I’ve already touched on Season 1, and that I found the ending fell so very flat after a solid build throughout the season. Season Two, on the other hand, maybe pulled out all the stops too soon in this show’s lifespan, so I think they’re going to be hard-pressed to top that going forward. My perspective is a little skewed, knowing there are six more seasons in the can ahead of this one, but I’m already looking forward to how the writers are able to top this season’s main storyline.
Dexter (Michael C. Hall) has the police hot on his trail, though they obviously don’t know he’s the one dumping bodies (or, what’s left of them) into the ocean. The press dubs this mysterious killer the Bay Harbor Butcher.
TANGENT: The newspapermen of Dexter‘s Miami could have their own spin-off. Two major serial killers (that they know of) in as many years? That’s one hell of a town. I really hope there’s a Batman-esque vigilante at some point.
So the cat-and-mouse game that was played in Season One continues in Season Two, only its Dexter vs the cops here. Miami Metro Homicide also gets a boost from the addition of supercop Frank Lundy (Keith Carradine; excellence), an FBI agent known for tracking serial killers.
Romantically, Dexter has a falling out with his annoying girlfriend, Rita (Julie Benz), who always sounds like she’s out of breath. She either just ran a marathon or is practicing for a phone sex hotline audition. KILL HER, DEX! He picks up this psychopathic pyromaniac, Lila (Jaime Murray), at a Narcotics Anonymous meeting. (Long story medium, Rita is an idiot, and thinks Dex is a junkie, what with all the secrets. He goes to the meetings to appease her.) You know the Dexter/Lila whirlwind romance is going to be disastrous, and within three episodes, I wanted to kill the plastic bitch myself. (Of course, my gypsy girlfriend felt no compunction, because she thought Lila was beautiful.)
Then there’s Dexter’s sister, Deb (Jennifer Carpenter), who get a haircut and an affair with her pseudo-boss, Lundy, a guy who could be her father. Talk about daddy issues.
There’s a lot going on, not to mention Sgt. Doakes (Erik King) has ALREADY SOLVED DEXTER’S SECRET! That’s a shame, because I loved this character and the dynamic he had with Dexter. I think writing him out of the show so soon was the wrong move from a creative standpoint. He was the perfect foil for Dexter. An angry loner cop who, when you boil it down, obeys the law, versus the mild-mannered guy who is everyone’s friend, who, when you boil it down, kills people in his spare time.
The way they tied up the Doakes angle was equal parts creative and convenient, so I still don’t know what to make of it. I think I just miss that sourpuss bastard.
I applaud pitting Dexter against his own friends and colleagues, because its probably the most compelling story this series will have to offer, but its a shame it has to come so soon in this series’ life. Like I said, I’m not sure where you go from here to raise the stakes, unless Deb finds out her brother’s secret. Anyway, I’d upgrade my status from Season One’s “curious” to “hooked” with the completion of Season Two.