After so many lives that he claimed, many would have predicted that a dark fate was awaiting for the title character on "Dexter". However, it wasn't the case in the series finale of the Showtime series, although one major character did become a victim of another casualty on the show.
[SPOILER ALERT!] Deb, having being shot by Saxon, had a blood clot and suffered a massive stroke that left her brain dead while she seemed to be fine when she and Dexter previously said goodbye. Dexter then did the favor for his sister, taking her off life support to end her miserable condition.
Asked why the show had to end this way, showrunner Scott Buck said, "It seemed like the ending that was most justified. In season 1, you saw this guy who was so compartmentalized. The last couple seasons have been about breaking down those walls by having his son and his relationship with Hannah and having Deb discover who he is. Still he was able to justify what he did."
He further argued, "We felt it took the death of the one person he cared most about to really look at himself. [His fate] wasn't something that happened to him but his decision. He had to bear the burden of deciding his own fate."
As for Deb's stroke which wasn't shown on-screen, Buck insisted the moment when Dexter removed her life support was the real deal. "But I think we all feel the real moment is when Dexter hits that button. We also did it that way because in some ways it's a little more shocking," he claimed.
Executive producer Sara Colleton agreed, adding, "I really do think when Dex walks out of her room [viewers are going to] think everything is fine with Deb. But she doesn't die off screen. When she takes her off life support she's very much a presence there. I feel that's what she wants. I would hope if it ever happen to me I'd have a big brother who would take that pain onto himself."
Saxon was eventually got caught by Batista when he was about to visit Deb in the hospital, before Dexter learnt that she had been moved to another room because of the stroke. Just when it seemed that Dexter did have any chance to kill him, the anti-hero character found a way to stab the Brain Surgeon to death and make it like a self-defense.
This way, Dexter was able to start his new life with Hannah, who had left for Argentina earlier with Harrison, without anyone knowing his dark secret. Justifying their decision not to unmask who Dexter really was, Buck said, "We toyed with that idea, but it felt off-point."
He elaborated, "The story was ultimately about Dexter's personal journey. We have one moment in that interrogation room with Quinn and Batista. Watching the tape, Quinn has known all along that there was more there to Dexter. Batista is seeing a hint of the darker Dexter. There was a hint in that moment. But we didn't want to blow it all up and revel he's a serial killer."
In the penultimate episode, Dexter made a shocking decision by letting Saxon walk away alive. According to Buck, that's "really an accumulation of everything that's he's experienced over the years. He finally has a woman who understands him and they're incredibly physically attracted to each other. And there's Harrison."
Asked about a potential spin-off that Showtime entertainment president David Nevins had hinted before, Buck insisted, "No concept whatsoever...I'm going to sit down with Showtime and discuss the possibility. But we haven said a single word about it."
He also denied that there was a talk about making a spin-off that would focus on Deb, saying, "Never any truth to that. But we sort of played with that idea once that rumor was out there because I think it was beneficial for people to think we were going that direction."