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Anthony Tini writes...


From one Dexter fan to another, what did you think of the Season 4 finale? Does being a writer and involved in the creative process of creating entertaining television give you an edge to kind of guess or see events like that coming? Personally, I did NOT see it coming and I very surprised and bothered by it. It took me a long time to finally fall asleep after watching that final scene. It was fantastic and probably one of the best scenes I've ever seen on TV. I'm purposefully not mentioning details for those who have yet to see it.

At the time of this question, the first episode of Season 5 has premiered, but I have yet to watch it. By the time you get to this question I hope to have watched it. If you've seen it, I'd love to hear your thoughts about it, where you think the season will go, and your hopes for future seasons. Speaking of the Dexter premiere, good luck with yours! Take care.

- Tony

Greg responds...

Dexter aside, I often astound my kids by being able to predict what is to come on series. (I always pause the playback and ASK if they want me to tell them my theory. Usually, they say yes.) Often, my guesswork is a combination of story savvy and casting savvy. For an easy example, take the classic Murder, She Wrote template. Only one regular character and a handful of occasional recurring friends of hers. The rest of who you're seeing on screen is guest cast. The guests usually include some great character actors and some newbies in the mix. But there are almost always two stars (of varying degrees of magnitude). That's the eyeroll for me. Because inevitably one star is killed in either the Teaser or the first act. And the other star is always the killer. Because that's the thing with stars. They either want the one great scene that leads to their death -- but also means they don't have to work many scenes for the money. Or they want to be the killer, i.e the most significant character in the episode (not counting Jessica Fletcher). Few series were as casting blatant as Murder She Wrote was, but to some extent casting is still a tremendous indicator of what's to come on nearly every kind of series.

I don't just use casting either, of course. I know story. I know how writers think. Which does NOT mean I can't be surprised. But I think I'm a bit harder to surprise than the average joe or joan. I don't mind, generally. It's the ride for me, and if the ride is good...

Of course, none of that has much to do with Dexter and/or last season's season finale. I think I had a feeling of dread at the very least. Maybe a notion. But I don't remember, and even if I had a clear sense of what was going to happen, it didn't mitigate the horror of what came. My daughter and I needed a palette cleansing episode of The Office afterwards before bed.

I have seen the Dexter season premiere. But I hesitate to make any predictions. Trying just to enjoy the ride.

Response recorded on September 29, 2010