Addicted to the Tube has returned. I know it has been a long while since I blogged but since the people in charge of gmanReviews are having problems sending my paycheck I had to find myself a job, which kept me very busy. It is the time of year when we get ready for season returns. I plan to do as many reviews as possible. The first on my list is the Showtime hit, Dexter. Season 4 of Dexter is scheduled to air September 27th.
Dexter is a television drama series based around the life of Serial Killer/ forensic blood splatter analyst Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall). The series airs on Showtime and was developed by James Manos Jr., an Emmy Award winning screenwriter and former writer for The Sopranos.
Dexter Morgan is a serial killer that developed a craving for killing from a very young age. His adopted father Harry Morgan (James Remar) recognizes this when he caught Dexter killing animals. Harry then decides to control this craving and then teach Dexter to channel this urge unto the right people. This influences Dexter to have a set of ‘Rules’ that he follows when he is urged to kill.
Dexter is able to get away with these murders for one main reason, he works for the police. He is knowledgeable of their movements and what they look for and this allows him to hide, kill and dispose of his victims safely.
This is not as easy as it seems. While he is killing he has to attempt to live a normal life as he and his girlfriend, Rita Bennett (Julie Benz), progressively get more attached. Dexter has lived most his life without being emotionally/romantically attached to another woman. It is during the beginning of his ‘relationship’ with Rita that we notice how awkward Dexter can be, and how horrible he is at communicating with others. This is a result of only being close to two people in his life, his adopted father Harry and his sister Deb (Jennifer Carpenter). Although he is very close to his sister Debra he has kept this secret from her. Debra is also a police officer.
The real obstacle in season one is not ensuring that he is not caught, yet it is the appearance of the Ice Truck Killer. Each murder by the Ice truck killer is a message to Dexter. These messages he cannot reveal because if he does so, his secret will become public. Even though he only kills bad people, it is still against the law.
Throughout this dilemma Dexter battles with the moral ethics of his acts while being put on an emotional roller coaster with the Ice Truck Killer, whose message become more personal each time. This makes each episode hit an emotional climax because Dexter has no one to talk to about this, because Harry taught him that he must never reveal his secret.
Personally I think Dexter is a great show, but it has its flaws. The show tends to become a bit monotonous at times. In every episode he is looking for a kill to satisfy his thirst. This I love, because I love Dexter’s techniques and just how awkward he gets at times. Even though I like this, later in the season I became more interested in the Ice Truck Killer and less about the random kills. In this case I presume the writers decided to ‘stick to the script’ and allow Dexter to attempt at keeping his routine, but in a few episodes it was a bit much.
Another issue that I had were the flashbacks. The flashbacks jump through so many different timelines that you have two or three young versions of Dexter and I don’t get a chance to get to know this young Dexter well enough. There are also some flashbacks in which they give Michael C. Hall a wig and old clothing expecting that this will automatically make him look younger but it doesn’t.
What works are things like narrations and camera angles. Just as how Dexter has his routines the show has some routines that are captivating. Like looking through the Air Conditioner vent, the aerial view before a kill and the close up to the victims faces when they wake up.
One of my favourite characters for this season is Rudy Cooper (Christian Camargo) telling you why would be a humungous spoiler, though what I loved about his character was his sly and witty way with words. He never says too much, and never says too little.
I will allow one SPOILER as I comment on my favorite episode of the season. This was a very easy pick. My choice was Episode 8 Shrink Wrap. In this episode we have become attached to Dexter and the emotional strain he goes through. In Shrink Wrap he is planning the murder of Dr. Emmett Meridian (Tom Goldwyn) a psychistrist who pushes his clients towards suicide. In all his murders Dexter ensures that the clients are guilty. Does all the research, stalking and gathers all the facts before his kill. The most amazing in this episode happens right before he is about to kill Dr Meridian. While he is doing his background check on Dr. Meridian, he decides to seek therapy from him. In his final session with Dr. Meridian he admits to being a serial killer.
The writing for this episode is superb, from the title (Shrink being lingo for a psychiatrist and the wrap representing Dexter’s technique of wrapping his victims in plastic wrap) to the dialogue between two killers. Dexter is able to gain some emotionally stability by confessing his deeds, a secret he had only shared with his now deceased father. It is also in this episode that Rudy and Debra get closer and Dexter takes another step with Rita, which I was dying for.
Dexter is a show that takes you on an exciting, nerve-racking and occasionally awkward journey through the mind of someone addicted to killing. They challenge the notion of the ‘bad guy’ serial killer and put forth a character that is sinister, yet methodological, unforgiving yet moral. All which is done while trying to live a normal life.
It is definitely a must watch, captivating, original and yes it has action. It is on my “to buy” list, I definitely recommend it for rental.