'Dexter': Exec producer Scott Buck reveals details about season 6 -- EXCLUSIVE

Dexter-Hall-Ep8-Take

Image Credit: Randy Tepper/Showtime

Dexter doesn’t return to Showtime until early fall, but it’s never too early to peek behind the clear polyethylene curtain and see what the hit serial-killer drama is plotting for season 6. Exec producer and new showrunner Scott Buck gives Entertainment Weekly an exclusive preview of the new season, which will feature a return to the confident Dexter of years past, as well as a few high-profile additions like Edward James Olmos, Colin Hanks, and Mos.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What’s the overriding theme of season 6?
SCOTT BUCK
: What does it mean when a serial killer goes on a spiritual search? Dexter (Michael C. Hall) has always known what he doesn’t want to pass onto his son — his “dark passenger” — but now he’s beginning to ask what he does want to pass on. So that’s forcing him to look around to see what else there is in life.

We’re not going to see a New Age-y Dexter, are we?
Please, no. (laughter) [It's] a very strong, sure-of-himself Dexter, which would be the difference from the Dexter of last year, where Dexter was questioning himself about everything. A year has passed since the end of last season, so Dexter has put his life in order. Things are good for him. He’s very centered, strong and focused, much the same way he was in season 1, but now he knows so much more. He’s a much more self-assured person. A more evolved serial killer.

Let’s talk about the new characters. What can you say about the religious studies professor played by Edward James Olmos?
Professor Gellar is someone that all of Miami is seeking out. He becomes a big person of interest in some crimes that are being committed in Miami.

What kind of crimes?
They are probably the biggest crimes we’ve ever seen on this show. We’re going toward a different kind of serial killer than what we usually see. This is someone more in line with the Zodiac Killer…. He kills people with great conviction. This is probably the first serial killer we’ve had who thinks he’s in the right.

And Dexter feels that he has something in common with this guy?
Professor Gellar definitely feels like he’s killing for a reason, and Dexter is very, very curious to know what exactly that reason is, and to try to understand it in some way. It’s very intriguing and baffling, and it doesn’t make sense to Dexter.

Colin Hanks was an interesting casting curveball. How does he fit into the story?
Travis Marshall is a close acquaintance of Professor Gellar. The two of them work together. Professor Gellar is a character with tremendous charisma, and Travis has very much fallen under his power…. Travis has absolutely no interest or inclination to hurt anyone, yet he’s also someone who’s strongly driven by a belief system that compels him to do things he doesn’t necessarily want to do. 

And Mos is playing a religious ex-con?
He’s a former street thug who found God while in prison, and now we call him Brother Sam rather than Father Sam, because he’s not so much a preacher or a minister — he’s someone who is trying to live what he believes is a righteous life by helping others. He runs an auto-body shop and he hires ex-cons, trying to help them get their lives straight. One of them becomes a suspect in a crime and that leads [Brother Sam] to cross paths with Dexter.

Dexter’s son, Harrison, has a new nanny named Jamie (Aimee Garcia), who is the younger sister of Angel (David Zayas). First of all, what happened to Sonya (Maria Doyle Kennedy), the old nanny?
She was such a fantastic actress but we had kind of wasted her in a way that she wasn’t given enough to play, and it felt that by this time it was already a lost opportunity, unfortunately. We thought it was best to move on in a new direction.

What should we expect from Jamie?
She’ll bring in a lot of vitality to Dexter’s life. This young, sparky, upbeat, bigger-than-life charismatic personality is suddenly in Dexter’s world, which is not always going to be a good thing.

Should the fact that a new nanny has been cast lead us to wonder if she’ll be more important to the story? Last year fans were speculating about Sonya…
She’ll be important to our family world, but there will be no big reveals or twists that the audience will never expect.

Any other new characters?
[We’ll meet] Mike Anderson, played by Billy Brown, a hard-ass detective from Chicago who does not fit in well with the others and only survives because he’s such a good detective. He frowns upon their casual ways of doing things…. Molly Parker is playing Lisa Marshall, who is Travis’ big sister. She helped raise him, so she’s very protective of him.

