Dexter Season 7 - Producer Manny Coto Promises "Big Change Up" to Formula talks to Dexter EP Manny Coto about Deb's surprising new feelings, the twist that many saw coming and what's next.

At the Television Critics Association Press Tour last week, IGN TV had a chance to speak with Dexter executive producer Manny Coto (formerly an EP on FOX's 24) about this past season, which saw Dexter chase after a sadistic, apocalypse-obsessed killer and Deb discover, through therapy sessions, that she's actually in love with her adopted brother. A polarizing season for sure, which many TV critics called unsatisfying - yet Dexter still managed to wrangle up its highest ratings ever.

So what about Deb being in love with Dex? What about that big twist that many folks saw coming way ahead of time? We asked Coto to give his thoughts on those topics and more, as the writers get ready to begin work on Season 7. Read more after the jump below...

IGN TV: Scott Buck, your fellow EP on the show, said that he was surprised by how many people were down on the story involving Deb falling in love with Dexter. How did this decision come about? What led you guys down this path? Did it feel like it was the natural thing to do?
Manny Coto: In many ways as writers, when we write the show we're living with the characters. And we're in their heads and we're following their lives and their own souls. Somewhere along this season we began to reflect on Deb and her relationships. And the relationships she's had and how they've all ended in terrible ways. The first relationship we saw was with a serial killer and she didn't even know it. So it led us to question whether there was some underlying psychological bedrock to her choosing people who she was never able to have a successful life with. One, obviously, was a mad man. And even that came into play. Why did she choose him? Why was she attracted to this person? So what was subconsciously emanating from her?

And because she is not a biological sibling to Dexter it occurred to us that maybe she might have some kind of feelings there for her brother. I mean, we know it happens. In fact one of our writers, I can't remember who, grew up in a family where there was a very similar situation to Dexter where there was a relationship. And it happened. So it occurred to us that she sees something in her brother that she's attracted to. Something dark. A reason why she continuously chooses the people who are not available to her. Who are dangerous. All I can say is that we got inside her head and that's where we came out.

IGN: Do you think that these feelings are something that could ever be reciprocated by Dexter? Or will this remain a one-sided thing?
Coto: It's hard to tell. We're not going to begin writing until next month so it's impossible for me to speculate at this point where it's going to go because we haven't even talked about it. We have talked about certain possibilities of where we could go though. Don't forget though that the very moment that Deb began to show her feelings she discovered he was a serial killer. So that's going to color her feelings.

IGN: That was a big way to end the season, but will that revelation squelch Deb's feelings for Dexter? Will it put an end to them?
Coto: Again, I can't really go into it because I don't know where we might go. But I can tell you that it will affect it. I mean, if I found out my spouse was a serial killer that would affect my feelings for her. It would be the same for anybody. So it's not going to be the same.

IGN: Each year, Dexter's ratings grow as more and more people catch up with it on DVD and Blu-ray. Is it a big challenge to keep the show fresh and vital after six years seeing as how most shows don't even last that long anymore?
Coto: Oh, it's a terrible challenge. It's the hardest thing there is to do. The only way to do it is to overturn the apple cart every once in a while. And let the characters grow and progress and have their lives get overturned. Which is why, at the end of this past season, we had Deb discover – or at least see her brother make a kill – and it will affect their relationship from now on. It's not going to be the same. It will be a different show. Which is a way to refresh and remain creatively alive. And that is to change the dynamic. And change the show. Now it's about a serial killer who has a sister who's a detective who has found out that he's a serial killer. She has a big decision to make this next season.

IGN: As part of the lead-in to each new season, we hear a lot about how the season is really all about whatever Dexter's specific emotional journey is this year. But the most fun for a lot of viewers really are the guest stars and the "big bads." Is that a fun part for you guys as well?
Coto: Oh, it's great fun. And it's part of the discussions at the top of every season. Who is he going to face this year? Who is the "big bad?" Next year? Who knows? We're going to do it fresh. We're always trying to come up with new things. There may be a big bad, there may not be. Debra might be the big bad. We don't know. Or Quinn. We try to change things up. This is all speculation of course. But I can tell you that next year will be a change up to the formula. And the "big bad" may take a form that we're not used to.

IGN: I wanted to talk to you a little bit about the twist that happened towards the end of the season. When you guys were writing the Edward James Olmos character, did anyone think "What if someone figures this out after, say, three episodes?"
Coto: No, we didn't. I guess we thought that, yes, someone was going to figure this out. Or a small percentage would figure this out. I guess what I didn't figure was that, on the internet, a small percentage will blog about it and then suddenly everybody knows. On the internet anyway. But then we did think that some people would figure it out ahead of time and then decide to just go with it. But most people would not. And that was our feeling. And it was kind of a fun and challenging thing to see if we could stretch it as long as we did. For nine episodes. It was interesting because no one in the cast or crew had the first clue. Except for Olmos, who was the only one who knew ahead of time. But [Colin] Hanks didn't know. And nobody guessed. Until we announced it.

