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Fanatical fans of a TV show often fight to keep their favorite characters alive, but one of the biggest complaints about the much-bashed “Dexter” finale is that the vigilante serial killer protagonist didn’t die. According to “Dexter” producer John Goldwyn, the writers didn’t have a choice in the matter.

“They won’t let us kill him,” he told Vulture at the New York Film Festival premiere of “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.” “Showtime was very clear about that. When we told them the arc for the last season, they just said, ‘Just to be clear, he’s going to live.’”

“There were a lot of endings discussed because it was a very interesting problem to solve, to bring it to a close,” he continued. “People have a relationship with Dexter, even if it doesn’t have the size and the ferocity of the fanbase for ‘Breaking Bad.’ But it has a very core loyal following.”

“Breaking Bad” ended its run with a finale that was generally decreed satisfying, seeing its protagonist die. In stark contrast, fans were largely disappointed and even outraged by the “Dexter” finale, which saw the title character drive his boat straight into a hurricane, only to later apparently become a lumberjack.

Many fans saw the ending as a cop-out and wanted to see Dexter pay for his deeds. Critics also pointed out the flaws of the finale, with Variety‘s Brian Lowry calling the sendoff sloppy.