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. I’m glad you told us that the plot doesn’t get too muddled with all the new characters. I love this show but I’m a little worried at what the now what answer will be. I’ve got my fingers crossed with this season

    • My cable got shut off so I’ll miss it tonight :(

      • google project free tomorro and go to dexter on the tv shows section it will be online

        • Yeah, we lost both our cable and internet, I’ll be going to the sister in laws to download it!

    • The relationship btw, Quinn and Deb, should have happened a few season ago. Establishing the relationship now, after Quinn’s former girlfriend killed Deb’s boyfriend, is not consistent with Deb’s character.
      Also, I found it too predictable that Quinn will be Dex’s victim at some point. Unless, of course, this is the final season.

  2. Dexter always takes soooooooooo long to download! Will be lucky if I’ve seen this by Wednesday. And yes I download them, and yes I have bought all 4 seasons on DVD. In the uk they are still showing season 4!

  3. gonna be a few weeks before I see it, but I’m looking forward to it.

    About Masuka honestly it seems perfectly in character to me and the writers are always in bad taste, but it works for Dexter.

  4. deb is way too skinny. Debs Partner looks like Skeletor… he is even more skinny. The whole thing feels like a billy mays commercial… its too early for me to give up on season 5 but I hope it gets better. I feel like they are trying too hard.

  5. i feel as though i was too drunk when i wrote the previous comment.

    what i meant:

    the whole thing wreaks of hollywood over-done veggie steak.

  6. but i still love Dexter and i hope that the season recovers.

  7. Relax naysayers it’s just the first episode! I am a huge fan and it is going to be very interesting to see how dark Dexter goes this season. So far it is off to a good start…him dealing with Rita’s death and I can’t wait to see how he handles Quinn. Can’t wait until next week.

  8. Hey, the firs episode of season 5 was great! I find it funny on how dexters way of grieving is killing a guy in the bathroom stall. And debra….realy after cleaning the blood of rita she is already in someones pants..and not just anyones

    • By killing the man in the bathroom, it proves that there is no “code” anymore.

  9. Quinn is going to be busy this season lol not just with dexter

  10. It was awesome as usual, I have a feeling the kids will go with Pauls parents and Deb will be watching Harrison a lot until Dexter can learn to deal with his loss, I hate they killed Rita off, and everytime someone from the police station tries to meddle in Dexters life we know what happens so Quinn better watch it or he may end up in a plastic bag cut in a bunch of pieces at the bottom of the ocean and it was in terrible taste for deb and quinn to have sex in dexters house where his wife was just killed….but cant wait for next week:):)

  11. It was perfect.
    The writers are staying true to the essence of the show, and more important the true nature of Dexter,,,

    . Loved it,,, perfect 10 premiere!!!!

  12. Also, (I hit post comment but. too quickly)
    It looks like Quinn, has a dark past/personality that’s about to take center stage,,, Shades of Doake’s ??!??

    Didn’t see this coming, but this seasons gonna be dark from what my inside sources tell me, so its starting to make sense,,,

    So far Dexter is keeping up with its expectations. Prob one! if not the best written shows on tv right now!!!

  13. I completely agree about Masukas comment being out of left field and in poor writing taste. That was a real WTF moment but for obviously a different reason.

  14. @Eddie,,,
    What do you mean anout Masuka’s comment?

    It was used to bridge Quinn to the Dexter murder, and use the nieghbor to frame him.

    I think Quinns about to become the next bad guy, trinity fall guy,,, more or less,,,

  15. Season 5 got off to a slow start. Meaning nothing exciting happened. Except when Dexter got really angry in the men’s room. Angry Dexter is really scary (more please).
    But I guess it was necessary to tie up loose ends of Rita’s passing(RIP).
    Let’s move on quickly.
    I like Quinn but he may find himself “Doakesed” (crispy critter) if he isn’t careful…hehe
    I’m excited to see Dexter get back to work. Facing the enemy, putting down bad guys and squirming his way out of Kyle Butler, dead Rita…etc…
    Masuka comment…eh…I could go either way on that..but probably too soon..
    Deb…skanky…but it really is her usual way of dealing with deep emotion…after all that blood I would be queasy not so horny…

  16. This was a strong premire. The whole time i was mad at Dexter for not showing any emotion and then the stall scene. Hell of a job to start of Season 5.

