According to Dexter: New Blood showrunner Clyde Phillips, star Michael C. Hall has known how the revival would end since the project began.
Warning: Contains spoilers for Dexter: New Blood episodes 9 & 10
Michael C. Hall knew the ending for Dexter: New Blood two years ago, according to showrunner Clyde Phillips. The original run of Dexter (2006-2013) proved hugely successful, and the show received critical acclaim for most of its time on air. After eight seasons, the show came to an end with a hugely polarizing series finale, which drew 2.8 million viewers. Hall played the titular serial killer in every episode and returns for Dexter: New Blood, which takes place a decade after the hated season 8 finale.
Phillips was the original showrunner for seasons 1-4 of the show, before stepping down for season 5. Under his stewardship, Dexter was nominated for a staggering 18 Emmys, including three for Outstanding Drama Series, and Hall won a Golden Globe for his role. So, it came as little surprise that both men reunited for the revival show Dexter: New Blood, which was announced in October 2020. The 10-episode limited series premiered on November 7, 2021, with the shocking finale airing January 9, 2022, and favorable critical response praised the show for tying up important loose ends and repairing some of the damage from the series finale.
In an interview with TVLine, Phillips reveals his views on the revival, respecting the legacy of the show, and discusses Hall’s involvement. The 63-year-old, who also worked as showrunner for the final three seasons of Nurse Jackie, talks about meetings with Hall and his bid to humanize the show. Read the comments below when asked if his lead actor was aware of the planned death of Dexter:
This all happened about two and a half years ago, so I’m not sure if it was the first or second meeting, but he knew early on that Dexter was going to die. He understood that that was the right decision. If Dexter keeps getting out of a jam every single time then we’re doing a superhero show. We wanted to bring as much humanity as we could to the ending of the show, and to say goodbye to the character with dignity and integrity.
The new series has presented the chance for Dexter to address concerns from the original ending. Series finales can be difficult, and a show can either go out with a whimper or a bang, depending on certain decisions that are made. Whilst there are always bound to be certain sections of a fanbase that are unhappy no matter what, the general consensus seems to be that the ending of Dexter season 8 was a poor one; Phillips has claimed it failed to satisfy, and for years there was hope that the show might get a different send-off.
With both Hall and Phillips signing on for Dexter: New Blood, it sent a clear message that the star and showrunner had unfinished business with the character, and this was a chance to give the show a fitting ending that both supported and respected the legacy that had come before. The fact that Hall knew about the plan for Dexter’s death at least two years before New Blood would suggest it’s a move he felt was necessary for achieving closure, and, according to Phillips, this was the ending planned since the season 8 finale. Fan reception to the new finale remains to be seen, but there is reason to believe it will be more positive than the backlash the original series received, and many Dexter fans will be grateful that New Blood has come to a conclusion that feels like it fits with the tone of the original series.
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