We join Dexter immediately following the events of the season four finale. The biggest dilemma you ask? Well, when the police come upon Dexter and the blood stained Harrison, Dexter udders the words “it was me.” Now everyone including those close to him, are looking at Dexter as a possible suspect.

At the same time, Debra begins to once again have feelings for Quinn and one can only wonder where that will lead, or more importantly, how much clothing will be removed. We also learn the origins of Dexter’s relationship with Rita.

And so begins season 5 of Dexter.

What worked: First of all, I’m glad that the beginning of this episode put the rumor to rest that this was all a dream and Rita is in fact alive. That would not of been a worthy twist for this great show. Moving past that, I liked watching Dexter’s psychotic nature begin to show through to his friends and family. How you ask? Remember that Dexter isn’t capable of showing emotions the way normal people are, so to have Deb and Quinn pick up on that made me happy, turns out they’re actually good at their jobs.

I’m also intrigued by the fact that Dexter had no qualms about killing the guy at the dock. This is significant because Dexter’s code doesn’t allow him to kill anyone without definitive proof that they’ve committed evil. I’ll point to the episode “Slack Tide” from last season where Dexter killed an innocent man. A scum bag for sure, but innocent none the less. Who’s to say that the man in the bathroom wasn’t also innocent? It really changes the outlook of Dexter’s moral code.

The flashbacks to the beginning of Dexter’s relationship with Rita were really cool. I’ve always wondered how exactly they met, and while introducing the fact that Deb was the match maker does throw a few plot holes into the show, overall I was happy with what we got to see.

But perhaps my biggest hope for this season is how Dexter will deal with the Harrison dilemma. Will Harrison begin to show the same psychotic signs that Dexter displays, or will he grow up to be normal? Only time will tell. I’m also going to be interested to see what being a single father will do to Dexter’s “ritual.”

I really hope the FBI stuff is explored further this season as well. Will we have another Doakes situation on our hands? One can only hope.

What didn’t: I’ve got no interest in going down the Quinn road again. I’m watching Dexter for Dexter Morgan. Not Debra and her angst. And Quinn is starting to become way more of an asshole. And not in that cool bad ass way, more in that elementary school bully kind of way.

Final thoughts: A very emotional season premiere of Dexter.

Episode: “My Bad” (Season 5, Episode 1)

__________________________________________________

Following Rita’s funeral, Dexter tries to return to a “normal” life. He has Astor and Cody move in with him at Deb’s apartment. But things don’t go as planned when the kids bail on school to go to the one place that Dexter has begged them not to revisit. At the same time, Dexter may have found his next target, but this one doesn’t seem to be providing him with the satisfaction he so desperately craves. The police will also get much closer to Kyle Butler than Dexter could have ever conceived.

What worked: Poor Astor. I just felt so bad for her throughout this episode. Not because she lost her mother and not because she now has the responsibility of taking care of Cody, but rather because she was so hurt by something that is essentially Dexter’s doing. Sure, Dexter didn’t kill Rita, but Dexter led Trinity to her. Dexter is the one who brought terror to Rita’s home. Astor is right, if it wasn’t for Dexter, her mother would still be alive. She just doesn’t realize how right she is.

On the front of Dexter himself in this episode, the ending is what really intrigued me. When he said that having a new target isn’t bringing him peace, I’m wondering what this means for him. Maybe that kill in the men’s room last week means a lot more than anyone originally thought. Maybe controlling his urges isn’t good enough anymore. Maybe killing the wicked isn’t good enough anymore. Maybe the only way Dexter Morgan can truly be at peace, is to become the thing he fought against since childhood. But only time will tell on that one.

What didn’t: The angst is killing me. Debra and Quinn, LaGuerta and Angel, I just don’t give a rat’s ass about them. As I said last week, right now I care about Dexter and Dexter alone. Maybe in another time I would be interested in Debra’s relationship status, but right now is not the time. So unless Dexter ends up killing Quinn at some point, I DON’T CARE!

Final thoughts: A mixed bag for episode 2.

Episode: “Hello, Bandit” (Season 5, Episode 2)

Airs: Showtime, Sundays, 9pm

What’s next: Dexter finds himself in a strange new world when he attempts to hire a nanny for Harrison so he can continue to stalk and kill his next victim.

To listen to the latest episode of Merrill’s TV Podcast, The Idiot Boxers with Kevin Carr, head over to Fat Guys at the Movies.


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