Fall TV Preview

Dexter: New Blood: Michael C. Hall on How Harrison Renews Dad's 'Appetite for Humanity' and Killer Instinct

Ladies and gentlemen: Dexter Morgan is back for his encore.

It’s been eight years since Miami’s most under-the-radar serial killer dumped his sister’s body into the sea and disappeared into the night. If you’ll recall, Dexter boated through a hurricane, faked his own death and started a new life as a lumberjack in rural Oregon. But in Showtime’s new event series Dexter: New Blood (premiering Sunday at 9/8c), fans will finally get a chance to revisit the troubled-yet-beloved character, as a dangerous new tale unravels for Dexter and his dark passenger — one which hopefully sticks the landing this time.

Michael C. Hall, the actor behind the titular baddie who kills by a code, is sympathetic to fans’ plights regarding that lackluster ending, and admits that the original finale “didn’t end in a blaze of glory or a blaze of any kind.”

“Just as audiences were unsatisfied, I think it was far from supremely satisfying for us,” Hall tells TVLine, “and a big part of our motivation to put a better taste in people’s mouths.”

When we catch up with Dexter in New Blood, he’s living in the Upstate New York town of Iron Lake, and going by the pseudonym Jim Lindsay. He works as a sales associate at a fish and game store, and dates the local chief of police, Angela Bishop (the Twilight films’ Julia Jones). And while the series has traded the beachy sunscape of Miami for a wintery New England color palette, Dexter soon gets back to his old tricks after a reckless hotshot (who’s also the entitled son of a prominent town resident) incites his long-dormant drive to kill.

Dexter New Blood HarrisonIf that wasn’t enough to shake-up the former killer’s peaceful small-town existence, Dexter’s now-teenaged son Harrison shows up at his doorstep, and the young man proves to be “a force to be reckoned with.”

“The richness of that relationship and that exploration is a big part of what we’re up to, and a big part of why this felt like a story worth telling,” says Hall. “[It] felt like the right time.” (See what else the actor had to say about Harrison’s emergence in the video above.)

And if Dexter’s dark passenger was set to rev up and trigger his urges, it would only make sense for Dexter’s inner monologue to spur into gear, as well. This time, those thoughts take the form of Jennifer Carpenter’s dearly departed Debra Morgan. And while other versions of this Dexter 2.0 were pitched (and failed to launch) throughout the years, Hall says once the idea of including sister Deb came into the mix, it “immediately felt essential.”

“Dexter’s relationship with his sister was the fundamental relationship throughout the series proper,” he adds. “It always felt difficult to not have that be a component. It felt necessary that it wouldn’t be given that she’s dead, but this is Dexter. We have certain liberties.”

Will the Debra in Dexter’s head abide by Harry’s code? How will Harrison affect Dexter’s new life (and old hobby)? And what will finally push our leading man over the brink? You’ll have to watch to find out. But for any viewers who may have trepidations about this new run, rest assured that Hall hopes New Blood will “redefine what people’s final experience of this character might be.”

When asked how fans are going to react to his character’s new swan song, the actor only provides a Cheshire cat grin and a single word: “Strongly.”  

Excited to revisit Dexter after all these years? Let us know if you’ll be watching by dropping some comments below.