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Michael C. Hall on Dexter

Published September 9, 2010 in Television
By Fred Topel | Image property of Showtime
Dexter Dexter

Dexter is a show about a sympathetic serial killer, but the last season finale really left its viewers traumatized. After finally taking care of the Trinity Killer, Dexter came home to find his wife, Rita, dead in the bathtub. Trinity had already gotten to her. Fans can’t wait to see what happens next.

Michael C. Hall is Dexter


“While I consciously knew that's where things were headed, I really tried to approach everything that led up to it without that foreknowledge and decided I'd just cross that acting bridge when it revealed itself,” Hall said. “But what's interesting is this idea of atonement, this idea that Dexter is forced, through what's written, into those situations where he has to step into waters that he never anticipated stepping in, and it starts out subterranean, but there is some sort of appetite to address his maybe not even consciously acknowledged sense of guilt or remorse or need for atonement, and the circumstances of his life sort of manifest an opportunity to do that in a way that he doesn't create consciously.”

Harry, his father and the voice that guides Dexter in his code, told Dexter to take care of Trinity sooner. Maybe Dexter is due for an “I told you so.” “I think the relationship with Harry is definitely becoming more dynamic this season. They're not quite adversarial. Or if they are, they trade arguments. That relationship evolves every time James and I do a scene, and that's, I think, been the case, and especially since maybe the last time we saw Harry and Dexter in the jail cell at the top of the finale from last season. There was a real sort of spark there, and I think we've tried to build on that.”



As a character who has often been devoid of emotion, Rita’s death might face him with that dreaded feeling of remorse. “I think it's sublimated. I don't know if he's consciously aware of it and yet I think a lot of the things he does and doesn't do at the outset of the fifth season and throughout it are motivated by some sort of subterranean sense of remorse that he can’t even quite consciously be aware of but I think he does want to atone.”

Now Dexter is a single father, with his own son and two stepchildren with Rita. “Well, they’re working through their own grief. I think Astor is allowing a general frustration with the whole story of her relationship to her own father and then to Dexter and to not having a father around. Yes, she’s fed up and she feels that Dexter promised that everything would be okay and would protect her mother and he didn’t do that.”

Dexter returns September 26.
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Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of Showtime
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