Scott Buck: "Everyone Is Always in Danger On 'Dexter'"

Via (Spoiler warning: Don't read this if you don't want to know what happens in the "Dexter" season finale.)

"Dexter" is a show obsessed with blood. So maybe fans shouldn't have been so surprised -- to say nothing of shocked, baffled, and repulsed -- by the so-called "incest" storyline between siblings Dexter and Deborah Morgan this season.

The pair aren't blood relatives, after all: Show runner Scott Buck tells TheWrap that writers have considered the possibility that Deb (Jennifer Carpenter) might carry romantic feelings for Dexter (Michael C. Hall) almost since the start of the show, even though it took her until Sunday's season six finale to truly realize it. (Carpenter and Hall must have seen the possibilities; they were briefly married during the show's run.)

"It's an idea that has been talked about in the writer's room, I think, from at least season two," Buck said Monday. "It just felt like those kind of feelings were very integral to the character of Deborah, that she was in love with her brother without even realizing it. It's something we'd always talked about and it just felt like it was time to finally deal with that issue." Read more after the jump below...

He added: "It's funny to me that people could happily accept Dexter as a serial killer, but once Deborah has love for her brother, that that's where the 'ick' factor for them comes in."

It's not like television hasn't gone there before: Relations between non-biological siblings would be positively tame compared to the blood-relative incest in the latest seasons of "Boardwalk Empire" and "Game of Thrones."

Deb's love for Dexter complicates the other major development of Sunday's finale: She finally caught him killing someone (the Doomsday Killer, played by Colin Hanks). Fans and even Carpenter have long said it strains believability that Deb, a brilliant homicide detective, wouldn't figure Dexter out. Now that she has, her love for him makes the dilemma of what to do about it even more complex.

We talked to Buck about his plans for the show's remaining two seasons -- and how much of a say Hall, also an executive producer on the show, will have in the fate of his character.

TheWrap: You're the third "Dexter" show runner in as many seasons. Do you think you'll stay on the job through the show's run?
Buck: I certainly hope so. It's not necessarily in my hands but I like to think I'll be sticking around. ... The previous show runner to me was Chip Johannessen, who moved on to "Homeland," and prior to that was Clyde Phillips, who was with the show from the beginning. And Clyde lives on the East Coast. For him it was just time to get back close to the family, really.

There's kind of a "Rocky" movie question with "Dexter" – people around him are always dying, and you wonder how much more you can raise the stakes after his wife's murder in the fourth season.

His son was in danger in the latest finale – is Deb in added danger now?
Buck: I think everyone's always in danger on this show. But we're fond of Deb so it's unlikely that we would ever take a knife to her.

Whether Deb will find out Dexter is a killer has been a major source of tension for the whole series. How big of a leap was it to commit to her finding out, with two seasons still to come?
Buck: It was a big leap, but with a show that's already been going on for five years, it felt like it was time to finally address that. You don't want to.. have all your big, exciting reveals in your final season or your final few episodes. We'll deal with this in a fun, dramatic way. It just felt a little dishonest that Deb was not finding out after all this time. So it was time to finally let her pull the curtain back, at least a little bit, and see who Dexter is.

This has always been a show not about plot twists and turns and action scenes, but more about the character of Dexter, this very unique character that we've never seen anything like before. It's a character that's gradually evolved over the last five years and will continue to change. ... There's a big creative team behind the show, a number of different writers and producers, and certainly Michael Hall has a huge voice in what happens with Dexter, so it's eventually going to come to a point where we're all going to sit down and compare notes on this.

I think fans always want the sense that you had a grand plan from the beginning, and if we'd only paid attention we would have seen it all –
As far as where we end? Absolutely. I know exactly where I want it to end. But [whether] that’s where Michael Hall wants it to end, we'll have to see if we're thinking along the exact same lines. Even though I'm going to be interested in what everyone has to say or everyone has to think, it's ultimately going to be one voice that decides where the show goes.

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  1. i personally think it would be interesting to end season 8 with Dex being locked up in an institution,gradually there are more ghosts in his head that eventually his past victims make it too much for hi. he then decides to confess to go to regular jail and noone believs him when he tells people who he is because he`s covered his tracks so well.

