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Showtime is bringing Dexter back from the dead

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Dexter remains one of the best TV shows to ever grace the small screen. But it ironically makes a less-favorable list, too, as having one of the worst series finales in history. Thankfully, that might change. Showtime has confirmed, much to the delight of its legion of fans, that the series will return for a 10-episode limited series.

The network confirmed the news in a series of tweets, including this one that leaves no room for misinterpretation.

Michael C. Hall brilliantly played the title character, a vigilante serial killer who harnessed his dark and deadly urges to, in his eyes, do good for society. Hall will reprise his role as Dexter Morgan, the Miami Metro Police Department blood spatter analyst by day, green-shirted killer by night. When the series initially ended in 2013, Morgan had presumably left his double life behind, running away to work in the middle of nowhere as a bearded lumberjack.

While the series aired for a total of eight seasons, die-hard fans felt the quality had been waning for the latter half. For the revival, the original showrunner Clyde Phillips will be back on board, news that gives fans giddy chills as they reminisce about the season with The Trinity Killer, played fabulously by John Lithgow, and the inaugural story of the Ice Truck Killer, modeled after the story in the Jeff Lindsay book Darkly Dreaming Dexter on which the show is based. This could be Phillips’ grand redemption.

Murmurs of a reboot or revival have been going since 2015 as fans longed for more satisfying closure. In a TCA press tour back in 2015, then Showtime head David Nevins commented that Dexter was the one Showtime series that truly deserved a resurrection.

(Warning: Spoilers ahead) Many key characters had been killed off by the end, including Debra Morgan (Jennifer Carpenter) who played Dexter’s sister. James Remar, however, appeared in flashbacks through the show’s entire run as Dexter’s deceased father. He was a police officer who learned of his son’s dark proclivities when he was just a child and trained him to harness them to take down bad guys who had slipped through the cracks of the justice system. Yvonne Strahovski (The Handmaid’s Tale) had a major role in the show’s final season as well.

What made the story so compelling was that viewers were drawn not only to Dexter’s need to hide and fulfill his powerful urges to kill, but also to balance them with learning how to live the ultimate cover of a “regular” person. That meant trying to fit in by doing expected things like getting married, participating in useless activities like joining a bowling league, and doing thoughtful things like gifting colleagues with donuts every morning. Laugh when they laugh, cry when they cry. Dexter’s journey through the series, the confusion fans felt for rooting for a murderous, psychopathic antihero, and a handful of seriously shocking moments, made the show one of the most water-cooler worthy ones of that decade.

It seems Phillips has always had different ideas for the series, even previously having presented how he would have ended the show: With the camera focused on a close up of Dexter’s eyes. As it pulls back, you see that Dexter is on an execution table in prison. He looks out the window as the drugs are administered and sees his many, many, many victims staring back at him. It would seem the entire show wasn’t a dream, per se, but a vision of Dexter’s life flashing before his eyes in those, the last few seconds of his own life.

Will Phillips stick with this idea or change things up? We’ll have to wait and see. The limited series revival will premiere on Showtime in the fall of 2021.

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Christine Persaud
Christine has decades of experience in trade and consumer journalism. While she started her career writing exclusively about…
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