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December 15 2009

(SPOILER) Julie Benz discusses season four finale of Dexter. Major spoilers, be forewarned.

i was really upset. Sobbing shaking upset after the finale. I'll be interested to see where they go after this. Dexter as a
It was definitely a gut punch finale.
I checked my twitter feed yesterday morning and got spoiled by Emma Caulfield. Not pleased since it would have been a huge surprise for me at the end of the ep, but it was so shocking I guess it's a forgivable mistake. At least there are still Dollhouse spoilers to avoid. Gonna miss [actor] since they're the reason I started watching, but it was a good twist indeed. Can't wait to see how everyone deals with the aftermath.
Since the thread is spoiler marked, I'll just dive into it... read no further if you're not in the know.

Losing Rita was bad enough – but I can at least appreciate how that will contribute to the storyline going forward. To hear they may have played it less than honest with Julie Benz though... that's very disappointing. I do hope they bring her and Rita back. It makes sense that she'd have a role / voice in Dexter's head. Wonder if Cody and Astor will be shuffled off screen with the grandparents or continue as part of Dexter's single parenthood.

Have to say it: The writing on Dexter is following from Joss' playbook. The whole Debra/Lundy and now Dexter/Rita death breakups were telegraphed by characters being too clearly and simply happy with their relationship. As soon as Dex committed to that and started looking at the moon and pondering whether Rita was doing the same... the inevitability of what was about to happen only built from there. Certainly didn't help that Showtime hyped that “the biggest twist comes in the last minute”. Angel and Maria... you've been forewarned. Do not be happy together.
Stunning moment, literally, so glad I wasn't spoiled for it. But if i'm reading that article right that's maybe not the best way to handle it from a personal perspective. Seems like other actors knew before Julie herself and that's bang out of order IMO. Keep it secret from everyone, fair enough, if it leaked a lot of the impact would be lost. But don't tell some cast members and not the woman actually playing her, not cool.

Been talking about it on the .org and hoping she'll come back as a sort of companion in the same way as James Remar's Harry. Wouldn't be the same but i'll really miss her performance (as well as the character who I liked a great deal) if it doesn't happen. Still, what a way to throw the cat among the pigeons as far as the show's concerned.



ETA: Bringiton5x5, are you me from 1 minute in the future or am I you from 1 minute in the past ? Anyway, how is it, do we have flying cars yet ? ;-)

[ edited by Saje on 2009-12-15 16:57 ]
With the affirmations of love from Rita and Debra, I figured we'd lose one of them, but it was still a gut punch. What I *didn't* see coming was the way Dexter found Harrison, which was a really bizarre, tragic coincidence, since there's no way Arthur could have known that part of Dexter's past. I wonder if next season will flash forward several years to where Dexter can monitor Harrison's behavior, since in the immediate future, it would be very hard for Dexter to determine how (if at all) Harrison was affected by the primal scene.
Really, really, really glad I wasn't spoiled. Terrible moment, in both a good and a bad way.

I had almost forgotten about it, but Julie was the reason I first started watching too. She consisentently was one of the highlights of the show (along with Michael and Jennifer Carpenter).

I figured we'd lose one of them, but it was still a gut punch.

I figured either Debra or Rita might be about to find out Dex' secret. And maybe be killed afterwords. But I didn't really see it coming anymore at the point it finally did. (Though me and my brother had been questioning not hearing anything about Rita anymore for the whole ep, seemed like a strange plothole thingy, we never figured she might have been killed.)

I really hope we don't flash forward. Actually hope we skip as little time as possible. Do almost want to skip real life time though. A year till the next episode is a long wait!
Saje, I'm kinda hoping you're future me, 'cause flying cars... that would really help with the getting to work thing that I very much need to be doing. ;)

Shapenew, that's a good point. I didn't put together the Harrison aspect of it either... although in retrospect, I think I should have, which is the best kind of writing.
I'm really glad I wasn't spoiled; I never dreamed that anything like this was going to happen, and I have to say I'm still feeling shocked and disturbed by it (but I get how this is going to help motivate Dexter in a lot of ways in the 5th season!). I'm feeling a lot the way I did when Wash died, except Joss gave us some time to mourn him in the show, while this really came out of the blue in the last seconds of the show! Yikes!

I hope that Rita will live on in Dexter's head, because she was a huge influence on him.

I am seriously loving this show!
I was completely caught off guard by the final scene, but the way it played out was painstakingly brilliant. From the moment Dexter entered the dark house, tripping over the toy train, I had a lump in my throat.

The only thing that I'm hung up on is that the writers have now open a massive can of worms. Will the police suspect a connection between Trinity and Dexter as a result of this? Will Dexter even let anyone know exactly what happened?

