'Dexter' Producer Spills Insight on Sunday's Finale (Relatively Spoiler Free)
After John Lithgow's Trinity Killer helped create one of the most shocking TV deaths during "Dexter's" Season 4 finale, the Showtime drama — led by showrunner Sara Colleton — abandoned the single-season "big bad" villain and took Michael C. Hall's lovable serial killer down a different path. "Barrel Girl" Lumen (guest star Julia Stiles) has gone from victim to Dexter's partner in crime, creating an allegiance previously unseen on the drama. Now, heading into Sunday's Season 5 finale, Peter Weller's private investigator Stan Liddy — who had all the goods on Dexter — is dead in a van and Desmond Harrington's Detective Joey Quinn could be on the hook, thanks to a lone drop of blood, and Lumen is fighting for her life — again — at the hands of Jonny Lee Miller's Jordan Chase.
THR caught up with executive producer Colleton to get the dirt on what's ahead in Sunday's big finale — and if Dex will play god at Debra's (Jennifer Carpenter) expense.
The Hollywood Reporter: After Season 4’s bloody bathtub finale with Rita (Julie Benz), how much blood will be spilled in Sunday’s Season 5 finale?
Sara Colleton: This whole season's trajectory has been a seasonlong arc of Dexter trying to achieve atonement, so it's not going to be a bloodbath, but it is going to emotionally tie everything in that was unleashed from last year in a very satisfying way for the audience and in a very Dexter-ous way.
THR: Will Lumen survive or will she spell more grief for Dexter?
Colleton: I couldn't say a thing about that other than this has been, for Dexter, an odd thing. I think everyone in the audience recognizes that he's taking care of this woman and he is sort of putting everything he's been taught by his father, Harry, on hold to help this woman out. And he's the real reason he's doing it: he couldn’t save Rita (so) he saves Lumen. By doing so, he's oddly enough found someone who really is a mate in a way that he never ever thought he could have. He remembers the first time Harry — who created Dexter — saw him in a kill situation threw up and then committed suicide because he couldn't handle what he had created. This is an odd way that Dexter is atoning for his part in Rita's death; he has stumbled upon perhaps the soul mate of his life.
THR: How much trouble will that lone drop of Liddy’s blood on Quinn’s shoe cause for the detective?
Colleton: Who does the blood work in Miami? It's Dexter Morgan!
THR: Masuka (C.S. Lee) has been pretty busy on the Barrel Girl case though.
Colleton: Yeah, but not when it really comes down. It's always been Dexter. It was only in the first part of the year when Dexter was still on his leave of absence. But for anything big like this, it will be Dexter who is holding Quinn's fate in his hands and Quinn has been a thorn in his side big time. The look on Dexter's face when he realizes that he's in the back of a van by Liddy — this idiot P.I. that has been in cahoots with Quinn — it was, for Dexter, like, "How the hell did this happen?" It will be interesting to see what happens.
THR: Will Dexter really do that to Deb (Jennifer Carpenter)?
Colleton: The other side is: Is Quinn the best person for Deb? It comes up Episode 12 that one of the reasons why she feels such a kinship or an understanding of what these Barrel Girls are going through is that she finally, after years, references what it was like to be kidnapped by Rudy (the Ice Truck Killer) and locked up and thrown in a trunk. Dexter is very protective of her and as he says in the pilot, "If I could love anyone, it would be my foul-mouthed sister Deb." Sometimes people, and Dexter certainly has been guilty of this, become god-like in their decisions in what's best for someone else. All of those things are floating in the air.
THR: Deb has really evolved as a detective over the course of the series and she’s getting closer to finding out Dexter’s secret. Will she realize that Dexter is the vigilante’s "assistant"?
Colleton: I think in some seasons we're going to have to deal with it because it is so profound. I don't know when, but we will. This year there was huge growth in her character. For Deb, who was so black and white, to come to the conclusion — in Episode 8 there's a really interesting conversation with Dexter and Deb over beer in his apartment about "Dad once told me that there were people that deserve to die" when she's talking about her feelings of killing Fuentes — so for her to start even thinking that way, that maybe there are people (who think that way) when she's been so black and white is a huge sort of evolvement. It's very interesting the look on Dexter's face when she's talking about that because for him it was a bit of a revelation that Deb could have this evolvement.
THR: Deb has hinted a lot this season that she’d be OK with a vigilante.
Colleton: She puts it all together; it's quite stunning. When you see her from the first year where she's still in Vice and she's this smart but young colt who's all over the place and has very little sense when she needs it. But in terms of having her wits about her, you've really seen her grow as a detective and I love that because I love the character of Deb. Deb is one of the best women characters, most real women characters. She has a man's job in a man's world. We were exploring that with (Lt. Maria) LaGuerta (Lauren Velez), who has chosen another way to deal with being in charge in a man's world in a man's kind of job. Deb goes balls out and is not going to play the female card.
THR: Will we see a "Dexter" where Deb knows and accepts her brother's Dark Passenger?
Colleton: We really take this series one season at a time and carefully work out that season's arc and where we're going to take "Dexter." At some point, we will, but I don't know yet because we're not there.
"Dexter's" Season 5 finale — titled "The Big One" — airs Sunday on Showtime.
Sundance: On the Scene