Every few months or so, someone corners poor Michael C. Hall and asks him about a potential Dexter reboot or revival. Well, it happened again. The man has been doing his best to expand his portfolio of work in the almost five years since the show ended. He even had a stint on Broadway and has had numerous other television roles. While fielding questions about his new Netflix series earlier this week, he was asked about his signature character. He had this to say:
It’s a possibility given how the show ended that we could revisit ‘Dexter.’ I have just yet to, for my part, imagine or hear someone else’s idea that makes it feel worth doing. But never say never.”
What Would Make a ‘Dexter’ Reboot/Revival Worth Doing?
Television revivals, like Will & Grace and Roseanne, are in vogue. As Hall himself admitted, the way Dexter ended makes a comeback very possible. I think it’s safe to say, however, that a Dexter revival would have to bring something fresh and exciting to the table in order to convince its star to return. Showtime and Michael C. Hall aren’t interested in doing something that feels like more of the same. So, in that spirit, and in no particular order, here are 5 things that could make a Dexter revival worth doing (and watching).
Oh, and spoiler alert if you haven’t watched the series in its entirety.
1. No More Ghosts
Dexter left the ghostly voice of his father behind in the final episodes of the series. In fact, Harry didn’t make a single appearance in the finale. That’s good. One of the great things about Dexter is how the main character changes over the course of the series. The exorcism of Harry’s spirit and the way he lets go in the last episode was a great character moment for Dexter. Although the producers or writers might be tempted to include a “Ghost Deb” into the story, I hope they resist that urge. Instead of replacing one ghost with another, they should allow him to be finally free of any and all specters from his past.
2. Change Dexter’s Role in the Story
In keeping with this idea of change and growth for the title character, a Dexter revival has to come up with something new for Michael C. Hall to do. Having Dexter simply resume his nocturnal hobbies would be incredibly boring and overall unsatisfying. It would make the finale utterly meaningless. What can he do instead? He should teach and mentor. We have seen him do it over the years, in varying ways, with characters such as Miguel Prado and Lumen. Whom would he mentor though? To me, the answer is rather simple.
3. Age Harrison Up and Make Him the Star
The books upon which Showtime’s Dexter is based differ greatly from the television series. They diverge rather completely after the first season and first novel. One of the more interesting plot points from the books is how Dexter teaches Rita’s children, Astor and Cody, to become killers like him. Showtime could go in a slightly different direction, however. What if, like his father, a teenage Harrison has his own dark passenger?
Imagine Dexter, still in hiding in the Pacific Northwest, hears about a new serial killer. He feels the old itch. He takes a vacation to investigate further, and finds that it’s actually his son. Instead of stopping Harrison or letting him get caught, he teaches him the code. He becomes Harrison’s Harry. Now, instead of fighting his own internal demons, Dexter has an external force he needs to constantly work to control. Not only is this something different for Dexter, it’s a chance for the audience to see something new. He was already a bonafide killer in season one. This time, we can see an adolescent killer develop.
4. Change the Setting
To me, this is a simple way to make sure the new series looks and feels different from the original. After eight seasons, we’ve seen enough of Miami. Sending Dexter to a new city is probably the easiest way to make a revival distinct from what came before. Also, it makes narrative sense, since the presumed-dead Dexter was fairly well known by the Miami law enforcement community. Put Dexter and Harrison in a new place, somewhere as visually dissimilar from south Florida as possible, like Detroit or Baltimore.
5. Don’t Bring Back the Entire Old Cast
Just as Dexter let go of his past, a revival series should do its best to let go of a vast majority of its characters. Luckily, a lot of them died over the course of eight seasons. What could be interesting, however, is an occasional appearance by an original series character, but only if they have a role to play. A cameo for the sake of a cameo is dumb, especially with a series that ended less than a decade ago. Instead, what if Dexter and Harrison have someone serving as their eyes and ears in their new city’s police department? What if Quinn happens to be that inside man, having transferred out of Miami following Deb’s death?
This Could All Be Just Fan Fiction
No one knows if a Dexter revival will ever happen. It seems like fans, whether they loved or hated the series finale, are hopeful. At least, they seem more hopeful than Michael C. Hall and Showtime. But who knows? Maybe someone at the network will see this list and find something that gets them excited. Much like Dexter himself, fans of the series are never satisfied, and always hungry for more.
Do you want a Dexter revival? What would you like to see, if it does happen? Or should Showtime let the series stay as dead as one of his victims? Let us know in the comments!