‘Dexter’: Why the Show’s Main Character Couldn’t Die

It’s not unheard of for TV shows to catch viewers off guard with their series finales, but when it comes to Dexter, fans were more than caught off guard — they were disappointed.

Dexter’s death seemed inevitable considering his position with the police department, the deaths of so many close to him, and his inability to be ‘normal.’

However, what many fans don’t know is the show’s main character wasn’t allowed to die. Fortunately, this means there’s good news to follow that fact.

The premise of ‘Dexter’

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Dexter caught a lot of audience attention for its unique spin on a murderous, blood-thirsty serial killer who worked for the Miami police department under false pretenses of doing some good for the city. That, combined with a sprinkle of human consciousness and good intent, made for an entertainingly gory crime show with a disturbing twist, unlike other shows of its time.

Not to mention, the family dynamic of Deb and Dexter catching bad guys, while one is secretly a bad guy himself, kept viewers always on edge and anticipating his inevitable reveal.

How did ‘Dexter’ end?

Actor Michael C. Hall
Actor Michael C. Hall | Matthew Eisman/Getty Images

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After eight long seasons of killing bad guys and barely getting away with it, Dexter ended in 2013 with Michael Hall’s character brooding over Deb’s death and saying good-bye to his serial killer girlfriend Hannah and his son Harrison. After Deb’s death, he felt full of blame for the deaths of the people around him and wanted to protect them both from the same fate as Deb.

The show ends with Dexter fighting a hurricane in Miami, surviving it, and living a reclusive life away from everything he’s ever known.

According to Collider, the ending didn’t sit right with Yvonne Strahovski, the actor that played Hannah McKay, and she couldn’t get over it for a little while after they finished shooting.

“There is no happy ending in any of it,” she said. “I walked away feeling very depressed, and it really stayed with me. That feeling lingered for a while after I watched it.”

The network wouldn’t let them kill off the main character

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Heading into their eighth season, fans were buzzing about whether Dexter would end the series alive or dead. Little did they know, the writers and producers had no choice in the matter, despite weighing several options for the show’s ending.

“They [wouldn’t] let us kill him,” Mental Floss reported producer John Goldwyn saying. “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.'”

According to recent news, all the waiting and hoping is finally coming to an end, and fans can expect to see a revival of the murderous and oddly sympathetic Dexter character in no time.

“Everything changed on October 14, 2020, when Showtime announced that all of our Dexter dreams are finally going to come true,” Looper reports. “Showtime is bringing Dexter back for a limited series. The series isn’t set to be an ongoing thing as of right now. It’ll run for a total of 10 episodes and bring Hall back as the world’s favorite fictional serial character. Even Better, the production is scheduled to begin next year, so it’s not all talk.”

Considering the recent announcement, it’s clear the network preferred to have the option of a revival in their back pocket in case the time came when they were ready to do something with it. Although the ending was rather controversial for many fans, it’s hard to complain after learning Showtime is finally going to give us another glimpse of Michael Hall as the infamous Dexter.