The Dexter Finale Could Have Been Far Stranger

Thankfully, Hall and original showrunner Clyde Phillips (who left Dexter after five seasons) have a second chance at an ending with New Blood, premiering at 9 p.m. on Nov. 7. It remains to be seen how the show intends to really end its story this time around. One thing for sure, however, is that it has some compelling options from the Jeff Lindsay’s original Dexter book series to consider.

Rolling Stone Chief TV critic Alan Sepinwall posted an interesting thought experiment to Twitter recently, writing “If Dexter had tried to do this in the final season, would it have been better or worse than Lumberjack Dexter?”

The attached screenshot is a Wiki entry that details the events of the third of eight books in the Dexter series, Dexter in the Dark. It reads: “The Dark Passenger was revealed to be an independent entity inhabiting Dexter, possibly the offspring of the ancient god, Moloch. The idea was largely disliked by critics and fans alike and was dropped from future books. In 2013, the writer, Jeff Lindsay, stated that Dexter in the Dark was an experiment. As such, the storyline had been tested, and the idea was abandoned.”

Well, that’s fascinating. 

In the show, The Dark Passenger is the name that Dexter gives to his uncontrollable urge to kill. It’s clearly a personification device that Dexter is using to justify his violent sociopathy. That is the case in the books as well…up until that controversial third entry. In Dexter in the Dark, Dexter Morgan suddenly finds himself abandoned by his Dark Passenger at a very inopportune time – he is kidnapped by a murderous cult, you see. It’s not until Dexter is despondent by the loss of his Dark Passenger buddy at book’s end that it returns to him, delighted to feast on his sadness once more.

Dexter in the Dark was the first book to be released after the Showtime series had already premiered. In fact, excerpts from the title are accessible in the menu of the Dexter season 1 DVD. While the first two books and seasons of Dexter correspond fairly closely, the third installments of each go off in wildly different directions. Though Lindsay did indeed abandon that Moloch plotline after book three, it serves as a fascinating “what if…?” for the Dexter franchise at large. 


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