New Season of ‘Dexter’ Is the Beginning of the End

The end is near (clockwise from upper left): Michael C. Hall as Dexter, Jennifer Carpenter as sister Deb, newcomer Charlotte Rampling, and David Zayas as Batista (Photos: Showtime)

What now?

That’s the open-ended question about “Dexter” as the Showtime series with a serial-killer “hero” begins its eighth and final season (tonight — Sunday, June 30 — at 9/8c).

Why ask “what now”? Because after seven seasons of white-knuckle suspense, you have to wonder: What can the producers of this series possibly do to top — or, at the very least, continue — this series through another 12 episodes?

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Well, for starters, they’re introducing a new character this season. She’s Dr. Evelyn Vogel (played by British screen veteran Charlotte Rampling), a renowned expert on the psychology of serial killers — a widely published author on the subject and someone who, years before, maintained close ties with the Miami Police Department. In the season premiere of “Dexter,” she turns up in Miami after a long absence to help the MPD investigate yet another serial killer who has begun leaving his victims around the area. Among this killer’s modus operandi: He (or she) enjoys removing a specific part of his (or her) victims’ brains with a melon-baller.

As you’ll learn if you watch the premiere, among the relationships Dr. Vogel formed years earlier was one with Dexter’s father, Harry (James Remar), who apparently sought her counsel about his then-young son, Dexter.

Thus, you have this new character who knows just about everything about Dexter. The question is: What ramifications will this have for Dexter as the season proceeds?

Comcast Showtime subscribers: Click on the pic to watch last season’s finale of “Dexter”:

Michael C. Hall and Lauren Velez in last season's finale of "Dexter" (Photo: Showtime)

Running through the show, as usual, is the “threat” that Dexter — the serial killer who kills only other serial killers — will be exposed, if not by Dr. Vogel but by others such as Det. Angel Batista (David Zayas). He’s the one who will likely emerge to take up the investigation begun by the late Maria LaGuerta (Lauren Velez), who was killed at the end of last season when she was on the verge of exposing Dexter.

It’s the suspense surrounding Dexter that has always kept us glued to this show over the years, even when we felt the show’s storylines were verging on the implausible (if not ridiculous).

It’s at those moments of extreme suspense, when Dexter is babysitting his young son on the one hand and conspiring to go kill someone on the other, that you know you’ve never seen anything quite like “Dexter.”

The final season of “Dexter” begins Sunday night (June 30) at 9/8c on Showtime.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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