has those flashbacks of all the innocent people who died because of him like Doakes, Deb, and LaGuerta. People who, if Dexter wasn’t who he was, would still be alive. He’s talking to an addict, basically. Harrison could’ve done a number of things. And Dexter was either going to get shot in the front or in the back. When Dexter says, “I’ve never felt real love until now,” that’s a huge breakthrough. Remember when he tells Deb in the second season that if he were capable of love, she would be the one. But now he is capable of love. She was his step-sister, this is his son. It’s a real awakening for him. He gives Harrison permission and tells him where to shoot him. With his dying breath after he’s shot he says, “You did good.” It’s absolution for what Harrison’s done.”
Dexter: New Blood is now available to stream in its entirety on the Showtime app.