On DEXTER (which airs its season finale on Sunday night), Michael C. Hall’s serial killer protagonist has lots of problems. One of these would be Miami police detective Joey Quinn, played by Desmond Harrington. Quinn is the partner and sometimes lover of Dexter’s sister Debra (Jennifer Carpenter) – and he’s also the one person at the station who thinks there’s something not quite right about the newly-widowed blood spatter expert.
Harrington takes five with ASSIGNMENT X regarding his suspicious character, his appearance on GOSSIP GIRL and playing a cop.
Season Four of DEXTER was pretty traumatic for a lot of characters. Dexter of course found his wife Rita dead in a pool of blood and has spent this season dealing with it. However, your character, Detective Joey Quinn, doesn’t seem overly upset that his girlfriend turned out to be the daughter of the Trinity Killer, a murderer herself and that she wound up shooting herself.
“We came back right where we left off [in the storyline, but], that’s a wrap on that in terms of the relationship,” says Harrington. “I think basically time has passed for that next. I don’t think Quinn is much of a griever. Basically, my character is, in terms of this season, on the trail of [trying to learn why Rita’s murder] happened at Dexter’s house and [finds] that [Dexter] resembles a sketch of Kyle Butler that we get from Trinity’s family, so this gives me a reason to investigate, whereas everybody else doesn’t want to look into the possibility of Dexter possibly killing his wife.
Would you say that Quinn is picking up the mantle of the late Doakes, who was Dexter’s police department nemesis in the first and second seasons?
“Yeah, in a much more circuitous way,” Harrington says. “I’m not as in his face, let’s say. Where it originally starts is that Dexter saw me steal money last season and he refuses to take any sort of bribe or kindness that I offer him. So from there, it becomes an irritation for me and I begin to pay more attention to him and notice certain oddities about his character and about his behavior. Whereas Doakes was relentless and sort of in his face, I think we have moments of little wise-ass-ness, but in general, it’s not the same sort of thing.
Are you becoming more comfortable with playing a cop as the seasons go on?
“You know, I grew up and a lot of the people I grew up around were cops, so I understand the blue-collar world fairly well and cops and robbers are sort of my forte,” says Harrington. “I can do those two things pretty well.”
Did you do any other acting work during your last DEXTER’s hiatus?
“I did GOSSIP GIRL again,” he says. “I did it two years in a row. I’m Chuck Bass’ uncle and I kind of come in and ruin this kid’s life every season. That’s pretty much what I do on this show.”
Since DEXTER’s original show runner Clyde Phillips is now gone on to other projects, did you perceive any difference in the tone of the show or in the way it’s run this season?
“No, not really,” says Harrington. “[New show runner] Chip Johannessen’s doing a really fantastic job. Chip – I think he brought in Manny Coto and Ken Leonard and they did a great job. It’s a great season.”
CLICK HERE to read ASSIGNMENT X’s Season Five reviews of DEXTER