Intensities in Ten Suburbs

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Fall ‘07 Season TV Blitz, Day 6: The Return of Dexter

Posted by Andrew Unterberger on October 2, 2007

Back to business

Dexter

(Sunday Night, 10-11 PM, Showtime)

New Cast: n/a

Where We’re At Now: A little over a month has passed since Dexter dispatched his evil fellow serial killer brother, and he’s still living with step-sister Deborah, who has come back to the force but still clearly has some issues. Doakes knows something’s up with Dexter and has begun tailing him nearly fulltime, preventing Dex from getting his murdering rocks off, but once Dex finally gets away for long enough to track down a perp, he finds himself unable to finish him off. Meanwhile, Rita’s starting to understand that her ex-husband’s arrest wasn’t entirely on the up-and-up, and a couple treasure hunters have found a collection of some very morbid-looking garbage bags at the bottom of the ocean…

Thoughts: Well, the Dexter writers did an excellent job at the end of last season of opening wounds, minor and major, that have continued to fester until exploding at the second season’s premiere. Doakes (Erik King) in particular has really stepped up as a worthy nemeis for Dexter, and their scene together in the crime lab–in which Dexter tries to pass it off like Doakes has just caught Dex browsing internet porn, but Doakes knows something far more sinister is afoot–is probably the episode’s highlight. The way he gives Dexter a big ol’ “FUCK YOU!” right off the bat…it’s a treat to finally see someone else on the show not only standing up to Dexter’s character, but to Michael C. Hall as an actor.

Aside from Doakes, though, much of the supporting cast is still a bust. Jennifer Carpenter and Julie Benz still fail to be too involving with their characters (Dex’s adopted sister and girlfriend, respectively), the subplots involving Dex’s superiors at the station (Laurie Velez and Jaime Murray) couldn’t be less interesting, and as Dexter’s innuendo-infatuated co-worker Vince, C.S. Lee is a worthy nominee for the most grating horny Asian performance since Long Duk Dong. Luckily, Dexter is still all about Dexter, and Michael C. Hall can more than carry the weight, especially with the leg-up from pop James Remar in the flashback sequences. Watching Dex undercover as a normie is still one of primetime TV’s greatest thrills, as he suffers through bowling and Oprah-inspired lectures from his co-workers while thinking to himself “I need to kill someone.” Yeah, Dex, those gutterballs splits can be killer all right.

Still Hot / Worth Sticking With?: Don’t see why not. The premiere did a great job of setting what will presumably be the big arcs of the second season in motion. There are three big ones, all of which threaten to provide Dexter’s unraveling–through his girlfriend (who finally seems to realize that Dex isn’t the Miracle Man she makes him out to be), through his job (who eventually are gonna try to find out who’s been sending all those bodybags to a watery grave) and through himself (whose sloppy slaughtering and suddenly panging conscience threaten to rob the killer of his mojo). It’s hard to see how he can get out of all three of these–plus a giant dude on the loose who’s probably none too thrilled that Dex nearly sliced him up–so it should be a fun season to watch unspool. Would be even more fun if I actually got Showtime, but I guess actually watching TV as it happens is sort of an antiquated notion anyway.

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One Response to “Fall ‘07 Season TV Blitz, Day 6: The Return of Dexter”

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