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Dexter‘s Michael C. Hall has imagined a world in which his titular serial killer on the Showtime drama has not only been caught but is in custody of Miami Metro for his role in the Bay Harbor Butcher case.
With Hannah McKay (Yvonne Strahovski) in custody after Dexter hands Deb (Jennifer Carpenter) the smoking gun linking her to Sal Price’s death, she certainly has the motivation to turn the table on her former boyfriend — and his foster sister.
That’s just the beginning of the problems on Dexter’s crowded plate heading into Sunday’s seventh-season finale as LaGuerta (Lauren Velez) remains convinced that her very own blood-spatter analyst is the real Bay Harbor Butcher as she works diligently to clear the late Sgt. James Doakes’ name. Releasing Hector Estrada (Nestor Serrano) — the last surviving man behind the savage death of Dexter’s biological mother — LaGuerta sets Dexter up, taking advantage of his burning desire to avenge her death. Instead, the plan goes awry and, after confessing everything to Estrada, he gets away, bringing to three the number of people who know about Dexter’s true nature (including Deb, of course).
STORY: ‘Dexter’s’ Michael C. Hall: Dexter is in ‘Unchartered and Hot Psychological Water
With Dexter’s walls closing in, The Hollywood Reporter caught up with Hall to preview Sunday’s season-ender and question the star if the episode title — “Surprise, Motherf—er!” — meant Doakes would somehow have a smoking gun connecting Dexter to the case, if Hannah could turn on him and just why serial killers always confess before they strike.
The Hollywood Reporter: Will the finale be a cliffhanger?
Michael C. Hall: The finale will certainly end with a cliffhanger in as much as we all wonder what’s in store and how Dexter and other characters will respond to what transpires but some pretty definitive things happen as well. It’s a doozy (laughs).
THR: Can you envision a finale where Dexter gets caught and held accountable for being the Bay Harbor Butcher?
Hall: I’ve certainly imagined it. In a way, it’s a one-on-one thing, but we see Dexter held accountable by his sister in the seventh season and we see him react to that fact without any sense of apology and completely ready to righteously defend himself and who he’s been and what he’s done.
STORY: Can ‘Dexter’s’ Hannah and Deb Co-Exist? Yvonne Strahovski Weighs In
THR: Could we see Dexter in custody of Miami Metro?
Hall: It’s possible. At this point, the water is hot enough where it might even be likely.
THR: The finale’s title, “Surprise, Motherf—er!” was Doakes’ famed catchphrase. Might something from Doakes’ past resurface?
Hall: Maybe there’s an allusion to that a bit when Dexter is confronted by Matthews with the reality of this investigation into him being the Bay Harbor Butcher. Dexter immediately starts spinning a tale about Doakes and his boat, and he plants the evidence. The title suggests that maybe there’s going to be an expansion of Doakes’ involvement one way or another. I don’t think he’s going to rise from the dead or anything, but he’ll be some sort of presence.
THR: Dexter turns Hannah in, and she’s arrested for murder. Could Hannah turn on Dexter and set him and Deb up?
Hall: Perhaps, I don’t think Hannah has any info that Deb herself doesn’t have at this point, though she does have some pretty privileged information. While Dexter might tell himself a story that gives him some sense of assurance that she won’t reveal it, it’s always a possibility.
THR: Might Dexter turn to Debra with his botched attempt to murder Hector Estrada, who’s still out there and knows everything about Dex?
Hall: Dexter has obviously suffered for letting her in on things, and she has suffered for having been let in on things. At the same time, she’s really helped him out in certain situations. There’s an argument for and against letting her in and keeping her shut out. At this point, Dexter does want to handle Estrada by himself and on his own terms, if at all possible.
STORY: ‘Dexter’s’ Jennifer Carpenter: Deb May End Up ‘Being the Superhero’
THR: Angel is getting ready for retirement and wants to step down soon. Can he really get out of this unscathed, or might he be the guy to take the fall for being the Bay Harbor Butcher?
Hall: I think it’s hard to think that Angel won’t in one way or another be brought back in to the eye of this storm as it’s gathering toward the end of this season and into the next. Just like anybody else in this world, he’s in one way or another implicated as much as anyone.
THR: Why do serial killers always confess everything before they kill someone?
Hall: You could argue that serial killers [don’t have] what is generally called a conscience, but they do have an ethos and a desire to reveal who they are and what they’ve done to someone, and I think that’s a desire that’s exploited in moments with victims. There’s a desire to be known and to have someone who you’re about to do in see you with eyes that have a complete appreciation with who they’re looking back at. It’s something that’s too enticing to pass up.
Dexter‘s seventh season finale airs at 9 p.m. Sunday on Showtime. Hit the comments with your theories on just how Dex can wiggle his way out of this one.
Email: Lesley.Goldberg@thr.com; Twitter: @Snoodit
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