'Dexter' showrunner explains finale stunner, romantic twist

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Image Credit: Showtime

Warning: Spoilers from Sunday night’s Dexter finale below …Debra knows! But loves him! Like reaaaally loves him…

On Sunday night’s Dexter finale, Debra confessed to having non-brotherly love for Dexter, then caught him in the act of ritualistically murdering the Doomsday Killer. Below, showrunner Scott Buck talks to EW about the sixth season, that game-changing final scene and what it might all mean for the final two seasons:

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Please tell me that final scene wasn’t, like, a dream or something.
SCOTT BUCK: No, we finally did it. It was a long time coming and we finally pulled the trigger.

Will the next season start, I hope, right where this one left off? 
We’ll certainly start somewhere very close to that point addressing all these issues. We started this season one year later and we’re certainly not going to do that.

Let’s back up: Debra having romantic feelings for Dexter. How did that story idea come about?
It’s actually an idea that’s been discussed in the writers room years ago, like starting in season 2, because it always felt it — that this character was in love with her brother. And like Debra, we ignored it for a long time and it just kept coming back until we were all in agreement that it was just in the DNA of that character of why she was the way she was. It felt like it was finally time to tackle that issue.

It’s tough to imagine Dexter feeling the same way about her.
I don’t think Dexter has ever even considered those feelings. I don’t think he’s ever had those feelings for anyone, except, perhaps, a little bit for Lumen. But as far as Dexter being in love with someone, that’s just not the kind of person he is. I don’t think Dexter believes he’s capable of love like the way Debra feels.

How did Michael C. Hall and Jennifer Carpenter react to the storyline?
They were fine with it. They knew it was a big storyline, but had no objections to it whatsoever. They knew it’s part of the show, and are obviously professionals, and would go wherever the character takes them.

Since Debra is a detective, did you toy with the idea of having her gradually figure things out over the course of a season instead of finding out all at once?
It feels like she’s been gradually finding out things for years except not willing to look at them. She is a detective, she is very smart, but I don’t believe she believes he might be a killer. But there was always something tugging at her mind that there was more to Dexter than she realized. So let’s get it over with and pull the curtain off on that. It just seemed like a more fun and interesting way to go.

Dex trying to keep the Doomsday Killers to himself. He’s often done that to some degree, but we spent a lot of time with Debra this season so it made him seem more obstructionist than usual. Were you guys conscious of that?
Yes, it was a very specific storyline for one episode that there might be chemical weapons involved that this was bigger than what he could ever deal and he had to wrestle with whether to give it up or not. So we saw a progression in the character of Dexter, that he was willing to step away from his own need for the greater good. Of course, it all came back around and it fell back in his lap once again.

[Showtime entertainment president] David Nevins told us the last couple episodes sets into motion a storyline that will take us through the show’s end game. Do you pretty much know the major beats — including the ending — at this point?
Our ending, no. There’s only several ways we can end this show, and we all have our feelings about how it could end. There’s quite a few people involved at this point and it’s a matter of us sitting down and figuring out how this show should end. We’re all clearly heading in one direction, but that grand finale has not been decided yet.

NEXT: More on Deb’s love for Dex, season 7 thoughts, a clip of that final scene

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