And it's interesting to see, in the world of the internet, when one person says "You know what? Maybe… This looks like it could be…" and suddenly there's a theory. And you can see it mushrooming, with people floating theories around. And then you start looking for it on the show. It's the same thing as if in The Sixth Sense if someone had walked in and said "You know, I think he might be dead." And then someone says "Naw," but then they look for it and say "Yeah, he's dead!" However, all my friends who are not bloggers and are not on the website and the chatrooms didn't have the first clue and were all shocked. But I enjoyed it and it was fun. It was a fun thing to do. It was particularly fun because it was a parallel to Dexter and Harry. We're always trying to find something that connects the big bad to Dexter and in this case it was a guy who had his own "Dark Passenger" who was informing him. In a different way from Harry, but he was in his imagination.

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  1. Not sure what to think of Cotto. Couldn't help much with the ending of 24. Hoping that Dexter doesn't end terrible the way 24 did.

  2. I was great with the season until the Edward James Olmos change up....I was really disappointed he wasn't the killer b/c the second it became about the other guy it lost all of its juice. I'm sorry, this season just didn't have the it factor of seasons past and it started right THERE. It further decayed with the deb/dex love interest story. (like really?) a bit too predictable...Season 4 will forever be my favorite unless you all can do better in the future. That said Season Lumen was a great follow up. I miss the kids being in the show, too. They were non existent this year and it left Dexter rather two dimensional.

  3. Sounds to me that they are turning chickenshit and starting to back away from the love story.

    You should never start something you don't intend to finish, because then you just fuck over your characters.

  4. But Debra didn't technically choose Brian/Rudy; "Rudy" chose her. Debra just believed the lie of what that relationship offered. Debra was ecstatic when she realized "Rudy" was going to propose, so it's not like she didn't commit. She just committed to that relationship too easily, because she was looking for companionship and love. "Rudy" took advantage of Debra to get close to Dexter.

    I agree with the idea that DNA alone isn't what keeps siblings from being sexually attracted to each other. Growing up together in the same close group (family) also plays a major role in keeping people from developing inappropriate feelings for their siblings. That's known as the Westermarck effect. It's basically a theory, but it makes a lot of sense. I only know about it from other DEXTER fans who are much smarter that me, but it is interesting.

    On the other side, blood siblings who never know of each other and grow up apart, can feel a sexual attraction towards each other if they should meet by happenstance. It's called Genetic Sexual Attraction (GSA).

    With Anton, I will agree that Debra was the one who caused that relationship to end, but she did it because she was still attracted to Agent Frank Lundy. I think Debra related to Lundy because he reminded her of her father. Debra thought Lundy was a man of integrity and she admired him a lot because of it.

    Debra was fooled by all the lies that "Rudy" told her. I think her encounter with him and realizing what he was, just really affected her ability to trust people. We saw that in season 2, when she was so jumpy around new men she came into contact with.

    I don't think Dexter would understand Debra's "feelings" for him, and he won't reciprocate, either. Debra is just really confused right now, especially after seeing the true-colors of her brother. Dexter is just incapable of reciprocating those feelings to the extent that a woman would expect from their man. Rita realized that in season 4, when Dexter wouldn't "talk to her." Rita started to recognize how closed-off Dexter was and it, understandably, bothered her and she tried to intervene. Dexter has fooled Debra into believing that he could never do any wrong. It has taken Debra longer to realize her brother is different, because she wasn't living with him like Rita. There was more of an opportunity that Dexter would say, or do the wrong thing around Rita, because they shared a home.

    It was the right call that Debra discovered Dexter in season 6. If that didn't happen, then many (myself included) would have been very disappointed. That needed to happen to save the series. Debra's discovery was just put off long enough and having it realized gave the series the jolt it desperately needed. I'm excited when they say they're going to try and change the formula for how a season unfolds. I don't know about everyone else, but I'm looking forward to a change. I just hope those changes are for the better and the direction doesn't completely alienate the fans. Season 7 has the potential to reach greatness and I want to see them deliver.

    I don't think season 7 needs a "big bad" (I hate that term). I think Debra and Dexter's struggle has enough steam to carry an entire season. Well, that and the continuation from season 6, including Louis Greene. If they do less this season, they can spend more time on the fallout of Debra discovering Dexter's secret. That is one story I want them to take a lot of care with. I don't think that will be a problem for them, though, because they've had plenty of time to consider what this revelation would look like.

  5. No, I like this complexity in the relationship. It shouldn't come about easily, that would cheapen it. I think they should play off the tension between them but that Dex should definitely know about her feelings... or that he should be made to guess, even if it is an unspoken. I liked what they did with her obviously reacting to his being close to her at the crime scene. They could really go with this tension and if they do it right it could be pretty powerful, especially if it was (in some manner)coming from both parties. Make Dex twitch a bit too. And don't ease into it with the "it's ok, they're not really related" thing. I think it should be kept feeling very taboo and uncomfortable. I would not make Dex truly question his own feelings towards her, however. They have already laid the groundwork of making him accommodating and sympathetic to her emotions towards him, as he believes he is unable to truly reciprocate the human bonds that others feel. He goes to great lengths, especially for her, to oblige her and keep her happy and keep up the human appearances he needs to portray. I think the reciprocation here on his part should be the confusion of how to respond to her needs now, how to react to/for her, how much is too little/too much, etc...

  6. BREAKING NEWS! If you are reading this, I just wasted a couple seconds of your life.

  7. Nicholas:

    Enough with the Westermarck effect BS... it's not scientifically proven at all, it's just one random study with mixed results.