You were promoted to showrunner, replacing Chip Johannessen, who came aboard last season. Why the switch?
It felt like it was time to change directions and return to the creative foundations of the show…. It’s not just the showrunner who’s changed. We also lost Bob Greenblatt [who left his post as Showtime Entertainment president to become NBC Entertainment Chairman], and brought in [Imagine Television president] David Nevins. One of my first meetings with David was him talking about how change is good: “We’re going into season 6 — let’s not be afraid to break some of the rules that we’ve so highly respected over the years.”

Last season, the show featured multiple villains instead of a season-long adversary. Will this season mark a return to the old formula?
It’s a little bit of both. Last season, Dexter went down a very dark path and we’re trying to find our way back to the Dexter we knew in season 1. So we’re going back to our original format in a lot of ways, but also trying to absorb what we’ve learned along the way.

Coming off the high of season 4, some fans were disappointed by season 5, though it ended up as the highest-rated one yet. What was your take on last season?
It was a very strong season in showing exactly how human you could make Dexter. To me, that was all very interesting and intriguing. For all the years that he was married to Rita (Julie Benz), we were never quite sure about how he genuinely felt about her — if he ever actually loved her — because the idea of love was something he always struggled with. But Lumen (Julia Stiles) came into his life and he was suddenly open to that possibility for the first time. That was a very new and different Dexter, so that was the most interesting thing about last season.

On the flip side, what could have been better?
Just the fact that it was Dexter on a very dark path. It became so heavy and brooding at times that we really wanted to brighten up Dexter’s world a bit…. You couldn’t kill Rita and not have Dexter go to that place, but we spent a season there and now we’ve turned him around. Life is good now.

Any chance that some of the loose ends, such as the Kyle Butler story line, will be revisited?
Absolutely. We’ve got a lot of loose strings. We’re going to try to tie up some things this year, but hopefully in some surprising and very fun ways.

What’s going on with Quinn this season?
This is not going to be the happiest season for Quinn (Desmond Harrington). He’s going to hit some dark days, but we’re going to have a lot of fun with him. We’re going to be further exploring his relationship with Deborah (Jennifer Carpenter). When we come back, they will still be happily living together. But it may not always be that way.

What else is in store for Deb?
I’ve already seen people online guessing what they think Deb’s story is going to be, and so far everyone is completely wrong. They always look at the guest cast and [wonder], “What wrong person is she going to fall in love with?” and we’re just not going in that direction at all this year. It’s a journey of a very different nature this year for Deb. There are big career changes as well as big personal changes for her.

In the season 5 finale, Deb came extremely close to discovering the truth about Dexter. Will this be the season she finally does? And at this point, isn’t that almost as big of a deal as Dexter being caught?
When that happens, obviously it’s going to be a very huge deal.  And I will never tell you when that’s going to happen.

Is there a moment early in the season that fans will be talking about?
From our opening scene, we begin with Dexter in a place of great danger. Within seconds, you’re going to see Dexter in a place you haven’t seen him before.

(Twitter: @dansnierson)

Read more:
Watch the mesmerizing trailer for season 6 of ‘Dexter
‘Dexter’ exclusive: Exec producer Sara Colleton answers questions about the season 5 finale!

Comments (196 total) Add your comment
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  • Jenckles

    Last season of Dexter (Season 5) sucked so damn much, it was painful to watch. I hope season 6 improves a LOT!
    If not, then bye-bye Dexter. You were once a good show.

    • Bruce_F

      Last season was great. The only thing that was dragging last season down was the LaGuerta / Batista stuff. Those scenes stopped the momentum of every show in its tracks.

      • UGH

        I actually wished they had Dexter leave Miami (at least for the season) like when he left on his boat at the very beginning.

      • UGH

        Also, I agree with the LaGuerta/Batista plotline.
        AWFUL!

      • j

        Agreed – Lumen/Dexter and the Jordan Chase storyline were amazing! I was SO BORED with Angel and Laguerta – i’m like omg your marriage is SO UNINTERESTING.

        I really hope they lead deb down the path of discovering who dexter really is – it could be so good!

      • calyx

        Well put. Any storyline that doesn’t intersect with or impact on, Dexter’s story never seems interesting enough. I usually fast forward when they are on screen.

