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Episode 1 - Are you...?

5 October 2012

Credit FX

This was a major improvement for Dexter of course. But I wouldn’t count my chickens just yet. The show will still need a massive shift in tone and intensity to become really good television again.

For now though it was a relief to see Deb figure it out. All of it. Their scenes together were excellent. I really enjoyed her grilling him over all the lies he’d told to explain what he was doing with Travis’ corpse. She is a detective and it was reassuring to see her act like one. It also meant that all his behaviour at the fresh crime scene suddenly had an entirely different feel for her. Now she was questioning everything she knows about him with his cold, detached demeanour and intimate knowledge of the business of murder.

The fact that she was able to connect it all back to the Ice Truck killer was good writing. The trauma of what she went through now sending her mind spiralling from one domino to the next. The final scene where she has realised all that he is was very satisfying. It could have been an annoying season if it had taken her all twelve episodes to realise the truth. Now we can move forward with whatever dynamic they are going to share. The fact that she has confused intimate feelings for him probably makes this more intriguing. Without those feelings perhaps she would be able to hand him over to the police or just insist that he go far far away.

We also have LaGuerta and Louis poking their noses into Dexter’s business which should keep things bubbling. Although the fact that Jamie describes Louis as being weird suggests he is about to turn into a villain without the subtlety to make it interesting. And the fact that Mike was killed just as he was getting suspicious about Travis’ “suicide” was very convenient. It was also quickly brushed off within the story. The fact that Batista and Quinn could go back to bickering instead of being more choked up by their colleagues death did them no favours. Their cute little chat about how neither is going to change any time soon was a sad meta comment on the lack of character development for most characters on this show.

While I’m complaining I should  note that the flashback to Harry telling Dexter not to reveal his true self to Deb was not subtle. I’m not sure it was necessary and it also gives us the odd mixed signal that Harry may have traumatised Dexter with warnings about what a monster he was.

So let’s not get ahead of ourselves. It was a pleasure to see Dexter under some real scrutiny for once but let’s see where it goes before assuming the show has really changed.  



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  • Having dropped last season about half way through I was happy to see some real movement forward on Dex's discovery but as noted by others the ridiculous kill at the airport, ugh! One step forward, One step back. Good forward on Bautista, step back with Louis character.
    I'll hang with the series a few more episodes on the dvr but it's not appointment viewing for me anymore.

    Viewer score: 65 / 100

    Posted by Yogabon, 05/10/2012 1:52am (8 years ago)

  • I agree that this was a great return for Dexter and the final scene was gripping and totally unexpected. So unexpected that I really believed Dexter was going to wake up and realise it was just a nightmare.

    Nevertheless, the airport kill was completely ridiculous and I was sad to see that Dexter has continued the bad habits from last season where he rushes into carrying out the kill and takes huge risks. In the good old days, he would spend weeks checking people out, following them around and working out a cast iron plan before putting the plastic sheets in the car.

    Still, perhaps we can't have everything and it's just good to see Dexter back and starting out better than we all feared :)

    Posted by Kay W, 04/10/2012 7:23pm (8 years ago)

  • That "Hell on Wheels" joke made me smile.

    Posted by The TV Critic, 02/10/2012 6:46pm (8 years ago)

  • What? Dexter might actually be good again??? Last fall i had a blast coming here every week to rag on Dexter. I'd hate to see them ruin our fun! Oh well. Robin, if this keeps up you may need to start reviewing Hell on Wheels to fill the frustrating cable drama void.

    Seriously, though. Everything with Dexter and Deb was gripping. I was shocked, especially given that showrunner Scott Buck - the man who last season gushed on video over his brilliant Gellar ghost reveal - wrote this episode himself.

    I love that they got all of the big reveals out of the way in the first episode. Once Deb failed to pass out with amnesia after catching Dexter I was then afraid they would string out her discovery of the full secret. I was so thrilled by that closing scene.

    So promising! The character drama between Deb and Dexter - mostly shown through awkward glances with minimal voice over? The very believable confusion and inner conflict from Deb? The possibility that La Guerta might actually play a logical role in the plot?

    I'm still intrigued by the Louis story, which may be the one redeeming carryover from last season.

    Tim, yeah, Dexter's supporting characters are notorious. Its as if the writers feel feel obligated by friendship to needlessly give them extra airtime. Unfortunately, they seem to kill off the only supporting characters I ever want to see more of (they did it again last night with the black detective, who was completely wasted). Heck, I'd have gladly watched a subplot of Doakes doing his laundry or Lundy going to the dentist. That said, I can enjoy Batista, Masuka and even La Guerta so long as they are limited to playing off of Dexter and Deb. Still, that 2 minute Batista/Quinn scene in the bar was the only non-Dexter related scene I remember from this episode.

    Anyway, my only quibble was the nonsense in the airport - c'mon now: TSA doesn't flag a one way, last minute, cash ticket to Ukraine with no luggage but a small bag of horse tranquillizers? The Bug Bunny routine with the wheelchair? A kill room in the middle of a busy airport?

    Viewer score: 69 / 100

    Posted by Huell (formerly Take Gellar), 02/10/2012 8:18am (8 years ago)

  • Huh. This was definitely a much better episode than I expected, given that (unlike with both seasons 5 and 6) there hasn't been a showrunner change. So yeah, I agree with Brando, suddenly a lot of things from the past came back to propel the plot forward, up to the point where Deb learns the whole truth surprisingly early. I'd say that final scene is the first time, I've been positively surprised by "Dexter" in two seasons.

    However, I can't quite get over season 6. And I can still see the writers trying to keep the formula intact: There's still a "Kill of the Week" that seems very risky, plus weirdly timed on Dexter's part, and it's also part of the episode-opening fakeout, so... Meh. The formula (and this being an ensemble tv-show) also demands that there has to be stuff to do for Batista and Quinn, and I haven't been interested in those characters for quite some time.

    So... I think this was better than anything season 6 has done, and it felt more consequential than anything in season 5. It's not enough to restore my faith in the show, but it's enough to renew my interest in it.

    Viewer score: 65 / 100

    Posted by Tim, 01/10/2012 6:17pm (8 years ago)

  • Finally! That's how I felt after watching this episode. Finally, at last, maybe (hopefully!) Dexter can go back to being one of the most intriguing shows on TV. All in all this was a great way to start of the new season. I really enjoyed this episode and especially loved that real consequences are coming about from many different angles. This show had made such a habit of close calls and punch pulls, but boy did it feel good to watch an exciting episode of Dexter.

    Posted by Brando, 01/10/2012 7:27am (8 years ago)

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