Dexter Morgan, that inexplicably lovable serial killer, is on his way to a TV (or streaming device) near you. As such, Showtime’s Dexter: New Blood turns out to be a bloody good time while working hard to erase the sins of the lumberjack past. However, both Michael C. Hall and current/O.G. showrunner Clyde Phillips know that they need to stick the landing this time. No one wants any hurricanes in upstate New York, after all, and the scrutiny for this new season will be about as high as the anticipation factor.
Phillips sat down with Variety to discuss the much maligned ending, which he appears to see as the outcome of a show that “lost its way” seasons before the series finale. As the returning showrunner phrases things, he believes that Dexter went wrong when the title character neglected to follow part of his own code. That is, he failed to be a mere vigilante who picked up slack for police and, rather, he desired “to slow down his police force and get the bad guy himself.” Phillips believes this did the show’s audience dirty by breaking a mutual covenant:
“I think the show in the last couple of years of its original incarnation lost its way. It was only seeing as far into the future as the headlights on a car and had broken the covenant with the audience about everything that Dexter does has to be code-worthy.”
There’s plenty more tidbits worth soaking up in the Variety piece, including the revelation that what got the revival ball rolling is this: Michael C. Hall came to Showtime Networks president of entertainment Gary Levine. This went down two years ago, with Phillips revealing that he got Levine’s call — “Michael’s ready to do ‘Dexter’ again and wants to know what you think” — and one meeting later, the official ball was in motion. Phillips also adds that Dexter has “taken responsibility for all of that wreckage” when we meet him again, meaning that he’s fully cognizant of “the fallout of those choices,” and he spent some time “reeling.” All of this happened, Phillips says, because Dexter erroneously believed that he “could have a real life,” and then collateral damage began.
All of this is to say that the collateral damage ain’t over yet, not by a long shot.
Dexter: New Blood premieres on November 7.