By Ken Tucker
Updated July 29, 2020 at 05:49 PM EDT

I’m reading the comments on my review of last night’s holy-cow!-finale of Dexter, and I’m struck by how many people believe — or hope — that the final scene was a dream. SPOILER ALERT: Do not read further if you don’t want to know to whom I am referring.

I thought it was pretty clear from the shattering last few moments that the series’ season-long big-bad, John Lithgow’s Trinity, killed Dexter’s wife, Rita. But there are a lot of you out there who think there’s a possibility that this all took place in Dexter’s head, that when the next season starts, the Dexter whom we saw only minutes before last night’s conclusion — the man who was voice-overing that he could now be open and free to embrace family life — will indeed be the happier Dexter we’ll see.

Some readers are questioning the time-line of the killing, suggesting that Arthur Mitchell couldn’t have made it over to Dexter’s house, murder Rita, and be on the road when Dexter catches him in Arthur’s Mustang.

Some of you think Rita died, but that Trinity did not kill her — some think Rita committed suicide.

Still others have written that Dexter, in the form of his “dark passenger,” killed Rita, not Trinity.

One comment, from “Zak,” begins: “I think Trinity did not kill Rita, but rather Dexter or Deb did. Here’s my reasoning… ” and Zak proceeds to work out a detailed theory for both possible scenarios.

Other commenters find it impossible to believe that little Harrison would be sitting so calmly in a pool of blood after what must have been hours passing.

And still other writers are saying that the post-show dialogue that Showtime aired — a conversation between stars Michael C. Hall and John Lithgow, in which they discuss the ramifications of Rita’s death for next season — was just a red herring, a way to throw off viewers.

My first reaction to all this was: Dudes, come back from the ledge. Rita’s dead. I know you have a lot invested in the show, but… it’s a show. Characters die, for dramatic effect and to up the ante in the new challenges a long-running series must create for the future.

If you read Michael Ausiello’s fascinating interview with Dexter executive producer Clyde Phillips, you’ll see that it was a tough decision to make, that Julie Benz was “not happy” when she heard the news; you’ll read inside-speculation about next season and Dexter as a “single father.” Check it out.

I’m wondering, however, if you think even Phillips’ comments are meant to throw you off.

Me, I’m sticking with the Rita-is-dead conclusion.

Do you think Rita did not die? Do you not think Trinity was her killer?

For more on Dexter:

‘Dexter’ finale postmortem: Find out why they [spoiler alert]!