Details on the plot of the upcoming sixth season of Dexter have been scarce for the most part. With the exception of some vague character descriptions for guest stars and recurring roles, there hasn’t been much in the way of what we might be able to expect from Season 6, which premieres this fall… until today.Spoilers and speculation ahead!

Entertainment Weekly sat down with Dexter executive producer and the new showrunner for the series Scott Buck and got some interesting details about the upcoming season.

In terms of the overall theme of the season, Buck poses the question, “What does it mean when a serial killer goes on a spiritual search?” It appears Dexter will be doing a bit of self-exploration in his approach to raising his son.

Dexter (Michael C. Hall) has always known what he doesn’t want to pass onto his son — his “dark passenger” — but now he’s beginning to ask what he does want to pass on. So that’s forcing him to look around to see what else there is in life.

Buck goes on to say that Dexter is going to be very strong and sure of himself this season. “He’s very centered, strong and focused, much the same way he was in season 1, but now he knows so much more. He’s a much more self-assured person. A more evolved serial killer.”

That statement certainly fits with the recently released teaser, which brands Dexter renewed, recharged and refocused. If Season 5 was about coping with Rita’s death and his involvement in what happened to her, it sounds like Season 6 has Dexter back on track and ready to return to what he does best. A return to Season 1 Dexter is something Buck talked about in response to a question about the format of the series. “Last season, Dexter went down a very dark path and we’re trying to find our way back to the Dexter we knew in season 1. So we’re going back to our original format in a lot of ways, but also trying to absorb what we’ve learned along the way.”

If the writers can succeed in taking what was great about the earlier seasons and combine it to the best of what we’ve seen in the later seasons, Season 6 could very well turn out to be the best season yet.

Edward James Olmos is set to play a religious studies professor. Buck says he becomes “a big person of interest in some crimes that are being committed in Miami.” Buck describes these crimes as the biggest crimes shown in the show and the person committing them falls in like with the Zodiac Killer. “He kills people with great conviction.” Sounds a bit like Dexter. Although, Buck says the killer think he’s in the right, which differs from Dexter. Code or no code, Dexter knows he’s a monster.

Here’s the bigger spoiler on Olmos. From the way Buck talks about his character, Professor Gellar, it appears there isn’t any doubt that he’s the killer.

Professor Gellar definitely feels like he’s killing for a reason, and Dexter is very, very curious to know what exactly that reason is, and to try to understand it in some way. It’s very intriguing and baffling, and it doesn’t make sense to Dexter.

As a longtime fan of Olmos, especially his portrayal of Adama on BSG (So say we all!), I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, I have no doubt Olmos is capable of playing a scary murderer. On the other hand, I’m afraid seeing him with a creepy kill-face expression may tarnish my image of the one of my favorite BSG characters. Eh, small price to pay if this turns out to be a great season.

As for Colin Hanks, he’s playing Travis Marshall, a close acquaintance (which I think translates to “friend”) of Professor Gellar. They work together and from the sounds of it, Travis has been drawn in by Gellar’s charismatic nature, which could mean some involvement in the man’s crimes:

Travis has absolutely no interest or inclination to hurt anyone, yet he’s also someone who’s strongly driven by a belief system that compels him to do things he doesn’t necessarily want to do.

When dealing with a show that involves murderers, one of the things Dexter does better than so many other dark/violent shows is create interesting motivations for the villains. If Travis is or does become directly involved in the killings, the idea that he does it to please his professional superior is much more interesting than if he was involved because he enjoyed it. It sounds comparable to the woman in Season 5 who aided Jordan Chase in his crimes despite having once been one of his victims. There’s a twistiness to that, which is intriguing and less predictable.

EW’s interview with Buck has more details on the other guest stars, including Mos, who plays a religious ex-con, and Aimee Garcia’s character Jamie (playing Angel’s sisters/Harrison’s new nanny).

Buck also talked a bit about Deb. He wouldn’t say if or when Deb will find out about Dexter, but he did talk about some changes happening for her:

I’ve already seen people online guessing what they think Deb’s story is going to be, and so far everyone is completely wrong. They always look at the guest cast and [wonder], “What wrong person is she going to fall in love with?” and we’re just not going in that direction at all this year. It’s a journey of a very different nature this year for Deb. There are big career changes as well as big personal changes for her.

I wonder if anyone’s guessed that she might be pregnant in Season 6? That’s my random bit of speculation for Deb and it would certainly fall under “big personal changes” and “career changes.” I’m picturing Deb, surprise-pregnant with Quinn’s baby, and stuck on desk-duty (sneaking out occasionally to do some leg-work). She’s already prone to outbursts and fits of angry swearing. Picture that with the added hormones brought by a pregnancy. Deb-squared.

Read the full interview here

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