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'Dexter': The fifth season begins Sunday with Dexter's life 'dismantled'

September 25, 2010 |  6:30 am

Hello, Dexter Morgan.

No one can say that quite like John Lithgow, but here at Show Tracker, we want to try because we are so happy that our favorite serial killer is back in prime time on Sunday.

The Times visited the Hollywood set  of "Dexter" recently, where Michael C. Hall and his peers were furiously at work on the ninth episode of the fifth season.

The new season kicks off exactly where we last saw our serial killer of serial killers and follows Dexter as he grieves for Rita (Julie Benz).  Hall, who is looking healthy after being treated for lymphoma earlier this year and is in great spirits, says Dexter's journey now is one of penitence, even though he doesn't quite realize it.

"I think Dexter’s origins story leading up to this point had him as an innocent child, and now his son is the innocent child in this new origins story and Dexter has some of the blood on his own hands, so I think his journey is one of atonement," he said. "I don’t think Dexter is consciously seeking that out. I don’t think he knows what he needs. But I think things unfold in a serendipitous enough way for him to come to the realization that is in fact what he’s doing, even though he might not put it in that language."

With the formidable shadows of acting heavyweights Jimmy Smits and Lithgow looming on set -- they guest-starred in the third and fourth seasons respectively -- the producers and writers decided to spice up this year's storyline with a series of guest stars. Julia Stiles, Shawn Hatosy, Johnny Lee Miller and Peter Weller all play characters that will interact with Dexter all season and eventually be connected.

Although everyone on the cast and crew is aware that there's plenty to live up to from last season, Stiles says the season is full of unexpected turns.

"It’s a credit to the writers that they don’t just write something for the sake of shock value," she said. It’s really earned. I feel like now we’re shooting episode 9, so it’s close to the end of the season, and where Dexter is now, he’s in a position that I don’t know how they’re going to resolve this. He’s in a bit of a pickle. I don’t know how he’s going to deal with all this and my character certainly doesn’t make it easier for him."

For more about the fifth season, check out our feature, "Dexter tries to move beyond sudden death in the family."  A photo gallery of The Times' set visit is here.

In the video below, actors David Zayas and new cast member April Lee Hernandez prepare for a scene and discuss the new season. (Maria Doyle Kennedy has also joined the cast as a nanny to Dexter's baby boy).


The show airs at 9 p.m.

-- Maria Elena Fernandez

Photo: Michael C. Hall works on a scene on the set of "Dexter." Credit: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

Video Credit: Maria Elena Fernandez / Los Angeles Times


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