The Dark Passenger Returns: Previewing Season 8 of Dexter

Promotional photo for the final season of Dexter (Photo: Jim Fiscus/Showtime)

Everyone’s favourite blood spatter analysts and part-time serial killer returns Sunday for the first episode in the final season of Showtime’s critically acclaimed, wildly popular Dexter.

Spoilers Ahead: this is your one and only warning; we cannot be held responsible if you learn things you didn’t want to know by reading this awesome preview of Season 8.

We’ve been counting down to Sunday’s Season 8 premiere since things went sideways in that shipping container at the end of last season.

Just when you thought Dexter Morgan was caught dead to rights and about to be brought to justice, in walks Deb, gun drawn. Rather than listening to her commanding officer and taking our her adoptive brother/knife-wielding killer Dex, she puts a couple bullets in LaGuerta instead, setting up what should be an epic final season on Showtime and/or HBO Canada.

With the first epidose on the horizon, we thought it would be a good time to re-set the stage for you, remind you who is still hanging around Miami, introduce you to the new faces you’re going to see, and offer up a little speculation about how things may play out over the final 12 episodes of one of the best shows on television.

Familiar Faces

Dexter Morgan: our antihero is still leading a double life – forensic blood spatter expert for the Miami Metro Police Department by day, vindictive serial killer with some ethics by… well, whenever he needs to be, really.

He’s also “Dotting Daddy Dexter” some of the time as well, and from the Season 8 trailers/previews we’ve already watched 57 times, he could become “Dangerously Defensive Dexter” at some point this season.

Debra Morgan: adoptive sister of our leading man and lieutenant for Miami Metro’s Homicide Division, we ended last season with our female lead in tears after she opted to shoot her boss rather than her brother.

This season is lined up to be a doozy for Debra, as she grapples with her actions and Dexter’s extracurricular activities.

Harry Morgan: Debra’s biological father and Dexter’s adoptive dad, Harry was the cop who found Dexter at the scene of his mother’s murder, and the one who set him on the path of killing those who fall through the crack of the criminal justice system. He still comes to Dexter as a moral conscious, but his role has been less prominent in recent seasons as Dex has strayed from the “Code of Harry.”

Angel Batista: he hung up his badge at the end of last season, taking ownership of a beachfront bar instead, but you know he’s going to still be around this season. With long-standing ties to the Police department and his little sister serving as the nanny of Dexter’s son Harrison, there’s no way retirement means the end of Angel as one of the biggest secondary characters in South Beach.

Jamie Batista: Harrison’s nanny and Angel’s sister, Season 8 will probably be her most high profile season, after she was set up for a storyline at the close of Season 7. Her days of simply doting after Harrison

Joey Quinn: Homicide’s resident hound dog and screw up, Quinn spent Season 7 trying to “save” his stripper girlfriend from the Ukrainian mafia who operated the club she where she worked. Ultimately, he shot the club manager – claiming self-defense – and his lady-friend left him high and dry.

He closed out last season by sitting down for drinks with Batista’s sister, upping his “Not Cool, Quinn” total. Seriously? How are you going to hit on your ex-partner’s kid sister? Is no one off limits? Expect this to get spicy as the season progresses.

Hannah McKay: Last season, Hannah and Dexter fell in love over their shared affinity for killing people, and you thought they were a cute-yet-somewhat-creepy perfect couple, but it wasn’t meant to be.

Hannah tried to kill Deb, and admitted as much to Dexter, who turned around and helped his sister arrest her. While awaiting arraignment, she has a seizure in the courtroom, and escapes from the hospital. We know her character is coming back for the final season, but what impact she’ll have is up in the air, making Ms. McKay one of the biggest wild cards heading into Sunday’s premiere and Season 8 as a whole.

Captain Thomas Matthews: The former and apparently new Captain in the Homicide Department following the death of LaGuerta, Matthews was Harry Morgan’s superior office, and always tried to help his kids after his death.

Last season, LaGuerta approached the retired Matthews with suspicions that Dexter was “The Bay Harbor Butcher,” and Matthews agreed to help her investigate provided she restores his full pension. He tipped off Dexter to LaGuerta’s investigation, but if he’s back in the fold full-time, who knows what to expect from the politically minded, out-for-himself Matthews in Season 8.

What’s Going to Happen?

The best part about watching a killer show (pun very much intended) as it creeps towards its ultimate end is that the writers could take it down all kinds of twists and turns before hitting the end of the road.

A Debra-centric preview came out not to long ago, and it’s clear that she’s in for one hell of a season, complete with drug and alcohol binges, random hook-ups, and plenty of messed up feelings about her adoptive brother. The big question is will she turn in Dexter?

As for our antihero himself, he’s sure to have plenty to deal with, as always. Besides his fractured relationship with Deb, his ex-girlfriend is on the lam, and there will be a neuro-psychiatrist who specializes in psychopaths hanging around Miami Metro this season. Add in the usual assortment of bad men doing bad things, and Dexter is sure to have his hands full from S8E1 through “The Last Episode.”

My pre-season guess as someone who has watched every episode of every season at least twice (and owns every season on DVD because I’m a huge Dexter nerd), Debra won’t turn Dexter in; they’ll ultimately reconcile and this thing will end the only way it can – with Dexter’s final victim being…

On second thought, why don’t we just wait and see what happens together?

Join us here at every Monday for Dutifully Dissecting Dexter, your weekly breakdown of what happened in the last episode and where things might head next.

Tags: Dexter

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