Dexter Boss Discusses the Impact of Deb's Deadly Choice, Plus: Who'll Be Back in Season 8?

Dexter Season 7 Spoilers“Born in blood, both of us. Harry was right. I thought I could change what I am, keep my family safe. But it doesn’t matter what I do, what I choose. I’m what’s wrong. This is fate.”

Dexter Morgan first uttered that sad sentiment during Dexter‘s Season 4 finale, when, in his mind, they applied only to himself and the Showtime saga’s now-infamous Big Bad, Arthur “Trinity” Mitchell. In retrospect, however, said musings represented so much more, foreshadowing the tragic future ahead for the Dark Passenger and his sister Deb.

Following Dexter‘s seventh season finale, Deb too had seemingly been “born in blood”; the do-good detective of yesterday dead and gone, replaced by a well-meaning-but-lost murderer with a badge. Once again, our titular anti-hero found that he couldn’t “keep his family safe” and that no matter what he does, those he loves ultimately pay the price for his dark deeds.

Here, showrunner Scott Buck discusses Deb’s ultimate sacrifice and how it will impact the conflicted cop — and her relationship with Dexter — in Season 8. He also reveals the reasons behind the ill-fated LaGuerta’s ouster, why Hannah likely isn’t gone for good and what will happen if Showtime opts to keep the ratings-rich Dexter around beyond its proposed final season.

TVLINE | Has Deb now been “born in blood” — in a shipping container — just as Dexter was as a child?
That’s interesting, I hadn’t thought of that. But you could certainly say that, yes.

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TVLINE | What will Season 8 Deb look like? How will killing an innocent — and someone she cared about — affect her?
It’s certainly going to be different from Season 7. What’s so different about this kill, as opposed to anything that Dexter does, is that it was done of out love; it was done to protect someone she cared about.

TVLINE | Will Deb’s actions help bond her to her brother? Or will it ultimately splinter their relationship?
It certainly bonds them, but some of the things that can bond people together are not positive. It’s less a bond out of love than a bond out of tragedy. And that will affect their relationship in the coming year.

Episode 712

TVLINE | Talk about Deb running into a then-dead LaGuerta’s arms after killing her. You’ve said that the choice to do so was Jennifer Carpenter’s.
The way I scripted it was simply that Deb shoots [LaGuerta] and then Dexter and Deb share a look. We would then cut to them walking through the New Year’s Eve party. But this actually added a really nice transition. We did it that way in all the takes, so there were no alternate endings.

TVLINE | You’ve said that Season 8 will really explore Dexter’s origins. Can you elaborate on that?
We will expand what we already know, and see that there’s actually a lot more to it than we had imagined. I can’t get into it too much without giving things away. But there’s part of the story that we haven’t told yet.

TVLINE | Any idea yet where you’ll pick up next year?
We’re still in the process of writing and creating, so we don’t know that just yet.

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TVLINE | With the through-the-roof ratings you’ve had this season, has there been talk of a Season 9? Or are you still going into 8 as if it’s the end?
That’s a question that I don’t get to decide, unfortunately; it’s a Showtime question. We’re approaching this last year as though it’s the finale, and if something changes then we can alter our course.

TVLINE | I have to assume that Angel will be hit pretty deeply by LaGuerta’s demise. Perhaps even un-retiring?
We have no intention of losing [series regular] David Zayas or Batista. He’ll be back with us. LaGuerta’s death will have a huge impact on Angel. This is not just a coworker and a friend, but someone he was once married to and has very deep feelings for. How he puts this in perspective and deals with it is going to be a large part of his character’s journey next season.

TVLINE | Regardless of how well Deb and Dex are able to fake LaGuerta’s murder scene, someone has got to find the timing of her death pretty suspect. My mind immediately jumps to Matthews.
Right. We hope to definitely bring back [Geoff Pierson as] Matthews… We’re still making deals right now.

TVLINE | How will her murder take a toll on Miami Metro?
It’s going to have a huge impact. This is a character who’s been with us since the very beginning and has always been a very strong, central character to the show and to Miami Metro. So, you’re definitely going to feel a vacancy there.

TVLINE | Talk about the decision to have LaGuerta be the one to uncover Dexter’s secret.
What was interesting about it was that [LaGuerta] was never really highly respected for her detective work, but rather for her ability to be politically smart. So, it seemed interesting to show that that wasn’t quite true and that she’s a much smarter detective than anyone had imagined. Essentially, that was the reason.

TVLINE | How did Lauren Vélez take the news of her impending departure?
We told her perhaps half-way through the season. Everyone’s always disappointed or sad to leave a show that’s been so important to them for so many years, but she was very excited to play such a vital part in the season. And she was fantastic!

