[Warning: This story contains major spoilers from Sunday's season finale of Dexter. Read at your own risk.]
Dexter's Season 7 finale couldn't have been more aptly titled. That's because it wasn't Dexter (Michael C. Hall) who made the most surprising move in this season's closing hour, it was Deb (Jennifer Carpenter), who definitely started off the new year on a bad note. But we'll get to that. First, let's take a look at what events landed Dexter in that fateful shipping container that has surely changed Deb's life forever.
Dexter's Michael C. Hall: Will Hannah turn Dexter in?
The finale naturally opened with Dexter visiting his love Hannah (Yvonne Strahovski) in prison to find out if she plans to turn him in, but...
After spending the past six seasons keeping his Dark Passenger in the, uh, dark, Dexter's titular character will be forced out of the serial-killing closet in the season premiere.
So what does this mean for Dexter now? TVGuide.com turned to showrunner Scott Buck to get the scoop on how this reveal changes everything in the coming season, from his relationship with Deb to whom else might be coming after him.
Even after six seasons, Dexter still botches a kill now and then. At the moment, he's trying to take out a nasty-looking thug, but the blade in Michael C. Hall's hand won't flip into position. He flips once — nothing. Again, nope. Third time, Hall just flings the thing and starts laughing. Which gets the thug laughing, which gets everybody on the Dexter set laughing, too.
"You'd think I'd know how to slash a throat," Hall says, breaking character. You'd think. But you'd also think meticulous Dexter would have locked the cathedral door behind him last season before plunging a sword into poor Colin Hanks' chest on the church altar. In Season 6's unholy finale, Dexter offed Hanks' Travis "Doomsday Killer" Marshall with his trademark efficiency and calm. Only this time, there was a witness — Dexter's saucer-eyed sister, Debra (Jennifer Carpenter).
For Dexter, Deb and breathless fans alike (not to mention shrink-wrapped Travis), it was a stunning twist — years in the teasing — that instantly reinvigorated a so-so season just as it ended. It also sets up the series for its conclusion next season. As Hall says, "It was, like, knife-in-chest, Debra sees it, reset-button-on-the-show. Everything is suddenly reframed, recontextualized, more complicated and more layered, not just for the audience but for us as actors."
Almost no one who has learned Dexter's secret has lived to tell about it. (See: Lila, Travis, Miguel Prado, etc.)
Now that Deb (Jennifer Carpenter) has learned her brother is a serial killer, could she be the next person to fall victim to his hobby on Dexter? The new trailer for the upcoming season seems to indicate that she really needs to watch her back.
Dexter: Now that Deb knows, it's the beginning of the end
Although she lets Dexter (Michael C. Hall) walk off a free man after he killed Travis (Colin Hanks), she's definitely starting to suspect that it wasn't just a one-time thing. But can she really accept that her brother is a full-blown serial killer? Judging by the punch Deb lays on Dex in the video, tensions are running high between the siblings. Add to that the similarities she sees between Dexter's church crime scene and that of the Ice Truck Killer's, and it's no wonder Dex is driven to take action against his sister. On top of all that, LaGuerta (Lauren Velez) is breathing down his neck as well. To find out why, check out the spoilery Season 7 promo:
Now that Deb knows her brother's big secret on Dexter — that Michael C. Hall's titular character is a serial-killing blood spatter analyst — it's the beginning of the end for the Showtime series.
At Monday's Television Critics Association fall TV previews, Hall reiterated what executive producer Sara Colleton told TVGuide.com earlier this summer: The eighth season of Dexter will be its last. (Earlier in the day, Showtime chief David Nevins insisted there was still a possibility of the series carrying on.)
Dexter Season 7 Scoop: How will Deb react to Dexter's secret?
"[Deb] finding out does make an endgame feel a little more palpable and imminent," Hall said. "The plan is to...