Sep. 13, 2013 at 8:37 AM ET
With just two episodes remaining on "Dexter," the cast and producers gathered at PaleyFest in Beverly Hills Thursday night to bid farewell — and celebrate the hit serial killer drama's eight seasons.
It's been a great run for the show, but it seems a fairy-tale ending is not in the cards for its titular antihero.
"I don't believe a serial killer can walk happily into the sunset," showrunner Scott Buck told TODAY before joining the others on stage. "Otherwise, I would feel very uncomfortable about sending that message out that serial killers are great, they're fantastic and deserve happiness."
Buck laughed off rumors of a "Dexter" spin-off, but C.S. Lee — who plays Masuka, the forensics investigator who has openly lusted for Debra Morgan from the beginning — joked that the sequel already has a premise and title: "The Masukas," about Vince and Deb "raising our daughter." (He also "revealed" that "Dexter" concludes with Masuka and Deb's wedding ceremony.)
But when Jennifer Carpenter was asked about her interest in a "Dexter" spin-off, her reply was much more candid — and ominous:
"I played Deb from start to finish," she said.
Both Carpenter and Yvonne Strahovski, who plays femme fatale Hannah McKay, predict that not all fans will love the series finale.
"I was surprised," Strahovski told TODAY. "It's definitely emotional and unexpected. You'll see mixed reactions, I'm sure."
"Some (fans) will (be happy), some won't, and some will be somewhere in the middle," agreed Carpenter. "I'm happy and that's all that matters," she said before adding with a laugh, "I'm kidding!"
Desmond Harrington was especially coy about his last scenes as Det. Quinn — and a romantic reunion with Deb. "They're working together and they're hugging and stuff." When pressed by TODAY, he just laughed and said, "We don't speak of such things."
It seems safe to assume that Quinn will be involved in what Geoff Pierson called "a pretty dramatic scene" in the finale.
"There was an emergency incident where all the cops got together," the actor said about his last scene as Capt. Matthews — who might be smarter than we've given him credit for.
"There was always the possibility that Matthews might have known a lot since Dexter's father was my partner, but he's not letting on," said Pierson. "And I think that remains to be seen whether any of it's actually going to come out."
Before the PaleyFest panel, Showtime premiered a highlight reel of "Dexter's" 96 episodes and many of the character's particular kills.
"I think the biggest regrets Dexter has are the people he has killed as an accessory," Michael C. Hall told TODAY, "the people who died because of the messes that he's made (or those who) weren't Code-worthy."
So did the Code die along with Vogel in the last episode?
"In some ways I suppose it did, inasmuch as she really is the one who initiated it," he mused to TODAY. "The Code is buried under a lot of wreckage at this point, but I don't think it's dead."
Despite "Dexter's" dark subject matter, Hall learned that his character's avenging angel has been a big draw for family viewers: "Somehow the simulation of arguably justified serial murder (brought) people together."
See if viewers are united or divided about the end as the final episodes of "Dexter" air Sundays at 9 p.m.