TVLINE | Let’s talk about Hannah, who developed into such a great character. Since she’s still out there somewhere, is it possible that Yvonne Strahovski might be back? That Hannah and Dexter could eventually have something real?
It’s definitely possible, sure.

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Episode 712TVLINE | Does that mean there wasn’t any truth to the discussion she and Dex had in prison: that together, one of them would have to end up dead or behind bars?
I think they absolutely believed everything they were saying in the moment, but things can always change.

TVLINE | Was the plant that Hannah left for Dexter a goodbye or an “I’m still around” warning sign?
It was a black orchid, so it was meant as a rather ominous goodbye.

TVLINE | I have to imagine that this is it for Dexter romance-wise. Either he reunited with Hannah or he goes solo.
I don’t know that Dexter can easily move past Hannah. Even though he’s had other relationships in his life, this was the only truly honest relationship he had; the only instance in which he felt he was in love with someone. Who knows, years later he might be able to move past it, but I don’t think in this upcoming season he’s prepared to.

TVLINE | Some fans aren’t buying Hannah’s confession that she poisoned Deb. Are we to believe that she really did it?
Well, it was as much of a confession as Hannah will ever give.

TVLINE | The belief is that Deb actually poisoned herself — but that wasn’t what you were going for?
It’s fun to think so! [Laughs] We’re more than willing to let the viewers’ imaginations take them wherever they want.

TVLINE | To quote Dexter, is this “a new beginning, or the beginning of the end?”
It’s probably closer to the beginning of the end, but it all depends on which character you’re talking about. It will affect them both in different ways, but it’s certainly going to take them to a new place in both of their lives.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. AJ says:

    Jennifer Carpenter rocked last night, hope she’ll get an emmy nom.

  2. K says:

    How about an interview with Lauren Velez? I’d love to get her perspective on the season and the finale.

  3. Bree says:

    By far the best season of DEXTER period. The writing and acting was incredible. Yvonne Strahovski was fantastic, and I hope to see her character return. Jennifer Carpenter needs to win an emmy Now!! Just give it to her already.

  4. rikes says:

    Dexter has to die in season 8. The writers basically left no other choice

  5. Mark says:

    Season 6 was so much better

  6. Nahuel says:

    I agree in that this was one of the best seasons (maybe the best). After Rita’s finale I think this is the best and most shocking, even though LaGuerta had it coming I never thought it would be Debra the one having to make such a hard choice.
    And we all agree in the fact that Jennifer Carpenter HAS TO have every single award for TV acting there is. But forget about the Emmys because they go to Mad Men, Downton Abbey, Breaking Bad and Homeland. Nothing else.

  7. Suha says:

    I can’t believe Jennifer Carpenter has been snubbed by the Emmys AND Golden Globes all these years. Unbelievable! If she’s overlooked – and this coming season will probably the last – it’ll be the BIGGEST thievery in TV history. Best female actress on TV in a long time! Nuff said!

  8. rachelle says:

    I agree with pretty much everyone. this was one of Dexter’s best seasons and best finales period. Jennifer was brilliant and deserves all the awards! seriously, she has just killed in every episode. she plays emotional fragility and necessary strength soooo well. it’ll be a crime if she doesn’t even get nominated for an Emmy!

  9. How could you not ask about the ballistics on Deb’s gun being the shot that killed LaGuerta?

    • JeniLee says:

      Thats what i am wondering. How are they gonna cover that up??

      • Ryan McShane Prussin says:

        Ballistic information is the result of a comparison between a bullet and a gun’s barrel; as the bullet exits the gun, the gun’s unique barrel marks the bullet in a way that proves that the bullet was fired from that particular weapon. All Dexter and Deb need to do is remove the bullet from the crime scene and the cops will be unable to trace the killing back to that gun.

        • Lethe says:

          There is then another problem that would arise from that. There would be there would be an empty spot where a bullet should have been making the cops suspect something fishy, perhaps even that LaGuerta was right and the butcher is still out there.

    • Brooke says:

      Dexter’s a forensics expert and Deb is LT of homicide, I wouldn’t find it unusual for them to be successful in spinning the suspicion in another direction.

    • I was wondering the same thing. I guess they’ll say that LaGuerta killed Hector Estrada and that Dexter walked in on her. Then they could say that she was going to kill Dexter so he couldn’t rat her out but Deb walked in and shot her to stop her.

