The Trinity Killer Returns and More Dexter Revival Updates

Get the scoop on everything we know about the return of Dexter, including a brief appearance from one of the original show's most notorious serial killers.

By Lauren Piester Jun 28, 2021 8:54 PMTags
Watch: Michael C. Hall's Eight Years on "Dexter"

The secret's out: Daddy's back to killing people. 

The Dexter revival is well on its way, and we're still reeling a bit from the most recent promo shared by the show's official Twitter account. It features a video of fire engulfing a photo of Dexter (Michael C. Hall) and his baby Harrison, and the caption reads, "Wanna know a secret? Daddy kills people." 

One of those people that Daddy has killed is Arthur Mitchell, also known as the Trinity Killer, who was played by John Lithgow. The Trinity Killer was responsible for leaving Dexter's wife, Rita (Julie Benz), dead in her bathtub, which Dexter didn't even discover until after Arthur had paid a visit to his kill table and came face to face with his hammer. 

According to Deadline, Lithgow will be appearing in the Dexter revival, but very briefly, which means it's likely to be in a dream sequence or hallucination. No matter how he appears, he'll be a welcome flashback to one of the original series' best and most heartbreaking storylines. Who among us doesn't think of Rita in the bathtub full of blood when we think of this show? (Or is that just us?) 

Renewed and Canceled TV Shows 2021 Guide

That scene also showed Dexter and Rita's likely traumatized son Harrison sitting in his mother's blood, and that promo is making us think that perhaps Dexter has gotten back in contact with young Harrison after Hannah (Yvonne Strahovski) took him in when Dexter faked his death. 

Now, Harrison would be in his mid-teens, which is just about the perfect time for a kid and his dad to have an incredibly complicated relationship, even without all the murder. No actor has been announced in the role, and Strahovski has also said that she was not asked to come back as Hannah for the revival. 

In fact, no other original stars have been confirmed for the revival, though Dexter will have plenty of new friends. The revival will also feature Jamie Chung, Julia Jones, Clancy Brown, Johnny SequoyahAlano Miller, David Madigoff, Oscar Wahlberg, Jack Alcott and Michael Cyril Creighton.

Brown will play the main villain, Kurt Caldwell, the owner of several big rigs and the local truck stop, and you can get the scoop on who everyone else is playing below! 

How Many Episodes?

The revival will be 10 episodes. Showrunner Clyde Phillips—who ran the first four seasons of the original series—wrote the script for the first and the last episode. It's scheduled to premiere Sunday, November 7 at 9 p.m. on Showtime.

Where Will the Show Be Set?

Dexter was sort of iconically set in Miami the first time around, and in the finale the character had relocated to Oregon. Now, almost a decade later, Dexter is living in a town called Iron Lake in Upstate New York. He appears to be going by the name Jim Lindsay (which is close to the name of the author of the books the series was based on, Jeff Lindsay).

This Is Not Dexter Season 9

Phillips told THR that "We want this not to be Dexter season nine." 

"We basically do get to start from scratch," he said. "I mean, 10 years have passed—however many years have passed—by the time this will air, and the show will reflect that time passage in so far as the ending of the show. This will have no resemblance to how the original finale was and it's a great opportunity to write a second finale for a show." 

This Is Not a Reaction to the Series Finale

Phillips acknowledged many people involved with the show—including Michael C. Hall—knew that lumberjack ending was not a fan fave. 

"Michael certainly was aware that the ending wasn't well received and I believe that he was not completely satisfied with it and this is an opportunity to make that right," Philips said. "But that's not why we're doing it. We're doing this because there's such a hunger for Dexter out there." 

But It's Not an Erasure of the Finale, Either

The revival will not erase Dexter's turn as a lumberjack.

"We're 10 years later," Phillips said. "We're not undoing anything. We're not doing movie magic, we're not going to betray the audience to say 'That was all a dream,' or whatever it is. I mean, what happened in the first eight years happened in the first eight years. This is now however many years later. So we're not undoing anything." 

Will Deb Be Back?

Dexter's adoptive sister Deb (Jennifer Carpenter) will still be dead, but Dexter's a show known for its ghosts. 

"There is some flexibility for movie magic, and that's all I can say about it," Phillips previously said, refusing to answer the question directly. In August 2021, it was confirmed that Carpenter would be back as an imaginary presence in Dexter's life. 

"As much as [Deb] is an internalized character for Dexter, I think [she] represents how far he's fallen… without a compass," Hall said about Deb's return. "I was so excited about Jennifer doing this because I knew she would be able to shape shift and come at Dexter from so many different places. And, of course, she did. And it was really fun to crack open our sense of [Dexter]'s internal landscape, because it's much more pyrotechnic and crazy than it used to be."

The Return of the Trinity Killer

Speaking of movie magic, the only major returning guest star we know of so far is John Lithgow, which is baffling because the Trinity Killer is very dead. But Deadline reports that Lithgow will return for a brief appearance, so we're expecting a hallucination or perhaps a dream sequence.

Meet the New Cast

It appears that the new series will feature mainly new side characters. Here's a breakdown of who to expect: 

Jamie Chung plays a famous true-crime podcaster from LA who gets caught up in the show's central mystery. 

Clancy Brown plays Kurt Caldwell, the villain and unofficial mayor of Iron Lake who owns the truck stop. He's a man of the people, but if you cross him or hurt anyone he cares, for "God help you." 

Julia Jones plays Angela Bishop, Iron Lake's first Native American police chief. Johnny Sequoyah plays her daughter Audrey.

Alano Miller plays Logan, a police sergeant and assistant coach of the high school wrestling team. 

David Magidoff plays Teddy, a new addition to the local police department. 

Oscar Wahlberg plays Zach, the captain of the high school wrestling team. 

Jack Alcott plays Randall, who has a meaningful encounter with Dexter. 

Michael Cyril Creighton plays Fred Jr., owner of Fred's Fish & Game.

Will Phillips' Finale Idea Happen?

When the original finale aired, Phillips was interviewed by E! News' Kristin Dos Santos and revealed what his pitch for the series finale would have been. It involved Dexter being executed for his crimes while all of his victims (even the indirect ones) could be seen watching from the gallery. Understandably, Phillips couldn't say whether this ending would see the light of day in the revival. 

"Everybody knows that quote," he said. "And then if I say none of it is in play, then they know something else is going to happen if they say all of it in play. Then, then they know that that's something's going to happen so I can't answer that. I can't talk about the finale of the show." 

Will Dexter Still Be in Law Enforcement?

Phillips couldn't say for sure if Dexter's former job of blood splatter analyst for the Miami Police Department would come back into play, but he could say this: "We discuss it and we we do mess with it, we do change it up. I can't tell you in which ways." 

The show will "look and feel different yet familiar," whatever that means.

Per the latest trailer, Dexter, who is living life under a different alias, does work for Fred's Fish & Game.

Dexter will return to Showtime this fall.