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. Did anyone miss Deb’s setup? Debra was dressed like a dark passenger’s female version while cleaning the blood, prior to “doing” Quinn. I noticed her brown shirt and grey pants with Quinn which leads me to believe she’ll end up “doing” him, if you know what I mean.

    • wait, are you saying Dexter usually wears brown shirt and grey pants, thus, the writers are providing a cryptic clue? Would be cool if Dexter enlists Deb as his partner. She could go for it.

      • I’m saying that Dexter as the cop wears pastels most of the time, but the dark side of him always wears that brown shirt and grey pants. Deb wore the exact same color palette while cleaning blood and then, had sex with Quinn. I am implying that she kills Quinn. There, I said it.

    • Brilliant observation. Something about her outfit stuck a chord with me but I didn’t put it together. I’m not sure about the meaning behind it, but it certainly wasn’t accidental.

      Maybe it relates her dark passenger more to sex?

      • SPOILER ALERT! I am watching it again. Deb BELIEVES Dexter killed Rita. She went to clean the apartment and tells Quinn: “trinityy never leaves anything behind’ and starts cleaning up. She’s setting Quinn up. That’s why she was wearing dark-passenger like clothing while cleaning the blood. Great setup. Deb kills this season.

  2. I thought that this 1st show was really good ive been watching dexter from day 1 an i have to say that this is goingto be a wild season.. but I do hope that at some point Dexter finds the trinty Killer an gets some payback .. thye just cant Wright it off like that killing rita an not give her justice.. I really dont see how deb Quinn are goingto work out cuz how is it that every guy she has hooked up wit has been some crazy person.. the commet by masuka I found to be an his relm but it ws bad timeing on there part they could of saved that for the funeral.. if they make Quinn dexters next target i hope they do a better job then the other cop that was on to dexter that was killed any way.Quinn has the capeabilty to be a good villen but deb could getin the way of that. but she is being real tuff rte now an just useing him for sex so maybe they might keep quin for a while.. oh an that whole Bastia being married to wats her face is just stupied one of them will get fired eventually an it will be her cuz she has not been able to perform her job very well ever since the show started so I hope she can pull it together or the bring in somebody else that can make in a impact… But i hope that this season is going to be very good an ive been wating for this to start so im ready gice dexter wat her wants give him trinty

    • erm…. You hope that Dexter finds the trinity killer? and you’ve watched it from day 1….. I DON’T THINK SO!

      Where do I begin? I think I won’t bother actually, cos it’s obvious your a liar.

      • Wow…to lie to yourself is one thing, to lie to friends and family is another thing…but to lie to complete strangers who have no idea who you are is just pathetic!!! What makes it worse is that you go on summing up all the characters like you have been glued to the show….i am going to keep quiet now and let you know that Dexter killed the Trinity Killer the same day Dexter’s wife was killed, in fact the same episode if my memory serves me correctly…..WOW!!!

  3. The first episode of season 5 was a chance to let some dust settle for the characters following the Trinity rampage of last season. They must now redirect themselves in the wake of Rita’s death. Harry, who has been dead since before the story started, has a continuing role as Dex’s mentor and moral guide. Harry channeled Dex to use his dark side for a “positive” purpose, to kill those in need of killing.
    Dexter can’t be true to his moral code if he kills Quinn, unless Quinn does something so evil that it requires his death. Even Doakes didn’t deserve Dexter’s justice, and Dexter was not the one that killed him if you recall.
    The Redneck that was killed in the restroom last night deserved killing only after he intentionally insulted the deceased Rita.
    For those angry with Dexter’s lack of compassion and grief in the wake of Rita’s murder, that lack of feeling is but one aspect of his darkness. He is not human because 1) he has a compulsion to kill (thankfully channeled to killing those we all want to see punished), 2) he feels no guilt or other type of emotion, and 3), his childhood trauma was so horrific, he has been able to function at all only by being emotionally paralyzed. If he could feel, he wouldn’t be the monster he is. One of the things that makes him likeable is that although he does monstrous things, he is flawed, has no choice to choose a different path and wants desperately to be normal.
    Rita may be gone, but not forgotten. She may be,like Harry, always in his head to provide direction and a normal point of view.
    As for Mazuka, he always is crass, tasteless, horney, and inappropriate. He is the poster child for sexual harassment. How could we expect less from him than the comments made kneeling beside the totally vulnerable body of his friend. When all around him are somber and in shock, he is still able to get his freak on!