    • Emily says:

      I read an Scott Buck interview elsewhere that basically said, in case you forgot, Dexter is also the forensics expert investigating the case. Not that we needed that confirmation; it isn’t like it’s the first time he’s tampered with a crime scene…

  10. D. says:

    Jennifer Carpenter was the star of the finale and she deserves not one but all the fricking emmys. Damn, poor Deb.

  11. Brigette says:

    I feel like they should change the name of the show to “Deb.” Jennifer Carpenter owned this season and ESPECIALLY that last scene. I seriously don’t think I’ll be able to watch the Emmys at all if she doesn’t get a nomination. How could I take them seriously?!

    • Pat D. says:

      Maybe due to the ratings being so strong, we get a spin-off instead of a possibly iffy-plotted season 9? My vote is for Masuka!

  12. Abby says:

    Jennifer Carpenter DOES deserve the Emmy for this. Totally. Forget Claire Danes.

  13. John says:

    “Who knows, years later he might be able to move past it…” Move past it as finding somebody new or move past it just in his head?

  14. j.goulding says:

    It would’nt surprise me if Masuka had some dark secret just like Dex, Only more pervy.

  15. Sean says:

    This show was great (again) this season, due to the writers & cast! I hope Jennifer Carpenter gets some respect from the awards world… at least a nomination (come on)! Plus, Showtime should quickly add to the # of season….. don’t let it end next year!!!

  16. kavyn says:

    Matthews’ sole purpose this entire season was to insult Laguerta. If he comes back, he’ll have nothing to contribute in terms of humor or story. If he takes over Laguerta’s position then I probably won’t bother watching the next season, considering all he did was undermine Laguerta when really he was the one being played for as a fool.

    Unless if they intend on writing Matthews as having known Dexter’s secret all along, in which case he won’t do anything to go against Dexter anyways, making him useless to the plot anyways. Batista now seems like the only one who will search into Dexter as the BHB, but it upsets me because he doesn’t have as much of a drive as Laguerta did to catch Dexter.

    • A says:

      Seriously? It’s pretty much gonna be the final season and you’re saying you wont watch just because an essentially minor character may recur and just because he was mean to LaGuerta? That makes absolutely no sense. I don’t understand how some people can just say they’re gonna stop watching a show after investing so much time in it ESPECiALLY when its going into is FINAL SEASON!! After 7 seasons, you really would not want to know how it ultimately ends regardless of some minor character?

      • Pat D. says:

        Not to mention that LaGuerta basically stabbed him in the back to begin with, LOL.

      • kavyn says:

        The thing for me is they completely screwed up by killing Laguerta. I expected Dexter to finally be on the run by the end of the season, but instead they kill off the only person capable of chasing him. Next season is just going to be like every other season, and it’s going to end with Deb and Dexter falling in love and moving to Argentina or some other b/s.

        If it ends in Dexter’s death, it’s going to be an ironic one (ie his death will have absolutely nothing to do with being a serial killer). I’m sure I’ll tune in, but this finale was the first time I didn’t care for the following season, and it’s a bummer since this will be the final one.

  17. Ken says:

    What about the fact the the bullet in LaGuerta’s body came from Debra’s gun?

    • mercfan says:

      That was the first thing I said as Deb pointed the gun at Laguerta. She can’t shoot her with her service gun. Did Dexter remove her slug and replace it with one from the dead man’s gun? Doesn’t seem likely

    • cjeffery7 says:

      right?!! did they swap estrada’s gun or something? even though deb’s would obviously be registered with miami metro. or did they shoot laguerta again to mess up HER bullet wound, which seemed pretty implausible… shooting a bullet through a stab wound to make it look like a bullet wound? doubtful.

      • John says:

        Shooting a bullet through a stab wound to cover up the stab wound, here’s one for Mythbusters to test….

        • I think I’ve seen something on this. Depending on the level of investigation, it wouldn’t work. Once you’re dead, you blood stops pumping, so the part of the body where the bullet goes through would leave evidence of it being postmortem. There’s a lot of evidence out of their control to follow. For one, Deb called in to dispatch looking for LaGuerta. She left a message on Dex’s phone, LaGuerta had a judge sign a warrant (may or may not have been executed, but will be on record). Only digging out the bullet from LaGuerta would not implicate Deb, but the murder will be very suspicious. Even if Dex’s plan worked, it still would have been suspicious. Anyone who wants to find the clues shouldn’t have a problem with it pointing to Dex and Deb.

          I think it would be funny if Deb got promoted because of this adding to her anxiety over it.

