Dexter's Jennifer Carpenter on That Bath Scene, New Deb/Dex Intimacy! Plus: Early Finale Scoop

Dexter Season 7Warning: If you’ve yet to watch Sunday’s Dexter, avert your eyes now. Everyone else, read on….

The question posed at the start of Dexter Season 7 — How exactly does a murderer convince his sister to come around to his serial-killing ways? — may have officially been answered this week, when our titular Dark Passenger made a move that could have broken, but ultimately began to heal his relationship with Deb.

After witnessing the lieutenant’s devastation upon learning that incarcerated baddie Ray Speltzer had been set free, Dex took matters into his own hands and — following quite the fight — offed the killer.

RELATED | Dexter EP Previews Fallout From Deb’s Discovery: ‘There’s No Dancing Around It Anymore’

Normally, that would have been retribution enough, but not this time. Taking a risk, our anti-hero called Deb to the scene of the crime and told her that not only was Speltzer gone, but that he had killed him. Her response was not one of anger or fear, as was the case with a similar conversation in the season premiere, but rather the interaction went pretty smoothly:

Deb: “Did you do this for me?”
Dexter: “No… How do you feel?”
Deb: “Glad. What does that make me?”
Dexter: “Human.”

TVLine spoke with Jennifer Carpenter about the possibility of a new outlook for Deb and why that final scene played as a seduction of sorts. The actress also reveals what the rest of the season has in store, including a forthcoming finale that is “satisfying on every level.”

TVLINE | What an episode-ending scene! Is Deb finally, truly accepting Dexter?
Everything that Deb thought was true about Dexter isn’t anymore; it was all a projection. So, for now she’s just trying to get the whole picture and the real picture. At the end of Episode 4, it starts to come into focus for her in a way that is both surprising and, dare I say, understandable. The thing that’s true about life on this show is that there must always be forward motion, So even though Deb may not have a place for all of the things she’s discovering, she has to keep the momentum. Like politicians, you may not always believe that it’s the right thing to do, but you have to make a choice in the moment. She’s under pressure and doing the best she can.

TVLINE | I can’t tell you how happy I am that they touched on Rita and Trinity in that dream sequence. It had to happen.
I thought it was brilliantly crafted on the writers’ part, because I feel like it encompasses exactly how Deb processes things. She shoves the difficult, complicated things that make it hard for her to deal with everyday life into the corners of her mind, and it’s in a dream that she realizes what she imagines could have happened between Rita and Dexter and Trinity.

TVLINE | What was it like shooting that scene?
In the most generic terms, it was awesome! [Laughs] It was incredible to play something I felt like I actually needed to play. The thing that I kept coming to this year with the writers was that I didn’t know where they wanted me [as Deb] to be, or what they wanted for me to build for them this season. I felt incredibly lost, which I’ve never had before because Deb has always been pretty easy to read, emotionally and otherwise. So, this dream, in a weird way, allowed me to write my own story in, to have my own feelings about how it all was coming together. I learned a lot about how to proceed as an actor through that episode.

RELATED | Chuck Alum Yvonne Strahovski Gushes Over Top-Secret Dexter Role: ‘I Feel Very Lucky’

TVLINE | You say you felt a bit lost, but as a viewer I can assure you that it’s been incredible to see such a strong, smart Deb this season.
I agree. I also think I discovered a lot of that in playing the scene in the church in the premiere. It wasn’t a gift I expected to get playing that scene, but after we came back from the eight-month hiatus and I started to actually process what it meant for Dexter to stab someone in from of Deb, there was a part of [her] that was rejoicing — ‘Thank God! That explains everything!’ There was a take at one point that looked like I was just ordering a pizza, just figuring out how to use that line and it wasn’t loaded with anything. And it was in that moment, where Deb starts to shake and cry a little bit, that she realizes that was how she truly felt; her heart was breaking, she was terrified, she was lost and that was when Dexter’s seduction started, to confuse her away from that feeling. This whole season for me has been about exploring not only what she was feeling in that moment, but what does it mean to her? I dunno, I could talk in circles about this forever. [Laughs]

TVLINE | Speaking of seduction, that’s kind of what the end of this episode felt like. There were also some subtle romantic vibes, which is something executive producer Sara Colleton told TVLine will eventually come back into play –
It will?! [Laughs] No, I know what she’s talking about.

TVLINE | What can you say about that? Are we witnessing more seduction, romantic or otherwise? Or is Deb just accepting him?
Anyone who does what Dexter does has to be seductive at some point. He can look at a person, know what they need and deliver, which is why he can manipulate so gracefully. The tease at a possible relationship between the two last season was really a tool to let Deb discover and not attack when she found out who and what he is. At the end of the day, a real relationship is about intimacy and endurance, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be a sexual element for them to be relating to each other in an intimate way… which they are. I can see why the writers might have picked that up and used it as a tool, and I can see why audience members would recognize their connection in that way.

