Sunday marks the beginning of the end: After seven seasons, a lot of secrets revealed (and some big ones still hidden), and buckets of blood, serial killer Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall), his sister, and his co-workers are about to begin their final 12 episodes, a run that promises big revelations not only for Dexter but also for everyone around him.
When we catch up with the Miami dwellers in the season premiere, sister Deb (Jennifer Carpenter) is angry and bitter after her murder of LaGuerta in the Season 7 finale, Dexter is trying desperately to shake Deb out of her despair, and a new presence at the Miami police station is about to rock both their worlds with new, devastating information about exactly how Dexter Morgan became Dexter Morgan, serial killer.
[Related: 10 of Our Favorite TV Serial Killers]
More changes afoot: Dexter's son, Harrison, is growing up (a new actor will play him in Season 8), and the woman whom Dexter trusts to care for Harrison — Jamie (Aimee Garcia), sister of his Miami PD co-worker Angel (David Zayas) — is in a steamy new relationship with … nah, no spoiling that one, but longtime "Dexter" viewers probably won't be too surprised by the pairing.
Garcia, who has also starred in "George Lopez," "Trauma," and "Vegas," talked to Yahoo! TV about the new season and how no one will be spared from knowing about Dexter's dark side this season, about taking charge of her character's sex scenes, and about how working with such talented actors has made it difficult to choose other projects.
How are you feeling about this being the final season?
That's where I am … it's bittersweet. I feel like it's family, and I love shooting with Michael and Jennifer and David and working with amazing writers and producers. It really all around is such a dream come true. I feel like I'm part of an all star team. That's definitely going to be hard to [leave]. It's like flying first class … how do you go back to flying coach?
Jamie's storyline has heated up this season. After her experience with creepy Louis last season, her love life is on the front burner this season.
It is! She's young, she basically has clothes falling off of her at all times, and she's in Miami, so love is definitely in the air for Jamie. (Laughing) The thing with her is, when I was trying to figure out who she was, because unlike everybody else, Jamie came in in the sixth season … I realized that she's very similar to [Angel] Batista. They're blood related. David's character is so likable and so relatable and so everyman. [Jamie's] also kind of "what you see is what you get." There are not a lot of characters like that [on this show]. I think that she's one of the few innocent characters in the show. She's one of the few characters who isn't involved with the law and isn't used to having blood on her hands or seeing blood on a daily basis. I took that role very seriously, because I think that Dexter would only entrust someone like that with his most prized possession, which is his kid.
But yeah, love is definitely in the air for her. Like any young grad student, I think she really goes all in. She's not one to leave one foot on the ground. She jumps right in with her heart and her soul … and her body, which we see. That's one of the things I love about Jamie, that she's educated and smart and cool … as you see in the season premiere — not to give too much away — I feel like sometimes when you see women in a sexual way, they're always kind of subservient. I thought, "You know what? Why can't women be like guys and just really enjoy the act?" We get there [to film the scene] and I'm like, Jamie's going to be on top, and she's just going to be having a blast. Why not? Why can't a girl be studious, academic oriented, but also happen to really love driving the train in the bedroom?
It's also a statement on her confidence level, which is notable, again, after dating Louis last season, who turned out to be super creepy. She seems determined to take charge in every area of her relationships this season. She won't get fooled again.
Exactly, exactly. It's just fun to see her be confident and yet vulnerable and in love, but still hold her own and call her boyfriend out whenever she thinks something doesn't seem right. I hope women relate to her, because I really feel like I know a lot of girls like this, where they're so great in so many different ways, but also obviously maybe have love goggles for guys that they love, maybe because the bedroom interaction is so great.
Go behind the scenes of the new season:
Angel and Jamie really are the most stable people in Dexter's life…
Oh, definitely. Not only do other people have their deep, dark secrets, but they have their suspicions about Dexter. [Angel] is the closest thing that Dexter has had, I think, to a best friend. Jamie is the closest thing that Dexter has right now to a wife and a mother to his child. I would say she is like the CEO of Dexter's personal life. He can't go out and have his extracurricular activity and be his best serial-killer self if he doesn't have his home life in order. We see Jamie going from basically his best friend's little sister to his nanny to his family. Last season, the only people who were with him for Christmas dinner were his kid, Hannah, and Jamie.
It's really important, I think, to see how far we've come over the course of eight years. Everyone at the beginning just saw Dexter as this doughnut loving, blood splatter geek who couldn't really get a date. Jamie still sees him that way. She sees him as the dad who reads "Everybody Poops" to Harrison and the guy who needs help getting a date. It's really sweet. If she only knew…
Jamie starts out the season in love and blissfully unaware of the truth about Dexter. What can you say about what happens with her the rest of the season?
We get to see more of who she is and what she stands for and how influential she really is on Dexter's only family members, which is Deb and Harrison. She's fun, and she's very fair, and you also see her go from zero to 180, especially with her brother. There are things that happen this season that really change Jamie for life … it's hard to hang out with the dark side and not slowly get dragged in.
What I love about a show like this is that no character is without a journey, and even though up until now Jamie is very innocent, and rainbows and sunshine, she definitely comes into the other world that is darkness in Dexter. So no one leaves the show unscathed.
How is working with Jadon Wells, the new actor playing Harrison?
Well, look, we all miss the twins [Evan and George Kruntchev]. They were so lovely. But Jadon is a consummate professional. The other day I was in the makeup chair with Jennifer, and we both look over, and in between us is little Jadon practicing his lines. We grabbed our sides and were like, "Oh my goodness, he's so professional!" He's constantly cracking us all up, and if any one of us… Let's say I bring in my ketchup in my right hand in one take, then for some reason I bring it in with my left on the next take, he's like, "I think you had it on your right before." He definitely keeps us all in check. He'll ask Michael, "Are we going to do [another take]? We've done it a lot." Michael will be like, "We have done it a lot. You're right, let's go on." He just riffs so well with Michael. And they look so similar. The resemblance is uncanny.
One of your first big post-"Dexter" projects is the "Robocop" remake that comes out next year. Whom do you play?
Yes, I shot that on hiatus. I had so much fun working with Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Joel Kinnaman; and everyone was just amazing.
I told Michael [C. Hall], "It's really hard to work with someone once you've worked with the best." I really think that Michael is one of the best actors, if not the best actor, of our generation … he's just incredible. I kept telling him, where do you go from here? Because acting to me is like tennis. You can only volley if someone's good, and you're only as good as someone you're playing with, someone you're acting with. I kept saying no to [other projects]. I said, unless they're at the level of Michael C. Hall, I don't want to work. I'd rather just do nothing. Finally, it was like, "How's Gary Oldman? Because you'd be in scenes and you'd play his assistant." I thought about it — Sid Vicious, Gary Oldman … I'm in. I felt so relaxed being able to volley with Gary and Joel. It was just great and fun, and I get to play a scientist.
The final season of "Dexter" premieres on Sunday, 6/30 at 9 PM on Showtime.
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