          • cjeffery7 says:

            hmmm. actually, i think it’s probably more likely that only deb would get caught. it was her gun, she spoke to dispatch, she’s also in her own car presumably so she can be tracked to the same location at the same time. coupled with the footage of her being at the gas station… she’s getting revenge for her brother right?
            WOW. i’m really starting to worry this will all point to deb and she’ll end up in jail or on the lam. what a frickin role reversal.

  18. A says:

    I honestly think that the only way this show can truly end properly is with Dexter dying. I mean he will never be “normal”. He’s progressed slowly into an actual human being with emotion over the series run, but in my mind, the revelation that was made this season with regards to his Dark Passenger being a fake excuse for him to kill, leaves them with no choice. He has to die because even if all of a sudden he decides to stop killing and live like a ‘normal’ person, he will NEVER BE SAFE. The truth always comes out as evidences by LaGuerta’s death.

  19. mercfan says:

    As soon as Laguerta reopened the Bay Harbor butcher case again – Code or no Code you knew she was a dead woman.

    • Natalia says:

      Yess ^^ i knew where this was going ugh! I was hoping it wouldnt end like that although it brought so much to the story! I will definately miss Maria LaGuerta and i feel so ba for batistas loss, especially because if there deep down, past connection :(

  20. cjeffery7 says:

    in messed-up fantasy land it’d be so fun to see deb and dexter on the run, killing bad guys, a sort of modern day bonnie & clyde!! that’s what the final shot of the two of them at the party made me think. brother and sister killers!! sweeping the nation! ohh the sick stuff this show makes me think about…

  21. Britta Unfiltered says:

    I’m one of the ones not buying Hannah’s confession, though I can’t imagine why she’d make it up. I just barely watched the episode, so I’m still processing it. I think Deb was kind of dumb to shoot LaGuerta, she should have just left and let Dexter do what he was going to do. She can’t live with that kind of guilt, and it’s not like it was a situation where she had to kill her or LaGuerta would have killed Dexter. If she was trying to prevent Dexter from committing a murder, well, I don’t understand why she would do that when he’s already murdered many people. It’s not like she would be saving his soul. Hmmm…well, anyhoo, I actually hope they do bring Yvonne back. In the past I have not liked her, and I was not very happy when I heard she was coming to the show, but she really made me like her character and did a great job. Hannah was very no-nonsense and didn’t play games. Just said what she was thinking. I like that in characters.

  22. Connor says:

    Funny. It’s Deb that I see biting the dust in the end. She’s now damaged beyond recovery… She snapped and she snapped good. There’s nothing awaiting her but guilt, and guilt has tremendous corrosive properties. She will probably make the ultimate sacrifice, for Dext of course and pay the price for her transgression… I’m curious as to how this will turn out. Anyway, uneven season with awkward moments but a formidable improvement over the previous one.

    And yes, Jennifer Carpenter has been stellar. She is a sensational actress.

  23. JP says:

    I’m happy to hear Hannah should be returning! Her impact on Dexter’s character was huge so it would’ve been a bit of a cop out if she just disappeared forever.

  24. Mikael says:

    I figured the series would end with Dexter being revealed and Deb having to join in hunting him down, but in the end she helps him to escape to Argentina with Hannah and fakes his death.

  25. Josh says:

    This was a great season. I think Hannah McKay might not come into the picture until mid season 8. Because she left the “goodbye for now” flowers on his doorstep to let dexter know that she’s okay. I’m thinking when season 8 starts deb will be captain of homicide and I could see Batista as luiteniat and Quinn as Sargent. I’ve always thought that Mathews knew about dexter from the gecko. After all he was Harry’s best friend. Maybe even helped Harry develop the code for dexter and was trying to protect lagrutta from knowing the truth cuz he knew it would get her killed. It will remain a closed case I believe because when another season goes by, it skips like a year. Anyways what I think will happen will have to do a lot with dexter himself and will find out things about him we never knew.. + Harrison getting older might start to show the early signs that dexter had and teach him the code.
    I don’t believe anyone will be running away anywhere but Hannah McKay.(to South America) but without dexter of course. Any things possible .. (;
    Last but not least, the best seasons without a doubt was this season + season 4.
    Worst seasons were season 3 and 5 with lumen just leaving last minute out of the blue never heard of again was lame.

    • Natalia says:

      I think the case will definately be dropped because it was LaGuerta who wanted to know the truth and now shes out. Also, ahhh i forget but amazing work to jen lauren and the crew love em all!! And i hope La Lupe happens!! (Por mamita velez :) )

  26. MJA says:

    Personally, I don’t think Matthews knows of Dexter’s “side gig” as a serial killer. Why would he offer all that information to LaGuerta regarding Dexter’s past (i.e. seeing his mother chopped up in a container with his bro, and the Ice Truck Killer was Dexter’s bro, and the cabin in the Everglades was rented to a drug lord who killed Dexter’s mum etc). If Matthews knows Dexter is the BHB, and is trying to protect him, why would he simply volunteer all that information to LaGuerta? Makes absolutely no sense to me!

