[TV] “Dexter” Producers Defend Season, Explain Finale…

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I’m still trying to pick up the pieces after the “Dexter” storm hit Sunday night. I must continue to point out my admiration for the series, and how I have always been a sympathizer, so when I say I hated the better half of the eighth and final season, it gives serious weight to my venomous rage. It was garbage. And while I am open to debate, nobody can argue that the season was a jumbled mess with pointless story arcs from Masuka’s daughter to Batista purchasing a bar. In fact, if I wasn’t running Bloody Disgusting 24/7, I would have already put together a list of potential “Dexter” spin-offs (can you imagine a sitcom with Masuka and his daughter, or “BATISTA”, a new police drama on FOX?). Filibustering aside, I’ve been reading every post-finale interview hoping to understand what the hell happened over at Showtime – I mean, a handful of writers, a showrunner, producers and Showtime execs had to have signed off on this ridiculous finale, right? They can’t all sit there and defend it, can they? Well, at least Clyde Phillips, the series’ original showrunner, shared what he would have done differently.

The developing behind-the-scenes story continues today with EW‘s interview with producers Scott Buck and Sara Colleton, who not only explain the ending, but also defend it. I will say, I appreciate what they were going for, although I don’t think they captured it at all…rushed, tired and lacking inspiration seems to be the real culprit.

Spoilers follow!

Buck first reveals that they had a kernel of an idea of what they wanted to do in the finale: “The kernel idea were the last few scenes,” he reveals. “They were what I pitched a few years ago. The main idea was Dexter is forced to kill Debra. And there are many ways that could happen. But those final scenes were pretty much unchanged.

From the very beginning the paradox was here’s a guy who doesn’t feel he’s a human being, who has to fake it,” Colleton adds. “But in faking it, he’s a better brother, boyfriend, colleague that most real people. People think of him as a monster, but he yearns to be human. We’ve seen him go forward on this journey every year. Now we found out what the final price was. What sums up the entire journey was the scene on balcony of his apartment before going on the boat to put Deb down — that’s horrible to say aloud. The voiceover: ‘For so long all I wanted was to feel like other people … now that I do just want it to stop.’ It’s the horrible awareness of what it was to be a human being and how overwhelming that is for him. His punishment is banishment. He sends himself into exile. Killing himself is too easy. When he turns and looks into the camera at the end he’s stripped everything away.

Buck explains why he feels it was important to end this way: “It seemed like the ending that was most justified. In season 1, you saw this guy who was so compartmentalized,” he tells the site. “The last couple seasons have been about breaking down those walls by having his son and his relationship with Hannah and having Deb discover who he is. Still he was able to justify what he did. We felt it took the death of the one person he cared most about to really look at himself. [His fate] wasn’t something that happened to him but his decision. He had to bear the burden of deciding his own fate.

I appreciate that EW sort of asks a leading question in why does Debra Morgan die off-screen (technically)? It lacked serious impact. Buck defends this decision: “I think we all feel the real moment is when Dexter hits that button. We also did it that way because in some ways it’s a little more shocking.” It’s not.

An interesting decision revealed is that they toyed with the idea of Miami Metro catching Dexter, but ultimately thought it was off-point: “We toyed with that idea, but it felt off-point,” says Buck. “The story was ultimately about Dexter’s personal journey. We have one moment in that interrogation room with Quinn and Batista. Watching the tape, Quinn has known all along that there was more there to Dexter. Batista is seeing a hint of the darker Dexter. There was a hint in that moment. But we didn’t want to blow it all up and revel he’s a serial killer.

When asked about fans being disappointed, Buck takes full responsibility. “Even if i don’t write an episode, I’m still in charge. I take full responsibility,” he says. “We all work cohesively as a team. If people think the final episode stood out, it’s probably because it’s been sitting in my mind for so long. It’s a difficult question to answer.

I think some episodes worked better than others,” Colleton adds. “But as a whole the Deb and Vogel story lines worked and we wanted to change it up and have the big bad hide in plain sight. Darri Ingolfsson, who plays Saxon, he’s fabulous once you realize [he's the brain surgeon]. The scene where he comes to Dexter’s apartment is a wonderful scene. I try not to read any of the blogs because then I become paralyzed. If they knew how much we agonized internally about everything … if we then tried to factor in an assortment of opinions it would dilute the process.