    MOST people are not attracted to the same sex either, and yet we have many gay people in America. And ultimately this is the same issue isn't it? One group of people telling us all, what type of love is "perverted" and what type of love is acceptable.

    I grew up with a girl who was just like a sister to me, and I feel absolutely no attraction to her whatsoever, but I have another friend who grew up in a similar circumstance and he fell head over heels for her and they were together 7 years before she and their son died in a car accident, months later later he committed suicide out of grief.

    Fact... in my lifetime I have met 3 different sets of adopted siblings that fell in love. 1 ended badly, 1 produced a 30+ year marriage with several children, and a happily ever after, and the other were step-sisters that were raised together, are lesbians and have been together for 25 years. I don't actually like those two - I find them peculiar but it is their right to be together because NOBODY else is getting hurt by it, and they are happy. They raised a daughter together and she is a very nice girl.

    FACT - this stuff goes on all the time, there are famous people who are the children of adopted siblings who fell in love, the world is full of gay people and straight people and even REAL brothers and sisters who definitely ought not to cross those lines. Did you know that in some states, it is legal for first cousins to marry? Definitely not safe... but it happens.

    Why people do or do not fall in love is just sometimes a mystery. Who the fuck knows?

    Why don't we accept the story for what it is. A crazy serial killer who's adopted sister loves him with all her heart, and who in turn, probably loves his adopted sister.

    Stop trying to censor art by imposing bullshit morality into Dexterworld.

  8. Just don't turn him in Deb ;)

  9. I don't remember saying anything about the writers and their need for artistic expression. I was just sharing my ideas and interpretations. It's not my fault if you don't agree. Actually, I don't care if anyone disagrees with me, or not. You are the one who seems to be getting angry here and trying to censor people if they post something you don't agree with. There are plenty of other things worth being angry about. Maybe you just need to take it easy and not take things so personally around here. The show has a lot of fans and the writers can't make everyone happy. A lot of fans get all pissed off when another fan gives the show any criticism. Have you not heard of constructive criticism? Obviously, I still watch the show, but that doesn't mean I have to be like a blind sheep and enjoy everything they throw at us. In my opinion, the first four years of the show were the best. Opinions don't mean anything to anyone other than the person who makes them. That does not mean I am wrong, but it certainly doesn't mean I am right. We'll just have to agree to disagree.

  10. I didn't even criticize the show in my original post. Very seldomly do I come on here and rant and complain. Every post I make I try to keep the focus primarily on the positive. There's no reason to dwell on things I didn't like about a season. If I didn't particularly like something, I just accept that those things happened and move on.

  11. Totally agree with last Anonymous.
    If you watch a show and you like it you have to rely on their writers and let them do their job. The job that led you to this show.
    If you don't agree, just go and watch another show. It will happen the same again

  12. Nicholas:

    A few posters are getting angrier. I think we are just fed up and weary of people coming on here and ranting and calling the writers and producers of the show "liars" and saying that the love story is "sick", and the show is stupid, and that they just pulled it out of nowhere.

    These negative posts have been so aggressive, and flame orientated, that it's put the people who love the show and really enjoyed this season and story - into a bit of a bad mood.

  13. The thing that irks me, is that many of these posters have been constantly chirping the mantra of "Dexter has jumped the shark, watch Breaking Bad instead" - You have to wonder, if these are just extreme fanboys of Breaking Bad who have a weird fetish about their show being "the best show" or if there is something more to it. Would another network actually pay people to blog about stuff like this? Considering the money at stake and the extreme competition out there, it wouldn't surprise me.

    If you have ever read up on the Weinstein's and Miramax films, and how they went about loading up on Oscar's - you realize just how much politics and propaganda become involved in the film business. A huge part of their success was the fact that they had so many critics and bloggers in their pockets, they were able to dominate the competition just by word of mouth.

    There were two HBO shows with EXTREME incest this past season. Mother and Son on Boardwalk Empire, and two sets of sisters and brothers on Game of Thrones doing the deed almost every week - one of them a set of twins! Yet those shows are getting Emmy nods by the bucketful and critics sort of laugh it off.

    But on Dexter, a love story that hasn't even been consummated, between two people that aren't even related, is suddenly an issue for critics to complain about on moral grounds. You just have to say... what the hell is really going on here?

  14. It's refreshing to post with people like you, who can at least be mature about the discussion. I don't know how many times I've talked with other fans and shared my thoughts and had them jump down my throat. Those kind of reactions always turn me off. I usually just ignore someone if they do nothing but show me their ability to use colorful language, LOL.

    One of the reasons I can't justify coming on here and calling the writers a bunch of hacks, is because they are able to write 12 episodes of a program like this in a matter of about 4 months, from February to May. That can't be an easy thing to do, so I don't even agree that the writers are hacks. The show is still enjoyable, even if I don't particularly care for a specific episode or character. Season 6 isn't my favorite, but I still found that I enjoyed it quite a bit.

    My order of preference of the seasons: 1, 2, 4, 3, 6, 5.

    I try to compare the show only to itself. Comparing DEXTER to Breaking Bad is just not very helpful, because they are so different from each other. They both have a lot in common, but I could never choose between the two shows. I love them both. My favorite show is split between the two and I'm a bigger fan of the one I'm watching at a given time. Next week, Breaking Bad will be my favorite because I'm going to start watching all the episodes again, just for the hell of it.

