Showtime’s serial killer drama wrapped its eight-season run seven years ago by — SPOILERS ALERT, AND I AM NOT KIDDING — killing off this main character and then sending Michael C. Hall’s titular vigilante into fake death-imposed exile in the middle of nowhere. AKA the infamous Lumberjack Ending.
But with the 10-episode revival picking up in real time, so many years later, “We basically do get to start from scratch,” returning showrunner Clyde Phillips told the Oct. 16 episode of THR’s always entertaining TV’s Top 5 podcast.
“We want this to not be Dexter Season 9,” he continued. “Ten years, or however many years, have passed by the time this will air, and the show will reflect that time passage. So far as the ending of the show, this will have no resemblance to how the original finale was. It’s a great opportunity to write a second finale.”
Given the lukewarm reaction to the September 2013 series finale, from both viewers and even series lead Hall himself, “This is an opportunity to make that right,” Phillips said. “But that’s not why we’re doing it.”
As for righting/retconning any specific perceived wrongs, “We’re not undoing anything,” Phillips maintained. “We’re not going to betray the audience and say, ‘Whoops, that was all a dream.’ What happened in the first eight years happened in the first eight years.”
Michael C. Hall, sharing his own take on the original series finale, told The Daily Beast in 2014, “Liked it? I don’t think I even watched it,” adding: “I thought it was narratively satisfying — but it was not so savoury…. Just inherently because of how long we’d done it, because of the storytelling capital we’d spent, because our writers may have been gassed… Maybe some people wanted a more satisfying-maybe they wanted a happy ending for him, either a happy ending or a more definitive sense of closure.”