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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Executive Producer Sara Colleton: "Major Revelations Coming"

Via thedailybeast.com: “I understand that Season 4 was a fantastic, fantastic season,” executive producer Sara Colleton told The Daily Beast. “And everyone’s welcome to their own opinion, but to me, the character [of Dexter] continues to grow and explore new terrain every season. Because so many people had been theorizing, I was shocked at the number of my friends who emailed me saying, ‘Oh, my God!’ and were surprised last week. It’s what you hope for, but it’s very hard to do.”

While the show has not been able to replicate the excitement of its fourth season, or even some of the tenderness of the fifth as Dexter fell for a wounded, complicated woman as he mourned his wife, it has not fallen apart despite turnover in the executive-producing ranks. Show runner Clyde Phillips and co-executive producer Melissa Rosenberg left after the fourth season, and Phillips’s replacement, Chip Johannessen, was fired after the fifth. But all the writers have worked on the show since the first season, including new show runner Scott Buck. In February, they will begin as a group to map out the last two seasons of the series, Colleton said.

From the beginning, Dexter’s journey has been designed thematically, according to where he is in his life. This season, the producers and writers decided it was time for him to explore faith—and his lack thereof—as he raised his baby boy, Harrison, by himself and wondered what code he should teach him. His father, Harry (James Remar), recognized Dexter’s Dark Passenger and trained him to use it to kill other killers. But Dexter hopes to steer Harrison toward the light. Read more after the jump below...



“We all want to be a different father or mother to our child than our parents were,” Colleton said. “Dexter knows what Harry gave to him, and he loves Harry and will always be grateful, because by giving him the code, he gave him life. But there’s always a part of Dexter that wonders, ‘What if he had given me a chance?’ His legacy to Dexter is you have no choice—there are people that deserve to die. And Dexter’s realizing that there’s something he’s going to need to pass on to Harrison. He knows he doesn’t want to pass on the Dark Passenger but can’t figure out what. So we thought it would be interesting to look through this prism at what faith is.”

Viewers lamented the quick death of Brother Sam, a criminal turned Christian, played by Mos Def, who befriended Dexter and tried to get him to see that he, too, has a shot at redemption. Hall, a five-time Emmy nominee, continues to do intense, commanding work, and Dexter’s interactions with Brother Sam made for some of the most compelling scenes of the season. When Dexter wound up killing Brother Sam’s killer—even though Brother Sam asked Dexter to forgive him before he died—Dexter felt he had to do penance and took on the case of Travis, who, he believed, was desperate to stop assisting his professor with his elaborate apocalyptic murder scheme.

“It’s one of the reasons Dexter is so blind to Travis,” Colleton said. “He wants to prevent Travis from being saddled with the life that he has. It brings up deep-seated feelings of what his father gave to him and therefore what he wants to give to his own son. Wanting to save Travis is what blinds him to Travis’s true nature.”

The relationship with Travis mirrors another of Dexter’s key relationships. Throughout the series, his sister, Debra, has been unaware of Dexter’s murderous side. She jokes and nags him about his disappearing acts and closed-off personality, but she doesn’t know who her brother is deep inside. Colleton said the series will not end without exploring that discovery “because it’s just too rich not to.” This season, the volatile young detective was promoted to lieutenant in a creative development that seemed preposterous at first. But the shift has created room for rich storytelling for the character and has given Jennifer Carpenter an opportunity to do her best work on the series to date. As Debra has struggled with her new responsibilities, she’s been undergoing therapy.

“Brother Sam was invaluable in illuminating Dexter, and there’s going to be a major self-revelation for Dexter in the last two episodes,” Colleton said. “But the therapy for someone who is as unreflective as Debra is very beneficial. She, too, will have some major revelations coming. At first she will refuse to admit it. And then she will have to come to terms with some things. It will also throw Dexter, because their relationship is always based on her needing him so much and him being the big brother.”

Though Dexter has never been for the faint of heart, Debra’s therapy could not have come at a better time, considering the crime scenes the Doomsday Killers have left behind. Dexter Morgan kills his prey with forethought and precision, usually with a fatal wound to the chest, neck, or gut with a variety of weapons, including a dinner knife, a machete, a chainsaw, a hammer, and power tools. But this season is, by far, the most ghoulish, to borrow Dexter’s father’s adjective from Sunday’s episode. The Doomsday Killers, inspired by the Book of Revelation, have snuck snakes into a victim’s intestines, chopped up a victim’s corpse, tied it together with mannequins to form the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and paraded it around Miami, and set up a bloody booby trap for Debra and the other cops with the drained blood of another victim.

