Jennifer Carpenter and Michael C. Hall
As the final season of Dexter heats up, the cast and creative minds behind Showtime's serial killer series took the stage at Comic-Con Thursday for one final panel.
On hand to say goodbye were Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, Aimee Garcia, Desmond Harrington, Yvonne Strahovski, David Zayas and former castmembers Julie Benz, Erik King and Lauren Velez. Additionally, executive producers Sara Colleton, Scott Buck and Manny Coto were joined by former showrunner Clyde Phillips. John Lithgow, who couldn't make it to the panel, also sent along a video message thanking the fans.
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Sunday will mark the fourth episode of the final season, but the cast already wrapped production on the series last week. "I don't think it's hit any of us that it's over," Colleton said. Hall added: "There's some unconscious part of us that hasn't accepted or recognized it yet. Five or six months from now, we'll start knocking at the door wondering why we're not doing Dexter again."
Over the years, the series has featured dozens of kills, but the cast eventually became desensitized to all the blood, guts and gore. "Eventually, you get used to it just like a real cop would," Zayas said. But fans still raised the question of morality, to which Hall defended his character. "I've always been on Dexter's side," he said.
But since the very beginning of the series, the sociopath's walls have come down as he realizes he actually has emotions, especially when it comes to his sister Deb. "We're meant to be suspicious by his claim that he's a pure 100 percent psychopath," Hall said. "Over the course of the show, as we see the things he's built up for himself crumble, [we see] that he has a connection to those things beyond the pragmatic, that the lines get blurred."
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The final journey has been especially difficult for Carpenter, whose Deb has been spiraling out of control this year after killing her captain at the close of Season 7. "It makes my life look really good," Carpenter said. "It's interesting in the last season because I feel like a stunt car driver... It's been scary and complicated. I really appreciate the challenge.
"I wanted and want her to die," Carpenter continued. "It's because I love her. It's a little like how Michael treats his victims: I want her to go to the bottom of the abyss where all her secrets lie instead of in my head for eight years after the show is over to wonder 'what if?" and I'm calling Scott to write her a scene."
Expect things to get even more messy before the series finale, especially when Strahovski's Hannah McKay returns to stir the pot. "Who knows if her motivations are going to be for revenge or love," Strahovski said. "It's a mystery."
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As the session came to a close, the entire panel took an emotional moment to thank the fans for their support over the years. "We wouldn't be here now if it weren't for [the fans]," Hall said. "Just as you all waited in line and are here for us, we have been for you and we are here because of you and we all thank you so much."
Will you miss Dexter when it ends? Dexter airs Sundays at 9/8c on Showtime.
(Full disclosure: TVGuide.com is owned by CBS, Showtime's parent company.)