[SPOILER ALERT: This article contains key plot details from Sunday's Season 4 finale.]
Dexter may have killed Arthur Mitchell, aka the Trinity Killer (John Lithgow), in the Season 4 finale of Dexter, but not before Trinity murdered Dexter's wife Rita (Julie Benz). TVGuide.com sat down with Lithgow at the Dexter finale party Sunday to hear his thoughts on the game-changing developments. Lithgow also discussed how the serial killer was almost spared from Dex's table and if he'll be returning to the show post-mortem.
TVGuide.com: First off, the season finale of Dexter was just heartbreaking.
John Lithgow: Isn't that something? "Wow" is the word.
TVGuide.com: What was the best part about working on the show this season?
Lithgow: There were certain scenes that were so extraordinarily well structured and so much fun to act. They all involve Michael C. Hall. Michael is a marvelous acting partner. The scene that begins the final episode, where I speak to him in that huge crowd and I know I have him exactly where I want him. I loved that scene. He was so great at working out the rhythms and finding the real meaning when the scene shifted. I loved my death scene with him and that appalling moment where I learn my own daughter committed suicide. It's very unusual for a character that despicable to have a moment like that, a moment of such pain.
TVGuide.com: Did you like that we saw those brief moments of anguish in Arthur?
Lithgow: Yeah, what I found most fascinating about the character is that he does appalling things and he hates himself for doing them, but he's got a compulsion. I just thought that was a very interesting inner conflict. Even when he's beating a man to death with a hammer, you see this terrible, terrible grief in his face. I thought that was a terrific conflict.
TVGuide.com: Was it hard to become such a despicable character who actually murders people?
Lithgow: No, that's what I do. [Laughs] You're always elated when a scene goes that well.
TVGuide.com: Any wish that you could've turned that tables and killed Dexter?
Lithgow: It wouldn't have been right. I needed to go. The character himself knew he needed to go. He was almost begging Dexter to do it. Look, he tried to commit suicide three episodes before. He knew this had to stop. If nobody else is going to stop me, I have to stop it myself. It's fascinating.
TVGuide.com: How do you feel coming into awards season having played a character with such depth?
Lithgow: I can honestly say I do not think about it. I felt like the whole Dexter experience ends tonight. It really ended on Oct. 13 when I finished shooting. Tonight, the great experience of unveiling it to the public is all over, so I feel very melancholy about tomorrow. As far as awards, I love getting awards. It's all very exciting. I suppose I would be disappointed if I didn't get nominated, but I try not to think about it because I think it's very corrupting. I don't want anything to take away the No. 1 priority, which is how great the experience was.
Were you sad Arthur killed Rita in the season finale?