Forget How I Met Your Mother, Game of Thrones, or half of Lost‘s fanbase. I have never met an angrier group of TV viewers than people who watched Dexter. They loathe the show’s series finale so much that it seemed possible a large majority were on the verge of following in the character’s footsteps. No, not as a lumberjack. The other thing. But that historic television blunder could soon be washed away like so much blood. Dexter is returning for a Showtime limited series. And while the show’s first teaser doesn’t ignore how the original series ended, it hints at a clean (shaven) new start.
Michael C. Hall is back as everyone’s favorite sociopath with a license to kill. Dexter is returning to television for a 10-episode limited run. Of course, not every Dexter fan welcome him back with open arms. Just about everyone reviled the original series finale. It showed Dexter faking his own death and escaping to Oregon to live a far less murder-y life as a lumberjack. This teaser indicates the show won’t ignore that development. In it, Dexter is living in a cabin in the woods. But his big scruffy beard he had the last time we saw him is gone. And that wry smile feels like a knowing nod to the audience that the serial killer they watched all those years is waiting to come back out this fall when the show premieres.
A second teaser dropped in late May which saw Dexter sauntering around his new chilly digs. He now goes by the name “Jimmy Lindsey” and seems like he might be a high school teacher, which is pretty scary. He stops and looks through a shop window. Knives, obviously.
As our own Eric Diaz wrote when this revival was first announced, this limited-run could be a way to save the legacy of the show. It ran for eight seasons at Showtime, from 2006 to 2013. While it suffered from many ups and downs, the finale seemed to wipe away any good the show had ever accomplished.
While the first looks at the Dexter revival have been a solo affair, he won’t be alone… at least in spirit. Jennifer Carpenter and John Lithgow are also returning for the revival. The pair are reprising their respective roles of Dexter’s sister Debra Morgan and Arthur Mitchell a.k.a. the Trinity Killer. Yes, those characters are both deceased—Deb dies in the finale and Dexter kills Mitchell at the end of season four. Lithgow confirmed Carpenter’s return in an interview with Deadline, where he revealed that Trinity Killer is still dead. As is, we can assume, Deb. (At least for now.) Lithgow revealed he spent one afternoon on the revival, clarifying he appears in a flashback. While the actor referred to the revival as a “ reimagination” it seems they are not retconning everything, namely all of season eight.
If this return works, it could help viewers remember why they cared about a terrible ending in the first place. Even if they’re skeptical about Dexter, it can’t be much worse. And it won’t kill anyone to give it another shot.
Originally published April 29, 2021 and updated May 27, 2021.