      • Shellibelli

        I kept hoping that Laguerta would get killed last season, that storyline was soo long/

      • John A.

        It wasn’t just that. LaGuerta’s sudden return to being a HUGE B**#h to Deb was odd, but was then followed by the fastest about face I ever seen. They created some pretty epic conflict, sent Deb to the file rooms for an episode, where she was actually kind of useful, then brought her back as if it was all good. There was a LOT of momentum destroyed in general by inconsistencies.

      • Emma

        I totally agree.

      • Pete

        The show has jumped the shark. I predict this season will be just as bad as the fifth season. When the new showrunner describes the fifth season as “a very strong season”, you know you’re in trouble. The only one who can save the show at this point is Clyde Phillips but he wisely abandoned this sinking ship.

      • carey

        yeah, the Batista/LaGuardia story line is stupid…who cares?

    • MCS

      Season 5 was absolutely awful. Not just Batista and LaGuerta, the whole story sucked. Next season needs to step it up

      • F You

        Deb’s colorful vocabulary is a part of her character. This is an adult show about a serial killer for fu*ks sake and you’re complaining about the language. Douche! If you can’t take it, switch to the Disny channel.

    • RS

      I enjoyed season 5 until the last episode. That last episode just felt rushed, esp. the ending. I wanted more progression.

      Also, every season lately is Dexter discovers who the serial killer is, befriends him and ultimately has to destroy him. I feel this season will be more of the same.

    • Daniel

      I loved season 5. I decided to not compare season 5 to 4–I’ll never reconcile the difference. Season 5 was successful, in my opinion.

      • Ana

        I am just happy to see Dexter in ALL the seasons! This show has replaced The Sopranos for me since they ended and I am just as big a fan! I just bust up everytime Deb says something dirty! LOL, her comments are so unique and hilarious!!! Missing the show, ready for the new season…

    • matt

      I would say it was a pretty average season. The season with Jimmy Smits was the worst for me, but they’re all entertaining.

      • Dream Out Loud

        Wow, i couldn’t disagree more. I loved Miguel Prado’s season.

        My least favorite season was season 2 and it was STILL pretty good.

        1, 3 and 4 are GREAT. 5 is really really good. 2 is pretty good. that’s a great run.

      • jay

        thank you! season three has been my favorite by far. i was VERY disappointed with season 4, maybe cuz i wait to watch on DVD and i had heard so many raves about it. miguel prado has been the most best villian for me… MUCH more interesting than john lithgows character. loved anne ramsey too!

      • Jennifer

        I totally agree with you on that one.

    • Shawn

      I really enjoyed Jordan Chase and the guy Peter Wellers played. Their stories were good. I felt it was very suspenseful with them as the baddies. But everything else was kinda boring compared to the past.

    • Cc V.

      OMG YES! I have only watched it until episode 6 because it was just so boring I was falling asleep in front of my computer screen.

      • eddie

        Go cry to your mom, and get a life. If all you have to do is talk about how much you hate Dexter, then go back to your stupid life with jersey shore. Dexter rules!!!

    • Dexterfan369

      It’s amazing the comments. These people that comment are children. Then why don’t you go back to your reality tv and watch housewives or bachelor or Jersey something. It’s amazing when you don’t really understand the mentality that you find it boring. Did the meaning not strike you?? Did you not understand it? If it has to be explained then you shouldn’t watch. Dexter is one of the most underated shows I have ever seen.

      • D1CE_MAN_SPENCE

        Yessir, Well put

      • Dexterfan369isthebest

        What he said^ go back to watching Jersey Shore

  • Zeus

    Dexter is the name of my Eagle.

    • Dean

      Mine too …oh you mean a real Eagle

      • Bng

        lmao

    • Karkey

      Dexter is the name of my car.

  • RLopez815

    I could not disagree more. I loved season 5 (except for the ending). Although, i will say, i think i am in the minority of liking it.

    • DextromaMorgan

      I’m with you in that percentile

      • Noelbelle

        Me too. I loved it. Season 3 was the worst for me.

