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Did the Dexter finale leave you disappointed? Here's how former showrunner Clyde Phillips would've ended the series

Sep. 24, 2013by: Kevin Woods
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I could go off on a rant about this past Sunday's "Dexter" series finale and how it, along with the past couple of sub-par seasons, were a slap to the face of the fans who have put in many years of faithful viewing to what used to be Showtime's best program, but I would just be beating a dead horse. Suffice it to say, the "Dexter" finale was a huge disappointment and I can honestly say that I'm glad the series is over. I just wish they would've delivered a better ending.

Now the folks over at E! have tracked down former "Dexter" showrunner Clyde Phillips, who served as an executive producer on the one-time hit series in the early years, helping shape the show for its first four seasons until he decided to leave in late 2009, at the end of the Trinity Killer (John Lithgow) season, which ended with Rita's shocking death. Phillips shared what he had in mind for the end of "Dexter", stating...

“I haven’t shared this with anyone. And I can tell you that this is what I personally would have done should I have stayed with the show. I chose not to stay with the show, and so everybody did what they did, and I had no problem with that…and I think they did a good job with the final episode. But here is what I personally would have pitched.“

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

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 intial drop and his neck snapping.

I would've preferred Phillip's ending to the one we got, but I suppose it does us no good to dwell on the finale that might have been. It's just a huge shame that a once-great series like "Dexter" that delivered shocks and surprises week after week became one of the most boring and pointless programs on cable, where the most exciting (and unintentionally funny) thing to happen in the final season was Dexter's kid Harrison falling off of a treadmill.

Yes, THAT happened.

Good riddance, "Dexter".

Extra Tidbit: Would you have preferred Clyde Phillip's proposed ending to the one we got?
Source: E!

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4:10PM on 09/25/2013
No man, the series cannot ends with Dexter dying. Even when the season was bad, the ending was OK.
My problem is Hannah, because most of the story arc of Hannah could have been part of Lumens story. Lumen was a better character, and the series should end in 6 season with Dex and Lumen escaping somewhere or something like that.
No man, the series cannot ends with Dexter dying. Even when the season was bad, the ending was OK.
My problem is Hannah, because most of the story arc of Hannah could have been part of Lumens story. Lumen was a better character, and the series should end in 6 season with Dex and Lumen escaping somewhere or something like that.
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6:35PM on 09/24/2013

The finale was a big slap in the face

Sounded better than the illogical, unrealistic mess we were handed by Showtime.
Sounded better than the illogical, unrealistic mess we were handed by Showtime.
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12:20PM on 09/24/2013

I loved the finale and Phillips' End..Meh

I hate Hannah McKay and I thought the season 8 was very bad. 7 was even worse. What I loved about the series finale is the for the whole series it was about Dexter faking his emotions and not being able to be like other people. We saw the progress of him becoming more like us. He did that this season. At the end of t he said that all he wanted to do was feel what other people feel. Now he does he just wanted it to stop. Dexter didn't kill Saxon because he wanted to help Deb and he felt human.
I hate Hannah McKay and I thought the season 8 was very bad. 7 was even worse. What I loved about the series finale is the for the whole series it was about Dexter faking his emotions and not being able to be like other people. We saw the progress of him becoming more like us. He did that this season. At the end of t he said that all he wanted to do was feel what other people feel. Now he does he just wanted it to stop. Dexter didn't kill Saxon because he wanted to help Deb and he felt human. Deb died because of it. Dr. Vogel died because Dexter was killer that kept pursuing Saxon. It was an example to sum up that Dexter will never win. Being a killer or not. He puts everyone around him danger. Hannah and Harrison are the only other two people Dexter loved that he had left in his life. I got the ending. He did some good in his life. He helped Hannah get to Argentina. Let's face it. Hannah wasn't a serial killer anymore this season. She was just a dumb broad. Only thing she wanted is a family. Now she is a single mom. When Dexter dumped Deb in the water, he also dumped himself. Dexter we knew died when he dumped Deb in the water. For everyone making fun of Dexter the lumberjack, must know that they picked it for a reason. Lumberjacks are out in the sticks and for the most part, can live a very solitary life. A suiting end for our tainted hero.
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10:36AM on 09/24/2013

Damn Right!

This is my favorite show. I hated this last season and even more the ending. I loved every minute of the previous 7 which makes this so dissapointing. I had my own wishes for a conclusion and would've accepted something different but not what they went with. Personally I would've enjoyed him escaping to Argentina with Harrison but somehow something from the past comes back to huant him and expose his deeds. Like a DVD or some sort of evidence Doakes left behind that lets everyone in the world
This is my favorite show. I hated this last season and even more the ending. I loved every minute of the previous 7 which makes this so dissapointing. I had my own wishes for a conclusion and would've accepted something different but not what they went with. Personally I would've enjoyed him escaping to Argentina with Harrison but somehow something from the past comes back to huant him and expose his deeds. Like a DVD or some sort of evidence Doakes left behind that lets everyone in the world know. Leaving world discussing wether he was human or a monster. Also his escape could have been more exciting. But what do I know, just apparently more than the writers or show runners. Good Job assholes and go fuck yourselves.
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9:31AM on 09/24/2013

Goodness Yes

Not to mention that this ending would have been possible no matter what corner things had been painted into. Last season had its moments, especially compared to the awful season 6 (Colin Hanks) as a whole. This season had a few intriguing parts near the beginning (Deb's a wreck, a surrogate mother shows up from the past, etc) but ultimately this show was running on fumes for awhile - there was very little creativity keeping it afloat. Which is really a shame considering the possibilities of the
Not to mention that this ending would have been possible no matter what corner things had been painted into. Last season had its moments, especially compared to the awful season 6 (Colin Hanks) as a whole. This season had a few intriguing parts near the beginning (Deb's a wreck, a surrogate mother shows up from the past, etc) but ultimately this show was running on fumes for awhile - there was very little creativity keeping it afloat. Which is really a shame considering the possibilities of the subject matter.

Dexter's best moments hinged on its darkness, on questions of morality, right and wrong, the nature of good and evil, nature vs. nurture, and the quest for each of us to find our place in the world. But man did they drop the ball. They stripped it of everything that was good about it, and every time it hinted at a spark of something original or some depth, it would trade that in for melodrama and, even worse, lackluster violence.
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