I've liked the developments this season--especially with the amount of twists and Whedon-like reveals--but after an ending like that, the show could go to a much darker place next year.
Heather Havrilesky was really upset by it.
according to the producers no rita return, or more simply she will not be like Harry. now it doesn't mean they wont use her ever, they have to maybe at some point have a flashback of some sort and such but no rita as a cast member it would be considered a very special guest star. here is the link though it isn worth linking to the top for whedonesque not enough really whedon.

Also I have two articles that almost contradict on the matter so obviously they don't know yet.

http://community.livejournal.com/ohnotheydidnt/42061570.html#cutid1

http://community.livejournal.com/ohnotheydidnt/42101171.html#cutid1
Also that Heather Havrilesky was so upset at where the baby was placed, but that had been done before on Dexter. She is just artistically mad and lashing out on a more critical level I feel. She sounds quite defense-y. you know? She is constantly saying "I know I should expect it but..." I mean a baby doesn't know blood from anything else it is most likely. Since no violent act was done in front of the baby I don't feel it is a big deal. though in the story I am sure there was some violence.
I didn't see it until yesterday, so I got semi-spoiled by a news headline that someone would die. I was kinda hoping it would be Deb. Sucks for Julie. Hope she finds another role soon.
I'm still in shock and disbelieve.
I heard a rumor that next season will be the last. Can anyone confirm this?
Can't say I didn't share some of Heather's feelings about it, especially at first. Truely disgusting indeed.

I actually quite liked the baby in the blood visual but I've always found parents that allow their children to appear in these adult shows a bit strange. That's also true for shows like Six Feet Under, by the way. But Dexter is especially dark stuff for the kids working on it. I think a baby would be less aware of the darkness than the actors that play Aster and Cody (who are in for a dark season next year, I guess).

@ electricspacegirl, I really hope it won't be the last season, but things do seem to be shaping up that way. On the other hand, this last ep scored Showtime's highest ratings ever, so I guess they'll want to keep it around too.

Like I wrote on the .org I would prefer if the writers write it as the last show (don't hold back) but than carry on anyway.
I'm not of the "end on a natural ending" school of thought, I actually like the surprising places a story can end up if it is carried beyond the traditional cut-off point. And if it turns bad, then I just stop watching.

Maybe I'm not to coherent, but I really have to go right now, so I'll just post this as it is and hope it makes some kind of sense ;)
After season three, Dexter got a two-year pickup, for season 4 and 5. After next season their contract will expire but it doesn't mean they can't sign another one for more Dexter.
I was also spoiled by Emma Caulfield, so I knew it was coming. I love Julie Benz and would have liked to have seen more of her on "Dexter", but I think it was the right way to end the season. Something big had to happen, otherwise the show would have become too predictable and it's not like they've really used Julie as an actress. For the last two seasons Rita was just there and didn't have any interesting stuff to do. I loved her when she was so broken and damaged in the first season, but once she gained strength so quickly her character wasn't that compelling anymore to be honest. Also, it is a great end for this season's theme: Can he have it all? - No he can't.

Still imagining that Rita got such a horrible end? Pretty terrifying.

I honestly hope next season will be Dexter's last. I already hated season three with passion and was willing to drop it, but then season four turned out to be really good. They've already had so much themes they dealt with, I'd like for them to go out like they did this year: At the top of their game, not at the bottom. If they drag the show on for too long, they will go out at badly. This is just the kind of show that (IMO) doesn't work for 7-10 seasons.

[ edited by Donnie on 2009-12-15 19:38 ]
I'm not as invested as others here, so I was mildly surprised and that was it. The only character on this show whose death could gut me is Deb. I think she's not ever going to die though. The writers prefer to keep my favorite obscenity-spouting wounded innocent around to torture psychologically. Couldn't they just pull the wings off flies in the writers' room?
I see the showrunner has left the show to spend more time with his family.

http://www.tvguide.com/News/Dexter-Showrunner-Departs-1013123.aspx
Hmm, is that genuine or something akin to politician speak I wonder ?

I think she's not ever going to die though.

Yeah, for the forseeable future killing Deb would limit story possibilities I reckon, not open them up.

Also that Heather Havrilesky was so upset at where the baby was placed, but that had been done before on Dexter. She is just artistically mad and lashing out on a more critical level I feel. She sounds quite defense-y. you know?

Yeah, I agree Stargyn. She was hurt by it and is clutching at critical straws (the baby's not going to know what's going on or care, it was too low down on the floor to be able to see the "corpse" and its Mum would probably have been right there, just off camera. And added to that, blood's only scary once you've spilled some of your own and been self-aware enough to know what happened IMO). Investing in any show and set of characters is a double edged sword but to me the risk comes with the sickle - you're along for the ride or you're not.