    10 as well!

  17. I loved the episode. I didn’t mind the the slow pace, or the toned down atmosphere. I think, in order to be respectful to the loss of a very important character, it was prudent that they took the time to for Dexter, and the other peeps, to process her death. I’m as excited for the season to start rolling as anyone else, but i do understand that we, as fans, need to be patient…
    Anyway, i made a video response/review to the episode… i actually think i’m going to do it weekly, so check it out… it’s on youtube.

  18. Quinn and Deb and Harrison happy ever after. After Quinn figures out what Dex is, out of love for Rita he will try to kill Dex himself and Dex out of love for Rita, will kill himself during the confrontation with Quinn, because Rita (in a vision) will plead with Dexter to let go and give in to his dark side and leave Harry with Deb (who Dexter has already set up for lovin him like a mom) And season 5 will be the last.

    • geez what were you on when you wrote that??? I HIGHLY doubt that’ll happen, the writers are too good.

      • I agree with Jimmy. Quinn being the one to goad Dexter into killing himself is crazy. Quinn is nowhere near the psychological caliber that Dexter is on. I had read in another thread somewhere else of the idea that Deb being the one that ends up killing Dexter. That would be the most logical and complete ending for him I think. Especially since Harry, her father, was the one to help Dexter harness his “dark passenger,” so should Deb be the one to help him release the dark passenger.

    • wrong

  19. I thought that the premiere was great. The show still had a Dexter feel, and although I really liked Rita’s character on the show and did not think that the show would be as good this year, I (at least judging from the premiere) was wrong. I think the show has not changed at all and the wrinting is still up to par.

  20. I thought the Masuka comment was completely in line with his character. After four seasons, we know Masuka is quite the messed up guy, to put it lightly, so him talking about imagining Rita naked I felt was completely in line with the things Masuka would say. This is certainly not the first time he has made some off the cuff comments at a crime scene, nor will it be the last.

  21. Great episode. Looking forward to more Dexter and finding out if Dexter will complete Trinity’s cycle in order to throw off suspicion on him.

    Not sure if I will miss Rita. I never really liked her character but saw Dexter’s need for her.

    I like that he’ll have to father three kids and will make life more complicated for him without Rita.

    Has anyone heard if this is it for the series? I sure hope not. I’ve read a few times that if it is the writers will not have a happy ending for Dexter.

  22. What if Trinity didn’t kill Rita???

    • Yea, I was thinking that too!

  23. he didnt kill rita. Dont worry im sure there is more than meets the eye…

  24. I like the point someone previously made about wondering if Dexter will continue out the Trinity cycle to get people off his tracks, especially Quinn, who looks like a skeletor now. The whole episode I just wanted to shake Dexter out of it and be like, hello, talk to your kids, help them, but then him showing no emotions ties into the whole serial killer thing. Could the writers have portrayed the funeral director in any more of a bad light??? We’re not all bad and corny and cliche like that one was, offering up stupid platitudes to a grieving family isn’t showing true compassion at all. Certainly looking forward the the rest of the season!

    • You do realize the irony of having Dexter (Michael C Hall) meet a funeral director given his role on Six Feet Under? It almost had to be corny for that reason. I felt that it was like a huge inside joke.

  25. Season 5 premiere being a continuation of Season 4 shocking conclusion was somewhat boring to start but it picked up momentum as the other players get intertwined with questions and events…Quinn is messing around too close to Dexter..I hope he gets wrapped and bagged in a future episode..he’s annoyed Dexter too many times..unless he makes an alliance with Dexter..and helps him down the road to make his kills…Not sure what Deb is going to be all about this season…not just a babysitter..and for the closure of Rita..I liked the episode covering clips of her highlighted history throughout the first seasons..nice.

    My favorite scene of this episode has got to be Dexter killing the smartass punk who thinks he’s running something ..spur of the moment Dexter decides this guy needs to be his huckaberry .. loved the kill.

