EW chatted exclusively with the original Dexter cast member who reprised his role Sunday in the special event series.
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SPOILER ALERT! Do not read unless you have seen the fifth episode of Dexter: New Blood on Showtime.

Look who came for a visit?

In Sunday's episode of Dexter: New Blood, David Zayas reprised his role as Sgt. Angel Batista in a scene involving Chief of Police Angela Bishop (Julia Jones). Zayas appeared on all eight seasons of Dexter from 2006-2013, so it wouldn't have felt like a true sequel if Batista didn't at least stop in once to say hi. In this case, the character was speaking at a law enforcement convention when Bishop approaches him afterward for advice.

After teasing the possibility of a surprise cast member in our Dexter cover story from September, EW scored the only interview with Zayas about his surprise return. "It brought back amazing memories," he tells us. "It was so much fun to be back."

DEXTER: NEW BLOOD
Credit: Seacia Pavao/SHOWTIME

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY When did you get the call to do appear in the event series?

DAVID ZAYAS I believe that had started when I got a call from [showrunner] Clyde Phillips. I said, 'of course, great. When do you want me to be there?'

Is it fair to say that you were giddy? 

I'm always giddy whenever I get a job! There were a lot of emotions that went into it, but overall I was extremely happy that I was asked to be a part of this reboot, even if it's in a small capacity.

So wait, this appearance at the hotel where you were giving a speech. Is that the only time we will see Batista?

You're going to have to wait and see!

So when we see Batista, he's still obviously working in Miami?

Yes. He's a captain now because he's had so many years of experience.

He didn't waste any time flirting with Angela.

That's what I loved about what Clyde wrote. Batista always goes goo-goo for pretty girls without knowing their intentions. He's had a history of doing that. I wouldn't say he's a good judge of picking somebody who might be maybe right for him. He just gets infatuated. He's genuinely looking for a connection with women.

Let's go back to the season 8 finale. How did you feel about the way they said goodbye to your character? 

There are always mixed feelings, right? I felt it might've been a little underwhelming. You always want to do more and you always want to be involved more. I didn't have as much of a problem with the ending as a lot of people did, simply because I thought there was a chance that we could come back. It's almost like it was left like that on purpose so we could come back. And in the finale, Batista sees Dexter commit something but he just lets it go. I'm talking about when Dexter takes the pen and stabs the guy in the neck. Me and Quinn [Desmond Harrington] see the video, look at each other and we just leave it as self-defense when it's pretty obvious — when you're a good cop — that it wasn't. I tried to negotiate to myself, "why he would let it go?" And then I realized that if it was someone close to me that I respected and loved ... I think it could go either way.

So when you heard Showtime was bringing Dexter back, did you think "I knew it?"

I did not! After the first few years [when they didn't reprise the show after the 2013 finale], I just figured that was it. So when I heard about this, I was very surprised.

Would you have wanted Angel to find out who Dexter really was or do you think it's better for the story that he never finds out? 

That's a difficult question to answer, but I guess I'm going to say that ultimately truth is going to set you free. So I would say yes.

Did Angel wear the fedora since day one?

Yes, from day one. In the beginning, I wasn't a cop. I was a forensics guy and then soon after they made me a cop and then a detective to put me in more of the storylines, which I appreciated. The whole hat thing was a combination of many things. I liked the look because it was in Miami and I'm Puerto Rican. I have a lot of uncles with hats just like that. Yeah. Very stylized I wanted to put that into this character.

Dexter: New Blood airs Sundays on Showtime.

This interview has been edited and condensed for length and clarity.

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Related content:

Dexter: New Blood (TV series)

Eight years after the much-maligned 'Dexter' finale, Michael C. Hall's serial killer reemerges for a new event series on Showtime.

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