Way back in Dexter‘s second season, our anti-hero noted with surprise that his mask of normality was slipping. “People who never mattered before are suddenly starting to matter,” he said, uncharacteristically rattled. “It scares the hell out of me.”
You think you were spooked, Dex? That’s nothing compared to what fans of the murderous Showtime saga likely face as its final season bows this Sunday (9/8c). Given the series’ lethal nature, those who have grown to love and champion the Dark Passenger over the past seven seasons know that a tragic ending is a real possibility.
The cast only just began production on the series finale, so Dexter’s ultimate fate remains to be seen. Still, there are several other series-ending teases stars Michael C. Hall and Jennifer Carpenter, as well as executive producer Sara Colleton, can share about the swan-song season. What does the rocky road ahead for Deb and Dex entail? Can Dexter’s killer instincts be subdued? And, of course, will the final hour satisfy? Read on for those answers and more.
BEGINNING OF THE END | “We have always said that Dexter’s series-long quest has been to explore his human side,” Colleton tells TVLine. “And all of those years of exploration will come to a rousing head by the end of the series. Dexter started out thinking of himself as a monster but yearns to be human, and he is going to find out what we all know: how difficult it is to be a human being and the weight that comes with being fully aware.” As Hall explains, this all comes about when Charlotte Rampling’s Dr. Evelyn Vogel enters the picture. “The revelations of Dr. Vogel’s presence in Dexter’s story reframes his whole origin story and takes us back to what we discovered him to be at the beginning,” he shares. “Because of that, it’s satisfying and creates a sense of connective tissue to who we knew Dexter to be and how he’s evolved.”
DOCTOR DEAREST | If there’s one thing viewers should know about the rather cold Dr. Vogel — who (SPOILER ALERT) actually created Harry’s Code — it’s this: You’ll either love or hate her. “At first, Evelyn feels she’s his spiritual mother,” Colleton reveals, “and to Dexter, she’s a kind of Dr. Frankenstein. But at a time in his life where Deb has pushed him out and he is the most unmoored, to hear from someone that he is perfect is incredibly seductive.”
SIBLING SETBACK | Elsewhere in the Dexterverse, Deb is struggling to cope with her murderous turn. “It was horrible to play,” a candid Carpenter laughs. “It was wildly uncomfortable and I felt a little tossed to the wolves because of the six-month gap that happened [within the] season.” That said, her meltdown ultimately led to showcasing the strained Dexter/Deb relationship in “the most honest place that it’s ever been.” Says the actress, “Deb’s holding a mirror up to him and asking him for some real answers, and for that I’m grateful. They start in a really authentic place, which means that the rest of the season can feel connected.” As for the estranged siblings’ reconciliation, Hall tells us: “Dr. Vogel will be someone who will help facilitate that.”
PSYCHO NO MO’? | As Dexter’s notion of humanity grows, so does his belief that perhaps he may not actually be a psychopath. Dr. Vogel, however, would disagree. “She exploits the fact that Dexter has come to believe — or maybe it’s undeniable to him, as he’s lost so much — that he does have an appetite to be human,” Hall shares, “a sense of there being more to him than just killing.”
SERIES-FINALE FODDER | A bloody good ending to the Dexter saga awaits fans, if Carpenter is to be believed. “You walk by racks of clothing that the costumers are pulling out on set, and there’s blood everywhere,” she teases. “It’s fantastic! I think fans are going to be really happy.” Hall, for his part, is less boisterous but does note: “I’m excited about the turns the story is going to take.”