Thursday, July 23, 2009

Dexter - Seasons 1 -3

Season 1

I don’t watch a whole lot of cop shows and given that there’s so many to choose from you, you have to be a very special show with a pretty unique angle in order to woo me. Dexter has that quality – blood spatter expert with dark passenger who kills bad guys. Add Michael C. Hall, who I absolutely loved on Six Feet Under and this was going to be the very show for me. I love Dexter and in some ways I could almost empathise in a way I couldn’t with any character from The Sopranos and the first season is by far the show’s best (that however does not mean that the show becomes unwatchable in later seasons, it really has retained its excellent quality). Dexter as a character is constantly fascinating to watch and even though he largely protests that he’s incapable of emotion, even the first season largely contradicts that with his relationships with Rita and sister Deb, the reveal of the Ice Truck Killer being lost brother Brian Moser, any revelations about his original parentage and of course, his rivalry with the embittered Doakes and respective friendships with Angel and Masuka. Plus many of the scenes with Harry add to Dexter’s psyche quite well.

Episode Ratings

1x01: Pilot = 9/10, 1x02: Crocodile = 7/10,
1x03: Popping Cherry = 8/10, 1x04: Let’s Give The Boy A Hand =9/10,
1x05: Love American Style = 8/10, 1x06: Return To Sender = 10/10,
1x07: Circle Of Friends = 7/10, 1x08: Shrink Wrap = 10/10,
1x09: Father Knows Best = 8/10, 1x10: Seeing Red = 10/10,
1x11: Truth Be Told = 9/10, 1x12: Born Free = 9/10.

Season 2

Second seasons are hard and for a lot of shows nowadays, there supposed to be where the rot sets in. While the second year wasn’t better than the first, it definitely went out to prove that the show wasn’t a fluke. With Dexter being known as the Bay Harbour Butcher, psycho-artist/sponsor Lila made for a decent femme fatale and even became responsible for blowing Doakes to kingdom come when he was about to expose Dexter’s little secret. The second season also had noteworthy changes for Rita, who became a little less meek and Deb, who certainly had an interesting relationship with Lundy to put it mildly. I also liked that Maria became more of a competent cop this season as well. The strokes she pulled to usurp Esme to get her job back were below the belt but she’s certainly improved as a character. Angel and Masuka weren’t as largely used in the season but they did have some nice moments here and there and I did like knowing a bit more about Harry’s relationship with Laura Moser.

Episode Ratings

2x01: It’s Alive = 9/10, 2x02: Waiting To Exhale = 8/10,
2x03: An Inconvenient Lie = 9/10, 2x04: See-Through = 8/10,
2x05: The Dark Defender = 10/10, 2x06: Dex, Lies And Videotape = 9/10,
2x07: That Night A Forest Grew = 7/10, 2x08: Morning Comes = 10/10,
2x09: Resistance Is Futile =9/10, 2x10: There’s Something About Harry = 10/10,
2x11: Left Turn Ahead = 9/10, 2x12: The British Invasion = 9/10.

Season 3

I don’t know why some people hate this season. Maybe it’s just a trend because I’m having a hard time trying to find anything that is truly terrible about it. If we have to go with something, then maybe it’s the Skinner. Compared to Rudy, Lila and Miguel, the Skinner is probably the most impersonal threat that Dexter has had to deal with and in the finale, Dexter did kind of dispatch of him a bit too easily but does that really constitute a terrible thing? Come on, we got Miguel. A man who fooled Dexter into thinking that someone could be accepting of the dark passenger but in reality it was a friendship that could only end one way – Miguel’s death. Killing Ellen Wolf and plotting to bump off Maria had Dexter murder the bloke before realising that his season long rebellion and anger of Harry wasn’t the smartest thing he could have done. Then there was Rita being pregnant and their wedding in the finale. Some decent mileage was gotten out of these storylines as was Angel’s courtship of Barbara and Deb and Anton’s relationship as well as Deb getting her shield. I guess Quinn might have been another weak link as well as Yuki wanting Deb to snitch on him but still, this season was too good to dismiss.

Episode Ratings

3x01: Our Father = 8/10, 3x02: Finding Freebo = 8/10,
3x03: The Lion Sleeps Tonight = 9/10, 3x04: All In The Family = 9/10,
3x05: Turning Biminese = 8/10, 3x06: Si Se Puede = 7/10,
3x07: Easy As Pie = 10/10, 3x08: The Damage A Man Can Do = 9/10,
3x09: About Last Night = 9/10, 3x10: Go Your Own Way = 9/10,
3x11: I Had A Dream = 9/10, 3x12: Do You Take Dexter Morgan? = 9/10.

Book Reviews

Prior to watching the third season on FXUK, I managed to get round to reading the first four books and here are the links to the reviews for them.

Darkly Dreaming Dexter

Dearly Devoted Dexter

Dexter In The Dark

Dexter By Design

All episode and book reviews can be found on both my TV TOME page and SHAWNLUNN2002TVHITS, both of which are linked on this blog.


Nat said...

Great review :)

I think that s1 is probably the best and s2 is my least fave. I don't get the hate for s3, there were a few cliffhangers which meant the season wasn't completely wrapped up but I think that's because they were already renewed for s4 so they could do that.

Have you seen the new trailer for s4?? Its on spoilertv and looks amazing!!

shawnlunn2002 said...

I haven't seen the Season 4 trailer but I'll check it out soon. Thanks for the heads up.