"When we sit in the writing room, one of the first things we do is talk about—usually—what the ending will be," Phillips said to close Sunday's (July 25) Dexter: New Blood panel for Comic-Con@Home 2021. "We call that putting our nose against the ending and then walking backward and filling in all the either 10 or 12 episodes. The ending of this one will be stunning, shocking, surprising, unexpected. Without jinxing anything, I will say that the ending of this new season that we're doing will blow up the internet."
"Obviously, I have to be a little bit coy about this," the 62-year-old additionally teased. "But I will say that there will be some returning cast members from the original series that will make some people's brains explode."
Phillips served as executive producer and showrunner from Season 1 through Season 4 before departing to "spend more time with his family," as The Hollywood Reporter reported in December 2009. Phillips reprised his Dexter duties for the Showtime 10-episode limited series revival, which was first announced last October.
Michael C. Hall, who has played the titular serial-killing sociopath since the Emmy-winning series aired its 2006 pilot, also admitted to panel host Kristin Dos Santos that the unsatisfying way Dexter's original eight-season run concluded was "a huge part" of his decision to step back into Dexter Morgan.
"I think the ending was mystifying at best to people," the 50-year-old actor said. "Confounding, exasperating, frustrating, on down the line of negative adjectives. I think this is a show that is very important to all of us, and the chance to revisit it and maybe in the process redefine the sense of the show's ending, and the sense of the show's legacy more broadly, was certainly part of our motivation. No doubt."
Hall expressed the same sentiment during an interview with Times Radio in late June.
Dexter: New Blood will debut Nov. 7:
"Set 10 years after Dexter went missing in the eye of Hurricane Laura, the series finds him living under an assumed name in the small town of Iron Lake, New York," according to the Showtime's description. "Dexter may be embracing his new life, but in the wake of unexpected events in this close-knit community, his Dark Passenger beckons."
Watch the crew's nuanced 43-minute Comic-Con panel below.