In just a few short months, Showtime’s Dexter will return with what promises to be a jaw-dropping, game-changing sixth season. TVLine spoke with executive producer Sara Colleton about the new and improved Dark Passenger (whom, she says, “is at the top of his game in every way”), unveiling the big secret to Deb (“It will happen”), and just how long she and the other Powers That Be think this wicked game can last. (Hint: It’s a while).
TVLINE | What can we expect to see from Dexter and his Dark Passenger this season?
Dexter is back, and he still wants to play. [Laughs] The last shot in the Season 5 finale was Dexter doing something we rarely do in the series: breaking the fourth wall. He looked in the camera and says, “Wishes are for children.” So, we’ve jumped ahead a year and this is now a Dexter who is over Rita’s death and over the loss of Lumen. He has realized that the desire to merge his lives is never going to work, so he’s compartmentalized things. An intimate relationship is not right for him to have, so he’s trying to shut that part of him off because it doesn’t lead anywhere that’s good for him. He’s at the top of his game in every way.
TVLINE | Leading up to previous seasons, it has sometimes been said that Dexter will be reverting to the man we met in Season 1. Is that the case this time around, or is he now a whole new man?
I don’t think Dexter is ever a new character, but rather every year a composite of what we’ve seen him experience and learn about human nature. We never arbitrarily say we’re going to clean things up and start over with him; he is the collection of all of the years.
TVLINE | It’s been reported that Season 6 will find Dexter battling with faith. Can you elaborate on that?
Harrison is about to start school and Dexter is keenly aware that while he knows what he doesn’t want to pass on to his son — namely his Dark Passenger — he has no idea what he should be passing on to him. So, the overarching theme of the year is faith, and if it is something he should be utilizing. But before he can do that, he’s got to figure out what exactly faith is. Right away, he realizes this is something that there is no definition of; it’s something that very baffling to him. In no way does this become a “New Age” religious take on the subject matter. If Dexter’s going to be exploring this, it’s going to be handled in a classic Dexter style. Dexter attempting to define what, by its very nature, is indefinable is very fun.
TVLINE | There are many new people joining the show this season. What’s one good tease you can give about some of the newcomers?
In an interesting way, Travis (played by Colin Hanks) and Molly Parker’s character have a wonderful brother/sister relationship that in many ways parallels Dexter’s relationship with Deb.
TVLINE | Let’s talk a little about the structure of Miami Metro, now one year later. Have things changed at all, aside from the new blood in the building?
Everyone is still there, but the relationships have all progressed. Deb and Quinn are still living together; LaGuerta and Batista have divorced. Other than that, we start out pretty status quo.
TVLINE | Speaking of Quinn: There has long been this questionable backstory surrounding him that begs to be told. Any chance we’ll see some of that finally come out this season?
Quinn has evolved, and just like Dexter, he has his own definition of what is moral and what is immoral. He rose to his very best self to be worthy of Deb’s affections at the end of last season, and that’s even more apparent this year. Of course, love is fraught with peril and disappointment, and how one responds to that is a real test. We’ll see Quinn go through that stuff this season, and it’s very, very character-revealing.
TVLINE | Are Dexter and Quinn still at each other’s throats, or have we moved beyond that?
That has definitely cooled off, because if you remember, Dexter gave a gift to him last season by covering up Liddy’s blood on his shoe. Quinn’s aware of it, that Dexter’s did him a solid. So, Dexter has just learned to tolerate him, and all Quinn wants is for Dexter to like him because he realizes how important to Deb her brother is.
TVLINE | Jennifer Carpenter recently told us that she’d classify Dexter and Deb’s relationship in Season 6 as “happy.” Can you confirm that the two are in a good place?
Deb and Dexter have one of the great brother/sister relationships in any television series. Things will happen in each of their lives that the other will have to adjust to, but it’s in how they do so that matters. I know the question on everyone’s mind is, “What’s going to happen if/when/how she finds out about the Dark Passenger side of her brother?” When and how that’s going to be handled has not been quite decided, but it will at some point happen.
TVLINE | How about Deb’s personal journey this year? Can we hope to see her — dare I say it — happy?
Absolutely. [Laughs] Over the seasons, she’s gotten a much greater sense of self and more confidence, especially when it comes to what she deserves in life. Deb comes into real strength as a grown woman this season, both in her personal and professional life.
TVLINE | What’s the status on Rita’s kiddos, Astor and Cody? Will they still be around for Dexter to care for?
They are referenced, but they haven’t really played in to the story this season. Because a year has gone by, they have their own lives. They’re in Orlando having a good time and they don’t want to leave. They’re happy that they have Harrison, but they are in a part of a kid’s life when they have other things going on.
TVLINE | How about Harry? What’s his involvement in Season 6?
In previous seasons, Harry was always worried about Dexter and trying to prevent him from making mistakes, and now he realizes that Dexter paid for those and is trying to the best of his ability to be a good dad. So, now he’s being supportive. They were father/son before; now they’re two dads together.
TVLINE | I know this question has been thrown around quite a bit in Dexter‘s history, but going into your sixth season, I’ve got to ask: How much life is left in this series? Is that something you even discuss?
Every year we are as excited as we were about the previous year. As long as we can move Dexter into a new territory to explore, it’s exciting for viewers. And as long as there are new, profound ways of examining human nature, the show stays fresh. When we feel we have reached that end, nobody on the show wants to start treading water. When that will be, we’ll know when we get there, but I don’t see it as an imminent thing.