  15. Nicholas:

    In general there has been so much instigation over this subject that people are pretty heated, even the most reasonable of us have lost our tempers in the past few months. This is good.

    Reminds me of what Lundy said about Chopin. "It tends to stir up some dust!" By the way, that was first strong step and clue about Debra's feelings for her brother. There was even a season where she is talking about her attraction to Lundy, and she loses herself in the conversation and it is no longer clear whether she is talking about Lundy or Dexter, because in many ways, Lundy and Dexter were the same personality. Lundy was a father figure yes, but he also represented everything she loves about Dexter.

    Anyway since we are talking reason, let's put something to rest:

    Several have mentioned that the psychologist would be encouraging Debra to break the law if she suggested her feelings for Dexter were ok. This is not true.

    Dexter and Debra can't get into any trouble in Florida for having a relationship. They can get married as long as they produce the appropriate paperwork and do a blood test. They could have even gotten married as teenagers if Dexter had asked to be emancipated.

    Florida is very "liberal" when it comes to this kind of stuff.

    First cousins may also marry in Florida.

    There are many Cuban immigrants who have left families behind, and many children have to be adopted into new families, and marriages come out of that all the time.

    I'd need to spend way too much time researching to get an exact figure, especially with so much illegal immigration, but from the looks of things there are "thousands" of adopted/step/foster sibling marriages in Florida over the past few decades.

    Dex and Deb having a relationship would actually be a big *yawn* in Miami. Go figure...

  16. Let's not forget that Deb says in the very first episode of the series that Dexter should show her someone can trust enough to date. And after Lundy says that their relationship is temporary, Deb gets all bent out of shape and tells Dexter he's the only one she can trust.

    Of course that could all be hearsay, but on a show with guys like James Manos Jr., Clyde Phillips, and Scott Buck having all worked on it, I doubt it. Those guys love their symbolism.

  17. Anon at 10:49

    You are exactly right. One thing Dexter does well, is symbolism and foreshadowing.

  18. Anon at 1:47

    Thanks, having been around for The Sopranos and SFU, it would be pretty negligent to believe that Deb falling in love with Dexter hasn't at the very least been foreshadowed in earlier seasons. Furthermore, if you look at the subtext of season six, you see how much Dexter needs someone to accept him or he's going to go off the deep end. Last season was not about religion, it was about Deb finding a whole new world for herself and Dexter losing his faith in himself. He's coming dangerously close to going off the deep end it's necessary for Deb to accept his Dark Passenger, whether as a sister or a lover is debatable.

  19. Anon at 2:47

    :) Wow, I have yet to meet anyone on these forums who understands the subtext or memes of the show like you! Color me impressed! Of course, having watched and loved all 6 seasons of Sopranos and 5 seasons of Six Feet Under (as well as being a Fellini nut!) I have been noticing this as well. He really clung to Brother Sam desperately, looking for that acceptance, and when Sam died Dex did momentarily go right over the edge.

    Personally, I don't see how they can continue the relationship of Dexter and Debra as brother and sister anymore. There has been too much symbolism,foreshadowing, and character development in that direction. It would be disingenuous to say the least.

    From a writers perspective, you don't cross the Rubicon and then double back and say "WHOOPS! A river too far!" No, you say, as Caesar said: "The die has been cast!" and then you go on and conquer.

    Obviously Dex and Deb will not settle down in a cozy house with a white picket fence. As Dexter said "Monster's don't get happy endings", or is that just a lie he always tells himself? Anyway, finding peace in the moments in between is certainly within reach.

    The strength of the show Dexter has never been the kill room, it has never been the hunt, or the chase, it has been those quiet moments where we see the man who might have been, the man who he was supposed to be, that makes the show transcendent, that allows us to continue to like and cheer for Dexter. Those moments of "Oasis" or the "Slack Tide' as Dexter put it so elegantly in season four.

    I think we all want to see a few of those moments with Deb, where he achieves real intimacy for the first time in his life, no mask, no lies - that next step for both characters that was promised in the episode "Shrink Wrap" from season 1. That has always been the holy grail and the reason so many fans have kept watching the show, especially after Rita died. Love is just too important to the human condition to not visit that aspect of their relationship. It would leave a great empty chasm in the heart of the show to have never fulfilled the promise of that storyline.

    The only reason not to do it, would be because of the ridiculous moralizing coming from certain sectors. I find it hard to believe that the network that aired "The L Word" would suddenly want to cater to a conservative viewpoint, but hey, anything is possible.

  20. Seeing Deb's relationship as being opposite of/or just like Dexter or choosing to sleep with danger or whatever is just off. Rudy/Brian seduced her by being exactly who she wanted. That's something sociopaths are good at. Like Dexter they have no feelings, but can fake it and figure out what others want. The musician guy was nothing like Dexter but he wasn't some opposite either. He was a sweet guy and their relationship failed because she fell for an older man who was logical -- like Dexter in that he was also a hunter and smart -- but then again so is she. She would have stayed with Lundy if he had lived. Quinn was the transition after Lundy. She might have stayed with Quinn if he hadn't proposed.

    People aren't having trouble with the Deb in love with Dexter thing because of "morality". They are having trouble with it because it would be very unlikely that Deb would decide to act on her feelings even if she acknowledged them. It doesn't make for good television. It complicates things not in a good way.

