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    Extra Dexterlicious (You Wanna Piece of Me?)

    Dexter Peter Iovino/Showtime

    Yes, I sort of quoted a Britney song in the title of this item. Well, technically the line is "I'm Mrs. Extra! Extra! This just in!" but I always hear "I'm Mrs. Extra-Dexterlicious." Because, well, I'm sort of deaf. And possibly crazy, and definitely a teenybopper at heart. But moving on...

    Dexter. I recently had the pleasure of interviewing show runner Clyde Phillips about what's to come when the series returns for season three on Sept. 28 at 9 p.m. on ye olde Showtime, and while I can't tell you about the Very Big Reveal in the season premiere, I can share a bit about the introduction of Jimmy Smits (who joins the cast full-time this season), Dexter's state of mind and what characters might finally get some decent action this season.

    Click in for a little quality time with Miami's own murdering Mr. Morgan...

    Dexter Peter Iovino/Showtime

    THE NEW GUY: MIGUEL PRADO

    In case you haven't heard, Jimmy Smits has been cast as the new man in Dexter's life. Says Phillips, "Jimmy Smits will become involved in with Dexter's major 'professional' storyline of the season. Smits plays a Miami assistant district attorney, Miguel Prado, who's all about two things: law and order, and family values. We'll be meeting Miguel's family, his extended family, his brothers, their children, all of them. And he and Dexter will become great friends."

    Only, don't get too excited. Dexter's secret life factors into the equation, probably putting the kibosh on what another show might call a "bromance." Says Phillips, "Dexter goes to kill a bad guy, and the bad guy is in the middle of a fight. The bad guy gets away, and the guy he was fighting turns and attacks Dexter, so Dexter has to kill that second guy in self-defense—and that second guy turns out to be Miguel Prado's baby brother. So that conflict gets set in motion, because of course Miguel doesn't know who Dexter is."

    Hmmm...could the law-and-order hardliner eventually find he has something in common with avenging angel Dexter, leading to a vigilante partnership? Says Phillips, "Is there a star chamber of dark defenders out there? The answer is no, Dexter remains very private—but he will open up a little bit with Miguel."

    James Remar, Dexter Jim Fiscus/Showtime

    THE DEAD GUY: DAD HARRY MORGAN

    According to Phillips, "We're not going to do flashbacks this year. We've done flashbacks with Harry Morgan (James Remar) that were getting a little bit Yoda. This year, Harry lives in Dexter's conscious, but when we see Dexter's father, it's not a memory. It's Dexter questioning himself, and Harry is providing the other half of his inner dialogue."

    I'm hearing good things about these scenes, not least from James Remar himself, who tells me, "I've been an actor for over 30 years, and I've worked with some very famous, very wonderful people, and Michael C. Hall is among the top four or five actors that I've ever worked with. He's brilliant."

    Still, Dexter hasn't totally abandoned Harry's influence. The code stands, because, as Phillips says, "The first commandment of the code is Don't get caught."

    (Oh yeah, and for you conspiracy theorists out there, Harry is not secretly Dexter's biological father. I have the word from on high about that one.)

    Jennifer Carpenter, Dexter Jim Fiscus/Showtime

    THE FAMILY TIE: DEBRA MORGAN

    Deb's breaking out! According to Clyde, "Deb (Jennifer Carpenter) is going to find love from an unlikely source—and I don't mean anything other than heterosexual. There will be a couple of candidates, and the one that she ends up with will be a wonderful surprise, hopefully not only to her, but to the audience. She's also striving for her shield this year, and she will get very involved in the A-story, what we call the 'big bad' arc of the year."

    Just between you and me, she will also be involved in Dexter's big emotional arc of the season. And while that arc probably pushes a few of her more sensitive buttons, I think it's going to work out OK in the end...

    CS Lee, Dexter Showtime

    THE COPS

    • I'm hearing of a big character turn for Masuka (C.S. Lee), meaning he won't always be the glib jokester we first met.
    • Look for a kinder, gentler Laguerta (Lauren Vélez), who is no longer interested in micromanaging her staff, but who is still dealing with the repercussions of the Doakes situation, and finding herself a bit lonely as a result...
    • Batista (David Zayas) will be promoted to sergeant, taking Doakes' badge. According to Phillips, "He learns it's more than just a pay raise, it's a quantum leap in responsibility: You've got to send people into harm's way, you have to take people off of cases, put them on cases." And, of course, he's lookin' for love, trying to find "someone who won't hurt him" (unlike, say, his ex-wife and that British vixen who must not be named).

     

    Dexter Dan Littlejohn /Showtime

    YOU

    Finally, this season, Dexter will continue to need you. Yes, you. You're the only person in his life to whom he can tell the whole truth.

    According to Phillips, "Through the voiceovers, the viewer becomes Dexter's confidant, and that's part of the reason, I believe, that we welcome him back each week, because it's a tall order to invite a serial killer into your home on a regular basis, but by going inside his head, we think that he earns some entrée and trust."

    That said, like Jon Stewart before him, Dexter is not going to be your monkey. As Phillips points out, "Dexter doesn't want your approval."

    I admit, I like it in Dexter's head, even with all the monsters and dried blood. You?

    Post your hopes and fears for our boy Dex in the comments, along with your guesses about what surprises are in store for him this season...

    —Reporting by Jennifer Godwin

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