Julie Benz Talks 'Dexter' Season 4 Finale

December 15, 2009 02:49:30 GMT

The actress who plays Rita recalls how things were suspicious in the production set and how she eventually found out her character's fate.

Julie Benz Talks 'Dexter' Season 4 Finale
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The shocking season 4 finale of "Dexter" was was kept as a secret until last minute that the cast alone had to scramble in the dark. [Spoiler Alert] Killing Rita Morgan was especially devastating for Julie Benz who portrays the character for four years. In an interview with TV Guide magazine, she said she was even initially told that her character would never die.

"I've been told two different things," said the actress. "The producers and executives told me they didn't know at the start of the season." However, she thought that John Lithgow who plays Trinity knew from the beginning. After all, Lithgow said during the San Diego Comic Con that only he knew the ending and jokingly said that he would have to kill if someone knows.

However, Benz had begun to suspect something major was going on when David Zayas aka Angel Batista said that Rita is not meant for Dexter's world. When she approached the producers, Benz was told, "We would never kill Rita."

The news came at the end of September when Benz was called for a meeting with the producers and scripts for the finale were distributed among the cast. "It was my day off, and I was called in for a meeting with the producers. At that point, you pretty much know. It was a tough meeting. In a bizarre way, it felt like a scene from 'Defending Your Life'," Benz said.

On Sunday, December 13, audience was made to belief that Rita had hopped on a cab for a vacation where Dexter was supposed to join her when she returned for her ID. Trinity saw the opportunity, killed her, and laid her body in the bathtub. Ironically, baby Harrison was all there to watch and get soaked in his mother's blood. "It's a very poetic mirror to how Dexter was found when he was 3," Benz explained.

Showrunner Clyde Phillips has confirmed that it was not a dream scene that Dexter would wake up from in the fifth season. Whether Rita would be back as a ghost or in Dexter's vision, Phillips said nothing is set in stone yet because everybody's on hiatus.

Killing Rita apparently was worthwhile. The finale was watched by 2.6 million viewers, becoming the most-watched original series episode ever on Showtime. It was 54% higher than last year's finale and blew all the modern records for cable network.

The interview with TV Guide mag will be published fully on Thursday, December 17.