  21. 9:08 You aren't the same poster are you?

    Actually almost every argument I have heard has been from the morality viewpoint. Yours sounds like more of a personal quirk I believe, than a storytelling outlook. You sound a little bit like someone else - someone who doesn't like Deb that much, and your statements emote a sort of "protective" vibe for Dexter. Do you sense that loving Deb will destroy him? Aha! Because you are RIGHT! lol But that's the beauty of going forward, isn't it? ;) You want a logical delineation, a neat and tidy and emotionless Dexter the Dark killer that goes on and on and cannot be defeated, but that is NOT his destiny.

    We have to go there. If I am writing this show, your way, is like asking me to believe that I should plant my crops on a sandy salt flat, rather than in a rich field of loamy dark soil! Um why? We need new, fertile ground for the rest of this story.

    And yes, Dexter and Deb not only make for good television, it makes for GREAT television. It complicates things in a totally uncomfortable, screwed up way. It's a total mess, it's forbidden, it's tragic, and it's intense. It's going to require Dexter to reach for something, and it would make everything on the show mean so much more.

    As far as Dexter having no feelings, to quote Doakes: "Who's lying now?"

    He does, he's shown he is quite capable of emotions, and Deb is the lynchpin for all of that. The more a character has to lose, the more tension there is, the more tension, the more excitement. Watching Dexter and Deb fall down the rabbit hole, become entwined, and have Dexter start to lose his cool and the bad guys getting a jump on him because of his emotions, watching him actually deal with paranoia for the first time... it takes the show in a whole new direction.

    As far as Deb's guys. What she said was right... everyone was like Dex or the opposite of Dex. Brian of course, just like, they were brothers.

    Lundy was nothing but a Daddy and Dexter substitute, and she would have eventually figured that out. If she had left with Lundy she would have started missing Dexter and have left Lundy to go back to her brother, not even realizing why. It's a psychological thing.

    Quinn is squib, the complete opposite of Dexter, dense, "thuggish" a bully, a scamp, emotions with no control or care whatsoever, sort of the "cool guy" the "anti nerd", a dirty copy, everything that Harry Morgan stood against, everything that Dexter is not. Quinn was Deb's last attempt to run away from her destiny.

  22. 10:05 and 9:08

    This is the guy who was talking about The Sopranos and SFU. The thing about season 6 is that it is really the most fatalistic season we
    ve seen yet. If Dexter had been able to kill Travis and Deb never walked into that church, the season would have ended on a supremely tragic note. Think about what Dexter monologues to Travis: "If there's a purpose to my darkness..."; "I am a serial killer"; "everything's exactly as it should be". These three lines show something no one's really seemed to notice: Dexter has given up.

    He says he's going to kill Travis and move on with his life, he's going to enjoy killing because the search for faith has left him completely empty. There's only the DP left, and he's going to embrace it until he's dead or doesn't have the strength to go on.

    What's literally being said through his conversation is that Dexter feels there's no salvation for him, and that he's come to this realization. His life is absurd, he's been thrown around by forces (Harry, Brother Sam, Travis), and the only one he feels that hasn't betrayed him is The Dark Passenger. That scene with Travis portrays Dexter as being a very real force of evil, rather than a tortured monster trying to be human.

    On the opposite spectrum, Deb's eyes have been opened to a new world in front of her. While Dexter's struggle and eventual loss to (and literally becoming one with) the Dark Passenger has been placed in a subtextual and memetic scale, Deb's realization is very real and serves as this very existential counterpoint to Dexter's growing fatalism. When they meet in that church, it's basically Deb's brave new world come to clash with Dexter's tired old world.

    Now, whether Deb and Dexter will fall in love is up to interpretation, but there is a very good case for why this relationship should be getting more serious.

    Leave aside all the subtextual attraction portrayed in seasons 2-5 (where Mr. Buck and Mr. Coto have said the question came floating around in the office), Dexter has searched for the perfect female companion in seasons 2,4, and 5 (Lila, Rita, Lumen); note he's had sex with all three. He's also searched for the perfect male friend in 3,4, and 6 (Miguel, Arthur, and Brother Sam). In honesty, his perfect female companion is Deb, because they've certainly gone through more trauma than Dexter has with any of the other three, and they certainly understand each other more than Dexter ever did Rita (the one he clearly loved the most).

    Dexter honestly needs someone to save him, and it has to be someone who can love him both as a friend and as a woman (because ultimately humans aren't much more than their spouses and friends) for him to become truly 'human'. And it's entirely too late to introduce a new female character, and it would be too contrived to reintroduce Lumen, and Deb has always been the one who would accept Dexter (and that subtextual attraction) that it would make her the most logical choice for Dexter's final 'soulmate'.

  23. Anon at 9:49

    Outstanding. One of the most keen interpretations and perceptions of the show I have ever seen. I never really thought about it in those terms but now that you say it, yes, you are exactly right.

    That is by far the single best post on season 6 I have yet seen by any Dexter fan. I am just going to step aside and shut my mouth now. ;)


  24. 12:01

    Thanks again for the compliment. I assume you're Z Man from the Showtime forums, right? Just a guess. In any case, if that's who you are, what happened to you is why I avoid imdb and the Dexter forums right now, they're just a vortex of hate between the people who want to see Dexter and Deb form a relationship and those who don't. I think I'll steer clear until the tempers die down.

