I’m not sure what to think about the news that Dexter showrunner Daniel Cerone has departed the show for Dirty Sexy Money‘s greener pastures. Then again, such ambivalence is consistent with my take on Dexter in general. I love Michael C. Hall and the writing directly around him, but feel like the show misses it’s true calling by prioritizing soap opera-level plotting over the character interaction. We’re mostly limited to catching beautiful glimmers of character conflict now and again, and I’m afraid the Dexter/Doakes interactions at the end of season two will be the exception, not the rule.

What does Cerone’s departure mean for the series? No one knows yet, and Variety doesn’t name a specific successor. As long as Jeff Lindsay and James Manos, Jr. are still around we might not see much change at all. It’s a weird move, though, since Showtime president Robert Greenblatt hasn’t hedged on qualifying Dexter as a hit. Moreover, it’s poised to become a bigger one, thanks to exposure on CBS.

But I can’t help wondering if, post-strike, there was any friction about where the series should go next. While season one was based in large part on the novel Darkly Dreaming Dexter, the second season went farther off into new territory, reworking the parts of the second novel it didn’t abandon completely. The third novel, which lends the story a supernatural bent and makes weird moves with Rita’s kids, is considered to be absolute rubbish, and has been decried left and right. (I haven’t read it, and based on what I know of the plot developments my interests in it are pure rubbernecking.)

Have to wonder, however: is there some push to use more of the third novel’s material? If so, that would probably send my interest in the series into a sharp dive, Michael C. Hall love notwithstanding. Could the same have happened for Cerone? But then, people love crap like Heroes, so what do I know?

Dexter remains renewed for a third season, with Greenblatt promising it for the fall. Think they’ll change the (otherwise great) opening credits so that Dexter no longer shaves, then grows enough stubble during breakfast to walk out of his apartment like it’s 5 o’clock? Probably not. Meanwhile, if you start watching the edited reruns on CBS this Sunday night, you’ll only be two episodes behind the curve.