  2. Nah Dexter has to die in Season 8. It would be the perfect ending. Perhaps he kills himself.

  3. If he dies, he should die a hero saving people or Deb. Or maybe it seems like he dies, but then we can have a dexter movie!

  4. Abridged thesis from the Dexter Forums at Showtime by "The Z Man"

    1. Introducing Debra Morgan.

    The Pilot gets right to the point of showing us that Dexter is a killer, the why, and the how. We follow the killer until he puts the blood slide into the box.

    Debra calls, he looks at the picture of her, we see the first signs of humanity on Dexter's face as he smiles. His affection is genuine "She is the only person in the world who loves me, I think that's nice... If I could have feelings, I'd have them for Deb."

    2. Not My Brother - The episode Return to Sender

    Dexter explores his relationship with Debra. We see that Dexter longs to "share" with his sister but can't.

    Dexter: You are my sister Deb.
    Debra: NO I AM NOT!

    3. Dexter and Debra make love in Season One

    In the episode "Shrink Wrap", both Dexter and Debra make breakthroughs. Each of them make love to the other, through other people. Dexter and Debra have not made love. They have only "fucked". Both of them are empty when it comes to sex.

    NOTE: (Dexter and Brian are supposed to look alike. in the novel the first season is based on, Debs can't tell them apart on camera. They have the same eyes)

    A: Debra makes love to Dexter through Rudy/Brian:

    Deb and Rudy have sex, she begins to cry. He is treating her like a lab experiment - "Why are you crying" He knows why but he wants to her to say it. He looks into her eyes. Debra freaks out and covers Brian's eyes. She answers that this is the first time in her life she has "made love" instead of just fucked. She tells him not to mention it to anyone else. He taunts her maliciously: "Why are you going to cry or something?"

    B: Dexter makes love to Debra through Rita:

    Earlier in the episode we have seen that Dexter is able to control his rage. From a memory, we see that he is bullied and school, suppresses his urge to kill and talks with his father about it. Later he panics when Rita wants to make love and runs to the therapist to figure out how he can do it. Dexter can't make love, he has no emotions, he can only perform sex. Every woman he has been with has seen this and dumped him after.

    The therapist hypnotizes Dexter. His first memory is back to the bullies. This time the confrontation is different. "Are you still fucking your sister?" Dexter RAGES, the accusation hits a sore spot. He loses control and goes after them, Harry catches him just in time. This "Emotional Memory" touches on Dexter's humanity for the first time. Through this memory he also remembers his mother and has the flashback to her murder. He RUNS from the office all the way to Rita and makes love to her passionately. ALL of this comes out of the memory of being accused of having sex with his sister. The next morning he is surprised that Rita wants to stay with him.

    4. She is not my sister. Episode 12 "Born Free"

    Rudy is going to kill Debra to bring Dexter back to his "real" family. But Dexter stops him. This is not because of Harry's Code. At the hospital, Dexter notes sourly "He betrayed me, I owe him nothing," but Deb is a different story. Brian knows that Dexter's anchor is Deb. Dexter sets the trap.

    Now it is time to kill Biney

    Dexter: You are not a trophy.
    Brian: Why then, because of your code?
    Dexter: "No, for the safety of my sister."
    Brian: "She is not your real sister..."
    Dexter: "I KNOW THAT"

    He could just as easily yelled "I know that but I love her." In this scene, Dexter is rejecting his family for Debra, after stating that he knows she is NOT his family. This is important because the show Dexter is about "blood" and Deb and Dex are NOT blood.

    At this point in the story, both Debra and Brian have told Dexter that Debra is NOT his sister. Dexter has acknowledged it as fact.

  5. Anon post at 2:43

    It should be noted that the Z man accurately predicted the outcome of season 6 and was accused of having inside information - turns out he is just a photographer/writer/blogger and has no connection to the show and no inside information whatsoever. He posted about his experience and the flack he took in an online journal

  6. I hope the writers continue the story with Deb and Dex because if they are disturbing their viewers then it means they are doing their job the right way in writing. At first I was a little disturbed by it myself but curiosity makes me want to see where their relationship goes. Kudos to Z man for dissecting season one like that

  7. What are you some Z_Man groupie...

  8. I'd like to say the reveal many have waited for was muddied by random I'm crazy in love with you after a visit to my shrink storyline that developed after 1 episode. Kudos for ruining Debra's character and the reveal in one swift episode.

