What Could Have Been: After the series finale aired, an interview with former showrunner Clyde Phillips (who stepped down after Season 4) revealed how he would have ended it:
"In the very last scene of the series, Dexter wakes up. And everybody is going to think, 'Oh, it was a dream.' And then the camera pulls back and back and back and then we realize, 'No, it's not a dream.' Dexter's opening his eyes and he's on the execution table at the Florida Penitentiary. They're just starting to administer the drugs and he looks out through the window to the observation gallery. And in the gallery are all the people that Dexter killed—including the Trinity Killer and the Ice Truck Killer (his brother Rudy), LaGuerta who he was responsible [for] killing, Doakes who he's arguably responsible for, Rita who he's arguably responsible for, Lila. All the big deaths, and also whoever the weekly episodic kills were. They are all there. That's what I envisioned for the ending of Dexter. That everything we've seen over the past eight seasons has happened in the several seconds from the time they start Dexter's execution to the time they finish the execution and he dies. Literally, his life flashed before his eyes as he was about to die. I think it would have been a great, epic, very satisfying conclusion."