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.