  25. Anon at 1:06

    There are two or three Z's so it can get confusing. One is a fanfiction writer who goes by Zeitgeist and signs himself as Z or other handles with Z, and the other (me) usually goes by Zedul, but sometimes "Zman" or The Z Man, the other I think is a girl named Zara. We hold similar views on this part of the show and sometimes our posts sound similar because at least two of us are writers, but I do not write fan-fiction or share all his/her viewpoints, and I generally don't cuss or use caps in my posts unless I am really fed up. :)

    As far as the Showtime forums. I had no choice but to leave. The little crew I upset had come up with the tactic of making alternative profiles to flame and threaten me so their main accounts wouldn't be banned. Showtime took a few of the accounts out, but they did not track IP's and ban the original sources so I deleted my account and moved on, rather than allow myself to be continually baited and harassed.

    I thought I had made some friends there and went out of my way to be nice to the people who disagreed with me, but ultimately I became the scapegoat and focus of their frustration with the show. I think the terms I would use would be "backstabbed" "railroaded" and "falsely accused".

    Just to make it absolutely clear: No I am not associated with Showtime in any way. I am not an insider. I am not a friend of any actor on the show - I have nothing to do with the show or Hollywood in any capacity. I did not have any spoilers, nor had I seen any episode before it aired for everyone.

    I suppose it didn't help that Scott Buck and Michael C Hall made statements that were almost word for word of some of the things I had said in the month leading up to the final, especially the "Dexter is about blood..." tangent I went on. One of those weird coincidences that I think it was just a case of me being right about the thought process of the writers.

    So I have been talking Dexter more in private lately, and watching fan vids on Youtube (the best ones keep getting deleted!) and trying to keep my temper in check. We are all human and there is a limit to the abuse a person can take. My tank for the amount of bullshit I can handle got filled up for the next two years and I don't feel like being nice anymore - if I participated on any forums at this point I would just say things that should not be said.

    Anyway, the post at 9:49 blew away anything I have said on the subject. I don't know who that was but it was a real revelation to me, and it even makes me a feel a little dense! I suppose after that I don't have much to add. The producers of the show should probably pin that on the wall of their writing room. It's profound.

  26. Anon at 02:41

    Yeah, I'm the guy who posted at 9:49 and at 1:06. It took me a while to uncover the idea behind it, but if you really look at the regular victims Dexter's killed and compare them to Travis's kill scene, it seems like two very different people. Dexter's usually questioning of his victim's motives, almost as if he's a student trying to learn something from all of them. This time, however, he's smug, he's condescending, he behaves exactly as Brian does to Debra and Trinity does to him at the end of "Hello, Dexter Morgan" and the beginning of "The Getaway". It's, frankly, hilarious in my opinion how many people have refused to see this gigantic change in Dexter's character, how he really is 'a shining example of how putrid mankind has become', and how much his world needs to be made right by Deb.

    In any case, just chill for a little while, I guess, people will eventually calm down. Probably by mid-spring you'll start having rational discussions with people who disagree with us rather than the people who come online to be the internet strong man.

  27. Anon at 3:18

    I see what you are saying, I was uncomfortable with his monologue, it seemed "over the top" and I think some fans interpreted it as just that, but there was always something more to it that I found very troubling. I didn't really understand why until now. You laid it out perfect and I feel like I have had a revelation. I am definitely putting what you said into my notebook.

    It is even more troubling that he had that attitude after twice "praying" this season and asking God/ a higher power to save his son, and then save him when he was in the water, which was answered both times, and then he turns around and sort of flaunts it arrogantly at Travis. He rips on Travis but is doing, in many ways, the same thing Travis did - being presumptuous, as if he "has all the answers" which, like you said, is something Dexter has never done before.


    Probably another reason that I have started to hold onto Deb as the character to cheer for this season, and felt alienated from Dexter as a viewer. She is the rock now. The idea that she needs to "make him right" is profound, and true.

    I have seen a lot of intelligent posters over the last few months, years, but no one who has taken hold of the heart of the thing like you just did. I've never read or heard anything on the level of your post, except when I am watching panels and interviews from the writers and producers of the show. I am a little in awe of what you just pointed out.

    If I wasn't in chill mode before, I am now. :)

  28. 5:04

    Thanks again for the compliments. But you've also got to look at it in the sense that Brother Sam, a quintessentially good man died an undeserved death, and Travis, someone Dexter thought he could save was just as psychotic as he is. It's a pretty depressing realization to come to. One that breeds nihilism if not kept in check.

    After all the Hitchcock and Kubrick films I've watched, (never have watched Fellini, might try him out) I tend to over-analyze things. I don't particularly think I over-analyzed this time, but hey, you never know. I sincerely hope I've got it right, because if this isn't what Buck's team and David Zayas intended when they said 'this is the darkest season of Dexter yet", I don't know what is. :P

  29. 5:23

    Ah, Hitchcock! I own most of them. Rope, Strangers on a Train, North by Northwest, Psycho, et. Vertigo is my favorite... I've probably watched that movie a hundred times.

    Likewise Kubrick's stuff, though he is more hit and miss for me. Full Metal Jacket and A Clockwork Orange are the two I dwell on the most. A Clockwork Orange is just painful to watch, so I have to go years in between viewing sessions, but also, it's absolutely riveting.