    • I can not get enough of Dexter. This has got to be the best show ever. I can not wait until next week and the weeks to follow. I hope sooo bad that Quinn gets whats coming to him. Which he most likely will because all of Debra’s boyfriends end up disappearing one way or another. It was nice to see some true emotion (bathroom scene)from Dexter. Thank You Showtime for finially bringing something worth watching to our Sunday Nights.

  26. The season premiere was lacking, and not just because the bar was raised so high with the finale last year. The writing was simply not as good, and I think the discerning viewer will find that kinda inarguable.

    Case in point: the flashback to his first meeting with Rita. I thought it was clever and amusing that he quickly kills his mark in the parking lot. However, he should have gone back and completed the scene with Rita. As written, he suddenly sprints away from their date, leaving Rita flummoxed and with the check. And we’re supposed to believe she calls him looking for another date? Was she that pathetic? No, she’s a beautiful woman who just had lunch/dinner with a weirdo who ran off on her. Better writing would have had Dexter rejoin her.

    Also, Matsuka’s comment about seeing Rita naked was beyond the pale. And Quinn would have called him an asshole if the writing was consistent.

    And I’m sorry but Dexter had grown to show real empathy for Cody and Astor during the season. But suddenly he was callous to their feelings. Just not consistent. Should have been better nuanced.

    Likewise, I thought Dexter’s eulogy was lame, as if they let the actor improvise it.

    I love the show, and the writing is usually stellar. Not this time.

    • Jeremy, you make some good points, however it was only the first episode. I still enjoyed it and feel it was worth the wait.

      • Jeremy,

        First off, Dexter didn’t kill the mark in the parking lot, he just sedated him and put him in the trunk.

        Secondly, he didn’t stiff Rita with the bill, he explained that he wasn’t feeling well and pulled out his wallet and left some money with her.

        Thirdly, it was not out of character for Rita to call Dexter to see how he was doing b/c she has always been portrayed as a caring person and if you recall in season 1, he did say that she was as damaged as he was so it was perfect for him.

    • Dexter’s humanity died with Rita. That’s why his empathy for the kids evaporated.

      As for the writing, I could care less. It was completely overshadowed by Michael C Hall’s stunningly haunting performance of a serial killer unable to feel remorse at the death of his wife. That was the point of the premiere.

      It’s like going on a midwinter vacation to a tropical paradise and getting bent out of shape that you can’t find your favorite magazine.

  27. NO The whole thing makes perfect sense now…. Last night I felt a little dissapointed but get it now after reading the review and preview for coming events. Masuka’s comment was completely IN Character to say what he did when he did…And Deb, her way of dealing with stress or grief of any kind is through sex. She always masks her real emotions that way.
    Yes I believe Quinn will be the next “Doakes” and wind up in bags at the bottom of the ocean. The writing on this show is Brilliant and will continue to keep us coming back for more Dexter… Have faith it will all play out in the end!

  28. I loved the season premier. By far not the best episode but we already knew it would be hard to top the finale. They are just setting the scene. I have seen a couple of posts about him finishing the cycle for Trinity. I doubt it. Other wise he would have made some lady jump to her death before bludgeoning that guy in the bathroom. I think that might be the murder he gets caught in. No Gloves, blood everywhere. It would be impossible for them not to find his fingerprints everywhere.

    • I just hope they can find a plausible way to deal with the “Kyle Butler” trail. One way would be to get Trinity’s son and family to lie and not ID Dexter. Would seem tough to pull off.

      The better and complicated way would be for Dexter to admit he was tracking a guy he thought was Trinity, that he was right and that Trinity retaliated by killing Rita. He could argue he was tired of sitting in a lab and for the first time decided to play detective.

      Of course, guys like Quinn would question whether it was the first time.


    DEXTER was true Dexter fashion; couldn’t wait and was pleasantly surprised when the Rita character was killed off; so Dexter-appropriate. And Masuka was true to form with comments that didn’t concern me in the least – otherwise, Dexter would not be my favorite show EVER & THE WHOLE SHOW is DISTURBING but so DARN interesting… LOVE THE WRITERS/ACTORS.