A lot of the time people tell me how much they hate their job. In this instance being given copies of Dexter Series 6 to review for MouthLondon was a big fat bonus as Dexter is one of my favourite current television shows. Saying that, I am not biased towards it in anyway. When the show premièred I was glued to the screen; the second series was more into the key characters and introduced killer Jaime Murray (who I have liked since seeing her in Hustle), but when the third series came along I was not a fan.
I switched off and luckily jumped back in for season 4 that so far has been the high point of the series. Not only for the shocking series finale (I haven’t been so horrified since Tara in Buffy), but for the fact that John Lithgow was the main villain of the series. Growing up watching 3rd Rock from the Sun of course helped me fall in love with this actor, but strangely enough he suits a serial killer and I have been waiting patiently to see him in this role. Season 5 was the fall out and damage control from the fourth seasons finale and although Julia Stiles was thrown in as a women needing help with revenge it just didn’t seem as intense as four. But series 6 has upped the game and Dexter seems to be back to his old tricks.
Spoiler Alert. If you are planning to watch this series then please do not read on.
The first three episodes Those Kinds of Things, Once upon a Time and Smokey and the Bandit reintroduce Dexter’s routine, his son Harrison, the series antagonists and most importantly the theme of religion.
… a hilarious attempt at dancing, a football game and a sneaky blow job …
In the first episode we realise Dexter (Michael C. Hall) is back to his old tricks. After pretending to be badly hurt he kidnaps two paramedics who have been putting off saving people so they can rob and sell their possessions afterwards. He kills them with their own defibrillators. Dexter’s kill in this episode (despite the paramedics) is found at his high school reunion. A girl who was always nice to Dexter committed suicide and Dexter believes it was her jock husband. The comedy of this episode comes from his surprise at finding that although at school he was a geeky guy with no friends, now thanks to his cool job, good looks and celebrity status in the serial killer cases everyone wants to know him. This makes it hard for Dexter who being used to just hiding in the shadows now takes centre stage. After a hilarious attempt at dancing, a football game and a sneaky blow job Dexter finally gets hold of his killer.
In Once Upon a Time we are introduced to the character of Brother Sam (Mos Def), a killer who has turned to god and owns his own garage where he hires ex-convicts. Dexter wanted to kill him before, but he was caught by the police and put away. After spending time with him, Dexter realises he has completely changed and wishes to know how to curb his darkness. This doesn’t stop him. However from killing a gang member who threatens Brother Sam. The Doomsday killers also kill a fruit seller and stuff his stomach full of serpents, a passage from Revelations that marks the beginning of the apocalypse.
…Dexter is excited when a prostitute turns up murdered in the same manner as an unsolved serial killer case from the 80s…
Smokey and the Bandit is one of those episodes that shines from the outset. Dexter is excited when a prostitute turns up murdered in the same manner as an unsolved serial killer case from the 80s. With this in mind he sets off to find the killer who would be elderly by this point, but he still wants him for his collection. The aptly named tooth fairy (named because he takes the victim’s teeth) is played by Ronny Cox, an actor who I remember from so many great TV shows and films (Robocop, Stargate-SG1, Star Trek). The character is crude, violent and quite nasty and Dexter finds that his once idol is nothing, but a sad and lonely old man with memories. He decides to suffocate him so that his legacy dies sad and lonely.
Other characters progress well in these opening episodes; Quinn asks Debra to marry him only to be declined when Debs gets offered LaGuerta’s position as Lieutenant. Batista is having a mid-life crisis after buying a muscle car.
The theme of religion is very strong and Dexter is finding being a dad and believing in something not only for himself but for his son to be difficult. With the inclusion of Brother Sam and the antagonists, bringing God into the equation series 6 has surpassed expectations, let’s just hope series 7 continues this streak!
Dexter series 6 is released on DVD and Blu-ray 18 June
Images courtesy of Showtime