Now that Dexter Morgan's serial-killer secret has finally been discovered by the person closest to him — his sister — Dexter's producers promise to slice right into the juicy setup over the next two seasons...and maybe even a feature film after the show ends its run on Showtime.
While the writing team has yet to formally convene to plot out the consequences of Deb's discovery that her adoptive brother is meting out his deadly Code against Miami's murderers, executive producer Manny Coto tells TV Guide Magazine that the show won't shy away from a radical new reality — including the fact that Deb (Jennifer Carpenter) has developed some complicated romantic feelings for Dexter (Michael C. Hall).
"Debra has discovered, at the very least, that her brother is a cold-blooded killer," says Coto. "That is going to inform the next two seasons, or however many more seasons there are. It's going to be a different dynamic, which is part of the fun. What we've done is upended the show, and it's now no longer about a guy who's trying to keep his secret from his sister and everyone else around him. For all intents and purposes someone knows who he is and Debra has a big decision to make: 'Do I turn him in? What do I do about this? I've just seen him kill somebody.' That's the first thing we're going to be dealing with."
It's a setup that left some viewers more squeamish than all of the series' blood-letting. Coto says that some fans' ew!-laden reactions to Debra's unexpected attraction to the man who was raised as her brother has not scared the writing staff away from further exploring the plotline. "People are going a little crazy about it, but I think part of what attracted us to that is that it's something you didn't see coming," says Coto. "It occurred to us that Debra — with her failed relationships one after another and the fact that her first big relationship that we saw was with a serial killer, and then maybe there was some underlying psychic connection to Dexter — that was leading her towards these people who were unavailable or downright evil. So that's where that evolved from: that maybe there was a reason for all this, which is that maybe she's slowly falling for her brother."
But having watched Dexter do away with killer Travis (Colin Hanks) may force Deb to realize that he's anything but Mr. Right. "Obviously, even if you're in love with someone, if you've just seen that person kill someone in cold blood your feelings are going to change," says Coto. "So her feelings will have to evolve given that revelation, but they will be taken into account. They will come forward throughout the season to inform how she's going to respond to this."
With each new season, the series has traditionally brought in a formidable guest actor designed to go toe-to-toe on camera with Hall, and while Coto's not naming names just yet, he noted that the next big name to join the cast could be around for a more extended stay. "We kind of know what we're going to do next season, but we don't know what kind of position there will be for a Big Bad, so to speak, or not," he reveals. "We may do someone that goes over two seasons. The options are open for us."
Finally, while the series has been guaranteed two more seasons, Coto says that doesn't mean the creators are plotting Dexter's exit strategy. In fact, everyone's favorite serial killer may eventually migrate to the big screen. "We're not really looking at an end game right now," says Coto. "In a way, it's almost like every season is a form of an end game. This season could've been an end to Dexter, setting it up for the movies, for example. So every season kind of comes to it's own conclusion and can be a sort of end game."
Coto is quick to add that he's "just speculating" when it comes to movie plans. "I've heard nothing about it. I'm actually just projecting from my own experience on 24, where at the end we weren't going to kill Jack Bauer. We were going to leave him open because down the road there might be a movie. And sure enough, there's a movie coming."
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