  4. Chris…Dexter killed the trinity killer in season four, remember? The Trinity killer murdered Rita before Dexter got to him.

  5. @huh? I’m not sure Trinity killed Rita afterall…

    Her blonde hair didn’t fit Trinitys target pattern. I’m thinking that’s going to be one of twists of this season,,, (it wasn’t Trinity, so who did it???)

    Was it a Trinity copycat??? Does Quinn, have a dark passenger???

    • Ok, now this is just silly season. Trinity killed Rita. It doesn’t matter whether or not she fit the pattern. She wasn’t part of the pattern. The point was for Trinity to get revenge on Dexter, period.

      And Dexter did not kill Rita unless the writers are going to try to convince us that his reaction from the season finale was invented or some psychotic episode, at which point the loses every ounce of credibility.

      • I like 790′s theory. I wouldn’t put it past the writers to add a little twist.

        • I don’t see that happening. But I do see the FBI realizing that she doesn’t fit the norm for Trinity….and going from there. I thought I saw in one of the trailers that someone was questioning Dexter using an alter ego, asking him if he knew who Kyle Butler was, maybe the FBI will put two and two together and bring that upon Dexter.
          This would allow them to figure out that Dexter was trying to get to Trinity for something, but for what, and if he claims it was police work, why wasn’t it reported? It’d be very hard to see him get out of that situation, and it’d make for an interesting story and lies from Dexter.

          I really don’t believe for a second that Trinity didn’t kill Rita…just can’t see any way they’d explain that.

    • Hmmm, you might be on to something……

  6. Thanks Trent, I was waiting for somebody to get the writing in the premire.

    You pretty much nailed it. 8-)

    Dexter’s humanity did die with Rita. One reason he threw out the code on the hillbilly. His inabilty to feel remorse is because he has none. It took that hillbilly’s comments and a visit from his dad to snap out of his shock,,,

    Seems not everyone gets how great the writing is on this show,,,

  7. @Trent, I agree it looks like Trinity killed Rita, but I can see the writers coming up with a twist. Who knows.

  8. Maybe. I think it’s time for her to let her anger and anguish lose. And it’s more than just sex. She kills this season; it may be accidental, but she kills.

  9. Its looking like this is going to be a very dark season of Dexter — and we are delighted! By losing Rita, Dexter is back to how he was in Season 1. Not feeling anything. The writers get to explore more of Dexter’s state of mind and how he deals with the aftermath. He’s back to square 1 but now he has a child of his own and two others to deal with. He’s slipping away from the Code of Harry, too. Can’t wait to see what else he has to deal with! Dexter is back and boy what a season its gonna be…!

  10. I gotta say, I disagree with your feelings about Masuka’s comment (I imagined her naked plenty of times, but not like this). Masuka has been shown not only to make perverted and inappropriate comments, but also to have no clue about where the line is for those comments. It seemed quite in line with his character to say something like that about Rita, and in Masuka’s mind I suspect he felt it was a very remorseful and somber comment.

  11. @dark_defender,

    Good post, I agree this season will be very dark, and I think rather then Deb murdering someone she will uncover Dexter’s real identity this season. How that plays out who knows,,,

    • I’d like to see that!

      • I’m pretty sure I read somewhere awhile ago that they planned on that happening at some point, now would probably be the time for that too happen.

