Exec Producer Explains 'Dexter' Shocking Finale - '''Spoiler Alert'''

When the producers of "Dexter" said they were going to give one shocking finale that no other shows had ever done, they were not kidding. [Spoiler Alert] Rita Bennett aka Dexter's wife and one of the major characters in the serial killer series has been killed off and no one saw that coming. Clyde Phillips was available to explain.

In an exclusive interview with the executive producer, EW threw the burning question of why it was Rita who should take the fall. To this Phillips said, "The story evolved and it kind of became inevitable. We knew that we had to do more than kill Trinity. It's a little bit of a corner that we paint ourselves into. Last year we tried to avoid that and actually I think we didn't do as well as we could have." Clyde added that they had to raise the bar as Trinity's death would be inevitable.

On the Sunday, December 13 finale, Rita was supposed to hop on a cab and head to romantic gateway when she forgot her ID. She ended up being murdered in the bathtub by Trinity while baby Harrison was left crying in her pool of blood. This image mirrors Dexter's traumatic childhood when he watched his mother died before him and was soaked in her blood.

Julie Benz, the actress who played Rita, is said to be unhappy with the character being killed off. "She loved being with us. We loved having her with us. She took it... professionally. She was greatly disappointed. She's a professional. She works in television. She knew that this was a possibility," Phillips revealed. He also could not confirm whether Rita will be back as a ghost in future episodes.

For one thing, the writers actually had an alternative ending that eventually was not picked. "While Dexter was packing to leave, he saw on the television that a child murderer had just escaped from prison. Either escaped or fallen thru the cracks. So he's thinking, 'Do I join Rita on vacation or do I...' and then he looks towards the camera and he has this big decision," Phillips elaborated.

Rita's death is not the only shock in the finale. Deb found out that Dex is related to the Ice Truck Killer and whether she will find out Dex's alter ego, this would be the cliffhanger for season 5. Showtime has not arranged a date for the return but traditionally, it will begin around September.

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Default avatar cat
Dec 14, 2009 11:29AM EST

"shocking finale" i saw it coming weeks ago, i was in 2 minds once it was revealed trinity killed off a child first, would it be cody or would it be rita? but i have 1 question if trinity always starts off his pattern of child then bathtub will the spoiler for next season be he not only killed rita but also cody as it was not shown he killed a child? i could be way off base here ppls thoughts are welcome.
the shocker is the way he found harrison

Default avatar cat
Dec 14, 2009 12:05PM EST

OMG, this was amazing. I expected a main character to go, but I didnt see THIS coming...
This season was excellent, I was a bit dissappoited with season 3, but they pulled it back together big time in S 4.
Cant wait to see what this traumatic event does to Dexter and if his smart sister is going to find out his REAL secret..
OMG, its already too long to wait until next year, to see what the writes come up with !!!

Default avatar cat
Dec 14, 2009 12:26PM EST

I really didn't think killing Rita off was necessary, maybe they could have killed someone off from the department or something. I must admit that I was floored and didn't see that coming after Lundy was killed. Whats going to happen to the kids? How is Dexter going to go around killing if he has 3 kids at home waiting for him. Plus we were seeing Dexter grow as a family man and they just killed the whole story line as you see him grow as a married man. Loved the episode, great shocker, but was that really necessary?

Default avatar cat
Dec 14, 2009 2:35PM EST

I had a more technical thought. If Arthur was thrown off by the wrong address the first time around when he just got to Dexter's bachelor pad, how did he find his actual house? And how did he time his arrival there exactly so that he ran into Rita coming back to pick up her ID? This seems a little too perfect to me.
Also Arthur's family says that they woke up in the morning to find him gone. After that they show him at the garage picking up his car and driving through the day. So when did he have the time to go to Dexter's house, wait for Rita, kill her and get back on track?
Plus I really liked the side of Dexter Rita brought out, and its heart breaking that shes gone :(

Dec 14, 2009 2:52PM EST

Why Rita?? Noooooo

Dec 14, 2009 3:57PM EST

I can't believe! This is wrong... Great shoking ending, but no.... And didn't Trinity kill single young girls in the bathtab? Why Rita? She doesn't fit the pattern? I thought he will go for Deborah! And that is how she would find out who he realy is (Dex). They should make one more episode and finish the series... I'll miss Rita and Dexter without her, I raelly can't emaginate what are they going to do the next season! Good that they have so much time! I agree with disha about the side of Dexter Rita brought out. What will hapen whit that now?

Default avatar cat
Dec 14, 2009 4:52PM EST

I don't think Trinity did this - unless the writers are very dumb, because as a poster above pointed out Trinity would not have had time to do it, she didn't fit his pattern and his running into Rita would have been too coincidental to be real. My feeling is that they're going to reveal that this is yet another serial killer who's somehow connected to Dexters childhood, hence the baby sitting in blood. Maybe Debra's gone all psycho on us...? That would be an interesting twist - lol
I thought Rita was a brilliant character and a acted as a moral teacher for Dexter so the writers are still going to have a tough time making him grow from here on in. Good luck to them...

Default avatar cat
Dec 14, 2009 5:22PM EST

Man i was shocked at the finale! i mean i kinda thought it would have been cody that would have been sadly killed, but rita! It was great how dexter killed trinity with a hammer, and trinity killed rita in a bathtub! it was good all around, but i found myself depressed to see her go.

Default avatar cat
Dec 14, 2009 6:18PM EST

personally i was really depressed watching that ending and thinking about it now makes me just as upset. rita was one of my favorite characters and she really did bring so much to the show. do i think they should have killed her off? no. but as dexter was saying at the end of the show the irony that he finds his son sitting in a pool of his mothers blood, which for the writters could open up a lot of doors, but only if we would see the kid grow up like dexter. I don't know its going to be really tough to not be able to see rita in next season

Default avatar cat
Dec 14, 2009 6:26PM EST

How could they have put out the one light of sunshine in this show?? come one!! The Debra theory is very interesting. She knows about Dexter's past, She has insight into how serial killers work, she has some major PTSD right now, Trinity couldn't have done it bc Dexter was in the mustang the whole time it seems, It doesn't follow Trinity's pattern and he is a creature of habit. Either the writers didn't think these things over or there's another killer or (and I'm hoping this is the case) it's all just a dream. Rita R.I.P.

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Dec 15, 2009 1:06AM EST

Rita's character annoyed me, however I'm sad for Dexter! I was definitely shocked and I have a feeling Trinity is not the one who killed her. There could be a copycat, because Trinity always killed women with two kids. Rita had 3. Plus, he never got to kill a 10 year old boy. His planned child victim was saved by Dexter. Unless Trinity killed Cody and we haven't seen that yet. Either the writers messed up on that key part, or someone else murdered Rita. It'd be awesome if Dex was just having a nightmare but I highly doubt it.

Default avatar cat
Dec 15, 2009 3:19PM EST

I suppose they really did have to kill Rita off, the whole series was his struggle between having a family and accomodating the dark passenger, with Harry always saying that if he loved them, he'd leave.
Anyways, you can't really use Trinity didn't kill Rita cos its not his MO as an arguement. Was Kyle Butler part of his MO? He, like all killers potrayed in this series, kill out of neccessity. He needs to kill those cycle of 4 people cos they represent his family, he needed to kill Rita (if he did indeed kill Rita), because he needed to teach Dexter a lesson.

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