Also seems a bit rich to castigate a show about a serial killer (or several) for being too dark - maybe she should ask herself if we deserve to feel joi de vivre while watching ? Should we get to watch someone that murders other people because it completes him while we chortle along at his "zany" antics without thinking eventually we'll have to pay the piper ? For me season 4 has been about facing up to what it really means to be a serial killer (Trinity being a case in point) and this is the perfect way to end a season like that.

Saje, I'm kinda hoping you're future me, 'cause flying cars... that would really help with the getting to work thing that I very much need to be doing. ;)

Or jetpacks. Dinner in pill form and silver jumpsuits I can take or leave ;).



edited for a pesky possessive. All property may not be theft but it can lead to annoying errors in punctuation. That's probably what Marx meant.

[ edited by Saje on 2009-12-15 21:14 ]
Really, this is not a surprise, especially if you read the series. And Rita never was a fan fave, to be sure.
Why, does she die in the books ? Cos yeah, knowing that would make it less of a surprise ;).
Considering that the baby was sitting in a pool of red sticky corn syrup (or something similar to that) and NOT blood, I am guessing that baby will not be traumatized, and as Saje pointed out, his Mommy was probably right near by waiting to clean him up when the shot was over. This image seems dark and appalling to us because we are involved in the story, the baby just had someone pouring syrup on him.

I'm sorry to hear that Rita was never a fan favorite because certainly Julie Benz has been brilliant in the role. But I can accept her being gone because it will certainly add to Dexter's angst (heck it is adding to MINE!).
grr!! shoot, Love the Benz.... somehow I don't think that Wolfram & Hart will be able to bring her back this time (:
This image seems dark and appalling to us because we are involved in the story, the baby just had someone pouring syrup on him.

Hee hee, that sentence makes me laugh :). I think HH was not suggesting the Real Baby would be traumatized (was she?). I think she was traumatized by the image. Though a lot of commenters pointed out she was missing how key that imagery is to the show. Which I've never seen. What am I doing here?
Laugh ? Talk about callous disregard for the dangers of starchy foods ! What if that baby grows up believing blood tastes a bit sweet and is pleasantly sticky, then where will we be, hmm ? Stuck with a veritable plague of vampire that's where ! ('veritable' means really small and easily controlled right ?).

Reading it again I guess she may mean the image itself was shocking enough to her that she stopped watching in disgust, which is actually even harder to understand for me. Anyone that's watched the show up to now (i.e. presumably Ms Havrilesky for one) would remember when we were shown Dexter and his brother being found after days stuck in a shipping container, the floor covered in blood and pieces of their murdered, dismembered mother strewn about (IIRC she was chopped up with a chainsaw in front of them both). That's why the image is so resonant and why Dexter is so worried by finding his son there - it's his worst fear realised, that he, as a monster, can only beget monsters. Dexter's "dark passenger" was 'born in blood' as he puts it and he's terrified Harrison will go the same way, that the one pure thing he thought he'd ever done has been corrupted.

[ edited by Saje on 2009-12-15 23:24 ]
Well, Heather does point out its the viewers familiarity with the body (Rita) and its full meaning that makes the image disgusting. I thought it was horrible and disgusting myself too. It really got to me. Which also in a way is a good thing. But at first I felt they had went way to far too (and I'm not entirely over that feeling yet). Then again, after the first 10 minutes of the show I also turned it off disgusted and determined never to watch it again so I'm propably an atypical softie among the shows' viewers. (In fact Rita and the Rita-Dex relation played a huge role in pulling me in.)

It's indeed a shame Rita never was a fan fave. Coming from a Julie fandom orientated angle into the show I always asumed she was more or less universally loved. For me she always was one of the shows strongest assets (though she, like most of the cast, got better things to work with during the first two years than the next.)

I think the fact that the writers knew there would be next seasons during the writing of S3/4 might be one of the main reasons they felt a bit less to the point, so it might be great if they lose that sense of security next year. If the show does end I hope Michael will be up for another TV-role in the vein of David (Fischer) and Dex. Wonderfull roles. (His huge presence makes me understand the relative lack of appreciation for Julie. (You're not going to tell me he isn't a fan fave either, right?)
I hate that Rita is gone. I will miss Julie being on the show. :(
I'll miss Rita. The show is going to change now. I loved the family dynamic and now that's gone. I have no idea where this will all go. Disappointing the showrunner is leaving too, this isn't a good time to leave! And someone from 24 is being brought in? 24 is so over the top and absurd to me. I hope the quality of Dexter will remain.

[ edited by GhostsWatcher on 2009-12-16 00:02 ]
Yeah, it'd be terrible if the show stumbled at the final fence (if season 5 is the final fence that is).

