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Is Rita a Ghost? Who's the New Big Bad? Dexter's Stars and Bosses Are Spilling...

Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter Mark Davis/PictureGroup via AP IMAGES

Exactly how is Julie Benz returning this season on Dexter? Is she a ghost à la Harry? And what's with all the guest stars? You know, Julia Stiles, Peter Weller, Shawn Hatosy, Katherine Moennig? Are any of them Dexter's new big bad?

We have answers!

The show's big stars—including, yes, Michael C. Hall and Jennifer Carpenter—and executive producers just tackled some burning questions...

Atonement is the name of the Dexter game this season, but with the Dark Passenger riding high on his revenge-seeking shoulders, Showtime's antihero will not have an easy go of it.

Hence the addition of all those plot-progressing newbies...

Explains show runner Sara Colleton: "As [Dexter] is going through different stages of grief, he doesn't know what he's feeling, and there will be different characters that'll come in and interact, [and] along the way help him...[atone]."

See? No need to worry, there's a method to all that guest-star madness...

Truly, aside from the [literal] bloodbath of last season's finale (and the demise of the lovely Rita) that will change the course of things for the now single-dad Dex, our Showtime obsession will still be the same show we know and love.

"The central idea of Dexter is so strong and so provocative, we feel there is a new human territory to push Dexter through that minefield," says Sara. "Whether he will get caught is what brings the audience to us. [The season five to season six transition] has been about as seamless as it can be."

And on that note, here's all the other juicy bits you need know:

• Julie Benz is returning in the Dexter premiere, but she will not be Harry-esqe. "You'll be seeing her more than dead in a bathtub for sure," executive producer Chip Johannessen tells reporters. That said, it's in no way ghostlike or guiding Dex like daddy-o has done over the years.

• Quinn (Desmond Harrington) is kinda sorta catching on to Dexter's secret, but not in the same way Doakes did back in season two. Says Chip: "It's going to look a lot different, because he has actual information. [Quinn] isn't a bull in a china shop, he's in the bullpen. [But] he's going to have a much more difficult time pushing forward with this investigation."

RoboCop's Peter Weller might be Dexter's biggest foe this season. "He's going to be a big problem for Dexter, especially in the back episodes," reveals Chip. "He's an ex-cop, cocaine-era cowboy who gets into some trouble with the corruption thing." Though there is no big-named "big bad" in sight (à la John Lithgow's Trinity), Weller certainly sounds like a thorn in Dex's side.

• Katherine Moennig appears later in the season as tattoo artist who gets a visit by Miami Metro's finest, Deb and Masuka (C.S. Lee), involving a tattoo-related crime spree.

• Dexter and Harry (James Remar) will be on the same page again this season. Michael C. Hall tells reporters the father and son are "more dynamic this season. They're not quite adversarial. [And] if they are, they trade arguments. That relationship evolves every time we do a scene."

• And then there's Deb. Teases Jennifer Carpenter: "I spend a lot of time justifying why she's not in a straightjacket at this point. The healing process is really rapid because I am much more emotional than Dexter is, it's hard to not carry that into other scenes. It's a new strength, but it's compartmentalizing in a way she hasn't before. She's going to work. Literally, Deb's going to work."

Get all the latest Dexter scoop, and a sneak peek, here!

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Follow Watch With Kristin on Twitter: @kristindsantos

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