Dexter Season 5 Premiere Review & Discussion

Published 5 years ago by

dexter season5 Dexter Season 5 Premiere Review & Discussion

Tonight, America’s favorite serial killer returns as Dexter season 5 begins. Following the shocking events of the season 4 finale, fans of the series have been left waiting over nine months to see what’s next. With the loss of Rita, the only person that made Dexter feel human, the moniker given to this season, “Now What?,” couldn’t be more appropriate.

With season 5 proverbially setting sail, one has to wonder what Dexter producers have in store for us. Following one of the most terrific displays of storytelling and acting on television last year, it’s going to be hard to top the John Lithgow and the Trinity Killer storyline. Fortunately, with Sara Colleton, John Goldwyn and the addition of former 24 executive producer Chip Johannessen, we’re in good hands.

Instead of just a single big-bad that’s even more nefarious than Trinity, the producers have promised three big-bads will take his place. While three may sound like they’re attempting to do too much at once, I assure you that from the episodes that I’ve seen, they’re handling it perfectly.

Preview (courtesy of Showtime)

In the aftermath of last season’s chilling finale, Rita’s death has left Dexter feeling responsible – possibly even… guilty. Unable to deal with the trauma, Dexter makes a drastic decision that will impact everyone around him. Quinn stirs up trouble at the station when he notes that Rita’s murder, which is being pinned on the Trinity Killer, doesn’t fit his normal murder profile. Things get even more heated when Quinn suggests to LaGuerta that they look at the husband, Dexter Morgan. Meanwhile, Quinn offers Debra much needed support, causing her to see Quinn in a new light.


Picking up immediately after the events of the season 4 finale, the Dexter season 5 premiere can be described as a direct continuation. For the most part this episode completely diverges from the typical layout and plot progression that one would expect from this series. There is no intended target or an introduction of a soon to be Saran wrapped nemesis. Instead, this episode is focused directly on Dexter’s reaction to Rita’s death and how someone completely void of emotions copes with the loss of the one person who made him feel human.

dexter 502 1442 Dexter Season 5 Premiere Review & Discussion

Dexter’s progression through the season premiere is truly the rawest representation of his inability to exhibit human emotions.  Though past seasons have touched upon this, it has never been so apparent until now. The level at which Dexter is unable to display even the most rudimentary of emotions can, at times, be extremely disturbing as it is the first time that we, the viewers, see the true extent of his emotional paralysis.

Following Dexter’s unintentional proclamation of “I did it” to the first officer arriving on the scene, it’s obvious that our inscrutable blood spatter analyst is physically, mentally and emotionally shaken – an unwelcome response, no doubt, to someone who has survived solely by controlling such behavior. Fortunately, in this moment and many, many subsequent moments in this episode, Deb is there to rescue Dexter from himself. In true Deb fashion, she gives the FBI a few expletives mixed with some suggestions on where certain objects may be shoved and buys Dexter some time to reflect on recent events and attempt to compose himself.

Of course, with Rita being Trinity’s final victim, Arthur Mitchell’s family searching for the illusive Kyle Butler and a storage locker filled with killing tools and blood slides, there’s no time to do anything but cover his tracks – something that serves to only further worsen an already imbalanced serial killer.

And then there are Cody and Astor…

dexter 502 1389 Dexter Season 5 Premiere Review & Discussion

When we last saw them, they were going to Disney World with Paul’s parents. As the two motherless children return from a fun-filled vacation to Dexter’s apartment, something is noticeably amiss. When Cody and Astor question Rita’s absence, Dexter reveals to them the fate of their mother in a scene so shocking that it could possibly surpass Rita’s bloody death scene. After a few moments of stalling, Dexter matter-of-factly states, “A man came into our house, your mother came home and he killed her.” Adding to the already unsympathetic telling of their mother’s final moments, Dexter attempts to simulate actual, human emotions by repeating something he heard while at the funeral home making arraignments for Rita’s funeral, “I am sorry for your loss.”

While Dexter may proudly state that he is good with children, this moment most certainly contradicts that statement. And, as children, they have no problem expressing their observations to the apathetic Dexter Morgan. As Astor runs to her grandparent’s car, she cries, “…I can tell just by looking at you that you don’t even care.” This accurate observation by a grieving child serves to propel Dexter, and his dark passengers, into literal and metaphorical dark waters as he (and they) decide to run – from everything.

