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Dexter Morgan might have found his dream girl.
After more than six seasons, Showtime’s serial killer with a conscience seems to have met his romantic match in Hannah McKay (Yvonne Strahovski), a woman with a dark past of her own that resurfaced when a mystery writer got a little too close to uncovering her violent history.
Hannah, of course, became Dexter’s (Michael C. Hall) first plastic-wrapped victim to survive his kill table, turning what could have been her deathbed into a place of passion once Dex realized just how much of a kindred spirit Hannah really is.
After unsuccessfully trying to stay clear of each other, Hannah and Dexter have become almost an item, as their chemistry has proved too much for either to ignore. And almost like Deb’s (Jennifer Carpenter) tragic love life, their happiness won’t last long because the head of Miami Metro, upset over the death of writer and fleeting love interest Sal Price (Santiago Cabrera), wants to take advantage of Dexter’s deadly skills when she asks him to set things right and bring Hannah to justice in the court of his Dark Passenger.
The story sets up an epic and insanely awkward love triangle among Dexter, Hannah and Debra, who still might be harboring romantic feelings for her foster brother after learning that he was a serial killer (with a code!) who went so far as to tamper with her cases.
The Hollywood Reporter caught up with Strahovski, busy with rehearsals for her upcoming Broadway play Golden Boy, to discuss whether Deb and Hannah both can survive, how Hannah could help Dexter with Isaak (Ray Stevenson) and if the sibling connection makes Deb off-limits from Hannah’s poison.
The Hollywood Reporter: How are we going to see Hannah’s and Dexter’s relationship progress?
Yvonne Strahovski: It turns out they can’t really help themselves. The question now is, what will Dexter do now that Debra has asked him to handle Hannah McKay? Does he like Hannah enough to ignore Debra’s request? Which woman in his life will he choose?
THR: Dex can be himself around Hannah, who’s OK with the fact that he’s a serial killer. Does that give her an advantage?
Strahovski: It gives her a big advantage. We can see Dexter struggling with the fact that he’s really allowing himself to fall for her. The big one for him is that he doesn’t have to hide anything. It goes back to the beautiful connection between Hannah and Dexter where she says, “We look out for each other; that’s pretty big for people like us,” and he too her hand and put it on his heart. It’s the first time you really see Dexter emotionally connecting with somebody in the series. It definitely sets up a big emotional struggle with the feelings he’s developing for Hannah and the family loyalty and the feelings he has for Debra.
THR: We see in the promo (below) that Dexter tells Deb that he has fallen for Hannah. What might Deb and Hannah’s confrontation look like?
Strahovski: We all know Debra is a pretty feisty character, so you put one feisty woman against another feisty woman and there’s bound to be some kind of drama. We see a little snippet of that in the preview, and it’s a question of how far Debra is going to push it; [we see] her character struggling with these weird feelings she’s having for Dexter, and she’s also trying to find her power again. It could be that part of Debra regaining her strength as an individual and that she might be pursuing her career even further — like she said, the music to her ears is a jail door slamming shut.
THR: Is Debra more put off by Hannah because Hannah is a killer or is it because she’s Dexter’s new love interest?
Strahovski: I think the fact that she killed turns her on in a way. She wants to make things right and find justice because that’s what her job is all about.
THR: Can both Hannah and Deb survive this season?
Strahovski: That’s a very good question. We see Hannah survive one of the worst possible situations you can get yourself into on Dexter: No one has ever survived the kill table. It indicates that Dexter couldn’t go through with it because he has these feelings. We’re going to be asking ourselves, “Who is going to survive?” There are a lot of high emotions, loyalties and revelations for Dexter, and he’ll struggle with that because the more comfortable he is around Hannah and not having to hide who he is, the more he wants to keep her in his life.
THR: How much of Dexter’s life is he going to let Hannah into? Maybe reveal his code and bring her in?
Strahovski: Maybe, though killing is a very individual thing for him — except for that season he was killing with Lumen (Julia Stiles).
THR: Might she want to kill with him?
Strahovski: There was a scene between them where he asks her in the nursery in the greenhouse, “Do you kill because you like it?” and she says, “No.” She had to do it in the past out of necessity for her. She’s just desperately trying to move on, and throughout her life there were people who got in the way of her just trying to be happy. Killing for her is just a way for her to remove people in her life who have gotten in the way of her having a normal happy life, which is what she wants at the end of the day.
THR: Might Hannah target Deb in order to keep her life happy?
Strahovski: I mean, you will just have to wait and see just how much of an obstacle Debra poses. That’s all I’m going to say. (Laughs)
THR: Does Deb’s relation to Dexter — a guy Hannah seems to care for — mean she’s safe?
Strahovski: It could go either way. Debra up to this point has accepted what Dexter does; she’s his boss and she’s covering for him and she’s almost starting to cross over into that dark side herself. Anything could happen; maybe she’ll accept more of that darkness, and maybe she won’t and she’ll fight it. That’s anybody’s guess.
THR: Isaak is becoming more of a threat for Dexter. Could we see Hannah remove that obstacle?
Strahovski: There have been comments made about Hannah being the Bonnie to Dexter’s Clyde. You can see that there’s the potential for that to happen. Dexter’s been a very private person, and opening up this world to Hannah is completely new for him. Just how far he’ll go with that we don’t know. Similarly, Hannah is used to handling things on her own; she’s always been independent because she had to be. She’s a survivor, and her killing people is out of survival. They operate similarly for very different reasons, and their two worlds are colliding more. Operating as a unified couple is an interesting idea, one that may or not be explored.
THR: What separates Hannah from Lumen?
Strahovski: Lumen killed because of circumstance that led her to seek justice, and once that was handled she needed to move on. If she had stayed with Dexter, she would have become part of that dark world. Killing was a momentary thing for her. For Hannah, it’s an ongoing life because she was involved with a serial killer when she was 15 and stabbed a woman to death when she was 15. She hasn’t been able to escape that world. They’re sort of two very different circumstances.
THR: Is this a world that Hannah wants to be in with Dexter?
Strahovski: For now, they’re happy to have found each other and explore the chemistry that they feel for one another. Whether that leads to, “Hi Honey, I killed three people today; how was your day?” I don’t know. She feels safe with Dexter in a weird way because she survived the kill table and she knew that he wasn’t really going to go through with it because of what they were feeling for one another. Ironically, even though he is a serial killer, maybe it is a protection thing in the back of her mind. She feels safe with him because she doesn’t have to hide anything from him and vice versa.
THR: Without knowing what happens to Hannah, would you be interested in coming back next season?
Strahovski: I’ve loved every moment of it, and it’s definitely one of my favorite experiences ever. We’ll see if Hannah survives the season!
What do you think of Dexter and Hannah together? Can both Deb and Hannah survive or does one of them need to die? Hit the comments with your thoughts. Dexter airs at 9 p.m. Sundays on Showtime. Strahovski next stars in the feature Guilt Trip, due in theaters Dec. 19.
Check out a promo for this week’s episode, below.
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