‘Dexter New Blood’ Showrunner Breaks Down Revival’s Ending: ‘We Wanted to Redeem the Show’

“I didn’t want to screw around with the audience’s head,” Clyde Phillips tells TheWrap

(Warning: The following post contains spoilers for the finale of “Dexter: New Blood.”)

Well, Dexter did end up as a lumberjack this time. After eight seasons, and one 10-episode revival, Dexter Morgan finally found a situation he could not get himself out of, and it went down in the most tragic of ways.

Dexter’s son Harrison ends up killing his own father after Dexter realizes his son will never have a normal life as long as he’s around. While he likely evades being outed as the real Bay Harbor Butcher, showrunner Clyde Phillips told TheWrap that he knew pretty soon after he came up with the idea for the revival that Michael C. Hall’s serial killer would not make it out of “Dexter: New Blood” alive.

“To have Dexter escape, our sense is it would be a disservice to the audience,” Phillips told TheWrap. “It is no secret we wanted to redeem the show after Season 8. I didn’t want to screw around with the audience’s head. I wanted to give them credit and gratitude for sticking with us, and I wanted to give them a satisfying ending.”

Phillips has stated the theme of the show and one of the main reasons he came back to “Dexter” was the idea of fathers and sons.

“The one way he can’t wiggle out of it — and we think he’s gonna get away — is his own son. That’s what makes it even more stimulating and more satisfying,” Phillips said, pointing out that Harrison screaming out “open your eyes and look and what you’ve done” was a callback to the pilot when Dexter, during his first kill, says those exact same words to his victim.

Shortly after the show’s original, much-maligned finale in 2013, Phillips shared his initial idea for how he would have ended the show: With Dexter getting the electric chair and it being revealed the whole series was his life flashing before his eyes just before he died.

TheWrap asked Phillips if ever thought of working that into the ending for “New Blood.”

“It was so much in the zeitgeist that if we’d done it, then the audience would say, ‘Well, I knew this four years ago, why did I just watch this whole season?’” Phillips explained. “That was a good idea, but we ended up with a better idea.”