Of course, an episode of Dexter wouldn’t be complete if there wasn’t a small appearance from his dark passenger. Without giving much away, let’s just say that in this instance, Dexter’s dark passenger provides him with an outlet to deal with all of his pent-up emotions. Although, I’m not sure that this particular brand of therapy follows any of Harry’s rules.

dexter 502 0942 Dexter Season 5 Premiere Review & Discussion

In the end, the season 5 premiere of Dexter is a supplement to last season’s finale rather an introduction to a new season. While that may initially turn off viewers if it were any other series, I have no doubt that right now what Dexter fans want to see is the conclusion and final goodbye of the late, great, Rita Morgan.

[Side note: There is a scene early on where Masuka, kneeling next to Rita’s body in bathtub, comments, “I imagined her naked plenty of times, but nothing like this.” Not only was this in poor taste from the writers, but completely contrary to Masuka’s character, especially towards someone like Rita. Throughout the many times that I’ve watched  the premiere, that scene repeatedly bothered me.]

Final Thoughts

Fans of Dexter have been waiting over nine months to see the season 5 premiere. Fortunately, it completely delivers in every way possible. For those that are looking for the next big-bad and/or plot twist, I’m happy to say that episodes two and three will provide you with both… and Dexter’s life will never be the same – again.

Dexter airs Sunday’s @9pm, on Showtime

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  1. @Cy,,,
    I find it amusing that viewers of Dexter have a problem with what Masuka said.

    Its not like Masuka is killing anyone.

  2. I agree with Cy. The writers are too smart to put in a twist like some third person killing Rita. That goes into cheesy soap opera territory. Season four’s ending was very poetic. Dexter has no one to take revenge on now, and he knows it really is his fault for getting involved with Arthur and not killing him when he had the chance.
    This season will be about the breakdown of Dexter’s humanity and the suspicions of the FBI. Especially because of the Kyle Butler persona.
    I won’t be surprised if this is the final season. Harry’s code was invented not for moral reasons, but to keep Dexter out of prison. If Dexter keeps breaking it, he is done for sure.

  3. Honestly, there really are some narrow minded people out there… It is so obvious that Trinity didnt kill Rita. Once this has been established in the show, Dexter will come to terms with her death and realise that there wasnt anything he could have done to change what happened. My first guess would be the guy next door. However, it may be a copycat killer, who we havent seen just yet…

    • The DIRECTOR said Trinity killed Rita, JOHN LITHGOW said TRINITY killed Rita… I’m pretty sure Julie Benz at one point said Trinity killed Rita… I think you get my point…

    • I have not heard one single mention of an ash stain at the crime scene, thus confirming or denying a Trinity murder… You may be on to something…

      • I have not heard one single mention of an ash stain at the crime scene, thus confirming or denying a Trinity murder… You may be on to something…

        Good point!

        But was there ash at the Kyle Butler scene?
        Trinity does kill people outside of his pattern…but yeh still a point worth looking at…

        • You make Trinity out to be some stupid, monolithic creature that can’t deviate from a past pattern for any possible reason. Killing Rita was for revenge. He doesn’t need to fit the pattern. He doesn’t need to repeat all of the actions that he did previously.

          Really, you expect Lithgow’s character to think, “I want to get back at Dexter and I would really like to kill his wife. But damn it, my son broke the urn of my sister’s ashes and without some ashes to leave behind, I can’t get my revenge. Besides, Rita is married and I only tub-kill single women. I guess I’ll just leave town.”

          • good job with not having an ignorant comment :)

      • Didn’t he dump all of the ashes before his failed suicide attempt at the build site?

    • Season 5 is awful…just awful. There’s so many things that don’t add up.

      Its obvious that the writers/director etc all agree that Trinity killed Rita, but they executed it very badly in the last episode of season 4. I’ve watched the last episode a few times and can’t get past a few details. How did Dexter know at which point on the road Trinity’s car would break down? How did he know which direction he was heading out of town? How did Trinity get Rita into the bath without a struggle when she had only come home to collect her passport? How did Trinity find out where Dexter lived, his old place was still his listed address?

      Slightly less important is….During the raid of the Mitchell house why did Dexter get in the coffin and then get back out again a few seconds later? Worst hiding place ever!!

      Aside from that Season 5′s first 2 episodes don’t have any drama….none, no bad guy/nemesis…watching a man with no emotions handle grief is like watching grass grow…in a parking lot!

