The eighth and final season of Dexter is nearly upon us. After a strong first trailer showcasing how serial killer Dexter Morgan's (Michael C. Hall) utter lack of empathy after the events of the Season 7 finale have led to his sister's Debra's (Jennifer Carpenter) downward spiral, several other trailers have teased the various aspects of how the final storyline will bring this saga to a close.
Now, we have an extended look at a new character first introduced to us in the official trailer for the new season. Veteran French actress Charlotte Rampling joins the cast as Dr. Evelyn Vogel, a neuropsychiatrist and expert on psychopaths, who is brought in to work with the Miami Police Department.
Dexter has always proven itself rather excellent at taking guest stars with an established persona and then flipping them around in shocking ways. Season 3 gave us Jimmy Smits as an Assistant District Attorney who was revealed to be dangerously insane. Season 4 featured the amazing John Lithgow as the Trinity Killer, whose shockingly personal attack on Dexter by the end of the season rocked the character to his foundation. Julia Stiles was nominated for an Emmy for her turn as Lumen Pierce, an equally damaged soul who Dexter lured to the dark side until she was eventually able to leave him.
Charlotte Rampling (Swimming Pool, Melancholia), while well-known in Europe, is something of a mystery to American audiences. With her presence in Miami something of a mystery as well - and likely having something to do with the new rash of killings the crew is investigating in the first trailer - Dexter worries that Dr. Vogel might be there for him.
As the author of several books on serial killers, she might indeed be in town to find some personal insight on the Bay Harbor Butcher. Longtime fans know that Dexter passed the blame for "The Bay Harbor Butcher's" discovered victims onto Sgt. Jame Doakes (Erik King), who was killed off at the end of season 2.
With other fine teaser trailers pointing toward Dexter's loss of control, the stakes for the final season couldn't be higher. With a conflicted Deb descending into addiction and anonymous sex, another monster out there in Miami to feed the "Dark Passenger" inside Dexter, and now the threat of Dr. Vogel (after all, what's more terrifying to Dexter than facing the inside of his own head?), this final season promises a swirl of chaos which will "leave fans bereaved," as Rampling says in the trailer above.
If monsters like Dexter truly are a "gift," as Dr. Vogel intones, could Dexter also be faced with the dilemma of "adapt or die" by the end of the story? Despite teases for a ninth season, this is it for our favorite serial-killing serial killer, and he's got quite a few loose ends to wrap up.
Dexter season 8 premieres on Showtime on June 30th, 2013 for the beginning of the end.