Dexter: New Blood showrunner Clyde Phillips on the shocking ending

Dexter: New Blood, ending, season 2, Michael C. Hall

MAJORS SPOILERS for Dexter: New Blood. Some consider the series finale of Dexter to be among the worst of all time. That’s a little harsh in my opinion, but it’s safe to say that the finale was rather polarizing. Nearly ten years later, Dexter returned for Dexter: New Blood, an attempt to set things right and conclude Dexter’s story in a more satisfactory manner. The series concluded over the weekend and showrunner Clyde Phillips spoke with THR about the shocking ending of Dexter: New Blood.

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While the original finale of the series involved Dexter faking his death, the ending of Dexter: New Blood found Dexter dying for real at the hands of his son, Harrison (Jack Alcott). Clyde Phillips told THR that he knew Dexter would die very early in the process.

In talking with Michael and Showtime and once I hired a writers room, I presented that to them and asked for the best way to do this. We owed it to the audience. After the bad taste in their mouth that a lot of people had at the end of season eight — what we’re calling the “first finale” — we knew that to have Dexter escape and have him continue doing this, the show was done. The storytelling of it was done. The legitimacy, honesty, dignity and integrity of the character of Dexter that we so carefully built up over a almost a decade almost required that we end the show this way. We wanted the viewers to hopefully be sad by this loss and feel satisfied and to understand that this had to happen; that this was inevitable. Hopefully they’re satisfied with the storytelling. … At the end [of the final scene], I remember Michael calling out from 10 yards away, “Thanks for the words, Clyde.” What better feeling can a writer have than that?

Clyde Phillips also knew from day one that Harrison would be the one to finally kill Dexter. “Yes, it was always the intention to do that,” Phillips said. “There’s a phrase, not in a dangerous way, that I’ve learned from decades of therapy: ‘A son has to kill his father so that he can be his own man,’ whether in it’s in business or in relationships or how you talk to your dad as you become a young adult. I had a pretty lousy father, and fathers and sons is the theme of the season, and the title of the last episode is ‘Sins of the Father.’ Dexter finally understands that he indeed is a criminal. He’s a killer.” Although Dexter: New Blood brought the story of Dexter to a close, it does leave a door open to begin telling Harrison’s story. Although Showtime hasn’t said anything about a Harrison spinoff series, Clyde Phillips would certainly be open to telling it.

There’s a lot I’d like to explore. I don’t have permission yet from Showtime to explore it. But if they were to call — much like Gary Levine called to do what became New Blood — and say we want to do Harrison, I’d drop everything and say yes in a minute.

Michael C. Hall could even return as Harrison’s version of Harry/Debra, but Clyde Phillips hasn’t thought that far ahead. “We’re talking about a hypothetical show here,” Phillips said. “My instinct is maybe once just to charge up Harrison and charge up the audience, or maybe never. It’s either the best idea in the world or the most obvious idea in the world. If Showtime says yes and I can put together a writing room, that’s a question I’ll bring up to them. Right now, I just don’t know.” What did you think of the ending of Dexter: New Blood? Did it redeem the series or drop the ball once again?

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