  30. 5:43

    Psycho is my personal favorite of Hitchcock, and Dr. Strangelove is, in my opinion, Kubrick's best, with A Clockwork Orange coming in second. I never looked at Singing in the Rain the same way again.

  31. Ah yea, I always forget about Dr. Strangelove ;)

    Back to Dexter. Taking into account, what you said about Dex "spiraling" the way he has, and having given up. Do you think that Dexter choosing the church, knowing that Deb was expecting him to be at the church at that time, was a subconscious action on his part to get caught and put himself in her hands? It makes perfect sense to me, especially if he is that far gone.

  32. I wouldn't doubt it. It would be a pretty big oversight by the writers to have unintentionally made him do that, considering he already had a kill room set up at that boat. Maybe he subconsciously wants to be caught by her, because his amateur mistakes would make a whole lot more sense. It would also lend the 'lost faith in himself' theory some credence. In any case, the action of going to the church was probably Dexter's last bit of humanity trying to fight against "Dark Passenger Dex". I could be wrong, though.

  33. a lot of people tend to repeat dexter has no feelings.

    bullshit, if he had no feelings he wouldnt follow Harry's (it is a sign of admiration for harry), he also wouldnt be so out of control after his wife' death. he also would run for harrison in the last season(last season shows clearly he has a heart. the moments he spends with son show that. remember trinity and compare).
    his feelings aren't strong and he himself doesnt see good sides of him, he sees no light in him. but it doesnt mean he has no that light.
    he is controlled by his rational part, and it is mainly acceptance that from the childhood he is the one harry learned to be a good killer.
    if he had no feelings no way he would follow the code of harry.

    as much as he loves deb as sister and trusts her and protects her - it would be a good finale for them becoming a couple. they are not blood related so why the hell is it important if they are siblings by their surname? no blood relation - everything is fine and acceptable.
    in my opinion.

    but i doubt the finale would be so easy.

    (that was in some way off topic, sorry)

    1. it is not the matter they are not blood related,but it is relationship of brother nd sister

  34. Next season will be a pretty complex season, and the writers will really have to buckle down and make it count. Dexter's going to have to choose between hopelessness and run away from Miami (which he may do for an episode or two, but that's unlikely, considering what many thought of Nebraska), or try to explain who he is to Deb. It's going to be a whole Existential dilemma for Dexter, and one that requires a lot of thought.

    As for Deb, her questions will be obvious: Should she turn her brother in? If not, why? What place does he have in her heart? Does she still 'love' him? Can she 'cure' him? All very Freudian, deep psychological questions.

    And the killer has to somehow exemplify that. Next season, they should probably end up searching for a vigilante or a 'killer with a code' (though I doubt that would be interesting for those who've seen Season 2) to expand on how Dexter and Deb grow. Perhaps they probably should've held off on the Bay Harbor Butcher Season until after Debra found out about Dexter.

    The show may lose some viewers after this season because of this burgeoning Dex/Deb plot and the brilliant metaphysical but rather poor physical showing of this season, but I think it will gain even more next season: people like messed up stuff. A serial killer with a moral code and less than platonic feelings for his foster-sister? It appeals to the Hannibal Lecter in people, I think. Say what you want, we love messed-up characters. Movies like Taxi Driver and A Clockwork Orange would never have been as popular as they are if it weren't so.

    As for actual speculation, I'm positive Deb won't turn in Dexter, maybe she'll come close, but it won't happen. Both Dexter and Debra will contemplate suicide next season, but whereas Deb's will be because her two idols (Harry and Dexter) turn out to be frauds, Dexter's will be a deep, memetic, philosophical battle, rather than a moral one like Deb's.

    Dexter is amazed when Deb finally says she accepts him and loves him, though he probably still doesn't understand that Deb's 'in' love with him. Their relationship will get close, and while Deb may first try to get him to stop killing, she may allow Dexter a few extrajudicial executions for someone who may 'get away' from the law. Cue some philosophizing on the nature on Dexter's part on their sudden closeness as well as his new nemesis and Dexter will begin to start having some of his own strange little feelings--though not quite to the extent that Deb likes Dexter.

    She'll eventually tell him and he'll freak, completely confused as to what to do. Eventually, by the tail-end of the season, Deb's life will somehow be threatened and Dexter will accept it and the two will probably share something discreet, more like a kiss, rather than sex--a more stable relationship than Deb's normal ones.

    I would be one of the ones to say that I expected the Dexter/Deb relationship for a long time, apparently people have not shared the sentiment, and I can see why. It's uncomfortable, and probably a poor choice of writing in their opinion

    Doesn't change the significance of such a move, however.

  35. Anon at 4:49

    When Rita died in that bathtub, Dexter/Deb was the ONLY decision they could make. Rita was his "exterior personae" but Deb is his truth, in many ways, the only woman he could ever love because of the privacy he requires to share his life with someone.

    The one thing we have yet to see, is Dexter truly fall in love - and until he achieves that, he can never be a human, and when he achieves that it will be his destruction. This is what Clyde Phillips said way back in season 2, that's the tragedy, Dexter becoming human will destroy him, Deb will be the vessel for him becoming human.

