Dexter has been impressive to me because it has been able, as almost no other series has, to improve with each season. That is, all the way up to its 6th and most recent season. This has been, in my opinion, the least entertaining and least important season thus far. Aside from Deb’s being promoted to Lieutenant, not one character had considerable growth and the guest stars this year, though all talented actors, were greatly under-used. I still don’t understand what the point of Mos Def’s character was, which is particularly disappointing to me because I happen to be a huge Mos Def fan and was ecstatic when I read he’d be guest starring on this beloved show. He played the role of reformed convict Brother Sam in his usual charming way but I can see no purpose to the character except, perhaps, to be the yin to Colin Hanks’ yang, an example of a person who uses religion for good to balance out Hanks’ fanatic character, Travis, who used religion to justify the many murders he committed. Both Hanks and Edward James Olmos also gave excellent performances and the little twist that Olmos’ Professor Gellar was, in fact, dead throughout the entirety of the season did come as a surprise to me. And I liked that Travis saw him and spoke to him much like Dexter sees and speaks to Harry. But, instead of Gellar disappearing once Travis faced the reality that he’d killed him, he could have intensified the conflict by acting as a pseudo-conscience to Travis, thereby adding another dimension to Travis’ character. But no, Gellar simply was no more and Travis remained singularly evil.
I did appreciate the irony in that final speech Dexter made just before executing Travis. “Maybe everything is exactly as it should be,” he says mere milliseconds before driving a rusty sword through Travis’ abdomen, then looking up to see Deb standing nearby, close enough to have witnessed Dexter in all his grisly glory. The look on Dexter’s face upon seeing her standing there is a shiny example of the scope of Hall’s ability. By the way, I love Michael C. Hall. I admit I wasn’t sure about him when I first started watching this series but he won me over before that first season finished. And every season he gets better. He is a damned fine actor, playing the role of Dexter Morgan so exceedingly well that I feel not a hint of conflict over rooting for him to succeed at every turn and he’s a serial killer. I love him. It’s done. Period.
Jennifer Carpenter’s acting has improved with each season and the character of Deb Morgan has gotten more likable, as well, but I HATE the whole Deb-is-in-love-with-Dexter thing. Once I reached those final seconds of the episode, though, I understood why they did it. I guess. (I don’t think it was necessary.) It seems the writers thought that her feelings for Dex would have to be stronger than ever and already crossing some lines for her to be anywhere near able to deal with finding out he’s a murderer. The big question is: will she be able to get over this? Will she stay his ally or become an enemy? Will he reveal all or just own up to killing Travis? I know that in the graphic novels on which this series is based, Deb learns of her brother’s murderous hobby fairly early on. I have long wondered how she would react and/or deal with this revelation and I can’t wait for the next season to find out.
Overall, this season was disappointing. The first, in my opinion, that hasn’t been better than the one that preceded it, making it my least favorite of the series so far, but it sure ended on a high note. If there’s one thing the writers of Dexter know how to do, it’s leave its audience wanting more. I recently read that Dexter will continue for 2 more seasons only. With the end in sight, I hope they can harness their focus enough to return to the stride they hit in previous seasons and give this outstanding series the end it deserves.