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".