New Blood Final Kills Its Legacy Lumberjack – The Hollywood Reporter

[This story contains spoilers from the Dexter: New Blood finale.]

When Showtime’s Dexter ended its original eight seasons in late 2013, then-showrunner Scott Buck wanted to leave the ending to audiences. As a result, Michael C. Hall’s portrayal of serial killer Michael C. Hall, who trades Miami Metro for a life as a lumberjack in exile, is one of the most critically-reviewed series finales of all time. “In the end, we didn’t do it fairly,” said Showtime president of entertainment Gary Levine recently.

Clyde Phillips – who served as host before his departure at the end of season four – made no secret that the September 2013 episode wasn’t how he would end the show. Phillips has maintained for years that he envisions a series finale in which Dexter must confront his crimes while awaiting execution on Death Row.

With Dexter: New Blood, Phillips hopes he can rewrite DexterThe “first finale” is full of malice with a definitive ending for Hall’s Dexter Morgan. While Showtime tried attaching a Dexter revived in the years since the show’s original conclusion, it was Phillips who convinced Hall and the network that the famous anti-hero would end the limited series with his own blood. “This is inevitable,” said Phillips The Hollywood Reporter about his decision to kill Dexter.

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Michael C. Hall’s Last Moments as Dexter Morgan
Courtesy of Seacia Pavao / SHOWTIME

New blood explores the relationship between fathers and sons as Dexter learns of Harrison’s Dark Passenger (Jack Alcott) and, despite the objections of his late sister, Deb (Jennifer Carpenter), teaches the teenager business code of the Morgan family. At the same time, local sheriff Angela (Julia Jones) connects the dots and Dexter’s necklace as the real Bay Harbor Butcher. Backed into a corner, Dexter kills Harrison’s beloved wrestling coach/vice-team Logan (Alano Miller) in an attempt to escape extradition to Florida and the Death Penalty.

Harrison, who initially considers his father a superhero for killing bad guys, ends up passing the words Dexter wrote in his letter leaving his son to Hannah (Yvonne Strahovski) after he faked his own death in the 2013 finale. : “Let me die because my son can live.” Faced with death at the hands of his own son, Dexter speaks to Harrison through pulling the trigger.

Below, Phillips opens up about the journey of redemption behind Dexter: New Blood the series’ finale, why Harrison had to pull the trigger and the future of the franchise.

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Michael C. Hall and Jack Alcott
Seacia Pavao / SHOWTIME

How early in creating Dexter: New Blood Did you know that Dexter will die? And why do you want this to end with his death?

Very early in the process. When I spoke to Michael and Showtime and when I rented a writing room, I presented it to them and asked for the best way to do this. We owe it to the audience. After the bad taste in the mouth so many people got at the end of season 8 – what we call the “first finale” – we know to let Dexter escape and let him keep doing this. , the program is completed. Storytelling about it has been done. The legitimacy, honesty, dignity, and integrity of the character Dexter that we’ve carefully built over nearly a decade almost compel us to end the show this way. We want viewers to hopefully grieve over this loss and feel content and understand that this has to happen; that this is inevitable. Hopefully they’re satisfied with the storytelling. … Final [of the final scene], I remember Michael calling from 10 yards away, “Thanks for the words, Clyde.” What better feeling could a writer have?

Tell me about your decision to have Harrison effectively fulfill Dexter’s wishes – “let me die so that my son may live”, which is what Dexter wrote to Hannah when he let Harrison follow her.

The seed of all of that is Dexter making the ultimate sacrifice for his son. Dexter said when he urged Harrison to do it, “Remember, you have to take off safely just like I showed you.” He is giving Harrison permission and saying there is no other way. And Harrison said with tears streaming down his face, “For both of us.” They are trapped in this. As Harrison shouted, “Open your eyes and look at what you’ve done!” and we do flashbacks of Lundy (Keith Carradine), Doakes (Erik King), Rita (Julie Benz), Deb and LaGuerta (Lauren Vélez), which are Easter Eggs. That was the first thing Dexter said to the pilot when he killed a choir master and he yelled at him, “Open your eyes and look at what you’ve done; Let’s look at the truth! ” It was like bringing back “Hello, Dexter Morgan,” a few leftovers from the Trinitarian Killer with John Lithgow.

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Jack Alcott as Harrison
Seacia Pavao / SHOWTIME

Was the plan always to have Harrison – who carried Dexter’s letter to Hannah – be the one to kill him? Harrison, in the previous episode, went from learning cryptography and thought his father was a superhero to kill him.

