With all the TV revivals that have happened in recent years, it's definitely not a novelty anymore to hear about a former fan-favorite series being called back into action, but it's still quite exciting for those fans. Michael C. Hall's Dexter, for a big bloody example, is finally giving audiences the do-over that everyone has been asking for since that polarizing Season 8 finale aired in 2013. And while there has been much jubilation amongst those awaiting the killer-of-killers' revival season (which recently dropped a first-look teaser), former star James Remar has seemingly confirmed that not only will Harry Morgan be absent in the new season, but so will all the other original cast members
This update from James Remar is almost as disturbing as anything that ever happened on Dexter, including that entire eighth season's existence. And while it could obviously end up being less than 100% accurate by the time the show actually arrives on Showtime, he certainly sounds confident in his knowledge in a video to a fan. In Remar's words:
I will not be back as Harry Morgan on Dexter Season 9. And thank you for saying that Harry is one of the best characters you've ever seen in a TV show. It was one of the best characters I ever had the chance to play. Especially Season 1. You know, pal, they just didn't ask any of the original cast back. And so I don't know what they're doing. I really have no idea.
So again, that means no Harry Morgan issues for Dexter. It means no further resolution between Dexter and Jennifer Carpenter's Debra Morgan. No silky-smooth romancing from David Zayas' Angel Batista. No anti-silky-smooth romancing from C.S. Lee's Vince Masuka. And so on, and so on. While I wouldn't have necessarily expected to see any emotionally wrought flashbacks with Julie Benz's long dead Rita, or another posthumous appearance from Erik King's Doakes, I definitely expected SOMEONE to make an appearance of some kind. But now I'm just stressed in that super-compacted way that scripted TV news can be stressful.
I'm not going to pretend like there aren't potentially sound and sensible reasons why Dexter's creator James Manos Jr. and Showtime's execs would choose not to bring back any of the original cast members beyond Michael C. Hall as the former blood spatter expert. It's possible part of the planning for this ninth season involved a smaller budget, which meant it wouldn't have been financially viable to have multiple returning stars and still pull off top-notch episodes with new stars like Clancy Brown. Alternately, the obviously necessary shift in locales from Miami to Iron Lake, a fictional town in Upstate New York, doesn't allow for the easiest explanations for why everyone Dexter knew in Florida would suddenly travel up the coast to confront him in some way. Granted, James Remar wouldn't have had that issue as Harry, but still.
As James Remar sees it, the onus for keeping the original cast out of the loop is not on the original stars themselves, as he implied it wouldn't have been hard to get others involved, saying:
It's too bad, because all of us wanted to go back. But it's their show, so they're gonna do what they wanna do.
This update isn't enough to make me give up on ever watching the show, of course, because I truly cannot wait to see if Dexter can partially redeem itself by returning to its delectably evil roots. But I'd definitely argue that the cast was the main reason Dexter kept a fingernail on the rails going into the previous finale, so the alleged fact that none of them will be returning for the revival makes me a Doubtful Passenger.