By the end of Season 5 of Showtime’s “Dexter”, a lot of the series’ fans were a bit put off by the repetitivenes of the storyline with little to no progression on the part of a majority of the characters. I mean, really, how many times can Dexter “almost” get caught? It all felt stagnant and stale. Not to mention that Papa Harry was mostly MIA when Dex needed him most. Well, after watching the first three episodes of Season 6, we’re going to go out on a limb here and say that things have indeed changed, definitely for the better.
The episodes, entitled “Those Kinds of Things”, “Once Upon a Time…”, and “Smokey and the Bandit”, jump ahead about a year since we left off in Season 5. Dexter is bonding with Harrison, has hired Batista’s sister as his new nanny, and is about to attend his high school reunion. Of course he has an ulterior motive for doing the latter, and those scenes are some of the highlights of not just the episode but possibly the entire series – hilarious! Kudos to new showrunner Scott Buck for revealing a side of Dexter we haven’t seen before. Part of the plot in “Smokey” involves Dexter crossing paths with a serial killer from his past, someone whose handiwork he started following as a child but then lost track of. The outcome is vintage “Dexter”, and if I wasn’t 100% sold on the new season up until that point, well, it absolutely made a believer out of me!
Meanwhile Deb is working her way up the command chain, much to the chagrin of her mismatched boy friend Quinn, who is so hard up to get her to commit he even asks Dexter to intercede on his behalf. The less said about that, the better. Those of you who weren’t loving the Batista/Laguerta dynamic will enjoy the turn of events there, and Masuka’s large fanbase will be pleased by his prominence in these early eps, particularly when the lovely Brea Grant comes on the scene. And as for Harry? Well, we couldn’t be happier for his increased presence and improved relationship with his wayward son.
So our series regulars are moving on with almost as big a growth spurt as young Harrison, but what about the newbies? Colin Hanks as Travis and Edward James Olmos as his mentor of sorts, Professor Gellar, are working together in the shadows on something dark and disturbing that hasn’t been made clear as of yet; however, the closing scene in Episode 3 is one of the most unsettling things we’ve seen on this show yet. You thought the Ice Truck Killer and Trinity were twisted? Well, brace yourself because they seem tame in comparison to the dastardly deeds this new duo is up to. Molly Parker makes her first appearance in “Once Upon a Time…” as Travis’ sister, Lisa, who seems to be the only positive force in his odd existence.
And speaking of positive forces, without a doubt our favorite Season 6 addition thus far is Brother Sam (Mos Def). We’re already finding him to be intriguingly complex and a perfect foil for our “hero” as once again masterfully portrayed by Michael C. Hall. Anyone worried about the religious undertones alluded to in the promo materials released thus far can relax. Nothing’s overdone or heavy-handed; instead it’s all about the various characters’ journeys of questioning and seeking answers … and possibly redemption? Headsy stuff for sure, but it’s extremely welcome after the lightweight feel of Season 5.
So all in all, while we can’t guarantee the upcoming season of “Dexter” will mark a return to its glory days (Seasons 1 and 4 being yours truly’s personal favorites), it appears to be on the right path, especially if the Olmos/Hanks pairing results in a payoff worthy of the setup thus far. We’re certainly praying for it!
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