When season four of “Dexter” ended, I was left speechless. I was metaphorically smacked in the face with a twist so intense, so emotionally draining, that after everything was said and done I was giddy with satisfaction. With season five premiering this past Sunday, I can truly say “Dexter” is once again responsible for murder because my giddiness has keeled over and died.
Season five started exactly where it should have, (SPOILER ALERT) directly after the death of Dexter’s wife Rita. Immediately after discovering her body, Dexter sits down on his front lawn with his now emotionally scarred son. When the police get to the scene, Dexter whispers to them in a daze, “It was me.”
From this point on, everyone becomes suspicious of Dexter’s involvement in Rita’s murder, even if they don’t want to come right out and admit it.
Because of Dexter’s murderous nature, he doesn’t feel sad. For the first 40 minutes of the episode, he shows as much emotion as a block of wood. When Deb, Dexter’s sister, tries to help him through the grieving process, she realizes pretty quickly that Dexter feels nothing. And you can see by the look in her eyes that she’s starting to realize her brother is more than just a blood spatter analyst.
Now, all of the above was great. I loved watching Dexter squirm to find the right words to say to those mourning around him. I even think the writing became borderline genius when Dexter wore a Mickey Mouse hat while telling his two stepchildren that their mother was murdered. It was later that I found myself viewing some pretty yawn-worthy material.
My first complaint goes to the flashbacks of Dexter’s first date with Rita. These scenes were obviously written to evoke some sort of sentimental feeling, but they succeeded in doing the opposite. Throughout the flashback, we realize pretty quickly that Dexter isn’t there to wine and dine Rita – he is there to catch another killer. So instead of listening to anything the poor woman says, Dexter focuses on a man sitting a few tables behind her, and its blatantly obvious. When Rita is in mid-sentence, Dexter actually gets up and leaves, blaming his sudden depature on a stomach problem. Who in their right mind would go on a second date with anyone like that, let alone marry that person? This was totally unrealistic. To see Rita gushing over Dexter later made me almost want to reach into the television and tell her she deserved everything she got.
Another aspect of this episode I found cringe inducing was the incredibly bad acting from the little girl who plays Astor, Dexter’s stepdaughter. From what I’ve seen so far, I can tell the show’s writers are giving her a bigger part this season. For the love of God, why? For an Emmy winning show like “Dexter,” it hurts a lot to see such a bad performance, even if it’s from a kid. Something I found nauseating was that random hook up between Deb and Quinn, her fellow detective. That whole thing was just gross. For that to be sexy at all, Deb needs to eat something stat and Quinn needs to stop using the yellow self-tanner from Walmart.
I understand this episode was just a set-up for what’s to come, but if the future is anything like the premiere, we could have another season three on our hands.