  9. All I can say is THANK GOD the writers of Dexter will continue to write the show and the ending and not people on this forum.

  10. Yea Jessie:

    What this is, is a few malcontent fan-boys, and "family values" types, that want to impose their morality on the writers and the rest of us.

    They think they can shout everyone else down, threaten, bully, and coerce to get their way. It's insane. The writers, producers, of this show have the right idea and the right direction. Can you imagine how it would destroy the rest of the show if they did what these jokers ask and just said "Deb's feelings weren't real, it was all a dream" and then it just goes away?

    Remember all the fangirls who freaked out on JK Rowling and tried to coerce her into making Hermione dump Ron and switch her love to Harry in the last novel? It's like they had never even read the previous books. Do they really think they know better than the author?

  11. no on is bullying, just expressin opinions like YOU

  12. this might be the wrong forum. But I just finished season3. I hated that season! Why was his sister Deborah's love interest black? and I hate that Dexter married that loser Rita, He would have been so much better off with Lila. I'm not talking about the hotness factor either, Rita is about as hot a Susan Boyle as a Victoria's secret Angel.

  13. There's still a difference between dealing with your feelings, and acting on them.

  14. 9:01

    Making multiple accounts to log on and flame, screaming for the producer to be fired because you don't like something... is bullying. :)

  15. @10:01

    "this might be the wrong forum. But... Why was his sister Deborah's love interest black?"

    Yes, I think you are in the wrong forum. Who the frack cares what race Deb's boyfriend is?

  16. @10:01

    What the HELL is this obsession with WHO Deb is in love with? Why does everyone feel the need to judge or quantify this character's love? Black man? eeeeew, Foster Brother? ewwwwww

    People need to GET OVER IT, that TV character is entitled to fall in love with whomever she wishes. Especially if it's legal in her state for her to marry X person.

    Who would have thought that the family values council and the right wingers would show up here and start their crap over the a plotline in this show of all shows. =P

  17. Anonymous @10:01 wrote:
    "What this is, is a few malcontent fan-boys, and "family values" types, that want to impose their morality on the writers and the rest of us."

    It's a dark show in which we are asked to identify with a serial killer. This isn't about anyone "imposing morality". Most people who don't like the "Deb loves Dex" storyline, didn't like a lot of how Season Six was done. People are disappointed -- including many of the professional critics (New Yorker, Salon, etc)

    You're right, it IS a television show. People have a right to have opinions different from yours. That doesn't make them "malcontents," "fanboys" or "family values types." That sounds much more like FLAMING than most of the comments by people who disagree with you.

  18. Anon at 9:05

    Screaming "it's sick" and "ewwww" and "everyone who likes this storyline is a pervert" and everyone who thinks this is ok is "stupid" and everyone who loved season 6 is "a moron" is in fact flaming.

  19. I fully understand the underlying "love" issues between Dexter/Deb but, do you really think the writers would have them act upon it? The thought of Dexter/Deb being together and now having Harrison's aunt being his mother is just a little weird even for this show. Would much rather have these feelings not actually acted out.

    The writers are gonna do what they want to do, nothing any fan can control. In my opinion this was the worst season so far, Dexter was way too sloppy (poor writing).

  20. Anon at 10:11

    This is a tragic love story, no way there get's to be a "happy family" situation. I mean maybe for one or two episodes they get a little Oasis like "Slack Tide" in Season 4 but overall it's going to be a long bumpy ride.

    I think on good writing ploy, would be for a cop to get suspicious of Dexter and start tailing him, say Quinn takes up his hunt again, and for Dexter to use his relationship with his sister as a bait "secret" just like he did to Doakes with the Narcotics Anon meetings. So the cop moves in and then Dexter's big secret would be... the relationship with the foster sister. Quinn would flip.

    My concern overall is that the writers try to placate the ranting fans who are "morally offended". Not realizing that most of these people aren't so much morally offended as they see any love story for Dexter as a threat to his Dark Passenger. That's why they wanted Rita dead, that's why they wanted Lumen out. They don't want Dexter to ever become human, or to get caught, or to die... the kills on the show have become a sort of "fetish" for a certain viewer group. They love the kill room, the macguffin of the show, more than they actually love the story of the show or the metaphor behind the show. I see the chief complaint over and over, that there weren't "enough kills" this season. Woa! Listen to that! That's a problem...

