'Dexter': Season 5 spoilers, Michael C. Hall meets his action figure
"Dexter's" Michael C. Hall has achieved the perfect comic convention fame: He's got his own action figure.
While conducting interviews at Comic-Con Thursday (July 22), the Golden Globe winner gets a chance to meet mini-Dexter, the latest Dexter action figure sold by Entertainment Earth.
Notice the welder's mask (with flip down action!), handsaw, cloth jumpsuit and best yet -- blood slide. A better look:
Michael C. Hall's health
Hall is in good spirits during the interview, showing his typical warmth and humor. And why not? His Hodgkin's lymphoma is in remission, although he's still receiving treatments.
"It's a real gift to be able to come back to work," he says. "I count myself lucky on so many fronts, and certainly in regards to Hodgkins. One of the best things about it is that it emerged at a time we were close to the end of shooting. I was able to treat it over the hiatus. It didn't interrupt its production schedule, which would obviously have its effect on me but also it would have its effect on our cast, our crew, people who count on this family to make this show."
Costars James Remar, who plays Dexter's dead dad Harry, and Jennifer Carpenter, his real-life wife but on-screen sister Deb, are of course thrilled with how his health has improved.
"That makes me the happiest man on the planet. I admire him, I love him," says Remar. Carpenter adds, "Yeah, I'm kind of fond of him too. The cast and crew spend a remarkable amount of time together. We do know each other's business and there's a lot of love kicking around that set. It was amazing to see the support, which he would offer back to any one of them and he does."
Where to go after Season 4 (Warning: Spoiler-ific!)
Hall knows that the Season 4 finale left the show on a high note, but that it wasn't a matter of trying to top that but beginning anew.
"I've had the same feeling after every season," he observes. "I think the end of the fourth season was huge and had a big effect but it resets the stage for the character in a world .. It's an opportunity as much as it is a problem."
Writer/executive producer Chip Johannesson, who had written for "24," brings some of that immediacy to "Dexter," which picks up exactly where it left off, with Rita ( Julie Benz) dead in the tub, Dexter and Harrison in blood.
"We did not choose to just time leap for five years after the end of Season 4," explains Johannesson. "Just because we've come to love this character, we wanted to process this huge event, it's almost like a second origin story for him. This is not something that happened when he was three years old. This is something he brought on himself."
So, with Dexter alive and Rita dead, he's getting extra attention in the murder investigation.
"As we've said on this show, the spouse is always the first person that people look to," says Hall. "But he does potentially have an alibi."
What alibi? Killing someone else? Hmm, it's going to have to be better than that.
"I don't want to be too specific because it's part of the fun of watching the show is how those questions are answered. They're there. Deal with them."
Has Dexter lost his taste for vigilanteism? Not likely.
Hall explains: "I think there's an appetite remains for killing and an unexpressable, unquenchable vengeance in Dexter now because of the fact that he killed Trinity and allowed himself to feel a sense of kinship and a sense of mercy only to discvoer that the guy had done in his wife. And he can't bring Trinity back to life and kill him again, so he has other victims. The drug of it though is not giving him the same hit, so we'll see that, but the appetite remains."
Dexter has to juggle this new overwhelming drive, however, with three kids: Harrison, Cody and Astor.
"It was the conceit that he was a normal husband last year, but he never had any duties," says Johannesson. "Rita had taken care of everything. All of a sudden he has these two kids that he's actually responsible for plus he has Harrison, plus he's cosmically he's responsible for repeating this cycle, so it's a huge deal for him. It's a relatable thing to be a parent and worry if you're going to screw up your kids."
We also know that Benz will be back somehow, but she's not coming back as a Harry-like figment of Dexter's imagination.
"It's not like Harry," confirms Johannesson. "There aren't that many options I guess, but I'd rather not say. She's going to be kind of a special thing as we ease into the season. She's not going to be an ongoing presence."
By the end of Season 4, it seemed like Deb was poised to find out Dexter's big secret. So far, however, Carpenter doesn't see any progress on that storyline having already filmed the first four episodes of Season 5.
"I feel like right now we're focusing on the way last season ended with Rita's death, so I'm not sure we're going to get into that immediately or not," she says. "I'm ready to find out. I'm not championing how it's going to look, but I'm eager to play it because I know it will be hard. I'm wondering too. I want to know how she'll react to it also. Dexter and I are both his kids, but Dexter is his kid in one way but I'm his kid in that I bleed blue and I'm a cop."
The loss of Rita also affects Deb, not only because Deb had affection for her sister-in-law, but also because that means both Morgan siblings lost the people they love in violent ways.
Carpenter adds, "I think she idealized that relationship a lot I think in a really messed up way, greedily, selfishly, she thinks that they're standing on some common ground now, that she'll get the brother she always wanted. I don't even know that in Episode 4 that I've acknowledged what I've lost."
Season 5 guest stars
After setting the bar so high with John Lithgow the previous season, the show has brought on a number of new guest stars, including Julia Stiles, Peter Weller, Shawn Hatosy, Jonny Lee Miller and Katherine Moennig.
Why so many?
"We wanted to get away from the single serial killer," reveals Johannesson. "We have more pieces to work with this season. No we're not doing a serial killer of the week, we just have more balls in the air.
"We have different adversaries for him, we have pressure in ways we've never seen before. We see a new type of relationship he's never had before too. I don't want to say too much about it, but he's not looking for another relationship at the end of Season 4 for sure."
One of those new relationships is with Stiles' character.
Carpenter says, "I haven't had any scenes with Julia Stiles yet, but I've met her and she's wildly intelligent and immensely talented and I think she and Michael are just a perfect fit for one another. They're really good matches. I think those scenes will be exciting."
For more on "Dexter," read Zap2it's live blog of the Comic-Con panel.
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Photo credits: Entertainment Earth, Getty Images