12/17/2012 02:04 pm ET

'Dexter' Season 8: Executive Producer Scott Buck On What's Next After Shocking Season 7 Finale

The "Dexter" Season 7 finale took a shocking and unsettling turn when Dexter and Deb murdered Miami Metro Homicide Captain Maria LaGuerta. In the above video interview with Showtime, "Dexter" executive producer Scott Buck looked ahead to Season 8 and reflected on what Dexter breaking his code -- and pulling Deb into his murderous web -- means for the show's end-game.

"It was very difficult to end the life of LaGuerta. But it felt very important in the evolution of the show and in Dexter's character. We had to make him legitimate as a serial killer, not just a superhero," Buck said.

Looking ahead, he previewed the consequences that LaGuerta's death will have on the show's characters. "Lauren Velez as LaGuerta is leaving a big hole right in the middle of the show, and we're actually not looking to fill it. We want to feel the damage that Dexter has done. What I'm finding interesting about Season 8 is that we're beginning to explore his origin. We'll see new parts of Dexter that we weren't aware existed."

In a separate interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Buck added, "I think it's the beginning of the end for Dexter." He also noted that while the show's producers are writing Season 8 as if it will be the series finale, they haven't yet received final confirmation from Showtime that it will be." He called the series' widely-assumed end-point "a Showtime decision" and said, "If we get told otherwise somewhere along the way, we'll take it in a different direction but we are definitely working toward the finale of the series."

Buck also clarified to TV Line that the black orchid that Hannah left on Dexter's doorstep was meant to be taken "as an ominous goodbye" that signified her plans to take revenge, and told THR that he's hopeful Yvonne Strahovski will return to the show next season, although her contract has not yet been signed.

Dexter Season 7 Photos

What did you think of the "Dexter" finale? Do you think Dexter has to go down in Season 8? Share your thoughts and theories in the comments.