Post Your Comments

posted by lindseyx17 on Aug 15, 2012
took me a good 5 minutes after the end of the episode for me to register. it was shocking. i really liked her character.
posted by Casri on Dec 26, 2011
This was fucking depressive! Excuse my language but : fuck, fuck, fuck!!!
posted by Rick\'s-Pissed on Dec 14, 2011
fuck that. No, why kill Rita.
posted by Lisa on Nov 12, 2010
I hate the new writers for what they have done to the Dexter show. Here's on avid fan who is through.
posted by Gill on Oct 30, 2010
If these stupid producers would ever read what the fans say on the internet, they would have an idea where to go with a show. They don't care that we LOVED the show the way it was. I am so sorry for Julie Benze, and for Micheal Hall because I think the show will go right into the dumpster now. It's no better than one of the duller CSIs.
posted by Lee on Oct 30, 2010
Season four was a dud altogether for me. I guess they got new writers and definately, a new director. The best scenes were boring as dirty dishwater. And then on top of that, to kill off Rita, and they say it is not a dream. Dexter was always the lover and great father at home, and the serial killer outside. That was what made him fascinating. What they have done is scrap the whole premise of the greatest show EVER and start over. Stupid, stupid move. I don't think I will ever watch it again. They ruined Dexter.
posted by Losing a viewer on Oct 24, 2010
Ambi the only one who thinks the show is getting worse every year? If I wanted to watch desperate housewives.... I would. The writing may appeal to a broader demographic now, but say goodbye to this viewer. So disappointed....
posted by HawaiiGal on Oct 11, 2010
My husband and I both think the writers made a big mistake killing off Rita. It changes how we feel about watching the show. Dexter,the character no matter how twisted, always had a certain charm and a glee about him. As he matured and found love with Rita we liked him even more. We loved that he had a family and were happy for him. Now he is devastated and alone.
posted by Jamie on Sep 18, 2010
I will miss seeing her pretty face :(
posted by Jamie on Sep 18, 2010
I think the physo and jelous next door neighbour killed her, and made it look like a trinity killings ;]
posted by Wowzers on Sep 07, 2010
OH YES!!! I just got the last disc from the 'flix and I have to wait to watch it til my boyfriend comes I figured that I'd just sneak a peak to see if Dex get Trinity or if they carry it on to S5....and I find out they kill Rita. YES YES YES!!!! THANK the powers that be!!! NOW don't get me wrong, I LOVE Julie Benz (she's a great actress and I've liked her since I first saw her on Buffy) so I wouldn't want her to take it personally...but Rita has always made me nuts! She's the kind of girlfriend that's crazy, jealous, manipulative and evil-- and yet they always make her out to be a good person just because Dex kills bad guys. (*a digression* seems like it's acceptable for a lot of women to act like this these days, like our culture has made it acceptable for girls to act like her...anyway...)I was ready to drive to LA and rewrite a script to kill her off myself...'cause crazy girls are the worst! YAY PS...1. Yes I am a woman and 2. If my english isn't perfect it's because this box to type in is wicked tiny and I can't see what I wrote without scrolling back.....
posted by DarknessRulesAll on Sep 01, 2010
I was floored when Trinity killed Rita (Awesome blindsider by the way!) But, I was happy to see Dexter single again so he can focus more on his work with the Dark Passenger! Hopfully the show will include Dex raising his children as young fledglings (as they are in the Novels) in Season 5? That would be a place TV has never gone before that's for sure LOL!
posted by on Aug 28, 2010
And one more thing. Trinity probably got Dexter's real address while at the PD (after he had found the old house). They couldn't show us how he found it because they didn't want to give away the ending.
posted by on Aug 28, 2010
I was shocked by the ending! I actually wanted to cry. Ironically though, right before it happened, as Dexter was dropping Trinity into the ocean, I said to my husband, "This show was much more exciting when Dexter was single." And then bam! Dexter is single... So I think season 5 will be a good one. I thought Rita was really getting in his way with her constant calls. Don't get me wrong, I still loved Rita, but this really opens the show up. I predict next season Deb will discover Dexter is a serial killer.
posted by DeX on Jul 21, 2010
To be honest the killer never knew where Dex lived if u recall the scene where he tried to find him and only got as far as Deb at the old save house! dream and only a dream!
posted by JTS on Jul 19, 2010
Fuck Fuck Fuck I really liked her. Dam it but I will get over it........maybe fuck! Now...
posted by pro-Rita on Jul 12, 2010
I really feel less for the show without Rita. Bravo for being totally bold, and for completely blindsiding everyone. But I loved Rita's part in the story, I am just fine with Dexter "working on himself", and becoming more human. Just because the killer-Dexter cycling over and over is more interesting doesn't mean that its logical, people grow.
posted by DP on Jun 05, 2010
I fell like sh*t Rita was good in all this kinda of a struggle what comes first family or kill , family then You see the kill delayed makes You excited about it or will he make it on time etc etc. Damn I'll miss her .... And a sad ending too broke my heart .
posted by Alex on Jun 04, 2010
