Dexter Morgan has been nearly outed by co-worker (R.I.P., Doakes), landed on the Ice Truck Killer's table and discovered his dead wife in a bathtub of blood. But never before has Dexter's titular hero landed himself in such a pickle as being left for dead in the middle of the ocean.
In Season 6's penultimate episode Dexter (Michael C. Hall) neglected to take care of himself following the Wormwood incident at the station, leaving him easy prey to be kidnapped by Doomsday Killer Travis (Colin Hanks), who left the serial-killing blood spatter analyst in the middle of the sea surrounded by fire. However, swimming ashore is the least of Dexter's worries once Travis sets his sights on... Harrison.
Will Dexter be able to save his son from certain death? TVGuide.com spoke with executive producer Sara Colleton to get the scoop on their final showdown. Plus: What's with Deb's naughty dreams about her brother?!
What will the ultimate showdown between Dexter and Travis look like?
Sara Colleton: People are fairly confident that, at the end of the day, Travis will be on the table and Dexter will survive. I think those odds are pretty good. But how that happens is a bit of a circuitous path for a finale. Historically, by the time we get to [Episode] 12, it is like a grand-slam race to the finish where... you know exactly what's going to happen and you just want to go along for the ride. But here, we threw a bit of spatter in the works with Dexter ending up in the middle of the ocean.
How will this showdown differ from what we've seen between Dexter and other villains in past seasons?
Colleton: Travis was a slow burn, but he is emerging as one of the really genuinely horrific villains that Dexter's ever had to deal with. He is operating on a level of mass destruction. Dexter has involved Miami P.D. because there's much more than his life at stake here. I think that ups everything.
Based on the promos for next week, it seems like Dexter may have to sacrifice his son, something you were shy to confirm early on this season. Had that particular biblical symbolism been planned from the very beginning?
Colleton: We're not trying to do anything that is very, very specific to Christianity or Judaism or with any other prescribed religion. We don't specifically put a label on them because we don't really want this to be about a specific kind of religion. There is going to be something asked of Dexter that he has to weigh very carefully.
We finally learned that Gellar (Edward James Olmos) had been Travis' Dark Passenger all along. Were you nervous how audiences would react to learning that information?
Colleton: Well, you can't be nervous because then you second guess yourself and that's all you have. We hope that we've executed on every level to a degree that our audience is thrilled or intrigued or satisfied with. What we never want to do is have it be a "What the f---?" moment. We want it to be like, "Oh, I should have seen that coming and now in retrospect I can see what this is, that Gellar's position in Travis' life is like Harry's position in Dexter's."
What came with the decision to have Deb (Jennifer Carpenter) dream about her and Dexter kissing?
Colleton: We want to explore every aspect of these characters. It's something that in therapy you can uncover. We all have dreams and dreams can be interpreted in many forms and can mean many things and not necessarily the literal dream. That, for Deb, rocks her world and is going to make her look at herself in a way that's a lot deeper than she has been.
Deb has learned a lot about herself through therapy. What will happen now that she's ended her sessions?
Colleton: I don't know if you've ever [undergone] therapy, but they drop these seeds in you and once they are dropped, it's like, you may not see the shrink, but stuff comes up. All of a sudden, you realize what this meant and what it symbolized. It will continue to churn around in Deb. I think her character had a fantastic year. We've really seen that character grow... as a leader, which does alter her relationship with Dexter because she's always been the dingbat younger sister who was all over the place and always needed Dexter to calm her down.
The question that always comes up—
Colleton: I know what's coming. [Laughs]
When will Deb find out the truth about Dexter?
Colleton: Well, we only have two more years! It's going to happen. That's all I can tell you. But believe me, we are not going to end the series without exploring this.
Because of these dreams, will Deb start exploring who Dexter is as a person, which may bring her closer to discovering the truth?
Colleton: It's very interesting. In the dream, you write and create and cast, whether it's actually Dexter in the dream or he actually represents someone else [to Deb]. The character who plays Dexter in her dream does say, "It's wonderful now that you're starting to see everything [isn't] black and white." Obviously this is something that we will be dealing with. We want to lay the seeds so it won't be a shock to Deb. The Deb of two years ago was so black and white that if she had found out her brother was the Bay Harbor Butcher, she would be horrified and would only have one reaction, which is, "I'm going to bring you [down]. You're going to go to jail." We may end up playing it that way, but we want to lay the seeds so that we can make, perhaps, a more nuanced, complicated choice for her.
Louis (Josh Cooke) seems like a serial killer in training. What are we going to see from him and his fascination with Dexter?
Colleton: He is just absolutely enthralled by Dexter. He's a character that we're obviously setting something up for next season. He's a character to keep your eye on.
There's always death on Dexter, but what about the death or deaths in the season finale make this different than what we've seen before?
Colleton: It's not about body count. It's just about the story and how Dexter gets into it.
Check out two sneak peeks at Dexter's season finale, airing Sunday at 9/8c on Showtime: