'Dexter' exclusive: Michael C. Hall talks about season 4's killer finale

Two days later, we’re still shaking. The season 4 finale of Dexter delivered a few jaw-dropping jolts — and one shocking death. We asked Golden Globe nominee Michael C. Hall, a.k.a. America’s favorite serial killer, Dexter Morgan, for his thoughts on the big twist and beyond. Let’s issue a SPOILER ALERT and cut right to it.

EW: What was your first reaction when you learned that Rita [Julie Benz] would be killed in the finale?

MH: I knew what was going to happen probably three or four weeks before it happened. As far as the how, that was much closer to the day of. I thought it was brilliant. I was really proud of the writers, and the network, for not backing away from so bold a step. It really propels us forward in a way that we wouldn’t have enjoyed otherwise. And what it could mean for the character is really wide open.

EW: This twist does open all sorts of possibilities. Will Dexter raise his son as a single dad? And just as he was showing signs of real humanity, does he now turn even darker?

MH: Does he shut the door on that? Is he like, “Well, it bit me in the a–. My father was right”? And if that’s the conclusion, what does that mean? I don’t necessarily mean to say that that will be the conclusion. It remains to be seen. It’s a difficult thing to wrap your imagination and mind around a trauma that severe. I don’t know what it’s going to do to the guy.

EW: What was it like to film the bathroom scene in which Dexter discovers Rita in the tub with Harrison nearby?

MH: It was tough. The fact is when you watch it, it’s sort of lyrical slo-mo, but the actual shooting of it was much more frantic and to the point. Coming in, seeing this baby in the blood, turning my head, seeing Rita there, realizing what’s happened, picking up the baby, leaving the room — it happened much more quickly than [how] the scene plays. But it was horrifying. It’s the kind of thing that only in its aftermath can you begin to deal with. In one way or another, Dexter will be reeling from it for a long time to come. But Julie in that tub was just heartbreaking — and the baby on the floor. It was very somber. And also very secretive. Some of the people on set had just gotten pages. So I think everyone was quietly in a private way processing what we were shooting, what this meant for the show, what this meant for Julie.

EW: Executive producer Clyde Phillips said that Julie  was “greatly disappointed” to learn the fate of her character.  Did you and Julie talk about that?

MH: We talked about her sadness at leaving, but when it came to the scenes, we knew we had a story to tell and we also didn’t want to do anything to telegraph it — not that you possibly could. I think it was beyond Dexter’s imagination that such a thing could happen. The last scene we shot together was the scene where Dexter tells Rita that he wants to believe that he can be his own master and be a master of his compulsion, so it felt like an appropriate way to say goodbye to that relationship…. [Julie] was really sacrificing her job for the story telling vitality of the show. I must say, my first reaction [to the big twist] was about Julie: “What is our family going to be like without her?” From a story telling standpoint it was a really bold idea, but as far as losing her as a member of ensemble, it was a blow for all of us.

EW: In that last conversation between Dexter and Rita, Dexter seemed as human as we’ve seen him.

MH: Had this season not ended the way it ended, there’s almost a sense that Dexter is entertaining the thought that maybe he’s going to get this out of his system. That if he kills Trinity, who’s left to kill? I think he’s entertaining the notion that maybe he’s done. [But] with this season ending the way it ends — and Dexter experiencing this appetite for vengeance that he can’t satiate — all bets are off on that front.

EW: What sticks out to you about the scene in which Dexter finally kills Trinity?

MH: It’s a scene that John [Lithgow] and I pretty much knew was coming. We definitely didn’t want the scene in any way to telegraph what Dexter would ultimately discover. We certainly wanted it to be unique among the kills. On the one hand Dexter is killing the most formidable target he’s ever come against, and there’s a sense of victory and pride that goes along with that. And yet while there’s a real repulsion to the Trinity Killer, there’s a simultaneous attraction and appetite for connection that goes throughout their relationship and maybe comes to a head when Dexter tries to get some counsel from him that he can’t receive from anyone else about how to move forward with his life. And just the twisted, everything-turned-on-its-head nature of that kind of plea in the midst of a scene where he’s going to take a hammer claw to the guy’s head was delicious. We tried to navigate all those twists and turns, and have the malice definitely there but not give short shrift to the real appetite for connection and counsel that was alive in Dexter. And of course for John it was the way he played what is revealed to be a double meaning through a lot of what he’s saying to Dexter was really fun for him, and obviously tremendously effective in his hands.

EW: What did you like most about the Trinity-Dexter relationship?

MH: Certainly the Trinity killer storyline went a long way in creating a sense of intrigue. He was without question the most formidable foe or target that Dexter had ever encountered, so that vitalized Dexter’s fundamental need to kill… I loved the levels of it — the subtextual levels, the fact that Dexter was presenting himself as something other than who he actually is, with the full knowledge that the Trinity Killer was doing the same, and yet there were still so many secrets for Dexter to uncover about Trinity. There were always things to be learned and these layers of intrigue beneath the surface. John and I had such a great time playing those scenes. He’s just so incredibly talented, nuanced in his work, intelligent, and he brings such a genuine sense of play to the table. I think he had a blast doing the show and really infected all of us with a sense of play and enthusiasm.

EW: Looking back at the season, what was your favorite scene?

MH: That’s a tough one… but that Thanksgiving episode was like the worst Thanksgiving ever captured on film. And it went horribly wrong [so] quickly. Obviously the son’s finger was broken and the daughter had hit on Dexter and the mother had been okay with it. A lot of seeds were planted. When we sat at that table and he said, “Shut up, c—,” to his wife — I mean, within thirty seconds I’ve got him on the floor with a knife saying, “I should have f—ing killed you when I had the chance!” That was a lot of fun. As far as the giddy laughter goes, it was probably higher that day than ever. We were just like, “This is so insane!” We had a really good time that day.

EW: How many more seasons of Dexter can there be?

MH: We’re definitely going to do one more — beyond that, I don’t know. This show is as popular as it’s ever been and I’m sure there’s a desire on the network’s part to keep that ball rolling, but I take these things one episode at a time…. This thing can’t go on indefinitely, and yet it’s gone on in ways that I never could have imagined, so I would like to believe that it can continue.

To read Michael Ausiello’s interview with Clyde Phillips about the finale, click here.

Photo credit: Showtime

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  • Melanie

    I have to say, this is one of the rare occassions when the television version far exceeds the original material. I loved the first two Dexter books, but I think the directions the writers of the tv series have taken are much more interesting than where Mr. Lindsey went with book 3.

    • Laci

      I couldn’t agree with you more. I read the first book after the first season ended (fearing I would spoil something) and it was the first time that I enjoyed the “hollywood” production more than the book. Granted the books lets the audience in more when it comes to Dexter’s internal thoughts and plotting, but it’s the sides stories that are lacking. I love how the series has developed these other characters with their own conflicts and story lines (minus the Batista-LaGuerta relationship this season. I could have done without that). I am also happy that they didn’t go with the first book’s ending and have Deb discover the Dark Passenger so early. I think the secrecy of the passenger on the show adds the suspense that keeps the audience thinking every single time he has someone on his kill table if someone will finally discover his secret. Fantastic season!

      • Hank Moody

        I agree that the Dexter finale was…..mind blowingly awesome. But what about the Californication finale? Three years of secrets just pertty much ruined Hank and Karen.

      • fox

        I hate this show and hate Duchovny in it. Him and his “sex addiction.” That’s the new age term for a cheater and to see him acting it out on tv is a bit ridiculous. The show has NO REDEEMING QUALITIES.

    • James

      Hmmm, I must disagree here. I admit, the series hooked me early–it’s the best thing on TV, right now. However, once I read the books, I was equally entranced by the way Lindsey has developed his story lines. I like the way Deb struggles with Dexter’s secret in the books, as well as the side-story of Cody and Astor’s “dark passengers”–I think these are wonderful side-angles that the show’s writers have dodged up to this point.

      I felt that Season Three’s story line of Dexter’s quest for a “kill-buddy” didn’t pay off nearly as well as the first two seasons. And, Lithgow’s portrayal of Trinity DEFINITELY made this season a winner.

      I can’t wait to see what the next season brings. I’d like to see a little of the books’ “children with dark passenger” storylines in the series (THAT would be bold, as well). And, I’d prefer to see the show’s writers give Jennifer Carpenter more in the Deb character than just another failed relationship—her long-term romance with Kyle in the books is FAR MORE interesting to me than her angsting over another screwed-up affair.

      The series and the books are equally fantastic, in my opinion. And I don’t mind IN THE LEAST that they are developing in different directions. Kudos to Jeff Lindsey for creating such a wonderful character. And, kudos to all involved in the series, for bringing such vital storytelling to the small screen.

      • Brooke

        One thing that makes me glad the books and show are different is that I feel like we get to see both choices play out – we get to see Deb knowing Dexter’s secret, and we also get to see her not knowing. We get to see Cody and Astor being trained like Harry trained Dexter, and we get to see them being normal. I kind of like that, it’s like there are 2 Dexters.

    • MK

      What is wrong with you people? A TV series about a serial killer? Really? This show makes serial killer romantic and likeable. How horrendous (sp) is that?

      • Nick

        @ MK.
        No, it doesn’t. That’s the point of the show. Almost every episode, he seems like the most normal character in the show and you end up rooting for him, and then near the end he’ll do or say something horribly twisted and warped, and you’ll be shaken up by the fact you were cheering on a serial killer.
        It’s an amazing show that plays with your psyche like very few other shows.

      • SunGodRa

        A TV show won’t change your values. If someone watches this and then goes out to kill someone, it has nothing to do with the show. That person would have done it anyway. No book or movie will make someone change who they are in that way. Just as no book or video is ever needed to be moral. They are reflections of our own inner values. People will focus on what they agree with sub-consciously, filtering out the stuff that doesn’t fit. This is a problem with most humans…

        The idea in the show is that it is someone who survived tragedy, lost his mind in a way, and then is seeking to survive and be as normal as he can.

        It’s an exaggeration of the darker side that we all have inside.

        They also never show any of the real details of the set-up or the kill – so a crazy person won’t learn any techniques. That is a common complaint with CSI as well.

      • jonan

        While it shows dexter to be more human than the people he kills he still understands his own evil. while he is likeable his actions definitely aren’t you know that was what season two was about completely… how much of the show have you watched before coming to this opinion?

      • Dave

        MK Its really an amazing show. I said the same thing at first and now it is my favorite show.You have to watch a few episodes and the appeal will sink in.

      • amj

        @mk: Have you seen the show? It is brilliant! Probably some of the best writing on television right now. And, it does not romanticize killing. The whole point is that Dexter is warped and his way to justify it is to kill other horrible people so as to keep some semblence of morals. The original concept threw me for a loop as well but within 2 episodes I was hooked and so was my husband. I even got friends hooked who believed they could never watch this show due to the blood and gore as that is not their thing but now they are into the show too. That is the beauty of the show, it sneaks up on you. And, yes, you do root for Dexter but like someone else said then you realize how messed up he is. And, you feel sorry for Dexter. This season finale was the most mind-blowing episode ever. I think the only thing that shocked me as much as this did was Season 2 finale of Weeds when the boyfriend had the DEA t-shirt on…

        Give the show a try, you might come to love it the way all of us have. The ability for Dexter to “feel” nothing and connect with people at the same time is fascinating.

      • Deb

        MK, have you never heard about someone getting away with murder on a “technicality” and thought, just for a moment, “someone needs to take him out”? NEVER? Well, I’m sure most people have.They would never actually do it, but the thought crosses the mind. Dexter shows what it would be like to cross that line, and brings the whole dichotomy of the death penalty in today’s society. Watching a show will not make anyone a serial killer any more than watching a show will make you a hot doctor or an international spy or cause you to discover hidden superpowers. Grow up, MK.

      • DiMi

        MK. 1) This show actually addresses issues of morality in a more complex and challenging way than any other show on television. It uses his serial killer status to address moral issues.
        2. It’s just a television show! It’s fiction. I’m tired of people trying to censor creativity and ideas. This show doesn’t hurt anybody; it challenges us. Stop being so literal.

      • DexLover

        If you’re going to criticize all Dexter fans for loving a serial killer, then you might as well criticize all Sopranos fans for loving a mafia boss and Weeds fans for loving a drug dealer. I think everyone who watches these shows can decipher the differences between the fictional stories and reality. Something that is necessary for all television shows, in fact.

      • GroverSage

        I love all the comments. Great discussion guys. Really!

        Forget about MK, because the focus of the show is to draw out the MK’S and show how THEY have created a society of Killers who call themselves pro life (you know what I mean).

      • kritch

        ..troll detected.

      • checabear

        its a fictional tv show..otherwise we would all be running around playing cowboys and indians.

      • Awk

        @MK The story telling device of making an audience sympathise with a character that they should otherwise abhor, has a long history and is very effective in creating tension for the watcher/reader – this is drama (see Polti’s list of 36 dramatic situations/plots). The character & dilemma of Dexter is not so far removed from the character of Roskolnikov in Dostoyevski’s Crime & Punishment, which has been a respected novel story for over 100 years, I don’t see anyone blaming it for creating a society of killers.

    • J

      DONT ANY OF YOU REALIZE THAT IT IS FREAKING IMPOSSIBLE FOR TRINITY TO HAVE KILLED RITA? Dexter put her in a cab and then went directly to the auto repair shop. When could trinity have killed her? it makes no sense. i want my money back.

      • jonan

        yes he puts her in the cab. rita realizes she forgot something at home returns dexter goes to the auto shop. trinity uses a different car to go to dexters house while dexter waits for trinity at the shop. stop bitching

      • J

        When Dexter arrived home, just before discovering Rita’s body, he checked his voicemail. In that voicemail Rita mentioned that she had to come back home to get her ID. She said that she was picking up her ID and then heading back out. So when he calls her back, he discovers that her purse, phone, etc were right in front of him in the house.

      • RS

        Who said the trinity killer killed her.

      • JLB

        How do you know that dexter wasn’t waiting a while for trinity at the dealership? obviously he would have to get there before trinity and the show never suggests how long before.

      • Ty

        Maybe I have to watch it again, but didn’t he go to the Mitchell’s House first after he sent Rita away? Rita comes back in that time, hello Trinity, omg they’re raiding the Mitchell’s! Dexter finds repair shop receipt, talks to Deb and then heads there? I think there was time.

      • Dave

        Maybe he didnt kill her. We will know for sure next season

      • Vanessa79

        Trinity kills Rita. Clyde Phillips comfirms it!
        Is Rita really dead?
        CLYDE PHILLIPS: Yes.

        Is Trinity really dead?
        PHILLIPS: Yes. Cut up and drifting in the Gulf Stream.

        Did Trinity kill Rita?
        PHILLIPS: Yes he did. That’s partly what he meant when he said: “It’s already over.”

        Dont believe it see for yourself.
        http://ausiellofiles.ew.com/2009/12/14/dexter-boss-confirms-timeline-goof/

      • Kiley

        Just for those of you who weren’t paying attention:

        Dexter went to the familie’s house looking for Trinity, who wasn’t there. Then Dexter was stuck at the house while the police raided it and took Arthur’s family away. Arthur had been gone from his house all day. Dexter left Rita early that morning, so really Trinity had from the time Dexter and Rita sent Cody and Aster off to Disneyland until the time Dexter found Arthur Miller along the highway. Really not a question of time.

      • fox

        kiley – that’s Arthur “mitchell” not miller, the playwright!

      • DiMi

        1. Trinity had plenty of time to kill Rita while Dexter was at his house looking for him and then tracking him to the auto dealers.

        2. However, Rita leaves the message about the moon, which means it had to happen at night so it the timing starts to make less sense.

      • Hannah

        Didn’t Rita just say, the moon is going to be beautiful tonight. Not that she was looking at it. I don’t remember exactly now. But I think that’s what she said. It just confuses you because Dexter is talking about how he hopes she’s looking at the moon too so you start thinking thats what she’s doing.

  • Lost or Dexter

    This was the best season yet of the best show on television. Period. Great job and here’s hoping that we get more than just 1 more season of this fantastic story. Dexter you are now better than Lost, but not by much.

    • Juan

      Speaking of Lost, I haven’t been this floored by an episode since that show’s season 3 finale (“Through the Looking Glass”). Where that episode displayed a full range of struggle (Jack beating the crap out of Ben), death (Charlie), hope (the possibility of the freigther) and mind bending possibilities (the first flashforward out of the island), this finale just brought gut-punching sadness. Very rare and very incredible (and well executed) step that the writers and producers took. Can’t laude it enough.

    • Elle

      J

      Watch the episode again. It times out perfectly. Trinity was killing Rita when Dexter and the cops were at his house.

  • Celia

    I love Michael C. Hall! He’s brilliant as Dexter and he definitely deserved that Golden Globe nomination. If he doesn’t win, then there’s something wrong with the world. Did Lithgow get nominated?? Because if he didn’t, that’s blasphemy.
    I agree with Michael about the decision to kill Rita. It was a brilliant move on the part of the writers and a very creative idea. They would’ve ended up stuck in a rut if they hadn’t done that. Her death gives them so many possibilities for the show.

    • rerun

      Lithgow did get nominated :)

      • checabear

        lithgow played the same character in a movie i believe its call raising cain. this serial killer persona is a rehash..

    • Biff

      dear Celia with the obvious lack of imagination – killing Rita so shockingly and brutally was not the ONLY option in order for them to take a new direction – ever thought maybe Dex, our HERO, could leave them in order to protect them??? Now that would have been brilliant and hopeful instead of the nasty, bleak, cynical mess we were all left with at the end of Sunday.

      • Yo

        Your name is “Biff”? No wonder you are so intelligent.

      • Celia

        Yeah well Dexter had fallen into a false sense of security and let his guard down and that resulted in Rita’s death. If he were ever going to leave his family to protect them then he would do it now. If Dexter had left Rita and the kids alone, that not only would have been boring, but there’s no way Debra and his friends would let him get a way with it.

      • Nick

        The “nasty, bleak, cynical, mess” you’re talking about has left a significantly longer-lasting impression in my mind than your proposed ending would have.
        Not only that, Celia’s right. There is no way Dexter could have just upped and left them credibly.

      • Dan

        I disagree that it was cynical. When I heard of a twist ending, I was expecting that Dex would let Trinity live. That he would tip Miami Metro and Trinity’s getaway would be thwarted, with Dexter’s first step toward a new leaf. That would have left us with a nice, happy ending, but also have been a little boring in comparison.

        This left far more of an impression and leaves far more of an impact on a character who was steadily working towards a normal life. Who does he have to lean on now? I don’t think it’s cynical at all. I think it was a natural consequence of Dexter’s wrecklessness, and I think they’ve thrown the doors wide open now.

        I can’t even imagine how the next season will begin and how that ending will affect how the characters look at Dexter. The implications for Deb and Dex alone, given what she knows are amazing.

      • Biff

        Yo, YO: Ever thought maybe my name is really Stephen Hawking and Biff is my pseudonym. That’s the name I use when I’m slumming with the riff-raff on blogs like these.

      • Brie

        No, Celia – we can’t be boring, can we. Dex can’t simply leave his family to protect them — we demand blood be spilt all over the place to make our sad little lives interesting and dramatic.

      • to Dan, Celia, Nick

        well, we can’t have the 3 of you bored to tears by Dex leaving his family to protect them or by Rita leaving him — we need to get our thrills vicariously by seeing gallons of blood split all over the place – that’s the kind of dramatic effect we need to shock us out of our mundane existence. YOu three should take up video games — it’s got that kind of edgy excitement you’re looking for.

      • kristen

        I think the most interesting thing for season 5 would have been Dexter trying to follow through with his oath to stop killing. Using the drug addiction analogy from season 2, think of it this way: what is more gripping, someone giving in to their urges all the time, or someone who tries to resist? The latter, in my experience. In fact, one of the main draws of this show (for me, at least) is that concept, in terms of Dexter’s emotions. He feels nothing… except. The times when Dexter’s visceral emotional side comes out make for the most gripping scenes in the show. Examples of this: when he sees the bloody crime scene left behind by the ice truck killer and is reminded of his mother’s death and faints; also, in season 2, when confronting his mother’s murderer. Also, the thanksgiving scene this season, when Dexter says, “I should have f–ing killed you when I had the chance,” and is later very upset.

        However, Right NOW, with Rita’s death, it would seem lame if Dexter tried to go cold turkey. Instead, I think he should be driven to recklessness by grief/whatever emotion he feels. Then Deb should find out the truth. Perfect ending.
        I swear, if this show ends without dexter getting caught, I will be so disappointed…
        Also, this season suffered from a Masuka deficiency.

      • kristen

        also, I think the ending was shocking, sure– but it seemed a little lame, like too obvious of a cliffhanger. I watch this show for the characters, not the plot. “Dexter” seemed to me to be a cut above (pun?!!) your normal television series, in that it didn’t rely on cheap viewer curiosity to draw in bigger numbers– the show usually relies on its dedicated fanbase’s personal investment in the characters.

      • Deb

        To “to Dan,Celia,Nick” :
        Dexter is a show aboutserail killers, death, and the havoc they wreak in people’s lives. If you’re looking for hearts, rainbows, kittens and tidy endings, what the heck are you watching THIS show for? You’re better suited for repeated “Pollyanna” viewings and repeats of “The Facts Of Life”!

      • Deb, you are a Moron

        really, is that your shallow capsulized version of what the show is about? And you translate what I’m saying into a tidy ending? The writers wanted a quick and easy way out. How much more challenging to write for a character whose humanity is developing and evolving. You are extremely shallow and a superficial d-bag..

      • yo,

        Typical american shows, all you do is chase ratings and dont give a S*** about how the audience feel.
        they cut shows that millions of people love and kill characters and f*ck up perfectlty good shows like dexter.
        to the writers and network I would like to say a
        BIG F*CK YOU!!!

      • @deb from an intelligent person

        I’ve had some sleep to think about it and I still think the ending was a complete cop out. Critics and fans alike are calling this development, “brave” and “brilliant.”
        Hell I’ve even seen Clyde Phillips admit in another interview that he doesn’t know where they’re going to take this development but it was necessary to “raise the bar.”
        Really? The more I think about the whole Rita death thing combined with the symmetry of Harrison being “born in blood,” I think it sucks hard.
        I’m not one of these TV viewers that can’t handle tough television. I loved the Shield and never flinched during its final season. Hell I totally loved the movie Se7en. Here’s the quote from the other article:
        Making such a definitive move like this made me think Phillips and company have an endgame in mind but that’s not the case. “We don’t know. It was (a big move) last year too. Dexter got married and had a baby. We just want to keep raising the bar to impossible standards and then raise those standards.”
        I call bullcrap. You’re going to kill off one of the only characters that makes you’re “lead serial killer” relatable and human and you don’t have any idea where you’re going with this?
        Other dramas like LOST, 24, BSG are constantly berated for “not having a plan,” or shark jumping. I’m now more convinced that this ending was thrown in for shock value. The writers and Clyde Phillips in particular had no clue where to go with Dexter the character or the people around him. So apparently when the writers room is in doubt they’ll just kill off a character.
        What are we supposed to take away from this show? Aren’t we supposed to be rooting for Dexter to change? Whether they realize it or not Dexter has been completely written into a corner. There is no hope. I’m sorry at this point if they don’t end the show with Dexter dead or being executed and his friends and what’s left of his family completely destroyed the entire story becomes ridiculous.
        I dare anyone to explain any other way to end this show now. It’s all completely black and void of any humanity. Again, I hope Phillips and crew have the balls to go to a really dark place with this but they probably wont because they’re just hacks that are making each episode

      • @deb-from an insightful person

        Hello Ratings-Grabbing WRITERS! I feel they have made a huge mistake killing Rita. Artistically they went way too far and it was almost unbearable for a lot of viewers to see Rita and the baby Harrison that way. Many of my friends and family couldn’t sleep that night not because it was a great show but because they were completely grossed out. I realize we have seen a lot of graphic sh*t on this show but killing the mother wife and beautiful spirit in Dexter’s life was really stupid. We became friends with Rita- most of us saw Rita as the one positive thing in Dexter’s life. It’s a show- people want to see some happiness for this man who has been emotionally shut off all of his life. I loved watching Dexter because it was awesome seeing justice being served! The finale was amazing until the very ending…it was disgusting and depressing. If I wanted to feel this way I would have watched Fox news. You writers have ruined the best part of the show for many!

      • Deb

        @ Deb you are a moron:
        Thank you for displaying your own Massengil-y ness. Since we don’t know where the writers are going next season (psychic, are we?), assuming that Rita’s death can’t contribute to Dexter’s growth is a cop-out of your own. Maybe it takes him to a deeper, darker place, maybe it makes him realize even more how he wants to tame the beast inside him and take care of what remains of his family. Honestly, for one thing, it’s a FRIGGIN’ TV SHOW, and for another, do you Mary Sunshines really think that the love of a good woman is going to change a SERIAL KILLER? Pull your head out of your butt. Love and babies do not a changed man make, even on TV.

      • Non Brain-Dead Viewer

        @Deb,
        Some of these commenters should really stick to watching “Jersey Shore” than trying to comprehend a complex show like Dexter, as evidenced by the ever classy “d-bag” commenter. When you don’t have a clue what you’re talking about, call someone a d-bag and run away in a huff. Actual d-bags have more intelligence than that poster.

      • Stephen King

        People want to be shocked with lots of blood and gore. They love it. Somehow it makes them feel good about their pathetic little lives. Don’t ask me how or why – it just is. That’s how I’ve made a fortune in this world.

      • Bye bye Rita

        Deb,

        You seem to be the only smart one in this bunch of idiots.

        I am glad they killed his wife. She was getting on my nerves with her idiotic nagging. Let the man do his job and get a life bitch.

  • jack hart

    My fav drama on tv now. I can’t wait till Next Sept.

    • dinop

      Dexter is amazing but let’s see what happens with the 3rd season of Breaking Bad. I’m not ready to give Dexter the “best show on tv” after the nauseating 2nd and 3rd seasons. I’ll admit it, season 4 was amazing.

  • Mike

    If it wasn’t Michael C Hall doing this role, I’m not sure if it would work so well. He’s a fantastic actor. Dexter and David Fisher are two very well written and acted characters.

    • deidra

      David Fisher?! Oh, how I loved Six Feet Under!!

      • Regi

        I loved Six Feet Under! And Michael C Hall was AMAZING in it also.

    • Vince

      YES! Well Written? Yes! Well Acted? Absolutley! What’s most amazing is how completley contrasting and different they are. David was a weak, easily scared tempremental gay man whereas Dexter Morgan is this emotionless killer. Michael C Hall is probably one of the best actors to be on TV over the past decade. How he hasn’t gotten an Emmey yet is beyond me..

    • Meeeee

      I had watched Dexter, then went and watched all of SFU and that tripped me out, then watched Dexter and that tripped me out.

    • ZT

      Stupid is as stupid posts.

      • Levi

        Always make the audience suffer as much as possible

    • Dave

      Lithgrow was INCREDIBLE in his part

      • brie

        yeah, I’ll never trust another white, aging, church-going, school-teaching, do-gooding Christian guy as long as I live!

    • amj

      Agreed, Michael C. Hall is truly amazing and willing to be risky with his choices! Please give him an Emmy already! He deserves it.

  • barbara baldini

    my favorite show michael C hall is great in this role and he is better than in 6 feet under. He is a great actor.

  • Kate

    Amazing finale. Michael C. Hall has been brilliant and overlooked way too long. I mean, I know Hugh Laurie’s great and all, but he just isn’t being asked to do the kinds of things Hall is pulling off effortlessly. I love the intelligence with which he discusses the material – I thought the same thing hearing Tina Fey talk about comedy.
    Sad to see Rita go, but think it was the perfect move for the show.

    And Celia, Lithgow is nominated. If he doesn’t win, I don’t understand what shows they’ve been watching. He was chilling and perfect all the way through.

    • Celia

      Agreed. Lithgow AND Michael better win those awards or I’m boycotting. I seriously don’t even know or care who else is nominated for actors in a tv drama because those two are the clear winners in my mind.

  • Lori

    Thinking towards next years plot…perhaps Dexter will be suspect in Rita’s death? No alibi for when she was killed since he was off killing Trinity.

    • Eric Anderson

      There will be a very big question, even if they decide this is a Trinity killing. If that’s where they go with it, the police are going to ask “Why Rita?” Coupled with the fact that Dexter was on the scene when Deb arrived at Trinity’s house, there are going to be some tricky spots to maneuver.

      • jen

        Did Dexter tell Aurthur about his experience in the cargo thingy with his mother? I might have missed that bit, but wouldnt Deb find it a bit suspicious when she finds out that Harrison was on the scene just like Dexter’s story especially since she’s still reeling from finding out the truth about that too…

      • Biff

        no, dex didn’t tell arthur much except he killed someone – he never went into details about the cargo and his mother etc.

    • drew

      that is exactly what i was thinking. how is he not going to be blamed. probably wont show much emotion no alibi. deb already was looking at him funny for being at arthurs house. arthur has to be on tape at the police station talking to dexter. debs partner definately thinks something is up with him. and masuka saw her kissing the neighbor

      • Montezuma

        That is why the writers have their jobs, and, I assume, are paid well!

        If it was cut and dry, and you could predict what will happen next, Dexter would not be very interesting.

        Or it is just me?

    • ZT

      No alibi for her death. If they try to pin it on Trinity, there will be NO way that he can avoid the obvious mess when Trinity’s family recognize him as ‘Kyle Butler’. People already suspect Dexter as being a bit off or possibly having an affair. Deborah is going to have doubts now that she is wrestling with the fact that his brother was the Ice Truck Killer. Big mess all around.

      • Charles

        I think Rita may just disappear. Dexter will be well aware of how this will look and create some alternative scenario where she dies in a different way or just goes missing.

      • Deb

        Charles, that would only fly if Trinity had left the scene all neat and tidy like his other tub kills. Rita’s blood is all over that bathroom…..the only way Dexter could hide that would be to demolish it and rebuild it, and that would not be the way to stave off suspicion.Trinity was out to screw him in more ways than one.

      • fox

        well, Deb – he could clean up the blood — god knows he’s used to doing that — then he could cut up and dispose of Rita’s body in his usual way — she would end up in garbage bags at the bottom of the harbour — would that be exciting enough for you???

      • Deb

        Luminol, fox……too many nooks and crannies for him to get it all. And from the amount of thought you put into it, it sounds like that chop her up scenario gives you a hard on. i’d prefer he just call it in to the cops and see where it goes from there, but I’m not the writer so I guess we’ll all see next September, huh? Those of us who aren’t full of false outrage and refuse to watch anymore, that is.

    • Maybe

      I think they will explain the Trinity picking Rita to kill connection, on Deb…Christine told Trinity who was on the case, and maybe he killed Dex’s family to get to the lead detective on the case…which was Deb?

    • Stepheng

      Great ending. I don’t know about all these people saying they were disturbed and won’t watch the next season (of course they’ll check in), the show is about a serial killer, its gonna be dark, it should be radically dark.

      Next Season’s predictions: Deb is gonna be supecting Dexter a bit, and she’ll probably get too close to uncovering him, Dexter will grapple with killing her, and might.

      Also: I don’t think the show’s premise is that believable. Dexter’s such an orderly, contained guy with a life, friends, girlfriend, he could keep a lid on killing, go cold turkey, whatever. He doesn’t NEED to kill. It’s like me not playing tennis anymore (I used to).

      The show kind of feigns to be inside the mind of a killer (Dexter’s voice overs), but its actually quite shallow psychologically.

      • amj

        Please…are you serious Dexter doesn’t need to kill. I see his friends, life, etc all built to allow him to kill. He chose a job that would make it easier for him to understand the forensic evidence he wants to keep from anyone noticing. And, the job also allows him to find his victims. His friends are cops that he wants to keep an eye on so he doesn’t get caught. And, his girlfriend he chose because she was messed up too and she fed his need to convince himself he could be different. If you saw the season-ender, Dexter needs to kills and it’s obvious he really enjoyed that one. The ritual in the scene with the music and the train set proved that he respected and admired Trinity as much as he knew he needed to be killed. That’s the whole point with Dexter, the “code” has allowed Dexter to be “normal” in order to cover his demons and his dark passenger. I totally get it. Let’s not forget that Dexter’s only real counsel after his tragic experience was Harry who basically taught him to be evil and normal. I don’t see it as shallow or contained at all. Dexter is far from contained, look at how he went off and landed himself in jail. Are we watching the same show?

  • Lion Cvet

    A great interview with a great set of questions to top off a great season. Absolutely loved it, eagerly awaiting the next installment.

  • Divad

    Unbelievable. I thought Dexter as a series was fading away with season 3. But four has brought me back to where I love to with T.V. -the edge of my seat!

    • Jeff

      4 was the deciding season for me on whether or not to keep watching. After Rita’s death (she was my favorite character), I’m not sticking around for 5.

      • KristopherR

        Rita…was your favorite character? No offense to Julie Benz, she’s beautiful, gorgeous, wonderful. She’s got a bright future ahead of her acting-wise. But with the ensemble full of wonderful actors and characters all around, RITA is your favorite? Because of her demise, you should be the first and foremost person to want to see what happens in season 5!

        But if you don’t watch, fine. We don’t need people who aren’t fans yet watch the show anyway to try and bring the rest of us down.

      • jonan

        you are not going to continue watching because the writers decided to do something brave and kill off a likeable person… you my friend are the reason normal networks suck. luckly showtime doesn’t really care

      • Celia

        Favorite characters die all the time. That’s no reason to stop watching the show. I can’t wait to see what they do next. They really topped themselves with season 4 and I really hope they do it again.

      • brie

        Big mistake killing Rita – Hello Ratings-Grabbing WRITERS! I feel they have made a huge mistake killing Rita. Artistically they went way too far and it was almost unbearable for a lot of viewers to see Rita and the baby Harrison that way. Many of my friends and family couldn’t sleep that night not because it was a great show but because they were completely grossed out. I realize we have seen a lot of graphic sh*t on this show but killing the mother wife and beautiful spirit in Dexter’s life was really stupid. We became friends with Rita- most of us saw Rita as the one positive thing in Dexter’s life. It’s a show- people want to see some happiness for this man who has been emotionally shut off all of his life. I loved watching Dexter because it was awesome seeing justice being served! The finale was amazing until the very ending…it was disgusting and depressing. If I wanted to feel this way I would have watched Fox news. You writers have ruined the best part of the show for many!

      • Jake

        Killing of Rita was a bad idea? Really? It’s almost like your saying “well the scene made me feel so bad, so the show must be bad”
        The writers made a BOLD choice that very few people saw coming, a choice that major network shows would NEVER make. Generally a network show will kill off a character because the actor doesn’t want to renew his/her contract or some technical reason. But this time they killed off a character because of plot and character development. Wow, epic, brilliant.

        Instead of focusing on what it made you feel, focus on how STRONGLY it made you feel, and ask yourself how often does a tv show bring up that strong of an emotion in ones self? Hardly ever. Of course it made you feel grossed out and disturbed… that’s how they WANTED you to feel. And the fact that you’re so disturbed at that scene that you almost don’t want to come back and watch just goes to prove how powerful that scene was. I couldn’t sleep very well that night because i kept going over that image in my head… and the idea of not being able to sleep because of a fictional television show… knowing fully well that Julie Benz is very much alive and very well off, but still in stitches thinking about her fictional character… that is just simply the work of brilliant television writing.

      • Adam

        I’m SO GLAD they killed Rita; I couldn’t stand her. For the last couple seasons, I would joke that she should die, and now, it’s actually happened! She was such a white-trash, single mother stereotype it got old really fast. Deb may be kind of a cop’s daughter stereotype, but at least she has some redeeming moments and struggles. There was no complexity or originality to Rita as there is with most the other characters, and she was part of the ‘main cast.’

      • fox

        celia – that’s a huge oversimplification of the situation “main characters die all the time.” I’d love to hear you explain death to one of your kids, “well kid, people die all the time.” Life must be so uncomplicated for you.

      • Non Brain-Dead Viewer

        Jonan, Celia, and Deb seem to be the few people with a grip on reality here………..

      • Non Brain-Dead Viewer

        Add Jake to the reality-grip club. Fox, (the poster, not the network) you are the Biggest Loser!

      • ?

        Anyone ever hear of a tragedy? Shakespeare is considered one of the best of all time and there weren’t many of his characters that survived. I may not agree with the guy saying they did it just to raise the bar, but I think this was the perfect way for it to end. Best finale I think I’ve ever seen, but I do have a thing for tragedies. I get pretty tired of hollywood gaying up every ending they come across. It is a story being told across these seasons. We find Dexter as a man who had thought he couldn’t feel, convinced himself of that fact, with a great deal of help from Harry telling him that he was a monster from the age of a small boy. The only way he could find to make sense of his life was to continue to do the only thing that seemed to keep him right, which Harry had pretty much let him believe, was to kill and hide. Some of us can kinda understand what he means when he says he doesnt feel what other people do: joy, sadness. if not to his extent. Learning of his mother affects him, maybe for the first time in a long time, he feels something. And then in the end he is forced to kill the only person that understands him to save one of the only people he does care for. He is shaken by this, he cries as after he kills his brother. I would say that is feeling something. So he begins to think that maybe he can feel, and if he can feel, he can change his ways. Then along comes leila? and the rehab and he finds someone who he thinks can see him, tryin to replace the chance he’d lost in his bro. He abandons rita because of this opportunity to be understood. And leila is teaching him how to feel again. but once leila threatens rita and the kids he realizes that he needs them and cares for them. after leila dies he finds another friend in miguel, which ends in disaster so he accepts the fact that its not his dark passenger he needs to find a friend for, but embrace his chance to be normal with rita. Triniy gives him hope that he can be both at first, but slowly understands that Trinity is more lost than he is. and we also see him realize that he is in love with rita. that he really wants to be with her and she is no longer just a front. He decides that Harry was wrong and that he can have a family and maybe become normal with their help and love. Then he finds her dead and his son sitting in blood, just as he was. very poetic, in my opinion. He says- Harry was right. i thought i could change what i am, keep my family safe. But it doesn’t matter what i do. what i choose. i’m what’s wrong. this is fate. He’s saying Harry was right, i can’t be close to people. everything he’d been learning for 4 seasons comes to a head, and all hope for humanity is lost. Dont know where they go from here, but wherever they go, Dexter will only be darker. but filled with an even greater rage than before. A great tragedy and i love it!

  • Katie G

    incredible episode. As much as I didn’t like Rita, her death (and particularly Harrison repeating the life of his father) was heartbreaking. I’ll be anxious until next season and we know what happens!
    Dexter’s writers should pat themselves on the back, they certainly blew us away with that one.

    • Susan Murphy

      I know what you mean. The writers didn’t make her character that interesting unfortunately. But the manner of her death shocked me. I felt very disturbed by it, and felt as though she is a very tragic figure. I don’t know if I will continue watching, actually. Just a little too dark for me.

      • piano_girl19

        I have to agree with you there. She wasn’t very interesting on the show, OR in the books. She’s only there, I think, to show that Dex has a human side. With her gone, I don’t think we’ll get to see that any more… I will be watching next season, however, if only to see what happens to poor Harrison. And Cody and Astor, of course… poor kids….

      • Erica

        I agree I don’t know that I can continue watching either. I’m just too disturbed by the whole thing. It was hard enough to watch finding out what happened to Dexter but seeing Harrison sitting there in his mothers blood. I just don’t think I’m desensitized enough to handle it.

      • Dan

        I think that that darkness will end up being the reason that you do watch. Seeing how impacted people are by this turn shows the strength of the decision.

        It leads me to wonder whether it’s the fact that we root for Dexter that has made this so disturbing for people. In doing so we are facing the same consequences as he.

    • Kotenok

      Everything in the last scene implied that Harrison was repeating Dexter’s life. My question is how did Trinity know Dexter’s story if he just barely found out who Kyle Butler really is.

      • JLB

        I chalk that up to coincidence. plus trinity doesn’t kill babies.

      • Maybe

        OR…he read the file that Deb had at her house regarding Dexters moms murder, when Trinity broke in? I think JL said it was a coincendence though…

      • AVD

        Its probably a very simple explanation- she had the baby in her arms (as usual) when he forced her into the bathroom. Trinity doesn’t kill babies, so he just put Harrison on the floor before he killed Rita. As you saw with his other murders- all of that water overflows… Pure coincidence but morbidly poetic.

  • bbc

    Michael C. Hall is an amazing actor. If you don’t believe me, go back and watch Six Feet Under and see how different his character is there. I have thought for years that this guy is one of the most underappreciated actors in the business. Hopefully he will win the Globe this year that he so rightly deserves.

  • aleksa

    I haven’t seen this season but I am a follower of the show. First thing that popped into my head is what’s this going to mean for Cody and Astor.

    • amj

      Aleksa—i’m sad that you will know what’s coming in the season ending when you finally see it. It sure was a powerful scene when you weren’t expecting it. You will have such a great time watching Season 4, brilliant! Best season yet in my opinion!

    • DexIsMine

      Cody & Aster will end up with their father’s parents.

  • Lizzie

    Jon Lithgow scared the merde out of me! lol! When he flew into the house and demanded all the valuables and growled “Someone stole something from me!” I almost got a bit shaky. He is an amazing actor with a stellar comedic timing and dramatic chops abound, but he hasn’t scared me that bad since Jacobs Ladder! lol! Amazing work this season, almost sad to see Trinity go because I will miss Jon’s enigmatic performances so much. M.C.Hall continues to be amazing – this season has been the best yet. Losing Rita was dramatic, perfect and horrific. I can’t wait to see how it all plays out.

    • aleksa

      John Lithgow is just all kinds of awesome in anything I’ve ever seen him in. I can’t wait til this season comes out on DVD. Maybe next season I’ll have to break down and get Showtime.

  • JayNYC

    Excellent interview, thank you Dan (and Michael)!

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