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September 1, 2014

Dexter: Living the Dream (season premiere)

by Danny Gallagher, posted Sep 28th 2009 12:52AM
Michael C. Hall and Julie Benz from Dexter(S0401) "Who knew life could get so ... unsimple?" - Dexter Morgan

Moving an unsuspecting serial killer to the burbs sounds like a pitch for a UPN sitcom. "What happens when a wacky serial killer moves into the wackiest suburban neighborhood in the wackiest town in America? You've got 'A Real Cutup.'"

Instead, this is where we find loveable ol' Dexter Morgan, played by Michael C. Hall, at the beginning of the fourth season of Showtime's most popular Sunday night drama that isn't all drama. It still plays heavy on the complex emotions and relationships that make Dexter's life so interesting, but it also features shimmers of laughter as Dexter tries to juggle the life of a father, wife, blood spatter expert, and avenging serial killer without relying too much on one device or character.

The promos for the new season probably made you think, as did I, that Dexter would go from kill room to kill room with a baby slung across his torso in a cute little mini rubber smock and welding mask.

Instead, I was surprised how the new baby, Harrison, served simply as an obstacle for Dexter and not a wacky sidekick, which would just turn the whole show into something even sicker than it already is, like Killer and a Half or Kindergarten Criminal.

The opening scene contrasting Dexter's new life and the life of the Trinity Killer, played by John Lithgow, did a good job of setting the stage for the rest of the new season. It put Dexter's new challenges into perspective and gave us a very dim taste of what to expect from what's sure to become Dexter's new kill.

Lithgow is scary good as a serial killer. Everything about him is creepy, from his voice and demeanor to his choice of weapons, most notably the straight razor on his first victim. He's extremely cold and conniving, dark and mysterious and one cold motherf#*$*#$ with what appears to be some serious control issues. Control over what? You name it. Control over his conscience. Control over his temper. Control over his ability to wear pants. Geez, when I ordered the extra cable channels, seeing Lithgow's ass wasn't the kind of nudity I was hoping for.

As for Dexter, the show really knows how to make you feel sorry for this poor schlub who decided to become a father for the first time. The parody of the show's signature opening scene was another clever way for setting the plot in motion. Even if you don't have kids, you know what he's going through. If anything, it makes you appreciate the beauty and majesty of condoms even more than you already do.

His predicament also sets up for a very gripping ending. The thrill of the show has always been watching Dexter flirting with being found out and falling asleep behind of the wheel of his ride with a neatly severed body still in the trunk. It would make anyone wish they had an advanced copy of next week's episode. Another reason you bastards should be jealous of me.

The return of Frank Lundy, played by Keith Carradine, sets up an interesting situation for Debra Morgan, played by Jennifer Carpenter, that could turn into something interesting if it climaxes quickly (not that way, sickos, or maybe it could end that way, sickos). This thing could get boring if it stretches beyond three or four episodes.

The one burning between Batista, played by David Zayas, and Laguerta, played by Lauren Velez, seems to be setting up for a big fall, as well. Is it wrong that I like Masuka, played by C.S. Lee, the most out of this brazen bunch of boys and girls in blue, just because he seems to be the smartest when it comes to playing "Slap the Pickle"?

[Watch clips of Dexter and other shows at SlashControl.]

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Joyce N.

I will never get enough of this show!

September 28 2009 at 1:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kurt

Very disappointed that they showed clips from the rest of the season. I now know that Dexter does not get busted with the body parts in the car. Just assumed the parts were flung as he flipped anyway. Since he dumps the bodies at sea I assumed he was going to get to that. Thought that would be a perfect father/son activity when Harrison woke them up again that night.
Wondered what the shelf life of body parts in the back of a car was?
How does Dexter afford to keep the apartment? Does he take money from his victims? Harry's estate?
Can't see Debra screwing up her love life but like she admitted to Laguerta about anything, that is what she does. Love Debra's character.
This is one of the most entertaining shows on tv. As you can tell, I am excited it is back.

September 28 2009 at 1:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Vincent J. Murphy

I can do without gratuitous shows of John Lithgow's ass, however. Two in one episode is twice as many as I ever needed to see in several lifetimes.

September 28 2009 at 1:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
C C

As the commerical says, having a baby changes everything...

Very promising start to this season. I love the gender role reversal they're doing here, showing a father whose losing sleep over a newborn while the mother is slightly dense about the situation. Nice satire of the usually stereotypical "balancing work and parenthood" scenario.

Trinity Killer? Snicker. I know what that's an allusion to.

The scene with John Lithgow in the bathroom reminded me of an X-Files episode (Irresistible, I believe?) where the villain prepped baths to wash his victims' hair before killing them.

September 28 2009 at 12:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sam the Deaf

That give me a heart attack to see Dexter have an accident. Ooo body shouldn't be find by police.

September 28 2009 at 10:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kol. Panic

Dexter had the bag with Harrison's medication in the van before he flipped it. I doubt he stopped at the drug store with the body still in the back. Besides, it's too early in the season for a possible discovery. It's nothing more than a gratuitous cliffhanger.

September 28 2009 at 10:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Kol. Panic's comment
amanda82977

Did you not watch the teaser for next week? It showed Dexter back at the car & he pulled up one of the floor boards in the trunk and said that there was still a bag there "1 of 6" is what he said... He is trying to balance everything so I am sure that he stopped & got the medication for Harrison & figured that once he answered to Rita's urgency that he would be able to return to "work".

I was surprised with Rita passing off Harrison to Dexter like that - maybe that's the reason why her first Hubby did drugs... he was just trying to stay awake! ;)

September 28 2009 at 1:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Cyn

I loved it! The ending- oh,nooooooooooooooo! Now what? I think Dexter is being too nice to Rita- he works and needs more sleep to earn money. She needs to get up more with the baby. I would keep my old apt, too, just for peace and quiet. His instant family is too much, too fast. My son-inlaw dragged around like na zombie with his first born and could barely do his job. Dexter's work is even more imortant. Good start for the new season...

September 28 2009 at 9:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
The1337

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.

http://th3tvobsessed.blogspot.com/2009/09/dexter-comes-back-withthe-same-stuff.html

September 28 2009 at 2:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brent Schmidt

"Another reason you bastards should be jealous of me. "

Real classy there...

September 28 2009 at 1:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tingrin87

so, um, not to spoil anything, but, uh...
How 'bout that ending???

September 28 2009 at 1:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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