      • No. I don’t think Deb will find out. There is no way to build the season off of that really. If you look at it, she already had a hard time handling what she found out about Dexters TRUE family. This would not only put her job at risk but she would not be able to handle it. Something like that is almost impossible for someone to handle. One thing for sure is Dexter WILL lose his job this season. The only way to cover his tracks without them finding out he is a serial killer is to find a way to convince them it was an unreported investigation and he will lose his job immediately. Really no way around that for him. I can’t wait to see what happens though.

    • I think they should have stuck to the book a bit more for the finale of season 1, the book had Deb completely awake during the scene where Dex’s brother tries to coax him into killing Deb, but his conditioning under Harry’s code stops him (and his dark passenger) from actually going through with it.

      It’s clear though at the end of the book she definitely knows who and what Dexter is, but she obviously doesn’t reveal that to anyone at Miami Metro. I sometimes wonder though if she has some kind of inkling that he’s not what he appears to be, but just decides to overlook it because she love’s him.

  12. Kudo’s Jenny44,,,


  13. This was one of the worst written/directed episodes since season 1.

    • @Dokes

      I agree; Dexter’s made glaring mistakes in the past that would have got him caught in real life (most of season three) but in this one he blows off the FBI which makes him more suspect; then burns the inside of his storage unit which is probably extremely traceable; kills some random guy with out oh I dunno a plan or any real way to cover his tracks…. I hope the writers bring some of this up again; or it will stand out as the sore thumb of season five. I can forgive these things since it’s character development type stuff but the actual thought behind it wasn’t near solid.

  14. Maybe I’m the only one, but I thought Masuka’s “Rita comment” was in keeping with his character. He is constantly making objectifying comments in bad taste about women.

  15. I do not believe it was Trinity that killed Rita, in fact as a twist I’m betting that it was the neighbor whom she kissed that killed her and made it look like a Trinity Killing.

    It was the neighbor.

  16. @Dennis, the only thing is what would be his motive??? The guy seemed like a dork not really a killer,,,

    • Excellent question! What WOULD be his motive? I’ve asked myself the same thing since watching th premier. But then, the series has (on several occasions) has shown that the characters aren’t what they seem. We can see this for example in the Ice Truck killer’s inicial scenes, or Arthur Mitchell’s apparently normal family life. I don’t believe that the neighbour did it but then again, I don’t think it completely impossible.

  17. I think the neighbor is unable to commit murder, much less reenact the trinity bathtub MO. He will, however, bring some doubt and suspicion onto Dexter and make things harder for him. Dexter & Quinn already have a history… As for Dexter’s behaviour in the first episode. He’s in shock and is lost..alone. His son now joins him in being “born in blood”. Hopefully he’ll get back his focus soon…

    I think Rita was definitely killed by Trinity tho!

  18. Not a bad premiere. I’m constantly amazed by the quality of acting and writing for this very contrived show.

  19. After watching the season 4 finale, there was no doubt in my mind that Trinity had commited the murder. It wasn’t until I began to read reviews with alternative mruderer theories that I began to question my inicial thoughts. I guess deep inside I went for the obvious, but then again, there are some subtle hints pointing to the possibility of an alternative Killer. The bath tub murders (commited by Arthur) never involved a married woman (except for the initial one 30 years ago). Jumpers where the married women who had 2 not 3 kids. This might be nonsense but honestly, I feel this alternative killer theory is not that far fetched.

  20. @Javier, good points. I too went for the obvious but now have second thoughts. If this is the case then this season could get pretty dark when Dexter finally puts the pieces together.

    Oh and I don’t think this will be the last season, by any means. 8-)

  21. @790! I have faith in the amazing writers. Whatever the future holds for the season and for Dexter particularly will knock our socks off, in my opinion. I would just love the season to revolve around Dexter trying to find Rita’s real killer while Quinn is obsessed on being able to pin everything on Dex. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see!

  22. I, Vince Masuka, want to clarify that I have pictured Rita naked many times, and getting to see her naked in that bath tub was amazing! If Trinity did this, I hope they make me the LFI again so I can see more of her…

    Oh, and how hot is Astor looking these days?

