When we reunite with our favorite serial killer Dexter (Michael C. Hall) for the season six premiere, it’s been a year since our dark passenger helped and hooked up with the troubled Lumen (Julia Stiles) and brought down twisted self-help guru Jordan Chase (Jonny Lee Miller). While the previous seasons have had Dexter attempting to fit in through love and romantic relationships, this year he and his dark passenger are having a crisis of faith, at least when it comes to raising his toddler son Harrison. Really, the idea of romance all but disappears as various relationships from previous season (we won’t say which ones) have all pretty much crumbled, which makes for quite a lot of tension around Miami Metro Police Department. However, despite the high amount of tension that rises rather quickly in the first three episodes of the season, there also seems to be a higher level of humor, other than the usual dark fare, than other seasons. But that’s just the beginning of the strange changes happening in Miami. Hit the jump for the rest of my review of the sixth season of Dexter.
This season Dexter finds himself fitting in early on with much ease as he heads off to his high school reunion, with Sergeant Batista’s (David Zayas) newly introduced younger sister Jamie (Aimee Garcia) to babysit Harrison as he heads off to mingle with his high school “friends.” Funnily enough, despite being nearly invisible in high school, having a solid job as the police force’s blood splatter specialist, making headlines in the newspaper, and having his wife Rita help him hold the sympathy card, Dexter is now one of the popular kids and this makes for some really funny moments that fall outside of the usual dark humor expected of Dexter. But not to be troubled with the attention, Dexter is really after one of the other popular kids for another signature kill of a man who needs to be brought to justice. Even this first kill seems to have more than a fleeting effect on Dexter’s life, and it’s a trend that continues through the following two episodes when his pursuit of Mos Def, a former killer who has since redeemed himself through God, sends all sorts of mixed signals to Dexter about a dark passenger finding the light.
And the theme of religion is even more powerful as Dexter struggles with how he wants to raise Harrison. A catholic school at the suggestion of Batista seems like a great place for Harrison to have a normal chidlhood, but Dexter finds himself having to figure out how to keep his dark passenger secret from his son as he starts to notice some of Daddy’s peculiar behavior and “monster stories.” Thankfully the idea of faith isn’t one that is preachy, but rather an element that continues to develop Dexter as one of the best written characters on television. And more likely than not this over-arcing theme will come into play with our mysterious villains.
That’s right. There’s a duo of big baddies this time around in the form of Travis (Colin Hanks) and Professor Gellar (Edward James Olmos). Their motives shrouded in secret, but motivated by something divine, this team of killers seem to be the most puzzling yet as their victims are left in public, quite theatrically, and likely leading to some kind of apocalyptic ritual in anticipation of the end of the world. Complete with a body that has Greek letters stitched across the chest hiding baby snakes inside, these killers obviously have some whacked out beliefs. Hanks is the submissive, assistant to Olmos’ commanding and ominous leader, and their relationship is beyond peculiar. Of course, these two killers, combined with Mos Def’s interesting, apparently redeemed character, make for some spectacular performances from guest stars that could rival the amazing John Lithgow’s turn as the Trinity Killer
This season of Dexter is different, but not so much that fans will be turned off. A team of serial killers to play with the whole series, a mysterious character on the path of God after spilling blood himself and Dexter’s struggle with faith and continuing to raise his son are the biggest elements making season six feel fresh, but not drastically different, and yet another solid start for one of cable’s best dramas. Of course, there’s plenty that I haven’t revealed here, especially with regards to Debra Morgan (Jennifer Carpenter) who has one hell of a life-changing day, and even Masuka (C.S. Lee) has a big surprise in the form of a new intern (though I won’t reveal who). Complete with new kinds of tension, broken relationships, a crisis of faith, and our first killing duo, season six of Dexter looks to keep the momentum that Showtime’s cable series has had for five seasons now.
The sixth season of Dexter premieres Sunday, October 2nd at 9/8c on Showtime.