When asked if they were rushed Buck says, “A little bit. It certainly affected us in some ways,” while Colleton feel that they “rose to the challenge.” What do you guys think?

You can read the entire in-depth interview by clicking here.

 
  • djblack1313

    Mr.D, i see you are getting some flack for your views on this season but trust me when i say YOU ARE NOT ALONE IN THIS! lol. season 8 (and season 6 in my opinion…the Deb having romantic feelings for Dex storyline….FUCKING RIDICULOUS!) is mind-numbingly horrible. i respect anyone’s opinions but i honestly don’t get people saying that this season was overall good (some people even claim it was a perfect/great season!!).

    i didn’t hate the finale but i didn’t love it either. regarding Deb (my favorite character), Mr.D, i agree 10000000000% with you that how they had her die off screen (basically) was NOT the least bit shocking in the way the writers intended. it was shocking because it was so insulting to the character as well as anti-climactic.

    the worst part of Deb’s ending is Dex dropping her in the ocean WHERE HE PUT ALL OF HIS MURDERER, PEDOPHILE, ETC VICTIMS!!!!! wtf?! i can see him pulling the plug regarding the life support machines, since he most likely was legally the one who would have had the right but his taking Deb like he did, robbed all the people who loved Deb to say their goodbyes as well as her having a funeral/burial.

    i’d be more ok with her in the ocean if the ep ended with Dexter intentionally dying in the storm when his boat went down thereby reuniting the siblings in death.

    if someone has a valid explanation as to why Dex dropped Deb in the ocean, (one the isn’t ridiculous like “WELL, DEB BECAME ONE OF DEX’S UNINTENDED VICTIMS) then i’d love to hear it.

    • wildgator25

      dj, from what I’ve read somewhere’s else and I agree also, Dexter killing and dropping Deb in the ocean represented his final kill. When I saw him dressed in his brown outfit before going to the hospital, I knew that was what was coming. Dexter realized that he was the reason Deb was technically a vegetable. Nothing he could do was right. It was his job as brother to save her from the “monsters”, when all along he was the monster.

      There was no way he could walk away from Deb like that and live the happy life with Hannah and Harrison. He would have eventually brought pain to those two as well as know that Deb was in a place that she couldn’t escape. Therefore, his killing her was his offering of peace. Putting her out with his other victims was ritual.

      That’s my opinion.

      • Diavolina72

        I will say that I agree with your opinion Sir.

        • death-merchant

          The only explanation, and I hated the finale, I can come up with for Deb being dumped in the ocean is that Dexter told her that that spot is the only spot that he feels calm and peace. Still the finale is doo doo and the writers should never work again.

    • Slasher_Lover23

      I was thinking that as Dex took Deb’s body to sea, he was going to stop the boat and wait for a huge wave. He would then take Deb’s body in his arms, kiss her forehead, and close his eyes as the wave came at them. It sounds incredibly cheesy and cliche, but it would have been beautiful at the same time. Even though I feel so bad for Hannah and Harrison, it would have been better for him to die than to go into hiding and just pretend as if they don’t exist anymore.

      • djblack1313

        Slasher Lover, i agree w/ everything you just said. :)

        • wildgator25

          NO! Agree with me dammit!

          Just kidding. That would have been a cool ending as well!

          • djblack1313

            wildgator25, LOL. i agree! i agree! i agree! :)

    • huntermc

      Also, what about Harrison? As far as the surviving characters know, Dexter died in the storm, Deb disappeared from the hospital, and Harrison is now just a missing person? Or maybe they think he died in the hurricane with Dexter?

      • wildgator25

        My wife asked me something similar to that. She wondered why the Grand Parents wouldn’t want to have custody of Harrison. I gave the always right answer, “You ain’t supposed to think about stuff like that.”

  • Kwonkicker

    I love Dexter. I always will. I love the books and the show has been one of my top favorite ever. But this season, for a series finale was dreadfully and mind numbingly horrible. The original ending to Dexter would have been KICK ASS. Very disappointed with the direction for this season but alas, I bid thee a fond farewell, Dexter Morgan.

  • Lauren Taylor

    You can’t polish a turd.