    Look, last year the writers did exactly as the fans wanted. Rather than tell their story they "rebooted" Dexter and took away some of the humanity he had gained. And guess what? That group of fans STILL weren't happy. They will never be happy, you can't appease them, because they have no clue why they even feel the way they do, in their feelings change from week to week, especially the younger fanbase who are most opposed to this, many of them are still teenagers and post teens... their whole identities are in a state of flip flopping. What they think next month won't be the same at all, let alone next year!

  21. 2:34

    I agree. The whole "taboo" of the deb/dex relationship had me down at first but it does make for a great setup for S7. It makes sense that after realizing that Deb loves Dex she would try and protect him and cover for him murdering DDK in a way that Dex may have protected Nick if he had been truly sorry for killing Brother Sam. Dex saved her life not only in the previous episode but when Brian tried kill her both through Dex and by himself back at the apartment in S1E12.

    Also the point of "not enough kills", that I see not only on the forums on this website but all over the internet, are a little unjustified. It has always been that way.

    S1-Dex kills the psychiatrist and then NO one else until his brother. About 3 and a half episodes.

    S2-Chris Harlow in front of Mr. Surprise Mother F**ker. But then no one until Lila. And the audience didn't really see Mr. Harlow's murder. Oh and the two drug dealers but that was self defense. The most kills in a single season though.

    S3- Camilla, then just 2 more, Miguel and the Skinner. In a total of the last 5 episodes.

    S4- The best season of them all (P.O.) But a total of 4 victims in all. Gomez, Kruger, Farrow (innocent douche), and Trinity.

    S5- After Chase's bodyguard. No one else but Liddy in a van. That was about four episodes without kills. Lumen kills Alex Tilden and Jordan Chase.

    S6- This season was the most kills by far since season 3 and a lot of people wanted more murders but less weird unrelated sexual feelings.

    America, we embrace violence but shun sexuality. Damn Puritans.

    Besides I really don't think that Dexter could possibly share Debs feelings. He's never LOVED anyone except his son and maybe a little Lumen but I think he just loved the idea of her, a partner in serial murder. And while he may have admitted a brotherly love for Deb at the beginning of S6E12 it's nothing like what she feels for him and while that writers could write that he does fall for her I would be surprised, more so that anything the show has done before.

  22. 8:24 AM

    Dexter is capable of loving Deb, probably already does without being conscious of it, but that's the setup of the series isn't it? "If I could have feelings for anyone..."

    I've seen multiple references by the writers that when Dexter finally realizes his humanity, it will destroy him. The promise of the beginning of the series is that Deb is the endgame of his journey towards humanity, and that when that happens he's pretty much screwed.

    My prediction is that she doesn't even tell him at first, and that they draw this out over the next season just like they did with Deb this season, and then in Episode 11 of season 7 he realizes that he does in fact love her. Probably because Louis is going to try to kill her and he has to save her again. Episode 12 of Season 7 - they consummate the relationship, and then Season 8 is where everything falls apart.

    Season 7 will be Dexter coming to love Deb like he began his relationship with Rita in season 1 it will end with Dexter being IN love and human.

    Now that he is fully human, all that stuff that comes with it - paranoia, the inability to compartmentalize, making mistakes because you are thinking with your heart instead of your head.

    Season 8 is going to be a manhunt like season 2. A few of those bodyparts washing ashore all over the eastern seaboard are eventually going to be traced back to Miami, then the FBI is going to realize their Bay Harbor Butcher is still out there, and they are going to descend upon Miami like a sea of Locusts. Dexter will have so much more to lose now, he will be vulnerable and one way or another he will go down and it will be tragic, because it will happen at the time when he finally has his Dark Passenger either under control, or vanquished because of his love for Deb.

    It will all end very badly for Dexter. The big challenge at the end, is, can he save Deb and Harrison and Astor and Cody keep protected from his own fall? That will be his ultimate challenge. I think he is up to it! The character deserves to go out as a hero, IMO.

  23. I am SO in love with Dexter....

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