WARNING: Spoilers for Dexter: New Blood Episode 5 Below
Dexter: New Blood episode 5 holds a special place in Michal C. Hall’s heart. On top of the fact that the episode features one of the series’ biggest twists yet, the song playing over the credits is one by his band, Princess Goes to the Butterfly Museum. Titled “Ketamine,” the song is named after the drug that Dexter uses to subdue his victims, of which he claims another in the latest entry of the new season.
Screen Rant spoke with Michael C. Hall about what it’s like to tour with the band while Dexter is airing, the inspiration for the song “Ketamine,” and those shocking twists in New Blood episode 5.
Screen Rant: You’ve got this awesome band Princess Goes to the Butterfly Museum, and now you’re finally able to tour it at the same time that you’re back as Dexter. What is that like feeling like to finally have like, having both of these projects out in the world and being able to share them with your fans?
Michael C. Hall: It’s great. It’s really gratifying. The band is something that we’ve been up to for a few years and [we] had been playing gigs in New York. We’re about to take a trip out to L.A. Kind of got shut down as far as performing live so since we did some shows in New York in late October and have subsequently gone on this tour here in the UK, it’s been so great to just be in front of a live audience.
The fact that it’s coinciding with Dexter coming out is purely a coincidence really. But it’s gratifying. I feel like I skipped town to do this little tour but a lot of the people coming to the shows are letting me know that they’re watching the new season which is a heavy thing. But it’s great. I feel very lucky to manage to work during the pandemic and to be able to play the music live in front of audiences.
Do you find any differences or similarities when you’re fronting the band or starring in a stage show like Hedwig and the Angry Inch versus when you’re tapping into the character of Dexter, which is a much darker and more isolating thing I would think?
Michael C. Hall: I think part of the thrill of performing with the band is unique in as much as I’m putting over material that we created together. Dexter is a very sort of isolating experience in a way – he’s trapped in his layers of secrets. His real confidant is the audience and they’re not really there. When you’re in a room full of people who are there with you experiencing something that requires a much more full-on, expansive, singing at the top of your lungs energy, it’s a very different experience. And I think maybe in the long run, better for you. More of an endorphin rush.
I want to get into the song “Ketamine,” which closes out this week’s episode of Dexter brilliantly. Can you talk a little bit about the inspiration for that song?
Michael C. Hall: It was only after the fact that I think Clyde [Phillips, showrunner of Dexter] reminded me. I knew it but I hadn’t made the connection that ketamine is the drug that Dexter uses to inject these victims and put them down. But the reason this song is called ketamine is it’s about a therapeutic ketamine treatment that I did alongside my girlfriend at the time, she’s now my wife, at the doctor’s office where they injected us. We went on a sort of side-by-side, one-hour mind adventure.
The song is about the experience I had, alongside what I knew was Morgan’s experience, which was a lot less sunny and happy and was more intense. It felt like a metaphor for our relationship – you want to kind of give in to your own trip, but you also want to be aware that another person alongside you might have a very different subjective experience. In a way, that experience fortified my connection with her because the intensity of the experience was kind of matched by my desire to remain aware of her own. But yeah, the lyrics of the song were inspired by that actual experience of doing therapeutic ketamine.
When I was reading the lyrics, it was really about longing for connection, but also feeling that feeling of disconnection. With the revelation at the end of the episode, which kind of shifts Dexter’s relationship with his current girlfriend and shows his past kind of catching up to him, how did you feel about that big reveal and how do you think it’ll change Angela (Julia Jones) and Dexter’s relationship going forward?
Michael C. Hall: It definitely will deepen it whether or not the relationship can survive such a secret being revealed to her. And whatever Dexter does, however, he negotiates that new reality will remain to be seen. It’s the very thing that he’s trying to put behind him and himself from – his past, his former self.
This season more generally, I think it’s about that bubbling up. He’s reminded that you can’t really run away from your past and so I think it will result in a more honest relationship. He’ll be required to share some things, as you can imagine. He’ll probably be selective with what he reveals, or how he reveals it, or how he manages the fact that she knows that he’s pretending to be someone else.
It also feels kind of emblematic of Dexter’s mindset as a whole. He claims a new victim in this episode and while it is a bad guy, like his typical victims are, his motivation is also partially influenced by his love for his son and wanting to feel more connected and protective. Can you talk a little bit about Dexter’s mindset at this point in the season? We’re getting into the back half and things are really picking up.
Michael C. Hall: He has these two relationships. He has a relationship with his girlfriend and to this new life that he’s made. But the really deep relationships he’s managing or the relationships that he turned his back on – his relationship with his son and his relationship with the dark passenger. He’s trying to manage both. I think the lyrics to the song could be heard with Harrison in mind and Dexter’s relationship with him. Also, Dexter’s relationship with his dark passenger and his impulse to kill, having just recently reopened the door to that part of himself.
The relationship with Harrison is really the foundational thing for this new season. [What’s] most interesting to me about that relationship is Dexter has simultaneous contradictory impulses with his son characterized by this, this the wish that [Harrison] is not like him and doesn’t have the dark passenger. [But], at the exact same time, he desperately hopes that his son is like him. Because I think Dexter is very isolated and a somewhat lonely person. To discover that this product of his flesh and blood shares some sort of fundamental connection to his otherwise isolating secret, something that he can’t help. But on the flip side of this, [Dexter] hopes that Harrison is free of it.
New episodes of Dexter: New Blood air Sundays at 9 PM on Showtime.
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Author: Graeme Guttmann