'Dexter' panel live blog: No spoilers ... here

dexter-michael-c-hall-s4-320.jpgMichael C. Hall's most ardent fans get a second dose of the Golden Globe-winning actor after he finishes the Showtime Antiheroes panel.

He stays on the dais Thursday (July 22) for the "Dexter" panel to tease the upcoming fifth season that premieres Sept. 26 at 9 p.m. ET.

Hall is joined by Jennifer Carpenter (Deb), Desmond Harrington (Quinn) and executive producers John Goldwyn, Sara Colleton, Chip Johannessen and Manny Coto. KROQ DJ Ralph Garman moderates.

Join us for the live blog -- wifi problems, typos and all.

Oh yeah ... SPOILERS!!

6:00 p.m. - We get an first look at the new "Dexter" webisodes -- "Early Years: First Cuts" and then the game. Yeah, a game. The Dexter there looks even creepier if you can believe it.
Moderator Ralph Garman then shows us scenes from the upcoming season.

6:08 p.m. - First look of "Dexter" Season 5: Poor crying Harrison, and then of course the police arrive and find even sadder Rita's corpse. He says "It was me." What does that mean? We also see him break the news to Astor and Cody. Quinn finds Dexter's story fishy and is going to investigate. Man, Astor is really angry at Dexter. She gets some good stuff this year. Harry is back of course. We hear that 90 percent of the time, the husband is the one killed the wife. We see plenty of blood spatter too. Uh-oh. "Conscience is a killer." Applause!

6:11 p.m. - The cast and EPs in da house!

6:13 p.m. -  Writer Johannessen talks about Dexter's current nightmare, which is of his own creation this time. Colleton says Julie Benz was such a huge part of the team and important for Dexter's steps to being a real human being. "It was heartbreaking." Hall: "To see Julie leave was really tough" and jokes that she's at Comic-Con too for "No Ordinary Family," costarring Michael C. Hiklis (heh).

6:15 p.m. - So will Deb actually put together the pieces? Not really says Carpenter. Deb is going to step up as an aunt, but she may not be great at it. "She hasn't dropped the baby yet ... on camera," jokes Carpenter.

 6:17 p.m. - Remar says that after your world is rocked, you go back to your basics. So yes, Harry is still a voice in Dexter's life. "It's a cool dance we get to do ... to make sure that Harry's being the fundamental voice of Dexter's path."

6:19 p.m. - Coto is new and had left "24," and says that he had to get used to the humor as well as not using the real-time aspect.

6:20 p.m. - Goldwyn says this season, Dexter is exploring uncharted territory emotionally, as a single parent, coping with the loss of his kids' mother and then interacting with the new characters (guest stars).

6:21 p.m. - Questions from the audience now!

6:22 p.m. -  A new blowup for the new season? Not necessarily about the body count, but we'll see a lot of new colors in Dexter's repertoire. What?

6:23 p.m. - Anyone see the common ground between Batman and Dexter Morgan? Nobody on the panel gets it, so the person asking the question basically explains it all. Hall does reference "Batman Begins" and when Christian Bale's character surrenders to the bats, so Dexter has surrendered to his darkness.  "And Harry is Alfred." Ha!

6:24 p.m. - Does Hall ever feel like Dexter in life? "Sometimes in traffic." He says of course sometimes you take your work home with you in terms of acting. "I'm never more relaxed than on a day when I've just simulated killing someone. It's a great stress reliever."

6:25 p.m. - Hall talks about last season's guest star John Lithgow and  how they kept cracking up during their scenes.

6:26 p.m. - A lady with a British accent asks if there will be another psycho female British character. No one knows.

6:27 p.m. - Uh no, Lithgow's album "Singing in the Bathtub" did not influence the writers or his storyline.

6:28 p.m
. - Jennifer Carpenter confirms that being wrapped in Saran Wrap was one of the odder things she's done. Um, yeah. Um, yeah. She adds that she doesn't think Deb will necessarily know what's going on with Dexter.

6:29 p.m. - Remar reminisces hanging out with the cast. "We were a little family."

