Aside from Dexter Morgan himself, Michael C. Hall (Six Feet Under), Showtime’s return to the blood-splattered world of Dexter has been absent of any cast members from the original series. That changed on Monday when Deadline broke the news that John Lithgow (3rd Rock from the Sun, Perry Mason) would return to the series in a “a short but decisive appearance” as Arthur Mitchell, the formidable villain known as The Trinity Killer.
John Lithgow is returning to #Dexter. Per @DEADLINE, Lithgow is “set to make a short but decisive appearance” as the Trinity Killer in the upcoming new season of the Showtime series. Lithgow won an Emmy for his portrayal during the show’s original run. pic.twitter.com/ldK7m7QUji
— IndieWire (@IndieWire) June 28, 2021
Deadline referred to Lithgow’s “family-man murderer” as a fan-favorite for his twisted dynamic with Hall’s Dexter Morgan. TVLine dubbed Lithgow the “most iconic villain” of Dexter’s original eight-season run, earning an Emmy for his role in the series.
Though fans are excited to see a major villain return to the franchise, Deadline emphasizes that Lithgow’s role will be brief. “Lithgow is expected to only film for about a day or so on the L.A.-set production,” Deadline specified. “It is likely that his on-camera work will occur in the next week or so.”
As with many members of Dexter’s original revolving cast, Lithgow’s Trinity Killer met his demise at the hands of the Bay Harbor Butcher in the show’s fourth season. It’s possible then that Lithgow’s deceased character will visit Dexter, who has now assumed the alias Jim Lindsay, as a fleeting vision or dream. Based on the production timeline provided by Deadline, Lithgow’s appearance will likely be limited to just one scene in Dexter’s ten-episode revival season.
While Lithgow will not stick around as the season’s overall villain, Hall will instead face off against Clancy Brown (The Shawshank Redemption, Starship Troopers). The second teaser trailer for Dexter’s revival led fans to speculate that Brown may even serve as the impetuous for Dexter to return to his murderous ways, perhaps a memory of Lithgow will help nudge the former blood-splatter expert onto his deadly path.
Showtime announced that Dexter will return for its ninth season this fall, with showrunner Clyde Phillips (Nurse Jackie, Feed the Beast) back at the helm. As far as fans know, Lithgow has been the only cast member from the original series booked to make a return appearance in the upcoming series.