Dexter’s fate has finally been sealed, and you are now entering the SPOILER zone. There’s a lot to unpack about the “Dexter: New Blood” finale episode. This includes thoughts about the process of getting to the finale from showrunner Clyde Phillips.
Phillips spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about “Dexter: New Blood” recently. He shared his insight into how the decision to kill off Dexter was made. According to Phillips, they always knew they were going to end the season with Dexter’s death.
When asked about this episode being the show’s second finale, compared to the critical failure that was the season 8 finale, Phillips said “we wanted to redeem ourselves.” The season 8 finale was a disappointment for fans, and “Dexter: New Blood” was a chance to make that right.
“That ending in season eight left a bad taste in the audience’s mouth, which tarnished the legacy of a great show,” said Phillips. “With Dexter: New Blood, [Dexter’s death] had to happen. I hope the audience feels shocked.” He also stated what he wanted the show’s new legacy to be, saying, “The legacy is the audience.” He wants the audience to be entertained, stimulated, surprised, frightened, and satisfied by “Dexter: New Blood.”
Phillips was the showrunner on “Dexter” until season 4; he says that the show didn’t end in the way he would have done it. “Dexter: New Blood” was a way to right those wrongs and end the show the way he wanted to end it; with Dexter’s death.
‘Dexter: New Blood’: Showrunner Talks Dexter’s Final Moments
According to showrunner Clyde Phillips, it was always the intention to have Harrison kill his father. There was a pretty obvious Chekhov’s Gun moment in the previous episode; literally, Dexter gifts Harrison a rifle for Christmas. But the dramatic principle makes note that the details of a narrative must eventually contribute to the overall story. Dexter gives Harrison a gun, Harrison then kills Dexter with that gun.
Phillips spoke about the decision, citing a phrase he learned in therapy: “A son has to kill his father so that he can be his own man.” The phrase isn’t to be taken literally in reality, but in fiction, we can use it to its full potential. Phillips continued, “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.”
For Harrison to become his own man, to carry on the legacy of the Code, he has to literally kill his father. Dexter doesn’t want to be sent back to Florida for the Bay Harbor murders. He also wants to give his son a proper start.
Fans on Twitter weren’t too happy with the finale; they likened it to the season 8 finale again, which is a bit of harsh criticism. But Phillips is still optimistic about the ending, and claims that it was the only finale for Dexter Morgan.