    Then again, Matthews is also a dirty cop since he tried to cover up the death of a prostitute he was banging right?

    I think LaGeurta’s death will have a significant impact on Batista and he won’t end up retiring at all. Instead, he’s going to put all his heart and soul into investigating LaGuerta’s death and he’ll end up uncovering Dexter and Deb’s true nature. Batista’s sister is Harrison’s Nanny… surely she’ll reveal to Batista Dexter’s frequent late night shifts and that will raise suspicion and peak his interest in LaGuerta’s theories about Dexter.

    Dexter and Deb seem to have a great deal of respect for Batista. It’s unlikely they will kill him. He may very well be the hero in the end who cracks this whole thing wide open and exposes the truth.

    At the end of the day, the show has to enforce the notion that crime does NOT pay and in the end, good always dominates evil. Sure, we all love Dexter’s character and the fact that he only stalks and kills “bad people” because of his “code”, however, the code is quickly diminishing and Dexter is now killing for the thrill and “the need” (which he admits to Hanna’s scumbag father in the boat)… He’s turning like just like any other serial killer. He will end up being caught in the end… it’s inevitable Miami PD will close in on him in Season 8 & 9 (if we are lucky enough to have a Season 9).

    • MJA says:

      BTW, I also think Quinn will be killed off in Season 8. I think the “Koshka Brotherhood” will send an assassin to take him out for killing one of their own.

      All he really does is chase p#ssy anyway and adds no real value to the storyline. I would have liked to see his character evolve into another Doakes and un-cover Dexter’s dark secret, but his character (as it stands now) is quite useless.

      Maybe he’ll end up dating Batista’s sister and spend more time at Dex’s apartment and he may accidentally stumble upon some secrets which will also peak his interest in investigating Dex again.

      I love Masuka’s character! He’s a great comic relief in the show, even though he’s one crude, nasty mofo :) There has to be one in every workplace :)

  27. Sku doo says:

    What’s the story with Quinn’s hair? He always looks like he has had an electric shock….

  28. david morgan says:

    Why doesn’t anyone suggest the possibilit that Dexter can easily dig the bullet out of laguerta’s body and shoot her from the bad guy’s gun through the same wound? This would clear Deb out of everything.

  29. nathan cathey says:

    Omg hurry up and.make the next session im so pumped.for the 8th session i can’t even stand it. I love dexter!!!

  30. Murphy says:

    Think I haven´t been this hooked since first season – and there I was in the early seasons, kind of enerved by Deb. *Phew* FF to now and she and her whole development – the whole character work Jennifer Carpenter and the writers & Co have put into this just knock me off my feet. Drop dead genius-horrible place she´s at – always had a knack for these “fallen” characters, and her fall seems to become pretty deep – total kudos to Jen, barely ever seen anything like it or felt about a character that strong.I hope they continue with a final season as awesome without killing Deb or Dex off, or plain jail just to make it “realistic”.
    It would be way more true to the beginning of the show if they keep struggling out there – Dex balancing his need and Deb coming to terms with what she´s willing to do and to atone without actually turning herself in. And I would sure enjoy to see Hannah again for a while, maybe coming to some odd truce with Deb … mockingly so perhaps.
    Endless possibilies… Keep up the great!

  31. cinthy says:

    jennifer carpenter is an awesome actress, and please no moro Hanna!!!!!!

  32. Lex says:

    This show can’t end yet!!!! I am so attached to the characters and story lines…either extend the series or have a spinoff…the bad acting in soap operas lasts 30+ years…dexter is the best show I have EVER watched!

  33. paula says:

    Does anyone else see a Spin-off. Entitled DDP (Debra’s Dark Passenger) or DPR (Dark Passenger Redux)? Debra aims at Hannah, kills both Hannah and Dex who tries to save Hannah. Debra takes over Dex’s code with Dex the dead mentor ala Harry was for Dex.

  34. Ann says:

    I believe it will come out that Dexter and Deb are half blood siblings. That their father was also a psychopath and they share his gene. This was why he only took Dexter, he was the lovechild with the informant.

  35. Thomas M. Schupska says:

    I think showtime would make a lot of money with a spin off .(son of a killer )with dexter popping in once in awhile .I did not like the end of season 8.

  36. andro says:

    Dexter is a horrible tv show