Sunday, September 26, 2010

Dexter 5.1: New Season, New Beginnings

From the moment that familiar music sounded until the end credits rolled this episode packed a powerful punch which leads me to be extremely optimistic about the fifth season of Dexter.

Dexter is forced to face the reality of Rita's murder. While his is a reaction typical of shock after the loss of a loved one, those around him begin to question his apparent detachment from her death. None more so than Quinn who is doing some digging into Dexter and Rita's life, and is intrigued when he discovers the brief fling she had with their neighbor Elliot. I was slightly annoyed with the questioning of Dexter's reaction because he was clearly in shock, and we know Dexter is a sociopath and is detached from those around him, but he did love Rita and will feel lost without her. His seeing his wife dead in a bathtub filled with blood caused a state of shock and there is nothing wrong with that.

Things become very emotional when he has to break the news to Astor and Cody. Astor accuses Dexter of not taking care of Rita, which was his job, and says life would have been better for all of them if they had never met him. Dexter can't help but agree with this assessment.

The flashbacks to Dexter and Rita's first date were a wonderful touch. They show the dynamic of those two characters and it's nice to see them before they really became comfortable around each other. While Rita is rambling on about whether she will play it safe and order the ceasar salad or branch out and order the mushroom ravioli, Dexter is already stalking his next kill. He even ends the date abruptly claiming a stomach bug so he can go off and kill someone. This is classic Dexter.

As for Deb, she really stepped up to the plate and showed how strong she can be for those around her, especially Dexter. It was great to finally see her and Quinn get together, because that tension has been building for seasons now. It will be exciting to see where that relationship goes this season, especially since all the previews show Quinn investigating Dexter's past and Deb never stands for anyone questioning her brother. She defends him in any situation. We'll see if that lasts.

Overall this was a very strong episode, and the funeral scene was a very emotional one. It's hard to say goodbye to Rita as she has been such a strong character and such a grounding force for Dexter. I'm excited to see how everything will play out.

Dexter: Season 4 in Review

Showtime's hit TV series Dexter returns tonight at 9:00. It's been 9 months since fans saw Dexter's lovely wife Rita lying dead in a bathtub full of blood and everyone is eager to see what comes next for him and the kids.

But before we fully embrace season five, here is a quick recap of the fourth season for those of you who may have missed it.

We see Dexter fully immersed in his new life as husband and father to Rita's two children, Astor and Cody (from a previous marriage) and baby Harrison, Dexter and Rita's son. He has difficulty learning how to juggle his new role with his family and keep his "dark passenger" satisfied. And this season Dexter has a serial killer nemesis again who far surpasses The Ice Truck Killer in cunning and in kill count. This is none other than the Trinity Killer (aka Arthur Mitchell, played by the genius John Lithgow) who has been killing in three victim cycles all over the country for 30 years. His victims are a young woman who is killed in a bathtub, a mother who jumps to her death and a father who is bludgeoned. These victims represent the deaths of his sister, mother and father. It is later revealed that there are four victims per cycle, not three, the first of which is a young boy who represents Trinity.

Arthur Mitchell has a family and lives a seemingly normal life, something that fascinates Dexter who can't find the right balance with his extracurricular activity of choice. He poses as Kyle Butler and begins spending all his time with the Mitchell family, trying to learn from him before he finds the right opportunity to kill him. Things take a turn for the worse when Arthur discovers Butler's true identity and he gets to Dexter's family. Dexter kills Trinity but not before, unbeknownst to him, he has killed Rita and left Harrison on the floor in her blood mirroring Dexter's own "born in blood" experience.

Debra, Dexter's beloved sister, ends her relationship with Anton and rekindles the flame with Agent Lundy who has returned to track down Trinity. Things don't end well for Lundy when he and Deb are gunned down by none other than Trinity's oldest daughter who is the reporter dating Detective Quinn, Christine Hill. No one knows that she is Trinity's daughter until late in the season. She confesses to shooting Lundy to prevent her father's capture and she then kills herself.

Sparks fly between Angel Batista and Lieutenant Maria LaGuerta and they engage in a romantic relationship of which no one in the office is aware, apart from Dexter. When they go public with their relationship their careers come under fire and one of them will be reassigned from homicide. So they break up, only to realize they love each other too much to be apart. For these reasons the two become husband and wife.

This season shows each of the characters in a whole new light as they are all tested in new ways and have to discover new aspects of themselves. The show returned stronger and more chilling than ever after a weak third season. It will be hard to follow up such an amazing season but I have high hopes for what is to come in the fifth as we see Dexter go through yet another set of transformations, as he must deal with life as a widower.