      • F You

        Glad someone else said that. I keep hearing a lot of whinning over Season 5 by I thought Season 3 was the low point of this series. The only thing I couldn’t stand last year though was the ludicrous ways Dexter and company got out of “impossible to escape” scenarious. Bordered a bit on the cartoon-like. Or The Event. Shudder.

      • Dee

        I liked Season 5 too. Jordan Chase was a fun villian. I got terribly bored with Miguel Prado… even Trinity got tedious after a while.

      • Kevin

        Interesting. I thought season three was my second favorite to four. I loved Miguel Prado!

    • MrBilliam

      Those last two episodes (with the very uninteresting ways they ended both the Liddy and Jordan Chase storylines, the incredibly contrived plastic sheet scene, and the general resetting of all the events of the season) were very disappointing. Those last two episodes cost me most of my enthusiasm for the show.

    • Mary Ann

      I loved it too. Lumen was so much better for Dexter than whiney Rita.

      • Pete

        Both were dumb c*nts that Dexter should have killed

  • Ben

    I actually enjoyed last season a lot. Wasn’t the best season, but it had its moments and felt like the right way to go after Julie Benz left. I think we know by now that any new female who comes into the show is probably a one season love interest for Dexter. I like the idea of a big time serial killer coming into play, but I have to admit maybe Miami has seen enough of those in these past seasons. Maybe Dexter needs to go to a different venue for next season.

  • Dean

    lat year we tried to take a shot every time Deb dropped an F bomb. We ran out of Tequila half way through the episode

    • Ren

      I was thinking that the first year. Deb is the ratings robot. Not that they needed swearing to get a mature rating.

      • TonyBeats

        I always thought Sgt.Doakes cursed more than Deb. He was one of the best characters in the first two seasons.

    • GiGI

      I’m not a prude, and I realize that this is cable t.v., but gimme a break with Deb’s mouth already. I wasn’t real happy with season 5 either. Hope #6 is better!

      • Mason

        Deb’s mouth is one of the few things that crack me up every episode. I find her potty mouth endearing and part of her character. If you’ve never met someone like that, then you have nothing to balance it against. I have known people like that, and it always cracks me up.

      • ca

        She’s the second star in the show and yes she is natural and thats her character. Deb dont change keep on sw…… ps. she’s a cup,not a nun.

      • Emerl

        Wait, did you repost with a different name? At least you didn’t advertise that cougar site again, but christ you said what you had to say and you repeat it?

      • Raul

        I know people just like Deb who are great people, but have the language just like her. It cracks me up too, as it reminds me of the “real” people I know.

      • bob

        get over yourself, its been her character since the beginning of the show. now go back and watch your crappy censored day time tv.

  • mndd

    religious overtones? no thanks. sounds like it’ll be another disappointment.

    • DexFan

      Spiritual doesn’t have to be religious. Thinking about yourself and your life is what he was trying to say. He’s obviously not going to become a devout Catholic…

    • Flip

      Maybe the demon from the books is coming onboard?!

      • Melissa

        Let’s hope, that would rock!

  • Shota

    Dexter!!!! Super!!!

  • KC

    Dexter dropping the ball yet again with another side character disappearing after 1 season with the nanny.
    They did that with Angel’s girlfriend who was in Vice!!!!

    • Dash

      It doesn’t bother me as long as they drop them between seasons. A long time tends to pass between the end of one season and the start of the next. I don’t feel like I need the details. I guess it’s just me though.

      • KC

        Yeah, but they actually had an interesting direction with Sonya’s plotline.

      • Charlie

        What direction is that? She was the nanny, thats it. Everyone dreamed in their head that “Oh it’s Lila’s mom” or she kidnapped Harrison”. She was the phu**ing nanny what is interesting about that?

  • Brian

    I really wish Julia Stiles would come back.

    I liked her character and I could really truly see Dexter living an honest life with her.

    Her story ended so abruptly it almost felt like a waste of a whole season of romance between the two.

    • viewer11

      I wouldn’t have wanted an honest life because then the show would be over, but I couldn’t agree more on the “waste” felt when she fled after all the build-up and beautiful chemistry they found. I was crushed for him. I wish she stayed at least 1 season more to deconstruct the relationship believably.