TVLINE | What would you say about the rest of the season to someone, like myself, who has really loved these first four episodes?
I’m with you! That is so good to hear, because I swear to God we do it by audience. That’s all we care about; we just want to make them happy. This season flew by. I feel like I blinked my eyes and suddenly we’re finished shooting. I have never been more excited to see a finale in my life. It takes me 15 seconds to get wrapped, get in my trailer, change clothes and get out — I am famous for it! They just leave my call sheet on my car, that’s how fast I am. And I stayed after work to go up and watch footage of the last scene. It’s so satisfying on every level. I’m so proud of this season. I can’t wait for people to see it. It feels like we are back in a great, big way.

Do you think Deb has finally accepted the Dark Passenger? Hit the comments!

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62 Comments
  1. Jenny says:

    I am so excited about this season!!! It is great!!!! There is so much story to tell! I can’t wait till next week!

  2. TJ says:

    I am also really excited about this season, I think they should be longer shows. I NEVER want them to end.

  3. Jenna says:

    Great interview! Jennifer and Deb are both awesome. I’ve really loved this season so far. Now I can’t wait to see the finale.

  4. lara says:

    Although I really liked the episode, does anyone feel like TVLINE has been overhyping the episodes? Ausiello said that Masuka would be trending on twitter last week (for a fake stabbing…doubt it). And, did today’s episode really require a “post-mortem” bold spoiler alert?

  5. Anona Maus says:

    Love this show. The perfect finale: Deb kills LaGuerta to protect Dexter.

  6. Polly says:

    This season is getting better and better,
    Go Dex!

  7. Brigette says:

    Great interview. I’m pretty much obsessed with this season. OBSESSED.

    • Norma says:

      I am also obsessed, in awe with Dexter and the cast. Love Deb, love Masuka, everybody! It is an amazing, terrific, unbelievable, superfantastic show!!!!!! My family and I sit glued to the sofa in front of the TV Sundays 9pm, not only that but then we watch the reruns on Xfinity and acto out some of Dexter’s behaviors. It is pretty funny. We go over the scenes and depict it with a fine tooth comb.

      • james says:

        Haha my son and I do you the same thing!! We sit glued to it and pick apart each scene w a fine toothed comb. We may rewind several times just to feel the intensity of the scene, like at the end of episode 4. Lol I knew he was going to say “human”. Absolutely love the show and the books! No one in my opinion, though could’ve played a better dexter than Michael C. Hall. He IS Dexter.

  8. Mari says:

    This season has been really great!

  9. All they need to do now is get some of the sparkle back in the dialogue and Dex’s inner-monologue and the show will be genuinely back on form. Although since it’s wrapped already…. Maybe I should just be thankful for Dexter.

  10. Beth says:

    I almost felt that the ending scene was like a reset button on the Dex/Deb relationship. I really enjoy that he is not sugar coating anything anymore with Deb. I like the subtle looks and unspoken communication now between them. Thus far I am really digging that Deb has met Dexter’s dark passenger!

  11. ZeLev says:

    best season since Trinity

  12. Anthony says:

    I loved the show ever since I first scene it, but I think the show is jumping all around this season. What ever villain dexter faces has always related directly with what ever stage of life was dealing with at that time I can not figure out that relation this season

  13. Greg says:

    Love you Deb! Can’t wait till the next show. Keep up the great work!!!

  14. Daniel says:

    I have read the Dexter books and have been a big fan of the series on television. This season seems to be focused on the characters rather then Dexter killing each week. I do appreciate that it is starting to pick up and appreciate the suspense that the relationship between Deb and Dexter add to the show, it’s a long time coming! I am a fan very entertaining.

  15. Tom says:

    Why did Dexter send Harrison to Pauls parents?

  16. Gus says:

    He sent Harrison away to the grandparents in order to keep him out of harms way. Watch the episode again, he explained it.

  17. Midge Martin says:

    Once again, “Dexter” (Michael C. Hall) fulfills his fans’ needs to experience his reality. I think Deb will completely mesh with Dexter as she understands more and more the intricacies of his approach to people who fall through the cracks of the criminal justice system…and there are many!

  18. Tyrell says:

    Is this the last season ?

    • Chris says:

      This season is truly off to a strong start. Last week’s episode was fantastic! I can’t wait to see how it ends but I can because i don’t want the seasons to end!! Tyrell, there’s one more season after this one then that’s it.

  19. Ryan says:

    Read the books, I will bet money right now that LaGuerta dies.

