Hannah (Strahovski) wasn’t killed off, which surprised me since usually guest stars tend to only last one season on the show. Will she be back next season?
Buck: I certainly hope so, yes. I can’t elaborate because we’re just at the beginning of figuring out next season and deals have not been made yet. But I’m very interested in having Hannah back.
At this point, Dexter is really less a vigilante killer and more of a murderer covering his tracks. Are you deliberately taking his character that direction?
Buck: I think LaGuerta was a very different kill than any Dexter has done before. Obviously it wasn’t him who killed LaGuerta but I think he’s as responsible as anyone. Yes, it was done very deliberately. I know a lot of viewers see Dexter as almost a superhero. We wanted make sure everyone was aware that at his core he’s a serial killer with a code. He’s evolved a great deal over the years from someone who was a lizard brain psychopath the first season who was very good at playing the game. But as he’s become more human the risks have become much greater. That’s something we’re trying to explore this year and into the next season.
Is there a concern that viewers will no longer sympathize with him and Debra? Or are we supposed to be turning on him in the home stretch?
Buck: I don’t think we’re supposed to be turning on him, necessarily, but I think we want people to understand him a bit better. The more human he becomes the more responsible he becomes for what he’s done and that’s something we’re not trying to shy away from. It makes the character more interesting and complex and even more culpable.
In terms of Deb’s romantic feelings for Dexter, you dealt with those feelings head-on part-way through the season. What are Debra’s feelings for Dexter now that she’s killed LaGuerta?
Buck: She’s so overwhelmed by everything I don’t think she can even process what she’s thinking. But she’s going to be in a very different place than we’ve ever seen her before next season. I think she’ll always love Dexter in her own way but I don’t know she’ll continue to harbor romantic feelings for him.
Will LaGuerta’s death bring them closer together or drive them further apart?
Buck: A little of both. It bonds them in a unique way, but it’s a very tragic way. They will always have that connection but it’s not necessarily the most positive way of being bond to someone.
Will there be a Big Bad villain next season? Do you even need one given all the drama you’ve set up among the main characters?
Buck: It will be a different incarnation of that sort of character. We’re not thinking of it in terms of a Big Bad. But there will be people for Dexter to go up against.
But it won’t be another serial criminal that police are tracking at the same time?
Buck: It won’t be the traditional Big Bad, no.
Next season has been called a likely final season. Is that still the case? What conversations have you had with the network about that?
Buck: That’s a Showtime decision and I’m not aware a final decision has been made. But we’re approaching the season as if it’s a final season. If we’re told otherwise, we’ll redirect.
So terms of the story, you’re taking it toward a satisfying series conclusion next year and not a cliffhanger?
Do you have a clear ending scene in mind?
Buck: Yes, absolutely. We’ve always had various was to end the show and they were always quite similar. It was more a matter of landing on exactly how we want to end this and that’s the direction we’re moving right now.
Is there a chance of this show having a happy ending?
Buck: A serial killer story can only end so many ways and none of them are particularly happy.