This Sunday, “Dexter” will make his last kill. After eight seasons, the original serial killer drama will air its series finale. The penultimate episode ended with this season’s big bad Saxon (Darri Ingolfsson) shooting Deb (Jennifer Carpenter). Will she survive? Will Dexter (Michael C. Hall)? Should he? Fans have been debating how the show should end all season, with some favoring Dexter escaping Miami and others believing that the only appropriate way for the show to end is with his death (or at least jail). At a Paley Center celebration of the ground-breaking Showtime series, “Dexter’s” cast and producers were tight-lipped about how the series ends but acknowledged that reaction to the finale is likely to be polarizing.
“I imagine there will be a broad spectrum in terms of the response. Some people will probably be 98 percent satisfied and some people will be 98 percent perplexed,” said Hall. “I have no idea. I really don’t. Part of the fun of waiting for these final two episodes to air is just to see how people respond. I obviously won’t get a firsthand account of everyone’s response but I’ll get a sense of it.”
Showrunner Sara Colleton admits to xfinityTV that crafting the finale was a difficult process. “From the beginning I knew where I wanted it to go… but that being said, by the time we got down to beating out the final three, all of a sudden the pressure, the outside pressure, came to bear and it was stressful. We really had to be very, very rigid about blocking out everyone else’s anticipation and do what we always felt was right for the show.”
Colleton is confident that she and the writing team have crafted a finale that is true to the show’s vision, but she knows it is impossible to please everyone. “I am prepared for the fan reaction that some people will like it and it will be excoriated by others. I have decided that I am not going to read any fan reaction because, for me, it’s ending correctly.”
C.S. Lee (Masuka), who is a fan of “The Sopranos” controversial ending, told us, “I want to hear everyone’s reactions. I want to hear the haters. I want to hear the lovers.” He added, “The most important thing is an ending should take a risk. And I think the ending is going to take a risk.”
Filming the finale was a bittersweet experience for the cast. Said Hall, “It’s a true family, this cast and crew and writers and beyond, and it’s a special time and I think that will only grow in all of our esteem as we move on.”
“It’s kind of surreal. It’s like practically a quarter of my life, maybe a fifth of my life. But it’s been a great ride and I’m going to miss the crew and all the casts,” said Lee.
Desmond Harrington (Quinn) acknowledges that he is sad that “Dexter” has come to an end. “I love these people. I love this show,” he tells xfinityTV. “Sometimes, honestly, the role isn’t as important as the people you work with… I don’t even know if I’ll watch [the finale.] It’s a little much.”
The nostalgic cast and crew recalled some of their favorite scenes. “One moment comes to mind, I think I’m dropping a dummy body over a three story building to do a test. The dummy body is female and one of my lines is, “By the way, I dressed her in pink panties.” Then Debra kind of looks at me like, you know, I’m a pervert all the time,” said Lee.
Colleton’s pick may reveal the tone that the finale will take. “In the Trinity [Killer] year, I love the Thanksgiving episode where you realize ‘Oh my God, this family is 10 times more [screwed] up than anything I can imagine.’ And yet it tapped into the collective unconsciousness of all of our Thanksgivings. I love when you have those two things, something that Dexter experiences that taps into the audience’s experiences.”
The final episode of “Dexter” airs Sunday at 9/8c on Showtime.