Showtime's Dexter may be a show with a serial killer at the center, but series executive producer Sara Colleton doesn't like to think of it as a "serial killer show." Like us, she considers its importance much deeper on a psychological level. This is why the final few episodes of the series see Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall) struggling with choices and change, rather than tracking a big bad for his table like in seasons' past.
"In ["Goodbye Miami"] you saw more than ever before the dilemma for Dexter of wanting to be a human being because human beings are filled with hesitation, with anxiety, and for the first time ever Dexter said 'Should I go; should I stay; should I go; should I stay? I want to run off with Hannah, and yet the Code tells me I need to take care of Saxon'...He hesitates for one minute and hell breaks loose, so that was the real wake-up call," Colleton said when we caught up with her in Los Angeles.
In a symbolic way, Dexter found himself reborn in blood in that very same episode. Once a little baby crying, sitting in a pool of his biological mother's blood in a cargo box, now he was a grown man, hugging his mother figure's dead body to his chest, on the verge of the most real emotion we've ever seen from him. Colleton noted that this "sense of defeat and rage and inevitability that this is my life" is what drove him to hunt down Saxon for real, and to even allow his sister to be involved in that part of his life for a moment. His changing his mind at the last possible second, though, came from his deep desire to "try to change" that has driven him for the latter half of this season, per Colleton.
"I could tell you from year to year what theme-- what aspect of human behavior we wanted Dexter to explore, to try on, so that bit by bit he built himself to the point where he's thinking is there some stronger urge in me than the Dark Passenger," Colleton said.
Even when faced with the ramifications of his choice at the top of the series finale, Dexter's commitment to this new, brighter part of him will stay strong.
"We stuck to our guns, and we tracked his behavior. We never arbitrarily changed his behavior, and we watched this person grow, and I think through Dexter it's always been a catalyst for the audience to observe and process their own morals and their own human behavior," Colleton said.
"Looking back I wouldn't change anything."
Dexter will air its series finale on September 22 2013 at 9 p.m. only on Showtime.
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