‘Dexter’ Season 6 Premiere Review & Discussion

Published 3 years ago by , Updated February 10th, 2012 at 12:24 pm,

dexter season 6 promo Dexter Season 6 Premiere Review & Discussion

After a relatively hit or miss fifth year installment, the Dexter season 6 premiere serves as a welcome breath of fresh air to the series, by not only fulfilling the lofty promises made by producers that this season would return the hit drama to the familiar thematic form that garnered such critical claim early on, but by also gracefully maturing every element of the program through the masterful handling of an extremely difficult (and often misused) televisual faux pas.

Wrapped in a 12-month “time jump,” Dexter, our favorite knife wielding vigilante, is relieved of any and all emotional repercussions from the horrific death of his wife Rita, and the misguided pseudo-love of Lumen. These story-arcs, while certainly serving as concussive conclusions for anticipatory character growth (through forced responses to the presented environments) ultimately led to a progression standstill that started with the series’ core focus, Dexter, but then continued throughout every other facet of the series.

While the stereotypical time jump is typically used as a proverbial “get out of jail free” card to artificially establish some forward momentum to a series, without having to actually execute a coherent arc to sidestep whatever issues were ultimately becoming problematic, the producers of Dexter decided to make one of the most earnest uses of a “time jump” ever seen on television by completely redefining each character and clearly representing that evolution has occurred, even though we were not witness to it.

By kicking off the season premiere with a story revolving around Dexter’s high school reunion and a love once lost (and now, murdered) – which leads to everyone’s favorite blood splatter analyst reveling in his perceived success and “busting a move” on the dance floor – it’s made clear that while a story may have an emotional connection to Dexter, it no longer inhibits his ability to satisfy his Dark Passenger. The notion that Dexter must simply survive these situational occurrences is replaced by a renewed drive to adapt to them.

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And adapt, he does. By not only figuring out the best way to overcome whatever obstacle may stand before either of his personalities, but by also earnestly establishing the necessary relationships needed in order to do so. Even though many of these relationships serve no other purpose than to help drive Dexter’s core desires, the fact that he’s “using” these relationships and not simply “abusing” them certainly helps progress the character into an extremely compelling position, all while allowing for further occurrences of growth and depth for each new circumstance.

Taking on another complicated matter, but showing another example of the series’ new-found confidence in its ability to execute a story-arc, no matter the subject matter, is the positioning of Dexter as someone who’s attempting to become more spiritual, but without the need to attach any specific religious affiliation in order to do so. While this element is only slightly touched upon in the premiere, the subsequent episodes delve into it further. Though, the mocking of God, as his victim attempts to explain the “rules” of his faith, certainly speaks to the fact that Dexter isn’t attempting to find a divine creator, but to better understand himself and the world around him.

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Returning to some familiar elements of past seasons, the official “big bads” of season 6 were only briefly noted in the premiere. While it’s always wonderful to see Dexter come face to face with someone that’s positioned as his equal, there was a sense that it felt a bit rushed last season. Even though these two spiritual warriors (that will be better understood in next week’s episode) provide an interesting take to their killings, it’s going to take some time before enough is established to make Dexter take notice of their actions, and, more importantly, connect them to their victims.

To say what transpired during the course of Dexter season 5 was problematic would be largely unfair, though the unfortunate signs of what may result from it were clearly present. The series, as a whole, was attempting to push through the inevitable growing pains that any show its age feels. What made this transition even more complicated was that Dexter was coming off of a series high (with season 4) and the producers where attempting to fill the void left by showrunner Chip Johnson.

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Instead of using Dexter as the vehicle to covey the story (which, in turn, would have provided the needed closure and growth that many would have wanted), they decided to use Lumen as a supplemental avatar. While not a terrible idea on its own, it was certainly a departure from what the series originally started out as… and where the series should be going – especially at this age.

Fortunately, Dexter season 6 appears to be a step in the right direction that will not only help rectify some of the major problems that arose from last season, but will also make sure that Dexter, as a series, is perfectly positioning itself to continue for the foreseeable future.

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Dexter airs Sundays @9pm on Showtime

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  1. I’m equally disappointed because of some of the reasons mentioned above, but especially because there doesn’t seem to be any consistency with his character, what made him special was that he was an outcast, and showing him acting “popular” doesn’t work.

    I don’t like the raunchiness of this season either, Masuka’s assistant’s butt shots? Dexter getting a BJ? It’s as if they took a page from The Hangover and are desperate to appeal to that crowd. Not classy…

    • It’s a Showtime television show. You shouldn’t be surprised at all. They are dong what they do.

      Simple solution: don’t be a prude.

  2. Episode two was a bit better. Not as corny. Debs inability to utter a single sentence, without monty-python-like profanity, is beginning to grate on my nerves.

  3. There are real “Brother Sams” in every American city. But the “religious killers” as presented so far, don’t really have a real world equivalent. They seem like bad Batman comic villains. They have the Bible as a motif, but no motivation to use that motif in ritual killings.
    Most serial killers/cult leaders reject normal interpretations of faith, or reject all faith, or have weird sexual/death fetishes, or are just mentally ill and believe themselves to be God/saviors, etc. A religious academic who knows the Bible extensively and likes it would be driven, if anything, to help people- not to commit weird ritual murders based loosely on scripture passages. It’s so random. I hope the writers have a good explanation for all of this and aren’t just going for a cartoonishly creepy villain.

  4. It’s Chip Johannessen, not Chip Johnson.

  5. Things are beginning to even out. Dexters no longer acting goofy. Looks like Dexter is back on track.

  6. Series so far just seems to be a step off I. It’s like there are new writers and they don’t get it. Can’t nail it but I’m not declaring, at the end of each episode, OMG. I CAN’T WAIT FOR NEXT WEEK

  7. I must say I disagree with the non-likers of the new season. I think the new bad guys were great, I think the support cast character developmnet is very progressive: you get Debra’s life going upside down and her character growing stronger with each episode, the Quin’s and Babtista’s working relationship going sideways, the labgeek intern is quirky and gives new ???? for the series. Most importantly, you start seeing how Dexter is questioning if the way his father brought him up is the right way and his sloppyness is genty introduced, which I think will be an ongoing theme and that’s how he is going to be caught. He can’t be extremelly cautious and then suddenly get revealed as beeing the serial killer under everyone’s nose. So, these blind rage moments (like drowning the priest’s killer) might get more frequent and that will be the end of him.

  8. LOVED the season finale to Dexter Season 6 and I have enjoyed every minute of every episode. Watching Dexter act human at times, or inhuman is what keeps me coming back to this show and is what keeps it at the top of my list for all time favorites.