  • HorrorFancy

    The lead up was a long time coming, there was no stopping this hurricane.

  • Chainsaw Graphics

    I was pretty disappointed in the finale as well, and agree that the last couple of seasons have been on cruise control. The only thing that would of helped the finale,.. is if Hannah would of told Harrison she was going to the bathroom at that coffee shop, and left him there alone. That would of been a dark little twist, and for me been pretty funny and cool.

    • wildgator25

      ̶a̶t̶ ̶t̶h̶a̶t̶ ̶c̶o̶f̶f̶e̶e̶ ̶s̶h̶o̶p̶,̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶l̶e̶f̶t̶ ̶h̶i̶m̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶r̶e̶ ̶a̶l̶o̶n̶e̶.̶ , and got naked for all to see.

      Fixed it for everyone!

      • wildgator25

        Nevermind, stupid text fix generator didn’t work. Was trying to draw a line through “at that coffee shop, and left him there alone”

        FAIL!

  • huntermc

    Reading the producers explanation, I see what they were going for, but they completely botched the execution. They way the described it, it could have been a somber conclusion conclusion, but it all just seemed out of character and slapped together. They should have had a careful, deliberate pacing throughout the season that eventually led to Dexter’s self-imposed exile as the only possible outcome.

    This episode should have been one that moved me to tears, but instead just left me massively disappointed. Kind of like the finale to Lost.

  • bonerghost

    Obviously most people agree that the 4th season is probably the best, so every season that comes after and doesn’t live up to 4 is utter dogshit? No way, Jordan Chase and Lumen was not that great, but I enjoyed the seasons after that. As for the final episode, I was hoping that it wasn’t going to be like Sopranos where you never actually knew what happened. Fortunately it wasn’t, we all know which characters are alive and which are dead. Saxton was better than Chase, Issak, and Travis Marshall. So in my mind, if Trinity was the midway mark in the show, this is the best season since.

    Show-runner Scott Buck had also signed a 2 year deal with Showtime on a undetermined project and with Dexter being alive and the final having the highest Showtime ratings ever, I really doubt this is the last we’ve seen of Dexter. Maybe a show with a new cast and a serial killer trying to forget his past?

  • chopperjake

    Two Things – (1) What the hell did Debra say to Quinn in the Hospital before they carted her off? It started with ‘All of you…’ then went into some Arab-Greek-French montage?!?! (2) As a dedicated Dexter fan through all the seasons, this season, to me lacked the one thing that made Dexter so climatic year-in-year-out, ‘A PURSUER’. Someone who was always close to finding out about Dexter’s delivery of death methods. I truly would have been a happy camper if they had put Quinn in FULL Dexter surveillance mode, especially when he and Zack were getting closer. This could have provided some REAL fireworks for the FINALE, and possibly, instead of Deb dying, Deb killing Dexter in a standoff w/ Quinn, after Dexter had murdered Saxon! Uggghhh, just thinking of type of possible conclusion, differing so much from the Sap-Fest I just watched makes me so frustrated, these writers couldn’t do more with such a wonderful canvas to work on.

    • wildgator25

      Sounded to me like she said, “I love you Joey”

  • Kroork

    I hated this final season aswell. Total crap! What an awful end to an amazing show

  • joe31183

    2 things I disagree about: 1) Deb’s death was not his fault. She was a cop and she was going to take him in. That guy Clayton and his ignorance over the identity of the man strapped to the chair are really to blame. 2) Deb isn’t the “one person” he cared about. He made the decision to move to Argentina with Hannah within seconds. He was pissed off when Deb tried to kill them both because it would leave Harrison an orphan. Obviously he cared about them too. As far my other gripes: Why throw Deb in the ocean? Even if he thought she was ultimately just another victim of his, he tossed bodies to hide the evidence, not out of symbolism. Now her loved ones won’t be able to have a decent wake/burial for her. In fact, they’ll be wondering what the F happened to her body. Also, Hannah has no relation to Hannah, legal or biological. What if something comes up where she needs to provide proof of being his guardian?? He’ll probably be taken from her. Stupid decisions, both on Dexter and the writers. This finale has tainted my love for the series. I’ve never been so angry with a TV show.

    • joe31183

      I mean, Hannah has no relation to Harrison.