      • GiGI

        Yeah, like her being murdered by that seasons bad guy!!! Doesn’t look like they don’t want our Dexter to be happy.

    • Shellibelli

      if ound it really weird that she just up and left like she did. Everything he did for her, and all that she went thru only to say Im cured! bye!

    • bruno

      wash your mouth!

    • SSSSS

      Really? I thought Julia Stiles was just awful. She was one of my favorite actresses while I was growing up, but in Dexter I found her wooden and dull. I didn’t believe a single thing her character said- she didn’t ‘disappear’ into the character like a good actor should.
      Lumen’s ‘victim-revenge’ plot could have been awesome, but between Stiles’ awful acting and cop-out ending, I thought season 5 was a gigantic disappointment. Lumen ended up being a trite cliche. Still one of the better shows on TV, but not up to par for Dexter.
      And I’ll give you this: Jordan Chase was a great villain.

      • Drew

        Wow, I can’t believe we were watching the same character! I thought she was incredible and the way she started out the season and transformed into Dexter’s soulmate was very convincing. Her portrayal of a rape and torture victim was heart wrenching. I just watched the season finale last night and I still feel like I was punched in the gut when she told Dex she was leaving. I didn’t like how the writer’s wrote her off and it felt very contrived and rushed. I really hope they somehow bring her back because I thought Lumen was such a wonderful character but I realize this is probably not possible. I kind of hope they bring her back at the very end of the show and Dex lives happily ever after without his dark passenger. Oh, and I think Julia Stiles’ Grammy and Emmy nomination shows that she was pretty freaking awesome.

  • Will

    Professor Gallager sounds a lot like John Doe from Se7en…

    • ApathyCre8sChaos

      I totally agree- John Doe was the very first person I thought of when the exec producer was describing season 6’s main adversary!

  • Lingweno

    Last Season was amazing, Can’t wait to see this season.

  • Eric

    BRING BACK DOAKES!!!!!

    • cathy

      LOL this is the best comment ever

    • j

      that would be amazing but would make this a rather different genre of show lol.

    • chelsea

      cant,, hes dead

      • chelsea

        oh i get it….lol

    • Liz

      He should just pop up as a ghost while Dexter is killing and say “Surprise motherfu****!!!”

      • étienne

        LMAO

      • poor doakes!

        haha poor doakes!

      • C

        He could always be another person Dexter talks to, like his dad…

      • Valley Girl

        Love it, Liz! lol

      • Rich

        Laughed out loud at that one! Can’t wait for season 6. Oh and for those that think Deb’s mouth is foul in the series..don’t pick up the books. Her language is much more colorful there! In the books she also knows about Dexter.

    • GiGI

      Rotsa Ruck!!

    • HerkeyGirl

      The Doakes stuff was my favorite–end of season 2–priceless.

  • JJMorgan

    I’m excited for a new season. It has the opportunity to be something interesting. I just hate them referring to it as a return to the roots of the first season because let’s face it. The first season is one of the best seasons, so throwing that around is just brining up everyone’s hopes. I think season five wrapped itself up too nicely. Everything worked itself out, and I felt that was brought everything down. I’m hoping for a more balls-to-the-wall season.

    • Charlie

      every season EXCEPT 4 wraps itself up nicely. 4 was the aberration not the norm. Thats the problem with people hating on 5, they expected it to be better than 4 and there was no way that was going to happen

      • bob

        aint that the truth unfortunately .

  • Jonathan

    My wife and I hadn’t even heard of Dexter before last year! We started fresh though after receiving season 1 as a gift and have already bought and watched all seasons and eagerly await the upcoming season. BRAVO- on every episode!!!!!! I CAN’T WAIT!!!!! It’s like christmas in August:)

    • frank

      Thats what happened to me too, i stayed away for a long time because i thought how could you like a serial killer. That was before i knew that he killed other serial killers. I really liked last season and I liked Lumen, she really grew on me by the end of the season,. But it will be good to see Dexter as a lone wolf for a while, when he can really be the dark passenger all the time. I cant wait for the next season.

      • bob

        one of the best shows on tv.

  • Molly

    Dexter is always awesome. Look up “awesome” in the dictionary and you will see a picture of Dexter.

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