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October 4, 2015

Dexter season four -- An early look

by Danny Gallagher, posted Sep 25th 2009 10:00AM
Dexter Season 4 posterThe introduction of a baby into the plot is usually a sure fire sign that a television show has jumped the shark with a pair of Acme rocket powered water skis.

But things are different for a twisted little space of pay cable called Dexter. The mere thought of putting a cute, adorable and affable little tyke into the mix sounds like something that would inspire the furious typing of a thousand angry Parents Television Council members' Selectric typewriters.

The latest addition to the Morgan clan is just a small addition to the newest season of Showtime's seriously macabre drama. It doesn't overtake the show and turn its serious moral tone into something ridculously psychotic like Three Madmen and a Baby. It's just one of many obstacles the world's most huggable serial killer has to deal with to feed the John Pinette sized appetite of his mysterious "dark passenger," and it's not all dark and drenched in blood.

The first few episodes of the new season have fleeting glimpses of all sorts of shows mixed in its plotlines, from hard edged cop dramas to uncomfortable sitcom situations. It's like The Office meets The Shield meets The Simpsons meets Silence of the Lambs.

The show returns to the craze inducing heat of Miami with Dexter Morgan, played brilliantly as always by Michael C. Hall, juggling the life of a suburban working dad with the insatiable need to cut up the dredge of society into bite-sized pieces of evil and toss them into the Atlantic Gulf Stream. The problem is he not only has a job, a wife and two adoptive children to handle, he's also got a new baby named Harrison who is keeping him from getting any semblance of what regular humans call sleep.

Meanwhile, a mysterious new evil has bled its way into the streets of Miami in the form of John Lithgow, known to some federal law enforcement circles as "The Trinity Killer." Lithgow's slow and creepy character brings the likes of FBI serial killer tracker Frank Lundey, played again by Keith Carradine, out of the grey shadow of retirement back to Miami and quite possibly into the pale, delicate arms of his former squeeze and Dexter's sister Deborah, played by Jennifer Carpenter.

The first few episodes have a great mix of television moments from the usual creepiness of a show about serial killers to some genuinely funny scenes of Dexter trying to keep his "mask" in plain sight in the sheer craziness of suburban silliness. There are points it actually feels like a sitcom trying to poke through the sheet of the show's signature storylines. You don't have to be a twisted psychopath to appreciate the humor of a serial killer trying to weave his way through the trials of a modern family.

Of course, it doesn't hurt either. And if you are that way, it's not you'd know what hurting actually feels like anyway.

[Catch clips of Dexter over at SlashControl.]

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I liked the episode a lot, and overall I like everything about the show, except for one thing: long term creativity. Dexter continues to kill and wriggle out of different situation. It's fun, it's wrong to enjoy, but it's the same. I'll still watch, but I would like to see some changes. The first scene with the Trinity Killer is the most disturbing of the whole series. Full review of the episode.


September 27 2009 at 8:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Not sure we'll watch it. Last season (3) was so awful that I'm not entirely certain I am willing to give what was once a great show another chance.

September 26 2009 at 2:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joyce N.

I LOVE this show. I loved Jimmy and am positive I will love John. I hope I get to adore DEXTER for years to come.

September 25 2009 at 4:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I DL'd the first episode. Now I definitely need to watch it.

Didn't know that John Lithgow was going to be on this season. Great casting man - like Jimmy Smits last year. Made for some of the best stuff on TV.

September 25 2009 at 1:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I enjoyed the season premier. Certainly it's not the Dexter of old, and I'm still not sure if that's a good or bad thing, but I'm willing to sit out the season.

September 25 2009 at 10:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Willmore2000's comment

i was disappointed wiht the season premiere, up until the last few minutes.
that, uh, "event" was enough to hook me for at least the next few shows

September 25 2009 at 11:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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