Despite a solid viewership as well as overall positive reviews from fans and critics, Dexter season eight is expected to be the last we see of the Bay Harbor Butcher. Showtime executives were interested in keeping the show on the air for season nine and beyond, but series producers opted to end Dexter on their terms – with one final storyline. The decision is obviously bittersweet for fans of the show but, even though we’ll surely miss the serial killer with a heart of gold, it’s better for everyone involved to see the series end on a high note – before Dexter becomes too convoluted or, worse yet, stale.

Dexter has seen plenty of intriguing story lines over the years but with an endpoint in sight, the writers successfully upped-the-ante last season – driving toward a rich closure for the character in season eight. Now, with only a few months left before the series premiere, Showtime is ramping up marketing for what is likely to be one of the most anticipated (and bloody) final seasons in cable history.

In the latest teaser trailer “The Full Picture” (which you can view above), Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall) reflects on recent events and admits that his attempts to become “more human” and gain control of his “Dark Passenger” have over-complicated his life. More people see “the full picture” than ever before – meaning that if Dexter intends to keep hunting and ritualistically executing other serial killers, he’s going to need to tie-up some loose ends.

In case you missed it, here’s the other season eight teaser (titled “Victims”) that was released a week back:

The remainder of this post will contain MAJOR SPOILERS for prior episodes of Dexter (seasons 1-7 to be exact). If you’re not all caught-up, PROCEED WITH CAUTION!

Dexter has taken-down an expansive gallery of killers – with Earth-shattering consequences. Yet, while the death of his wife Rita and loss of friend Brother Sam have caused Dexter to experience conflicting emotions, his actions in the season seven finale splattered blood onto the hands of his sister, Deb. In order to protect himself, Dexter had decided to ignore the strict code that had kept him safe (and free to kill) since he was a teenager by murdering an innocent person –  Captain Maria LaGuerta (who was hell-bent on uncovering Dexter’s secret). However, when Deborah suddenly interrupted Dexter in the act – she was forced to choose between killing LaGuerta or condemning her brother to prison.

Unable to turn on Dexter, Deb executed LaGuerta in cold blood.

As hinted in the teaser, the death of Maria LaGuerta leaves loose ends – giving friend and former lover, Angel Batista (David Zayas) and colleague Deputy Chief Thomas Matthews (Geoff Pierson) reason to suspect foul play. Recent casting reports also indicate the Dexter will be faced with two additional threats – a former cop turned private investigator, possibly hired by Angel, Matthews, or Maria (prior to her death), and yet another F.B.I. agent that specializes in profiling killers (likely to be keeping a close eye on the men and women of the Miami Metro Police Department).

Then, of course, there’s lady-serial killer Hannah McKay (Yvonne Strahovski), who was last seen placing a black orchid plant on Dexter’s doorstep – after escaping police custody. Unlike the band of police officers and private investigators set to pursue Dexter, it’s unclear at this point whether Hannah will ultimately be friend or foe in season eight. After digging into her backstory, the character has a lot more layers than Dexter’s season two black widow love-interest Lila West – meaning it’s possible that Hannah could learn to forgive. Still, Dexter and Hannah did not part on good terms. Could she be the one to kill Dexter Morgan – and free him from the Dark Passenger’s torment?

It’s hard to know for sure at this point. Let us know what you’d like to see happen in the comments and by voting in the poll below.

[poll id=”495″]

Dexter season 8 airs Sunday, June 30, on Showtime.

Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for more on Dexter as well as future movie, TV, and gaming news.