“Dexter” hit a crescendo in the final moments of last season with a major, major reveal that was a long time coming and “dramatically changes the nature of this show,” say producers.
Jennifer Carpenter was just as excited about the plot development as fans of the show were.
“I have been looking forward to it,” Carpenter told TV reporters at the Television Critics Association Press Tour Monday. “I’ve been very curious about how they would write it, and also terrified about it.”
The season premiere picks up moments after Lt. Debra Morgan has witnessed her serial killer brother Dexter in the act of murder.
“It was strangest, scariest seduction scene in a weird way,” Carpenter says of the intense opening scene of the highly anticipated Season 7 premiere. “I felt as weak and as powerful as I’ve ever been.”
Season 7 will explore how Deb’s dark discovery affects her job as a cop and her relationship with her brother – for whom, in case you forgot, she has developed romantic feelings. Needless to say, finding out your foster brother is a serial killer puts a damper on romance. (As does, the brother part, adopted or not.)
“I think it is without a doubt the most fundamentally game-changing development we’ve had in telling this story,” Michael C. Hall said.
“One thing we’ve always counted on was that Dexter’s secret was his own — and it’s not anymore.”
Producers say “the time was right” to have someone learn the truth about Dexter, and all of this is building toward the ultimate endgame.
“I think her [Deb] finding out does sort of make an endgame feel a little more palpable and imminent,” Hall said. “I think the plan is to do this season and a final eighth season.” When pressed by reporters if that really would be the series finale, Hall said, “Never say never.” (Earlier in the day Showtime president David Nevins confirmed the plan is for “Dexter” to end after eight seasons.)
So, how will Dexter react to having his secret exposed? Is Deb now in danger of becoming Dexter’s latest victim?! “Dexter is a serial killer,” executive producer Scott Buck reminds us. “The thought has to have crossed his mind at some point that that would be an easy solution to his whole problem.” Uh oh.
Despite getting the payoff of that jaw-dropping moment in the finale, last season did receive a fair amount of criticism on the creative front, with many viewers frustrated that they figured out the big twist long before Dexter did.
“Whatever your opinion about ranking the seasons, I will say that, for my money, Dexter is never more compelling than when he is in trouble,” Hall said. “And he’s never been in deeper trouble than he is now.”
The seventh-season premiere of “Dexter” premieres Sunday, Sept. 30 at 9/8c on Showtime.