TV THURSDAY: Dexter (Season 1; 2006)

INNER DEXTER: Season 1 of Dexter is already seven years old, so if you read this and get all huffy over spoilers, go to Hell. You had your chance.

OUTER DEXTER: Be aware that there may be some spoilers below!

Maximizing the Showtime Anytime feature that comes with my dad’s subscription to the channel, my gypsy and I dug into this series one boring winter night. The deeper we got, the more riveting we found it.

You’ve got this dude, Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall), a blood splatter analyst for the Homicide division of the Miami Metro Police Department. On the side, he’s a serial killer himself, but in a Frank Castle kinda way, only murdering other murderers. So Dexy here is your basic anti-hero, and in his debut season, he’s met his match: ANOTHER serial killer, who is not only a police-stumping genius, but also the genius who has figured out what Dexter truly is!

As the plot thickens with all manner of your standard life events – Dexter balances a girlfriend with two kids of her own, a foul-mouthed aspiring-detective sister, and another cop, Sgt. James Doakes (Erik King), who is leery of our “hero – I’m sitting there, wondering, “How the hell did this other killer (dubbed the Ice Truck Killer) figure out who Dexter is?” The plan formed in my mind, and well before the reveal, the only conclusion I came up with was that he must have known Dexter and has been watching him from afar for a loooooong time.

It sounded so trite and cop-outty that I figured my creativity was really over-rated and I was missing something. So when they pulled the “I’m your brother” card in the season finale, my jaw dropped. Not in a The Sixth Sense kinda way either. Brother serial killers? Are you kidding me? That letdown is the kind of garbage I expect in a comic book (a terrible, terrible comic book). But like I said, as the series progressed, it became clear that the writers backed themselves into that awful corner.

The reveal almost soured me on the entire show, and I almost didn’t come back for Season Two… but I did, because the characters in Dexter are all worth watching for one reason or another. (Doakes is a badass; Dexter himself has a great, dry humor; my girlfriend hates Dex’s sister Deb (Jennifer Carpenter) so much, she watches to see if the character will die in the next episode…)

Dexter is eight seasons long and counting, so they must be doing SOMETHING right. We’ll see how the next round holds up…


Netflix: 3 Stars


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