    Deb is Harry's daughter, and Harry loved Dexter unconditionally, and Deb loves him even more. Their relationship not only makes sense, it was destined "to be" when the show departed from the farcical black humor of the books and became about something deeper. The theme of the show is blood, and Dex and Deb are not blood, and the only way for them to be joined in blood is to have a child together before Dexter dies. This will complete the cycle - joining not only Dex/Deb but all the key players in Dexter's family (Harry/Doris - Deb - Dexter - Laura/Joe - Brian) and (Rita - Cody - Astor - Harrison - Deb/Dex child) linking them all by blood.

    All great stories close the loop: Gollum falls with the ring (LOTR), Sydney dies in the place of Charles (Tale of Two Cities), George kills Lennie (Of Mice and Men),Romeo and Juliet die together creating a balance of grief, The Soprano's - which began with Tony experiencing black outs, leaves the audience "Blacked Out".

    Hence Dexter's promise "If I could have feelings..." must be fulfilled, and he and Harry must be joined in blood via his child with Deb.

  36. 1:42

    Dexter and Deb, if not having a child, at least admitting they're in love, would be the best way to enter the twilight stage of the series, in fact, I would say that a lot of the 'above 25' crowd who watch the show expected the development to be coming. It's just that Dexter's overall premise appeals to a wide array of people, and a move like that could kill it for the unaware.

  37. 2:40

    Most people are predicting they sleep together at the end of the season. However, Dexter tradition tells me the writers usually pull the trigger a little bit earlier than that.

    As far as the under 25 crowd... most of them can't afford Showtime subscriptions, (hell it's even steep for us working class adults) or DVD's and watch Dexter at a parent's or friend's house, or on bit torrent. Also, they may flap their jaws a lot, but you never can tell how they really feel. "People lie".

    Viewers who matter, and are paying, will be watching this relationship with much anticipation next year. I predict Season 7 ratings will soar because of what has happened. It has breathed fresh life into the series and now Deb "knowing" has almost become a mere sidebar to the relationship possibility that they opened up.

  38. 9:22

    Deeply divisive, but probably the best move they made all season.

  39. I told my friend, who was a bit nervy about this plot, that it was perfectly OK to fall in love with her adopted brother, so long as he is a vigilante serial killer! She laughed at that one!

  40. I feel like this whole Deb/Dex plot has been brewing since the S2, and if not then, there's been signs all over S6 prior to the psychiatrist suggesting Deb may be in love with Dexter: How Dexter responds to Quinn when he asks for Dexter's help to get Debra to marry him; even how Deb responds to Dr. Ross's question about where her feelings for Dexter come from, her answer immediately jumps to the romantic, rather than platonic--she mentions Dexter's the only guy who she hasn't cheated on, or dumped, or isn't dead.

    I don't know about you, but if someone asked me that question about my foster sister, I'd respond with: "'Cuz she's my sister."

    Talking about your failed sexual relationships with men when asked about why you're so close to your brother certainly comes off as a little strange, to me, at least.

  41. 2:52

    Yea, it's been that way the entire series.

    If you want to see a very close brother/sister relationship portrayed on television, "Chuck" comes to mind. Ellie and Chuck are about as close as you can get, but notice their total aversion to sex related stuff or intimacy. Ellie would NEVER ask Chuck what sex noises Sarah makes for crap's sake.

    Likewise, if you look at Janice and Tony on Sopranos you see a good example of what a close brother/sister relationship is like in a dysfunctional family. They are extremely loyal to each other, at the same time they are always fighting, tearing each other down.

    Most brother sister stuff falls somewhere in between those two examples, and I have NEVER seen anything like what I saw with Deb and Dexter in the first few seasons of this show. Anyone who claims it is, either needs family counseling, or they are just flat out lying.

  42. 1:32

    I think it comes down to the simple discomfort people feel with such a storyline, and that the buildup had been a little too subtle. I have to say that, despite being WAY more effed-up, the guys at Boardwalk Empire handled their incest plotline really well; Dexter just wasn't obvious enough to some, I guess.

    Building up for six seasons or not, there'll always be people who hate some decisions and others who love them. Simply put, no one is in the right or wrong. Though it would be foolish to insinuate that this hasn't at least shown some throughout the series.

    Dexter still has Rita in the books, and he's still even closer to Deb in them than he is to Rita; in the series, there is no Rita anymore, no nice, neat cover at all. Dex and Deb have sort of been running in circles for four seasons and this one set them on a collision course, as MCH said. Dexter's in his weakest moment, and despite that it looks like she isn't, Deb's never been stronger than now. It's a monumental paradigm shift from what we're used to from the two Morgans that HAS to play a role in Deb's acceptance of Dexter, and to say that Deb's revelation about her feelings doesn't at all fit would be simply WRONG when you look in context of a deeply 'soul-shattering' season for Dex.

  43. great series there is a reason why we are here. so let the masters do their job and no need to insult. if you dont like it anymore dont watch it but i bet my undies that you will be watchin in again in sept.

  44. Dexter did say, all those series ago, that if he'd have feelings for anyone he'd 'have them for Deb' ....

  45. i am waiting for season 7 ,but plzzzzzz debs feeling for dex is creepy i have always pictured them as close bro and sis and i love their relationship in that way only at least on screen,i feel it is embarrasing for all bro and sis watching this series,becoz it is a special unique bond of growing together.

  46. i cant digest this bro and sis in love relation i always love deb character but not this part of her,no matter it is blood relation or not!

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