Dexter is getting the band(saw) back together for an all new season on Showtime. The cast and producers held a panel as a part of virtual Comic-Con@Home to discuss the upcoming season, which premieres on November 7th. Among the things discussed were the infamous season 8 finale and what to expect with the new episodes.
On the panel were original showrunners Clyde Phillips and Scott Reynolds, director Marcos Siega, and cast members Michael C. Hall and Julia Jones. Jones plays Dexter’s love interest Angela, who is the sheriff of the small town that Dexter lives in.
The panel opened with a discussion about the reason for the new episodes. Hall noted that fans had found the finale “mystifying at best.” Phillips added more context to that surprising ending when he said that Deb’s shooting had broken Dexter. Hall pointed out that he believed the audience had also been confounded by the decision to end the show on Dexter’s face. “Dexter didn’t say anything,” Hall noted. In the first teaser trailer for the new season, Dexter smiled at the camera. Hall said he believed that was a way to say, “Hello. I’m back.”
Phillips added that he had wanted to revisit and redefine both the ending and the legacy of the show. Over the years Hall and Phillips had talked about ideas, but nothing had worked. However, in July 2019, Showtime approached Phillips about new episodes, and Phillips and Hall finally hashed out a storyline they liked.
WHERE ARE WE?
When we last saw Dexter, he was sitting quietly in lumberjack clothing. Per Hall, since then, Dexter has continued to live his life over the past decade in a long, protracted penance for his unintended victims. Living in a small town under the name Jim Lindsay (in a nod to the author of the original novel), Dexter is keeping his dark passenger in check. As Jim, Dexter is romantically involved with Angela, the town sheriff. “[Angela has] a lot going on. She’s a wonderful mark, and she’s dynamic,” said Julia Jones.
But is Dexter truly back if he is not killing? Hall noted that Dexter’s newfound restraint from killing is kind of his new power trip. “If in fact [Dexter] hasn’t been killing,” Hall added. Will we see a less blood-soaked Dexter? “The show is called Dexter. Somebody is going to die,” Phillips said.
In addition to the return of Philips and Reynolds, Marcos Siega will return as director. Siega directed 6 of the 10 episodes, and he directed them simultaneously. In addition to having to direct around the cold weather of Massachusetts for the outdoor shots, the indoor material overlaps. “It was a bit of a puzzle in keeping that consistent,” Reynolds explained. It included shooting material from episodes 1 and 10 in the same day sometimes. However, Siega and Reynolds said that the outdoor shooting had been the most intense 50 days of production they had ever experienced, but also the most fun.
What was it like to inhabit the character of Dexter once more? “It was strange, but mostly in how strange it didn’t feel,” Hall said. Hall added that shooting in the cold had helped him relocate the character internally. As for the physical change of location, did that mean Dexter would be the only familiar face? Phillips promised, “[There] will be returning cast members from the original series that will make some people’s brains explode.” Though no cast members were confirmed, the showrunners did note that more than one former cast member had been consulted about a return.
Phillips and Reynolds explained that they had determined the end of the season and then worked backward to fill in the holes. That should give the season a more cohesive feel. “The ending of the show will be stunning, shocking, surprising, unexpected, and will, I can say without jinxing anything, I will say that the ending of this new season we’re doing will blow up the internet,” Phillips teased. Judging by Hall’s laughter, that could either be a joke about explosions or one hell of a promise to deliver the goods. It looks like we will find out when the show starts airing November 7th.
ODDS & EGGS
- They shot using the new COVID protocols, but as moderator Kristin dos Santos noted, with Dexter’s PPE and setup, “The Kill table has always been COVID safe.”
- In the new trailer, Dexter is in therapy. I guess without a show to narrate, Dexter got lonely for a fresh ear the last 8 years.
- Phillips says the genius of Hall’s portrayal of the character is that he will often ask “Can I do less?” in successive takes.
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