Comic-Con fans were treated to an early glimpse of Dexter's heartbreaking Sept. 26 season premiere, which features the return of Julie Benz as the lifeless body of Dexter Morgan's murdered wife, Rita. "It's heavy," Hall told TV Guide Magazine. "In the first episode, I think Dexter is in a state of suspended shock when he encounters his wife's corpse. But after six years of playing a funeral director on Six Feet Under, it was fun for me to be on the other side of an intake meeting with a director who wasn't played by me."
Hall says he was respectful of Benz, who agreed to not only get back into the tub of blood for murder investigation scenes, but also climbed into a coffin for Rita's funeral. "It's a pretty creepy thing to get into a casket, especially when you're having to act dead," said Hall, recalling the episode's director instructing Benz to "hold your breath" and not flicker her eyes. "Julie and I laughed about the absurdity of the situation, but we didn't joke around about it too much. I wanted her to be able to get out of there as soon as she could."
The premiere preview also offered teases of Dexter breaking the tragic news to Rita's horrified children, Astor and Cody. "It's pretty unbelievable what he and his kids have been saddled with," said Hall. "At the end of the fourth season, the kids were off to Disneyland with the parent's of Rita's first husband, Paul, so they will be in the picture when the news comes of what's happened." Expect Astor to turn on her stepfather, whom she (rightly) blames for her mother's slaughter.
One thing Hall says not to expect anytime soon: Dexter reentering the dating scene. "I don't think Dexter's looking for a new relationship or even to hook up," Hall says. "His appetite is to behave compulsively in different ways."