A Rose and a couple of thorns

Michael C. Hall ends the "Dexter" bloodletting on Sunday.

* DEXTER. 9 p.m. Sunday, Showtime.

* BREAKING BAD. 9 p.m. Sunday, AMC.

* CHARLIE ROSE: THE WEEK. 5 p.m. Sunday, WHYY12.


EVEN IF you wanted to, there's no escaping Charlie Rose.

His latest PBS show, "Charlie Rose: The Week," only serves to underline how busy the 71-year-old newsman is, since it often showcases work he's done at his other jobs, including his long-running late-night PBS show, "Charlie Rose," his "CBS This Morning" hosting gig and, of course, CBS' "60 Minutes."

Rose's interview with Syrian President Bashar Assad made news around the world, but he inadvertently made news of a lesser sort this summer when he revealed, during an appearance with "Breaking Bad" creator Vince Gilligan, that Rose would appear in the next-to-the-last episode of the series, which airs this Sunday.

Gilligan, who uses words like "gosh" and gives every appearance of being as nice a guy as people once thought Walter White of "Bad" was, was reported to have seemed mildly irritated by what he termed a "bit of a spoiler."

Rose, when I brought it up last month during an interview in Beverly Hills, Calif., said that he was "embarrassed" by the gaffe, but still seemed puzzled.

"Vince Gilligan asked me, would I do something [on the show]. What, I can't tell you. Because he won't tell you," Rose said.

"He never said to me, 'Look, you know, under threat of severe punishment, don't tell anyone that you're on 'Breaking Bad.' He never said any of that to me," he said.

"So I just mentioned . . . 'Why me?' That's all I said. We didn't say a single other word - what character would I do, when does it come, none of that," Rose said.

As for how "Breaking Bad" is going to end - because end it will, on Sept. 29 - Rose doesn't know anything, he said. "I wish I did, but then I'm not that demanding to know, because to watch it" is more fun. "I love the series."

Rose called star Bryan Cranston "the most impressive actor I've met in a long while," adding, "I say that even though some friends might not like my saying that. I found him to be really charismatic, funny, smart, a whole range of things. And I didn't know very much about him. It's been like that for me with Morgan Freeman, too. Magical."


Emmys & endings

The three-hour Emmycast will seem even longer than usual to me on Sunday - yes, I'll watch so you don't have to - because it means I won't be able to see "Breaking Bad" or the series finale of Showtime's "Dexter" until the annual giving of thanks to HBO is over.

I'm not really worried about "Breaking Bad," whose final eight episodes have so far been as focused a stretch of television as I've ever seen. That show knows where it's going, even if I don't.

But I am hoping that "Dexter" will stick the landing. Because after eight seasons of watching a self-described monster transformed into someone who's starting to consider himself human - while continuing to kill those he considers past such redemption - I'd like it all to mean something.

And maybe having these two shows racing toward the finish together doesn't do any favors for "Dexter," but after last season's stunning finale, I expected more from this one than I've seen.

Or maybe less, since the new storylines for several characters have felt like distractions, while the success of the second-chance romance between Dexter (Michael C. Hall) and Hannah (Yvonne Strahovski) seems about as likely as Charlie Brown's getting to kick that football.

I hope that "Dexter" pulls off an ending that reveals all this to be more than dithering. And I'll be watching. Eventually.


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Twitter: @elgray

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