I'm not sure if someone else had already mentioned it, but the issue with the cab, and why it didn't wait for her is explained in her phone message. She said he was going to take a later flight, so she would have just taken a cab back home and planned to wait there before going to the airport a few hours later for the next flight out.
posted by Angilius on May 26, 2010
posted by french on May 14, 2010
I was a bit in shock with Rita's death as I didn't expected it. But I actually think the biggest error was with Harrisson Jr. birth. I think they gave way to much importance to family there. Dexter is supposed to be a serial killer, not a father with a happy family. well thinking ending for this season.
posted by Chris on Apr 14, 2010
I think killing Rita was a fine move. Really left you in shock and in question about what season 5 episode 1 will hold. No, this won't ruin the show either. I think the worst actor/ess kill was Doakes. King was an incredible actor and really was just an awesome character. What ever happened to a funeral for Lundy? He just died and no funeral at all?
posted by Drip on Mar 30, 2010
And One more thing! Let's just say Rita did go back in to grab her ID, Where the hell is the Cab Driver? Isn't he waiting for her to come back to take her to the airport? When does he grow suspicious of this lady who has her luggage in his cab as she is going in her house for a quick second to grab her ID? No nosy Elliot next door to hear screams, Cabbie didnt hear anythign either? this is just too sloppy! Does anyone in production think about these possibilities before they ruin a Finale?
posted by drip on Mar 30, 2010
I just don't believe the finale was authentic! After the show was over I went back and watched the ending several times and I agree with previous comments that Trinity had little to No TIME to do this! Not to mention that the address he found on the Internet was to Dexter's OLD apartment! Not his current residence where he and Rita live. BAD FORM Showtime! This is why HBO remains Supreme!
posted by Jennnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn on Mar 21, 2010
Holy flying fucks.
posted by epp on Mar 11, 2010
i find it funny that the gore has stopped (since season 1, 2) so the tits come out...
posted by kokay on Mar 08, 2010
I was in a shock with the finale. It actually took me 2 minutes (in my mind's tick-tock)to realize what was happening. Never thought they would do that, or I was of the imoression that everything was Dexter's dream, well whatever happens in the next season, I'm definitely watching it. Hahaha they're clever. I thought they would run out of ideas for more seasons.
posted by DexFan18 on Feb 26, 2010
I really think killing off Rita is really going to ruin the show. As a girl it was nice to have a little romance to follow in the storyline...guess that's history. But aside from that, I really liked the whole tortured past, serial killer trying to make a good life for his family bit. Often kept things interesting, & made the Internal monologue in Dexter's head far more entertaining at times. Without a simple cop-out from the writers, how are they going to deal with Rita's children? Can anyone picture Dexter/Single father/Serial killer guy? That would take away from his hobby more than being married to Rita. Hardly makes much sense to me. Now I fear Dexter will be no better than CSI, same thing again & again, just insert the odd murder from him of a guilty man going free, the odd mental conversation with his long dead father, & they wont be so different. Can't say i'm looking forward to the 5th season nearly as much as I did the previous 3.
posted by Finally, the script on Feb 10, 2010
Season 5 will hopefully be as dark as the 1st.. The Rita/Marriage story line has really limited the where they've been able to go.. I still love the show but the Dexter character has been juggling too much, he barely comes across as the "blood spatter expert" anymore as he just railroads investigations. They need to get back to basics, add more splatter and make his character's "expert blood spatter dude" believable again. Rita will be back in "dreams" anyway... Maybe we'll get the pre-boobjob version.
posted by checabear on Feb 08, 2010
it could have been worst. trinity could have been saved by gray's anatomy. and Dexter would have to hire the good wife as his divorce lawyer...
posted by Mark on Jan 23, 2010
The ending felt tacked-on to me and I'm surprised that Benz was written out rather than deciding to leave the show (thus requiring her character to be written out). Now I'm thinking that the writers had grown tired of Dexter juggling multiple balls and wanted to move onto something new, and this is how they went about it.
posted by JustsawEP12S4 on Jan 22, 2010
This should be a bad dream, I thought that this wasnt good felt bad for rita. They were going so good. Im not going to watch any furter if this would turn out to be real!
posted by Athena on Jan 17, 2010
Some foreigners have a great English. That was a very bad comment!
posted by screen scout on Jan 15, 2010
They need to make her whole death a bad dream. They go by ratings saying it was a good choice to kill her off. Not true. People followed the series because the first 11 episodes were so good. Of course we'd watch the finale. The death of the man who kills little boys was downplayed and they wiped out a character who unlike doakes (which was a wise choice for a tough kill) was just too vital to wipe out. It makes you not want to bother with ever seeing this series again. They shouldve focused on the drama of Deb finding out what Dexter really does or something like that. Bad move and unfair to the actress herself.
posted by nemanja on Jan 08, 2010
the show is ruined !
posted by dexterfan2 on Jan 04, 2010