Well, it was always the intention to do that. There’s a phrase, not dangerous at all, that I’ve learned from decades of therapy: “A son must kill his father so he can be his own man,” whether in business or in relationships. relationship or the way you talked to your father when you became a young adult. I have a pretty lousy dad and fathers and sons are the subject of the season and the title of the final episode is “Father’s Sin.” Dexter finally understands that he is actually a criminal. He is a killer. Harrison brought this teenage optimism to life in a previous episode, when he said, “If we kill all of these people, think of the thousands of lives we’re saving.” Dexter never thought of that. Dexter thought of it as his code from Harry: don’t get caught, kill well. Harrison, with his youthful optimism, comes up with the superhero part of that and that pleases Dexter but it also shows Dexter that there is a way to get Harrison on board.

As the flagship ended, you envisioned an ending for the series that saw Dexter about to be executed for his crimes. You flirted with that idea in this finale. Have you ever wanted to do that ending for a character?

Is not. It needs to be Harrison. It’s complicated, messy, and meaningful and draws us into a corner. This is the best idea. We talked about other things but keep landing back to the old place and you write to it. It ended up being one of the most gratifying weeks I’ve written Dexter.

When I watched the finale, my first thought was that Deb was right that Dexter should have kept his Dark Passenger from Harrison. Was this your attempt to give Deb a better ending than her death in the first finale?

That was not intentional. Deb, we must remind ourselves, does not exist. She’s the pixel in the corner we all have in mind: she’s Dexter’s suspect. It has nothing to do with the past. We’re so lucky to have Jennifer back, she’s raised the bar.

You said at the beginning that Dexter: New Blood End of Dexter’s story. But Harrison still has plenty of stories to tell: about himself, both his father and mother are dead and have been released by the local sheriff. What else would you like to explore with Harrison? He still knows about The Code and has his own Shadow Passenger.

Yes, there are many things I want to explore. I don’t have permission from Showtime to explore it yet. But if they call – just like Gary Levine called to do what has become New blood – and said we wanted to do Harrison, I’ll drop everything and say yes in a minute.

Will Michael C. Hall ever play the character of Dexter Morgan again, perhaps as a version of Harry or even as Harrison’s Deb? Or is this clearly the end for Michael as Dexter Morgan/Jim Lindsay?

I really do not know. We’re talking about a hypothetical gig here. My instinct is maybe once just to charge Harrison and charge the audience or maybe never. It’s the best idea in the world or the clearest idea in the world. If Showtime said yes and I could arrange a writing room, which was a question I would put to them. Right now, I just don’t know.

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Julia Jones as Angela
Seacia Pavao / SHOWTIME

Finally, a small town policewoman solved the Bay Harbor Butcher case. Why is this important to you? Why did Angela let Harrison go and call it an officer-involved shooting?

Her police instincts are momentarily brushed aside and her maternal and humanitarian instincts emerge. Look at all the deaths she’s seen in this episode: she just saw 30 bodies in Kurt’s grave. Life is terrible and she has a chance to do something good. She knows Dexter killed Logan. It also complicates, in a surprising way, the storytelling. You don’t expect it and that’s another aspect of being satisfied.

The finale featured some old faces Doakes, LaGuerta, Rita and the return of Angel Bautista (David Zayas). Is there someone you want to go back to but can’t meet?

Is not. Whoever we want, we have. I called John Lithgow and he was on the plane the next day. Anyone we invite back is happy to come and join us.

If this is really the end of Dexter franchise, what do you hope the show’s greater legacy is?
Legacy is the audience. I want the audience to say, “I was entertained; I learned something; I was excited; I was surprised; I was panicking and I was satisfied.”

The first finale of Dexter ranks among – if not at the top – lists of movies with the worst endings of all time. Is redemption – and getting off that list – on your mind as you’re creating a way New blood finished?

Sure. We want to atone for ourselves. That ending in season eight left a bad taste in audiences’ mouths, which tarnished the legacy of a great show. I also wrote the last part of Showtime’s Nurse Jackie And that’s a challenge. I wrote it with Tom Straw and it was a challenge to take Jackie (Edie Falco), who has hurt so many people, and feel something for her. People don’t know if she’s really dead and we leave it as an interactive thing. With Dexter: New Blood, [Dexter’s death] happened. I hope the audience feels the shock. I often watch audience reaction videos on YouTube and can’t wait to see those for this episode. I think they’re going to lean towards great in this.

The edited interview is long and clear.

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