      The only thing that can save the show now is a seriously great bad guy…has to top Lithgow! Or…that it turns out that Dexter killed Rita, driven by his dark passenger who saw her as a threat. The latter is unlikely as its far too sophisticated a plot twist for the show Dexter has become so we just have to pray that they have got a truly great actor lined up.

      • I agree with you completely. Season 5 is even worse. Julia Stiles- what were they thinking? She is even more irritating then Rita was.
        Dexter seems so pliable, aimless and indecisive.
        In season,5, episode 6 Lumen sshoots the Dentist and Dexter does not believe that the guy is one of Lumen’s tormentors till the Dentist’s call to his other friends. Thats when Dexter kills him. When Lumen and Dexter are trying to find who the others are, why didn’t they trace them through the Dentist’s call.
        Dexter taking Lumen to Folwer’s house. How can they be sure that the others were not watching the house? After all Fowler has been missing and would they not be worried especailly after the Dentist call that the girls is still alive and whom Fowler was supposed to have killed.

        Writers wake up, Dexter is too good a series for such amateur mistakes

        • Has anyone else noticed that the cell phone used in the warehouse by the man shot by Lumen seems to have been overlooked. wouldn’t it have all the numbers of the Lumen attackers.?
          I am not to happy with this season, I guess after Jimmy Smith & John Lithgow it is hard to top these 2 great actors & their storylines. The Lumen character is really becoming boring. Any thoughts on the babysitter being a cop?

      • You quite blatantly have no idea what you’re talking about. Maybe you should start watching something a bit easier for you to grasp?

      • I agree – season 5 sucks!!! It is so cheesey (the flute music in the background when Dexter and Lumen talk or have a moment – I seriously puke in my mouth) and everything works out way too well for Dexter all the time. Also the last episode of season four was terrible – the writers tried to fit too much into one episode, but I am glad Rita is dead – she was annoying. Also Astor and Cody – glad they are off the show too. Wish they didn’t kill Doakes though – he was awesome.

        God it feels good to rant.

    • I´m with you, because Rita didn’t fit the killers ritual to be killed that way. It wans’t the same pattern.

  4. We shall see…

  5. Cy – Touche!!

  6. hi NetShark – Im going to rent Deadwood (iI hope Netflix has it). Thanks for the suggestion…. I’m always open to watching great shows.

  7. I thought tonights episode was pretty good!!!

  8. Sweet and Sour is season 5 so far.

    I was a fan of this show from the beginning but as time has marched on, the show has taken a bumpy ride downhill.

    I’m not going to give this season’s writing a pass but one of the funniest moments happened at the end of the last episode when Dexter dragged the plastic-wrapped guy next to the dead Dentist and they closed with Masuka making all those motions and gestures to describe his take on what happened. That was funny stuff right there.

    (It rates right up there with the time Dexter hit Rita’s husband over the head with a pan and made the “yikes” grimmace and said “woops”. lol)

    As far as Stiles goes, wow this is really bad. I just dont like her character, she’s ungrateful, doesnt listen at all, bitchy, and I just really want her to get killed. lol (She was more likable in the Bourne movie I saw).

    Dexter needs to return to his darker, more gritty roots. Ever since they killed off Doakes the show has been veering into PG-13 family hour with rare exception.

  9. They dont show Harry very much now, since Dexter’s broken just about every aspect of the code, lol.

  10. dnt watch if you think season 5 sucks…..for me, everything falls into play.. lol

  11. And how he’s about to make a return for a 6th season! I hope Dexter never ends!!

  12. I hope Dexter redeems itself in season 6 because season 5 was pretty dissapointed.

    • This show has jumped the shark. About halfway through season 4 I think. Season 5, episode 6 I believe, Dexter calmly & effortlessly breaks a man’s neck. Kind of ridiculous. There are way too many plot holes. There are way too many “why would they do THAT” moments. Also, they force Debra having a love interest on us in every season, which makes her come accross as a bit of a tramp. I am losing interest fast.

  13. I think the author is TOTALLY wrong on the Masuka comment.

    It was perfectly in character; still perverted but consciously tones it down, knowing it’s not the time. The comment seems to slip out, which is in character.

  14. I know this is late but I am just watching season 5 now. You need to decide if Dexter is devoid of emotions or repressing them. Just because he says he has no emotions is not necessarily the case.