“The Doomsday Killers are fulfilling these elaborate tableaus that increasingly have a higher body count, and a much larger scale of spectacle than the Trinity Killer and some of the ones from the second season,” Colleton said. “It has more of a spectacle about it and an ornateness about it. In the last two episodes, we have this ticking clock because Travis has to pull off these two tableaus in order for the Rapture to happen before the eclipse.”

12 comments:

  1. "...before the eclipse." It's interesting they used that event, because there was just a lunar eclipse early this morning. They must have planned ahead to take advantage of there actually being an eclipse, to include a little bit of realism by talking about the blood red moon. Dexter doesn't talk about the moon very much on the show, as compared to the books. I wish he would do that a little more often. Anyway, it is a good article.

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  2. I absolutely love this freakin' show. There is not one show out there that I can think of that is as good or better than Dexter. I am so stoked to see the last two episodes. My thoughts are that in the final moments of the finale, we will see Deb walk in on Dexter killing Travis and the episode will end showing the look on Dexter's face and then the look on Deb's face. I could totally be wrong, but I think something like that will happen. I really hope they keep Scott Buck as showrunner for the remaining seasons, I'm sure they will. He has been great with this show. Sunday needs to hurry up and get here already.

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  3. @JessieJames

    Check out Luther. Its a BBC crime drama. I'd say its better than Dexter, though seasons 1-4 Dexter was still pretty close.

    Anyways I think Dexter will stop killing and let the police take care of Travis (it looks like Mike is going to take down Travis, actually). And Deb will realize she has feelings for Dexter.

    No Dexter=killer reveal this season.

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  4. I am enjoying this exploration of Deb's feelings for Dexter. Thank you writers!

    Nothing better than forbidden love when it's not too bizarre (DNA involvement).

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  5. I have no idea how they're going to pull off the 'Dexter is a serial killer' reveal, I can't wait to find out, but the revelations that are mentioned above seem more related to personal revelations for Dexter and Deb.

    So Deb will discover she is in love with Dexter, that could be interesting. Frankly though, I'm sick of Dexter having personal revelations, he seems to have one each episode. They usually consist of him trying to quantify the exact ratio of light inside him in relation to darkness, and coming to some precarious compromise with the various voices in his head, who usually require him to move either towards, or further from the light, but not too far in either direction.

    Dexter's 'personal revelations' have been done to death.

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  6. Did it ever occur to Sara that maybe her friends just told her they were surprised because they're her friends?

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  7. 7:11

    That's what makes the Deb story so good, because it's not Dexter's personal revelation for a change, and he is going to get blindsided by this.

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  8. Deb has been the top character this season. To think of where she has come from the first season is amazing, they have done a great job with her. I hope when she finds out about Dexter they have more than just a couple episodes left if the series that they don't wait till the end if season eight to do it, because with the way the show has gone that's the only reason I continue to follow

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  9. The first two seasons were mesmerizing. I was not crazy about the third, but still thought it was good; the fourth was better. I didn't hate the fifth as others did, but I did not find it as compelling.

    Now we're ten episodes into the sixth...and I care only because I'm heartbroken. I keep hoping it will get better. Such an utterly fantastic show, unique really, down the tubes.

    Also, Jennifer and Desmond - have a sandwich for God's sake.

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  10. The last episode surprised me so much! First of all, I didn't expect Travis to be so insane and the actual serial killer. I could have easily been Dexter in that situation, Travis just seemed like an innocent person caught in the middle of a bad situation. The professor thing was strange though, he was around all the time, in the most obvious places, but the police never had caught him. When the ghost of the professor told Travis that Travis had killed him three years ago, it all made sense. Every kill, every move, everything that Dexter had been chasing was Travis' work. Very strange, but riveting. This whole season didn't break my heart as much as the last two though, when Lumen left and when Rita died, two unexpected turns in the plot. Lumen was literally my favorite part of Dexter and I thought the two character were to stay together and Lumen would become the new main female character of Dexter. I was glued to the tv every Sunday that season. I'm still bitter. The beginning of the current season bored me because I missed her, but finally the show is making its comeback, at least for me.

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  11. I love the series because of Dexter's journey. He starts interacting with other people strictly as a cover, like Harry recommends when Dexter is in High School. From season one, where he ultimately rejects his brother because of Deb, through Rita becoming more than a decoy, Dexter's self image evolves as he discovers feelings for other people. While I loved Jonathan Lithgow's Trinity character, for me the big draw was Dexter's need to learn about being a family man.
    Season 5 with Lumen, he first finds her annoying, then tries to protect her, ultimately partners with her, and then watches her lose her version of the dark passenger. I loved "Teenage Wasteland", where he struggles to be a good parent and ultimately finds a very Dexter-like solution to Astor's friend's problem.
    For me, Dexter discovering bits and pieces of his humanity is the most compelling part of the show, and it has continued in a steady arc.

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  12. Dexter is really an alien. Called it!!

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