    LFI on the BHB

  23. This is a great thread, let’s keep it going for 12 more weeks/episodes+…
    Dexter fans seem to be a little smarter then your Smallville or Stargate troop.
    Some great comments being generated, I’m sure the writers have noticed. 8-)

  24. Great comments! I LOVE this show so much!! And i have watched every single episode since season 1, episode 1, minute 1. I tell everyone I know about this show, and have been evangelizing it to everyone who will listen. Dexter is a brilliant character, played by a brilliant actor. Stellar writing.

    Having said that, I was still getting over Rita’s death when I watched the season premiere last Sunday… It was such a shock! I was not happy. I then watched season 4 all over again and started to get over it. Regarding who killed Rita, I was so sure Arthur Mitchell (the trinity killer) did it! But after the introduction, here, to the possibility of an alternative killer, I’m not sure at all (had an ‘aha!’ moment). Wouldn’t it be a great twist if it was someone else?

    I also thought Masuka’s comment about Rita was true to his character, so I didn’t have a problem with it (other than “he is definitely off and would probably have gotten many beatings in real life”, that is). LOL

    Quinn was already getting on my nerves last season, but now that he’s after Dexter, grrrrrrr. Dexter is going to be “chased” by him this whole season…. but he will be doing plenty of chasing of his own, I’m sure. Go Dexter, go!!!!

    • Suzana, if you get this excited about Dexter (which is a mildly amusing series), you will die of coronary embolism if you watch the old Deadwood series. Now THAT was amazing at every level – with the exception of it’s longevity (F U HBO!)

  25. @NetShark, Deadwood and Dexter are totally different shows.

    Ones about a person, the others about a community,,,

    • Yes. I was referring to excitement levels. One who would be creamy over a shallow and hole-ridden story would surely be orgasmic over a truly well written yarn.

  26. i was watchin season 4 online maybe around the last couple episodes somewhere scrollin thru comments and found out the ending about rita..even knowin what happens it was still suspenseful i gota say.. luckily im caught up this time and it wont happen haha… the Masuka line lightened the mood i think cuz man that was depressing what really bothered me was deb and quinn c’mon right after you clean your sister in laws murder scene wow..

  27. i agree that Masuka saying “I imagined her naked plenty of times, but nothing like this” was out of character. When Angel was stabbed by the ice truck killer, Masuka was confronted by Deb about not making a perverted comment over something she said. He was shocked shed even think that of him and said ‘our friend might die’ (something along those lines). I think the writers were trying to bring a bit of light heartedness to a dark episode using him and his quips, but to me, not the best way to go about it. I believe the trinity killer did kill Rita (I was sad about that), and dont think the writers will make it be anyone else. Im wondering what will happen with Deb knowing about Dexter and Brian being brothers. Also, Trinity was in the police station. Wont someone be bound to recognize him, possibly connecting him to Dexter? oh there is so much! i am excited (and worried!) to see what happens.

  28. also… i think Dexter will keep to the code. Im not 100 percent sure, but Harry did appear and consoled dexter, telling him to let out his feelings. Dexter seems to respect the code, Harry more importantly, and needs some kind of stability during this time.

  29. I have also been watching this brilliant tv show since the beginning.

    I believe that Trinity killed Rita, as although this is a show with lots of twist, it is not a typical soap opera. They do more twist with the personality of the characters, then send you in a blind-sided direction. It is just like the writters to write a plot where when you think Dexter has the last work, Trinity as the last laugh.

    I don’t know how many of you have actually read the books on which the Dexter charater is based. Well it is in Masuka’s character to make that sort of comment. Also, if the writers wants to share some of the storylines from the books, it wouldn’t be too far-fetched for Debra to find out who her brother really is. In the book she does and she makes it work.

    There is too much new killers story and Dexter’s human emotions discovery to explore this year to dwell on a twist for Rita’s killer. I just think the story the way it is written and make us believe is just brilliant!