“There are some awfully big pills he’s asking her to swallow,” Dexter series star Michael C. Hall laughed to LA TV Insider Examiner when we caught up with him at the TCAs in Los Angeles to talk about the seventh season of his serial killer drama.
In the very last few moments of season seven, Dexter was mid-kill with the season’s big bad when his sister Debra (Jennifer Carpenter) walked in on him, ultimately learning who–and what– he really was. Will he lie about the circumstances to her; will he try to bring her into his world to make her understand; or will he run– before or after silencing her, too? These are the questions the Dexter season premiere answers, but the problems presented are far from over in one episode.
“It fundamentally changes [their dynamic], though Dexter is such a master of compartmentalization and such a matter of fact person in terms of his relationship to what he does that he wonders why Deb doesn’t just say ‘Well, I know more about you now, and that connects some dots for me, and now we can just move on.’ That’s his fantasy of what her response would be,” Hall explained the events that come in the season premiere.
“It’s a relief and yet simultaneously a huge problem and a real bear for [them both] to wrestle with…It’s certainly one of the shadows that’s looming. He has other, more traditional big bads to deal with, but I think the big thing to negotiate is her and their relationship and what she’s going to do with this information.”
Click here for Debra’s Dexter season seven confrontation.
Dexter season seven as a whole will take a new look at Dexter and Deb’s relationship as we have known it over the years by introducing new flashbacks to their childhood dynamic, as well. By getting new insight into Young Debra and Young Dexter and both their relationships with Harry (James Remar), Hall pointed out that Debra will have to deal with the fact that perhaps more signs were there than she wanted to acknowledge.
“Actually it’s in the second episode, but she has a line, something to the effect of ‘I am the worst detective in the world. You’re my brother, and how did I…'” Hall smiled. “Just as there’s a sense of horror and relief for Dexter saying ‘Yes, I’m doing this; this is who I am,’ I think there’s a degree of horror and relief for her. A lot of her sort of gnawing ‘What is that feeling I have about my childhood and Dexter and dad?’– all of those questions are kind of answered. So there’s a sense of relief, even if it’s bitter relief.”
And now that she sees them, she feels it is her duty to do something about them.
“Deb is trying to fill his time with work [when he] would otherwise be filled with stalking and killing people,” Hall previewed. “He, as a result, comes into contact with [Yvonne Strahovski‘s] character, Hannah McKay, and there’s an immediate, unspoken sense– not only about her, but that she seems to have about him. They are, from the first time they meet, circling each other, to a degree. Dexter is always someone who has been a magnet for chaos, and he finds it with her and what happens between them.”
Hall admitted that Dexter doesn’t– and probably never will– apologize for who he is, not even to Debra. However, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t try to make her understand in his own way.
“I do think is interesting is watching Dexter defend himself. He does so with Deb. You realize while he’s never wanted this to happen, he’s been preparing his defense his whole life,” Hall considered.
Hall was happy to receive the scripts that showed him Debra would finally be clued in. He shared that as an actor, it’s giving him a whole new set of challenges to negotiate for the character and a fresh energy in the stories and scenes.
“Moving forward and finding a way to reinvigorate and re-energize the show, I think it was definitely a great storytelling turn to make at this point,” Hall said.
“This season feels as fresh and genuinely new as this show has ever felt, truly. And it has everything to do with the fact that his secret is not just his own now.”
Dexter returns to Showtime on September 30th 2012 at 9 p.m.. Stay tuned right here for our take on the season premiere.
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