[Spoilers ahead] After a two-year slump — also known as Lumen and DDK — Dexter returned to form with a seventh season that was not only entertaining but also ballsy. Haters are gonna hate, but come on: Deb finally caught Dexter; Dexter fell in love; LaGuerta realized Doakes was not the Bay Harbor Butcher. And, in last night's finale, Deb murdered LaGuerta! What more do you want? Vulture spoke to Scott Buck (who took over as showrunner last year) to go over some of the finer points of this season and talk about what's next for the series.
Last season ended with a cliffhanger, but this season there was a definitive conclusion: LaGuerta is dead, Deb killed her, life as the Morgans know it is over. It seemed like a fitting way to wrap a season that was overall much faster-paced than usual. Were you giving viewers what they wanted in that respect — a quicker pace?
David Nevins, who’s now heading up Showtime, encouraged us at the beginning of this season to burn through the story, go as fast as we want. And that sort of gave us the freedom to tell the season exactly the way we wanted to.
Did knowing that next season is your last help?
It might be the last. That hasn’t been announced yet. We’ve been picked up for one more season, but whether that is the last one or not has not yet been determined.
Was having Deb kill LaGuerta a way to bring her and Dexter closer for next season, because now she is a killer, too?
Whether it brings them closer or pushes them apart will be the story that we’ll be telling next year, because it certainly bonds them but not necessarily in the most positive way.
You could have written the ending differently — have Deb leave the room and let Dexter kill LaGuerta, for example. Why was it important to have her kill LaGuerta?
I think the story that we were telling for Deb this year was about, once she decided not to arrest Dexter in that church, it put her on a very dark path. And if you’re going to side with Dexter, this is ultimately where it’s going to lead you.
Was there concern that this was out of character for her?
I don’t think we felt it was out of character because unlike any kill that Dexter does, this one was done out of love to protect someone that she cared about.
There was backlash last year to Deb being in love with Dexter. And at first, I was very uncomfortable with it, too. Yet the end last night’s episode, I found myself wanting them to be together. Was that an emotion you were hoping to evoke? Is a romance between them still on the table?
I think Deb’s feelings for her brother are extremely complicated and always have been, and this only complicates them further. I don’t think she’s going to suddenly stop loving her brother, but I think she all along knew the romantic relationship between the two of them was sort of impossible, and I think this will just make it potentially that much more difficult. And I think the more she gets to know her brother, the more her feelings toward him change and evolve, so I’m not sure at the end of this season if she harbors any romantic feelings for Dexter. I would kind of think not.
Season six wasn’t totally well-received, but there was a pretty positive response to this season. Now that you’ve had some distance from six and some feedback on seven, do you have any theories on why this one worked out better? And is there anything you would’ve done differently on six?
I think the season just focused more squarely on relationships; we were not afraid to pull out some of the big guns and do stories that we had been wanting to do for quite a while, whereas I think in season six, I felt like we were in a little bit of a holding pattern, we were afraid to take any big leaps forward with the show.
Okay, last one: Why does Dexter often wind up with pretty blondes who have been abused by men?
[Laughs.] That’s a good question. You’ll have to ask our shrink that.
read the interview in full at the source