I’ve had a sneaking feeling that won’t go away ever since Dexter ended, and the finale was cemented in TV history as one of the worst of all time. It was bad, but it was worse than it needed to be because of some unseen force.
The culprit (other than Scott Buck) revealed itself when the producers said Showtime would literally not allow them to kill off Dexter in the finale.
“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.’ ”
Now, we have Michael C. Hall dancing around the idea of a possible Dexter revival, in one form or another.
“I can’t even wrap my mind around that. And it’s all just theoretical until there is some sort of script reflecting somebody’s idea of where it could possibly go. But it’s hard for me to imagine what that would be.”
My theory is this: Dexter, at least in its early years, was the best thing to ever happen to Showtime. The character became an instant national icon, and the show was heralded as brilliant its early seasons, up until around a supposed peak in season four with John Lithgow’s Trinity Killer (though I believe the peak was in season two).
As the show drew to a close, Showtime simply didn’t want to let go. They may not have known how or why, but Dexter was just too good a character to kill forever, despite the fact that that’s what his arc was obviously building to.
The whole scenario reminded me a lot of how Fox handled (or rather, mishandled) the finale of 24. Though the show obviously should have ended with Jack Bauer finally being forced to make the ultimate sacrifice for his country, he simply scampered off into the ether to live another day. Now, we have his return to television in the form of the new miniseries 24: Live Another Day. Yes, they literally called it that.
I believe this is now Showtime’s secret plan for Dexter. The finale was such bullshit that they really don’t have all that much work to do in order to potentially bring Dexter back from being a lumberjack. Yes, Deb is dead (in the stupidest way possible, a fitting end as she became the stupidest character possible) and Dexter faked his death in a hurricane, tricking both his friends, his love Hannah and his own son.
But I could easily see him returning as some new threat presents itself, going after either his Miami Metro brethren or Hannah and Harrison (preferably Hannah is dead, because she sucks, and Harrison is missing). That’s certainly something that would bring him out of retirement, and they could explain his faked death away by saying that he was just so distraught after Deb’s death, he needed some time alone. In true Dexter form, everyone would be pissed at him for an episode or two, the immediately forget about it.
Now, in no way am I saying this is what should happen or that it’s a good idea. But I do believe that Showtime IS planning something like this, whether it’s one more bonus season, a miniseries or a movie.
As much as I would love to see Dexter return to be at least partially redeemed for the horrendous finale his character had to endure, I’m just not sure how such a thing would be possible. Poison showrunner Scott Buck would have to be nowhere near the project, as if he was involved somehow he’d only manage to make things worse (Masuka’s daughter is the new Big Bad!). Ideally, if they could throw money at original showrunner Clyde Phillips (responsible for the good years) to return and refashion some sort of redemption for Dexter, that would be nice, but it also might be like prodding a horse with a broken leg to run in the Kentucky Derby. The damage is done, and the nice thing would have been just to shoot it and be done with it.
Dexter is a fundamentally great character, he just had to endure horrible, horrible stories for the last three or four years of his show. As tempted as I would be to see him come back in order to have the epic finale he deserves (you know, one where he might actually be discovered, which was supposed to be the central conflict of the show), it would be too painful to endure if it went poorly.
What do you think? Should Dexter keep chopping wood, or return for one more adventure?