Dexter Season 8: Do We Want a Spin-off?

Whether we want it to happen or not, our time with Miami’s prolific Bay Harbor Butcher comes to a close on September 22nd when Dexter airs it’s final episode. It’s been quite a journey over these past eight years, with some seasons definitely being better than others, but overall I would say that I’ve greatly enjoyed my time with Dexter Morgan. Although I haven’t seen the finale episode yet, and there’s every possibility that the show ends terribly, I wouldn’t regret embarking on this eight season journey for one second.

However, there are some people who don’t want this journey to end. I’m of course talking about the higher-ups at Showtime who have been fanning the flames of a Dexter spin-off show for a while now. Showtime has always been very proud of Dexter‘s success, even going so far as to say that “Dexter is to Showtime what Batman is to Warner Bros. It’s a core franchise.” This was said by Showtime president David Nevins earlier this year when he was discussing the series coming to an end.

With high praise like that, you would think that Showtime would be looking to continue their success with Dexter by any means necessary, so the rumor quickly grew that they would be setting up a spin-off show based in the Dexter universe. There was nothing much to this except speculation and guesswork, at least until very recently. Late last month, at the Television Critics Association press tour, Showtime announced that they had signed Dexter showrunner and exec producer Scott Buck to an overall deal with the network to produce more shows. This isn’t unheard of, though. Creative partners sign exclusive contracts with certain channels all the time, but the interesting part came when Nevins was asked about a Dexter spin-off on July 30th. Nevins responded by saying “Of course. We announced a new deal with Scott Buck today. Draw your own conclusions.” Draw our own conclusions, you say? Don’t mind if I do…

It definitely sounds like Showtime is strongly considering a spin-off series, and hiring the showrunner from Dexter seems like an obvious attempt to maintain the same tone and the same level of quality that they’ve had with the show. However, this does leave us with two big questions. Do we want a spin-off series for Dexter? And if we get one, what on earth would it be about?!

DO WE WANT A DEXTER SPIN-OFF?
 

My immediate reaction to the Dexter spin-off was one of violent negativity. No, I absolutely do not want a Dexter spin-off! The show has been wholly satisfying and fulfilling over its eight seasons, so I don’t feel the need for the show to be continued in any fashion. However, I realize that Showtime is a business that wants to make money, and with their biggest hit coming to an end I would understand their reluctance to let those precious ratings slip through their fingers. My biggest concern about this spin-off is twofold.

First, I’m dreading the idea of Dexter getting an incomplete or unsatisfying ending because it’s setting up a spin-off. If we actually are going to get a Hannah McKay show or Debra Morgan show, I’m afraid we won’t get a complete end to their stories on this show. I want the show to come to a satisfying conclusion, and then you can start thinking of where to go for spin-offs.

Second, I just don’t think there are any current characters on the show that anybody cares about enough to see a spin-off. They obviously aren’t going to involve Michael C. Hall in a spin-off, and Deb’s story is so tied into Dexter’s that I doubt they’d go that route either, so who does that leave? Batista? Masuka? QUINN?! Does anybody really care about any of the characters enough outside of Dex and Deb to be interested in watching a whole show based around them? I don’t think so, so that leaves Showtime in a bit of a pickle. They need to conclude Dexter in a satisfying manner, and they need to pick a character to base their spin-off around that isn’t hugely frustrating. Well, let’s all put our producer hats on and see what ideas we can come up with.

WHAT WOULD THE SPIN-OFF BE ABOUT?
 

As far as I see it, any show based off Dexter would need to fall into one of three categories: Taking place in Dexter‘s past, present, or future. Using those three subcategories to split up our speculations, let’s start with what I believe to be the most likely scenario: the past.

THE PAST:
 

Many people have speculated that the spin-off show would be based on a young Dexter Morgan as he first discovers and hones his homicidal urges. We saw a few flashbacks to this effect in the earlier seasons of Dexter, but it never felt like we saw enough. From the very first scene of this show back in episode one, Dex is already a professional killing machine. He rarely makes mistakes, he’s always hyper-focused, and he doesn’t get caught. Wouldn’t it be really interesting to see Dexter fumble through his first few kills, and slowly become the killer we know today? It would be a similar conceit to A&E’s Bates Motel, and we can even keep James Remar on the show as Harry Morgan, but now he’ll actually be alive!

This would of course kill the suspense a bit, as you kinda know what’s going to happen. Dexter’s will be fine, Deb will be fine, and Harry’s gonna die. However, we know what’s eventually going to happen on Bates Motel, but that didn’t keep it from being one of my favorite new shows of the season! Besides, the “Younger version spin-off” has been done many times on television by everything from The Carrie Diaries to Caprica and Young Indiana Jones.

THE PRESENT
 

It could be an interesting idea to try a TV series that runs in correlation to the Dexter series, a la Buffy and Angel or The Vampire Diaries and The Originals. You can put the point of view through other cops in Miami Metro as they work cases in conjunction with the stuff that Dex is working on. It would be tough to keep Michael C. Hall off camera for this series, but it could be done. Another option could be a TV series based around Brian Moser, Dexter’s estranged brother who would eventually become the Ice Truck Killer. Seeing Brian shape himself into a serial killer would be interesting, especially considering he was never bound by a moral code like Dex was. The series could even end with Brian sneaking into Dexter’s apartment and leaving a Barbie head in Dex’s fridge!

THE FUTURE
 

Our last option is the future, as we’d base a spin-off around one the life of one of the current characters after Dexter comes to a close. Of course, this is all dependent on who actually lives through the finale, but a series based on Hannah McKay could be pretty interesting. Similar to Dexter Morgan and Brian Moser, it would be neat seeing how she slowly evolved into a killer, and having more Yvonne Strahovski on my TV is never a bad thing! However, after Hannah McKay the list of characters that I’d care to see more of kinda dries up. Depending on how Deb’s story ends, I might be interested in seeing her come back to serve as Sergeant, but then it would definitely feel like a cheap knock-off of Dexter just without the Dexter part.

There are limitless possibilities when it comes to this show, so please share your own. Do you want a spin-off? And even if you don’t want one, who do you think it would be about? Sound off in the comments section below!