when john Lithgow(Trinity)was on the table I knew he killed rita he was chuckling and he just seemed all to calm about the idea of killed by Dexter because...he had already beat Dexter to something (his wife)it almost as if he were saying he/who played the game better.
posted by rawnet on Jan 03, 2010
i am still hoping it's a dream. can't see how trinity had the time to make this killing, and the chances of rita being home in the very short time trinity had the chance to make the kill given his ritualistic practice makes me think it is instead a dream or perhaps even a suicide. given rita's mother issues and choice of men, i suppose she may have suffered a depressive moment brought on by the significance of learning more about dexter's dark side just before going on a romantic holiday (the baby may have just crawled into the bathroom not been placed there?). or could the killer really be debra's partner? i don't trust him as far as i can pee. should be a great season 5 imho.
posted by DexterFan on Jan 02, 2010
I'm glad Rita is dead, maybe he can get rid of her kids now and train his son in the dark arts.
posted by Viewer on Jan 01, 2010
I thought the decision to kill Rita (though brilliant) was absolutely terrible. Dexter had just learned to love Rita the way she wanted and if anything made the audience like Rita even more.
posted by dreamer on Dec 29, 2009
I'm sick about this ending. Maybe I'm warped, but I identify with Dexter. The story is tragic enough without killing Rita. I feel like this is a cop out. Did the writers paint themselves in a corner?
posted by Vik on Dec 29, 2009
Oh Man, This was the saddest event to happen on the show till date! When Dexter killed his brother, I felt a pinch of sadness, but killing Rita and the way it was done, broke my heart and I felt so bad for Dexter! Groan! To be honest, I really dislike his sister, whats her name. If they had killed her I would have been more than happy, but with Rita, Dexter felt something and what about the kids, how will Dexter manage now....Its sad, way too sad for me!
posted by ccrashh on Dec 22, 2009
Poorly written article. Or poorly choose. As for the contention at the end of the article that states that killing Rita was certainly good for ratings - that's ridiculous. People didn't tune in to see Rita die, that was a twist. The real numbers will come in episode 1, season 5. How many people will tune in after such a contrived ending?
posted by SuperCat on Dec 21, 2009
I just watched the finale ( been out of the country) and I gotta say... episode 11 was fantastic, but the ending in 12... where rita was killed was... well, it HURT. I love the whole trying to make a family work with his dark passanger etc. I really liked it... the ending scene will really haunt me for a few night. It was remakable well done and too painful to watch again
posted by Cp on Dec 18, 2009
I don't like the fact that Rita was killed, but it was not that much of a suprise. Do you guys remember the finale of season 3 when a drop of blood fell on her wedding dress? My husband, and I both thought that was symbolic. I hate the fact that Trinity won! It is my favorite show still. I have to see what happens in Season 5, but I will miss Rita (even though she annoyed me).
posted by me.... on Dec 17, 2009
I think killing Rita was a terrible mistake and if she doesn't return in the fifth season ALIVE it's going to be a terrible terrible season... i loved dexter with his wife and family. the writers are dumb. you've definitaly ruined dexter for me
posted by rgalagher on Dec 17, 2009
Good riddance to One-note Rita. She was a simpering weight around Dexter's neck and I, for one, hope she never comes back.
posted by joshdjek on Dec 17, 2009
Shame on you dumb Europeans for clinging on to American culture and then calling us "dumb Americans" for expressing our opinions. See, in the U.S. we have FREE SPEECH. Something you people aren't too familiar with. Regardless, not all Americans are dumb...just MOST of them are (heh). But, don't group all of us together with the idiots. Other than that I agree with your post, except for there being "flaws" in the finale. Any questions seemingly left unanswered will be answered in the following seasons yet to come.
posted by Tonyo on Dec 17, 2009
How is Dexter going to explain where he was and why Trinity would go after Rita. Dexter will be exposed next season.
posted by i agree on Dec 17, 2009
never coming back the sound ruined it for me...
posted by EJ on Dec 15, 2009
Great article, but what is with the muliple auto-run flash ads with sound? It is bad enough to make me not want to visit the site again.
posted by Duh-Queefa Jackson-F on Dec 15, 2009
No, it was written by a graduate of the American High School system. Go figure. Dumb Americans.
posted by Bensongrrl on Dec 15, 2009
Shockingly constructed article
posted by Revmeister on Dec 15, 2009
Hey ... she went the entire season wearing the same style dress .... I would killed myself by now ...!!!
posted by wtf. on Dec 15, 2009
posted by Brousselaine on Dec 15, 2009
"Killing Rita apparently was worthwhile. The finale was watched by 2.6 million viewers" Whatever you decide to put in a specific episode NEVER is the reason why people watch that particular episode because, well, they haven't seen it yet.
posted by Happy Ender on Dec 15, 2009
I want to give her a massage.
posted by Cp on Dec 15, 2009
Give the writer a break! I don't think it was that bad. Yes there are flaws, but so what. I enjoyed the article. If you did not like the article, why did you continue to read it? "Dumb Americans" shame on you for saying that!
posted by LaQuisha Jackson-Cat on Dec 14, 2009
Is the person who wrote this a foreigner? It's horrifically written.

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