Saturday, December 27, 2008

Summing Up: Dexter

For some reason, I never quite loved this season of “Dexter.” Jimmy Smits is a masterful actor (just look at the final season of “The West Wing”), and while there were some impressive moments throughout the season, I wouldn’t consider it one of his best. It’s bizarre to me that this is the first year that the cast gets a Screen Actors Guild nomination for Best Ensemble since they’ve been far better in the past (I just watched the pilot again in an attempt to get other people into it, and they used to be REALLY good). Supporting storylines involving Batista’s new flame and anything with Deb just weren’t really as exciting as they’ve been before. Masuka trying to be taken seriously was sort of fun, and it was nice to see Dexter gain a true friend in Miguel, at least for a while. The downward turn when Miguel was revealed to have been deceiving Dexter the whole time sort of mirrored last year’s unfortunate twist with Lila becoming insane all of a sudden. This one worked for a bit, and it was enticing at first to see Miguel’s fascination with Dexter’s drive to kill, but it went over the edge as the season approached a close. That Miguel would go so far as to let the Skinner go and even give him Dexter as a target is rather far-fetched (not to suggest that the rest of this show isn’t), and it was interesting only to a point. The finale sort of wrapped things up a tiny bit too neatly and conveniently, but set things in a good new direction. I’ve read a lot already about the blood dripping down from Dexter’s hand onto Rita’s dress being symbolic for the way he affects her life, and I do think it’s an example of terrific imagery. There’s no clear setup for next season, but I guess neither season one nor season two did that either, and the main plotlines (the Bay Harbor Butcher, Miguel) were introduced in the season premieres. This was a decent but not spectacular season, but the mythology of “Dexter” is hopefully something that can continue for a while.

Season finale: B+
Season grade: B+
Season MVP: Michael C. Hall

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