'Dexter' series finale: The cast reflects on the past 8 seasons, picks their favorite moments, and pitches possible spinoff ideas

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We've spent eight seasons riding along with Dexter's Dark Passenger, and come this Sunday (Sept. 22), we will have to say our final goodbyes as the "Dexter" series finale airs at 9 p.m. ET on Showtime.

We have watched Dexter transform from a true psychopathic murderer into a semi-functioning, real human being with emotions via his connections with his family and loved ones -- though he still can't shake that pesky need to kill. But when the series first aired eight years ago, none of the stars ever imagined the show would continue on for this long and come this far.

"I thought that if we got the tone right it would develop some sort of cult following, but not as big of a cult as it's become," series star Michael C. Hall tells Zap2it. "I had just done a series that was very successful that went on for five seasons and I couldn't imagine 'Dexter' going any longer than that. So no, it's been a bit more deluxe than I anticipated."

Hall's cast mate C.S. Lee, who has played the pervy, wise-cracking lab technician Masuka since the beginning, agrees that though the cast knew the show was different and original, no one imagined it continuing for as long as it has. "I didn't think it would come this far but I knew that it was something special. It was nothing like I'd ever read before or seen. After I did the pilot with my cast mates I knew we had something special," Lee tells Zap2it. "Dexter was the beginning of the big wave of antiheroes that came post-'Sopranos.' It's a great feeling to be a part of that wave."

Geoff Pierson, who has played Deputy Chief Tom Matthews for all eight seasons, feels honored to have been a part of a huge pop culture event such as "Dexter." "It's been a real kick," Pierson tells Zap2it. "There are so many jobs you do over and over, but it's a rare thing in this business to get one that becomes this successful and popular, controversial, talked about, so it's a real thrill to be a part of it."

James Remar, who has played Dexter's late father Harry Morgan in flashbacks for all eight seasons, wishes the series could have continued on after this season. "I really didn't see it coming this far, and I believe that's probably the standard answer. This was something that was a wild horse, one that we rode until it dropped," Remar tells Zap2it. "'Dexter' is over, and it's not the greatest feeling. A lot of people love 'Dexter,' and 'Dexter' could continue to steam along but powers greater than myself make these decisions. I think 'Dexter' could have steamed along for quite a while."

Unfortunately for Remar and fans, the series will come to a final and definitive end on Sunday night, and according to executive producer Sara Colleton, the ending has been mapped out since the beginning. "Eight years ago when we were talking about the series as a whole, this was always arced out as where we would end," Colleton tells Zap2it. "We ended up going eight years rather than seven but two years ago we arced out these last two years and this was always where we were going to end. We knew exactly where it was going to end. [Executive producers] Scott Buck and Manny Coto just absolutely nailed it. It was everything I had ever hoped it would be. It was heartbreaking but right."

While Colleton understands that they can't please every single fan, she thinks the way the series will end is right. "I know that some of them will feel that it's right, and some of them will be unhappy. I just hope that most of them feel that it's right for the series, that it's right for the eight years they've invested in Dexter's journey, that this feels like the right ending," Colleton says. "But I don't know because endings now, these finales are fraught with such pressure that it's so stressful to even think about. But we don't hold back any punches and it's very emotional. It's honest and it's true and it's where we've been heading since day one."

Lee isn't worried about pleasing all of the fans, as long as some of the fans enjoy the finale. "It's always tough with the series finale," Lee says. "There's always some people who don't like it, and there's always people who love it. So if it's 50/50, then I think it's a great finale."

When asked to pick their favorite moments from the entire series, most of the stars couldn't pick just one. Remar, however, had his answer at the ready. "There was one scene I did with Michael in either the second or third season," Remar says. "We did a scene where I was actually dressed in the killing outfit, the stalking outfit. And we talked for a bit about how distance between people can be vast despite how close they are. It was a very powerful scene that I loved very much. It's my favorite scene if I had to pick one."

Hall couldn't pick his favorite moment, but he did reveal what props he took home after shooting wrapped. "I took Dexter's lanyard, his ID badge, the watch that he wore. Those were props that lived with me throughout the life of the show," Hall says. "I also was presented with four of the blood spatter images from Dexter's lab on the long rectangular matting that are beautiful. But I'm not sure where I'll put them. And I got a section of the railing from Dexter's apartment. That's leaning against a wall in my garage."

Though "Dexter" is coming to an end, there have been rumors of a possible spinoff circling ever since Showtime's Entertainment President David Nevins teased it at the Summer Press Tour in July. Pointing to the two-year development deal he just made with Buck, Nevins told reporters with a smile, "draw your own conclusions." When asked to pitch possible spinoff ideas, all the stars had the same idea: a comedy revolving around Masuka. "Hijinks in the crime lab," Pierson says.

Lee was definitely interested in a spinoff about Masuka as long as it offered something new. "I'd certainly be interested. It just depends on how it's written and how it's portrayed," Lee says. "I would like to see things that are unpredictable and surprising, things that are non-stereotypical, things that people haven't seen before, because honestly audiences are smart. You can't give them the same meals nowadays. There's a lot of great TV right now on the air so it's got to be a good show. A smart show."

Before any spinoff can develop, however, the series must come to an end, which Hall promises will be shocking and entertaining. "No matter how hard Dexter tries, he's like Al Pacino in 'The Godfather III': He keeps getting sucked back in," Hall says. "One thing I've admired about Dexter is his ability to make decisive choices amidst chaos and his life is more chaotic than it's ever been. I think part of the fun of watching [the finale] is to see what he'll decide to do. Because he'll decide something."

The "Dexter" series finale airs at 9 p.m. ET on Showtime.

Photo/Video credit: Randy Tepper/Showtime
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