6:30 p.m. - How much do the books influence the series? Pretty much only the first season. From that season on, it's been based on what happened in Dexter's life the previous year. Then that's original.

6:31 p.m. - Johannessen says that creative atmosphere is like a big happy family with "joyous" table reads and then gives props to "that guy there," meaning Hall.

6:33 p.m. - Hall's favorite twist is the one at the end of the fourth season, but ooh, Carpenter's favorite is one yet to come. She's interested in seeing how Deb will react when she finds out. Ambiguous enough? Hmm, they're not giving away any spoilers because Carpenter claims she doesn't know anything about the upcoming seasons.

6:35 p.m. - This season's guest stars discussed. We already know about Julia Stiles, Jonny Lee Miller, Peter Weller. C'mon, we know these. Any other details? "We're excited about them." Eh.

6:37 p.m. - They add that Stiles hasn't done TV before, so this is her inaugural effort. Apparently, when Peter Weller's character was first being written (but not yet cast) they just called him "Weller." Whew! That was convenient casting!

6:38 p.m. - Hall's favorite guest star to work with is Lithgow, but he adds, "I've enjoyed all the people I've killed." Carpenter of course loved working with Keith Carradine.

6:39 p.m. - Did Trinity really kill Rita or was it the creepy next door neighbor? Okay, big laughs all around for that silly question.

6:39 p.m. - Hall read a little about serial killers, transcripts of interviews and accounts of FBI profiles. But he's found Dexter to be "singular among serial killers" since he has this code.

6:40 p.m. - "This show creeps me out," Carpenter confesses after a fan's question reminds her of something intense and sort of uncomfortable from the show. And then she gives love to Comic-Con crowd.

6:42 p.m.
- Ooh, killer Scottish accent guy asks how they're gonna top Trinity. Hall jokes that Dexter will go into hell and kill the devil himself.

6:43 p.m. - The panel is intrigued by the idea of Dexter examining the Dark Passenger and why he was chosen.

6:44 p.m.
- Carpenter tries to take a stab (heh) at the Deb love life question in the video below:



6:45 p.m. - Huge round of applause after one guy says, "Mr. Hall, eff cancer. You da man."

6:47 p.m. - Carpenter admits that she cusses more now in real life ever since Deb was unleashed. "Everybody should."

6:48 p.m. - Colleton says that when Dexter had it all last season is when the punishment came, when he thought he had it all. So the Rita killing was a tough decision to make, but it had to be done because she was the most important thing in his life.

6:49 p.m. - Rita's blood is definitely on his hands, so that's why he says "It was me" at the beginning of the fifth season.

6:50 p.m. - What other roles has Remar enjoyed playing? We hear someone yell out "White Chicks." Remar says Dutch Schultz from "The Cotton Club" was difficult but that Harry's the best.

6:52 p.m. - Hall says the baby who plays Harrison is a genius.

6:53 p.m. - All producers say that NO, Rita won't come back as a Harry-type of character.

6:54 p.m. - What are the actors' weaknesses in acting? Remar says he sometimes gets self-conscious and that's when he messes up. What's great is when the panel moves on, and Carpenter hasn't answered the question, we see her on screen mouth "Thank God."

6:55 p.m. - Hall thoroughly enjoyed killing Little Chino because he was so big.

6:56 p.m. - Of the upcoming season, Hall says Dexter's life is a logistical nightmare, relying on his sister, hiring a nanny and perhaps dealing with even more sleep deprivation.

6:57 p.m. - Rita's death and how it affects the kids plays a large part in the plot this season, especially from Astor.

6:58 p.m. - Now that Dexter can't have it all, does he turn his back on the code? But Coto says that, "Dexter without the code really isn't Dexter," but there will be a strain this season.

Okay, not much in the way of info for the upcoming season details-wise, but we'll get the promo we saw up as soon as possible. And we're so thrilled to see Hall healthy and smiling on the panel .

Not to worry though. Zap2it sat down with the actors and producers at Comic-Con, so we'll give some better hints soon and even post a video or two.

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