  20. Dexter2345 says:

    Dexter is my #1 favorite show! I’m so sad it’s ending at season 8 because I will miss these characters…all of them! I even love the sweet little twins that play Harrison! But, I’m absorbing every episode, watching it over and over to catch every nuance and will probably buy them all. This season has been really fantastic! Even my husband (usually a history and documentary watcher) loves it, too. Congratulations to the actors and creators for making such a quality show. Michael C Hall and Jennifer Carpenter are exceptional! Hope to see them in future endeavors. Can’t wait for the next spisode!

  21. Shein Die says:

    This season makes me feel like I did in seasons 2 and 4 ….loving the show, .. rewatching … sitting with my open mouth, edge of seat feeling … congrats to the writers! this showrunner! the actors!!! director!!

  22. Todd76 says:

    When Deb said Glad about Speltzers death, I swear I heard a voice say, “Yesss… Welcome your dark passenger.” Twisted, don’t ya think?

  23. Janelle Kelley says:

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE this show,. Always keeps you on the edge of your seat and even though there is murder involved, it has it’s funny times too.

  24. Carla says:

    I seriously would love it if Dexter and Deb got together — what’s wrong with that? They are not blood relations — and if two people ever had issues they could bond eternally over, these two characters DO. This is THE best season of Dexter EVER. And I can’t wait till Sunday night. I’ve fould myself watching every episode two or three times — and I just don’t tire of it. The final scene in “Run” was utterly amazing and the chemistry throughout that episode between Deb and Dexter was great. It truly began when he was in the bar and Deb came in and said ‘You lured me here” — her voice did not sound like a sister talking to a brother. It was a very romantic thing, though it brought more conflict over the nasty bull guy.

  25. Sudsy says:

    Love this show. I was thinking that maybe LaGuerta would determine that it was Deb who is the Bay Harbour butcher since she was dating that FBI agent and made Doakes take the fall for her. Then Dexter will kill LaGuerta in the season finale.

  26. Kris Thrasher says:

    Was wondering if you all think there was any way Dex and Deb could actually be brother and sister. Didn’t the show tell us that Harry slept with Dexter’s mom? Why did he only rescue Dexter from the blood filled storage unit, but not Brian? Opinions please.

    • Dexter2345 says:

      In reply to the question of who really fathered Dexter: In an earlier season, Dexter received a package containing documents telling him that he had inheirited a house. He took Rita to the house to clear it out and get it sale ready when Deb and her boyfriend, (the Ice Truck Killer) showed up to help. While there, Dex went to the morgue and got a DNA sample from the guy, which proved him to be Dex’s bio dad. He had a kick ass record collection and loved bowling. He was also the blood donor that saved Dexter’s life with a transfusion when he was very young. This was further proven by the card Dex made for the blood donor that the bio dad kept all those years and adult Dexter found in the guy’s belongings. (I watch every episode multiple times!)

      • Midge Martin says:

        DEXTER2345–Thank you! Sorry Kris, this proves Dex and Deb had different fathers! Maybe there will be a very hot love relationship coming up in the future! Hope so!

        • Kris Thrasher says:

          I had forgotten all about that episode (!). Thanks for the insight Dexter2345!

          • Midge Martin says:

            Kris, love your comments and those of others. If there is a hot sexual relationship between Dex and Deb, it is going to be a challenge to Michael and Jennifer because they were formerly married in real life and are now divorced! I cannot imagine myself acting in a romantic way with my X. That will be above the call of duty acting!

          • Kris Thrasher says:

            Would definitely be awkward. I saw them on the panel at comic con on youtube and they looked really comfortable with each other. I don’t think they were married very long and I believe it was during the time when Michael was sick, so maybe they were lucky enough to stay friends. It certainly would be bad if they didn’t considering the storylines for this year.

          • Midge Martin says:

            Kris: Thanks for your input. It puts my heart at ease. I love them both!

          • Dexter2345 says:

            You’re most welcome! I watch every episode several times to make sure I don’t miss anything! LOL!! Is that crazy? Then, I buy every season on disc to watch while they are on hiatus! I’ll be sad to see the 8th season end and will look for these actors in other, future endeavors!

          • Kris Thrasher says:

            I don’t think it’s crazy – you’re just a true fan! I’ll be sad to see this journey end as well. Who ever thought we’d all be rooting for a serial killer?

          • Midge Martin says:

            Yes, who ever thought we’d be rooting for a serial killer. I, too, watch the episodes over and over. LOVE this show! Midge

    • Midge Martin says:

      Kris Thrasher’s comments are very interesting. I had never made that connection before. I think you are RIGHT ON! Deb and Dex ARE related! Midge