It was a surprise when Dexter was announced for a revival, as season 8 was so utterly atrocious that by the end everyone watching was just glad to be done with it. Even more surprising is the news that Julie Benz is open to returning.
Benz was a regular fixture of the series during its first four seasons as Rita Bennett, Dexter’s girlfriend and later wife. In one of the show’s most shocking moments, she was found dead in a bathtub of blood in season 4’s final moments, a discovery made even more tragic by Dexter having already taken out her murderer, the serial killer Trinity, without knowing what the man had done.
When asked about returning, Benz had this to say:
“I think Dexter has moved way past Rita. It doesn’t make sense for her to be on his mind as a ghost because she was only his cover. He didn’t internalize her, so there are no plans for Rita to show up. I would obviously do it in a heartbeat if they asked. But I’ve always said Rita shouldn’t make an appearance in his head because she didn’t know the real him. She didn’t know the Dark Passenger.”
MORE FROM THE WEB
While Dexter’s relationship with Rita began merely as a cover to better allow him to mimic basic human functionality, it’s arguable he grew to genuinely love her and her children despite his stunted capacity to experience emotion. While, as Benz states, she died never knowing the truth about her husband, such is the nature of Dexter’s fractured psyche he may well have resurrected some image of her, summoned into existence to battle the loneliness brought on by his life of wilderness isolation we see in the series’ closing shot.
Perhaps she and Harry could act as contrasting aspects of his conscience, with the father figure directing him to follow the code and continue channeling his murderous urges, while the lover could act as a representation of the humanity he truly developed after initially only faking it, urging him to find a better way.
Besides Michael C. Hall, none of the original cast have been confirmed to return to Dexter, which is unsurprising since most of them were dead by the series’ end. It’s unlikely Benz will be included, but it would be a welcome addition if she were.