Well, Heather does point out its the viewers familiarity with the body (Rita) and its full meaning that makes the image disgusting. I thought it was horrible and disgusting myself too. It really got to me.

The point for me being, that previously it maybe hadn't as much. As I say on the white, it's truly horrible because we know her but the fact is, it's always been truly horrible, it just hasn't felt true until now. That would make it worth doing by itself, kicking us out of our comfort zone but then you get the resonance of the imagery and the way it throws everything open for next year.

Part of it to me seems to be that until now the show has been about progress from A to B to C to D ..., watching as he follows and largely succeeds (while overcoming obstacles) on the quest that was laid out in very early season 1. For all its unconventional view askew and dark humour it's actually been a fairly conventional hero story in many ways (overcoming adversity through skill and self-realisation). And this threatens that (since Dexter could take a huge step back or even discover that his quest to become a "real boy" is futile), tells us the hero has limits, that he can't overcome every obstacle. To me this injects the drama and peril back into the situation in a suitably graphic and horrific fashion for a show about a serial killer but clearly, as always, mileage varies ;).
days stuck in a shipping container, the floor covered in blood and pieces of their murdered, dismembered mother strewn about

Mmm, that makes me think of syrup...
Joss would have killed her during the wedding.
Please let Rita come back as ghost like Harry. Please. Oh sweet denial :(
I believe it was the perfect finale for the season. Dexter's internal monologue this season has always been about how he wants to be everything, a fully functioning family man and serial killer while keeping the two worlds apart. The weight of his reality has final dawned on him and it was a horrifying, sickening moment. I am very excited for season 5 now, watching Dex try and rise a child alone is going to be wicked fun. I'll miss Rita (Julie) for sure as I always loved her on the show but I must say for a show that was a bit stale in season 3, season 4 was remarkably better and I think they're on the right track for a fresh season 5.
I think the episode's big moment was robbed of some of its punch by over-explaining, which is a plague on Dexter amid otherwise good writing. The second biggest moment-- when Deb tells Dex that his brother is the Icetruck Killer-- is also kind of fudged with an unbelievable reaction from Dexter. But, overall, great episode, one of the best. The final scene with Lithgow was especially good.
I haven't watched Dexter yet, but I'm going to start. But the "major spoilers, beware" tag on this thread made me go wiki Julie's character so now I know what happens before ever watching an ep!
Dispatch, you may know this already, but Dexter is well aware his brother is/was the Ice Truck Killer, and that's why Deb was targeted - he was just hoping Deb would never find out. His reaction to Deb was Dexter trying to cover his real reaction, because he didn't want her to realize that he already knew (I know that's convoluted, but this is "Dexter" -- convolutions 'r' us!).

If "Dexter" keeps up its quality, it could run forever as far as I'm concerned. I'm very sorry to lose Julie Benz as Rita and sorry for what it will do to Dexter, but I'm very interested to see where it's all going.
When he came home and everything was fine, I remembered the foreshadowing in the end of season 3 when the blood dripped on Rita's wedding dress, and I knewww and my mouth stayed open for like the last 2 minutes.
Dispatch, you may know this already, but Dexter is well aware his brother is/was the Ice Truck Killer, and that's why Deb was targeted - he was just hoping Deb would never find out. His reaction to Deb was Dexter trying to cover his real reaction, because he didn't want her to realize that he already knew (I know that's convoluted, but this is "Dexter" -- convolutions 'r' us!).


I know, I didn't buy his fake reaction-- as in, it seemed so fake I don't see how Deb bought it either.

That's big news, nearly death-of-a-family-member big, yet he doesn't even ask her to repeat it. He doesn't even say "What?". He just hears it and goes right to weepy eyes, and from there right to speculating on what that means for his life and Deb's.

I mean, someone tells you that you're the long lost brother of a serial killer-- and you were found sitting in four inches of your mother's blood in a freight container, and that's how you were adopted-- I think you you'd at least say "What?" before accepting it and turning on the waterworks.
I'd imagine Deb's told enough people terrible news that she realises everyone responds differently (and she already knows Dexter doesn't always respond the way most people do). But we also have no idea what the writers are going to pick up on next season, it may well be that his reaction on being told is something that she'll think more about in the cold light of day (Deb becoming suspicious of him seems a fairly likely plot for next year).
Well, haven't seen any episodes yet but given the rpemise this guy can't really ever be allowed a happy or even a hoppy ending, can he? sad to say but sometimes these things are chiseled in stone. (I miss you, Vern Gosdin.)

Hmm, so Julie's available if Joss does Spook Squad . . . . (As a registered egotist I ahve to amek comments like that.)

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