- Brother Sam: "If you put your faith in the wrong thing, it can really ef you up." (except Brother Sam didn't say "ef")
DEXTER's Season Six gives you the awesome and gives you the suck. I do feel that this is the weakest season in the series. Not that I'll ever stop tuning in; I'm addicted to this show. Only, I'd never seen Edward James Olmos sleepwalk thru a role before. Even Steven Wright thinks Olmos is too understated.
Catching up with our favorite serial killer: All is well in Dexter Morgan's corner of the world. He's moving on from his wife's bloody murder and from Lumen's abandoning him. He's very much a caring single parent - his kid's two now - and his job as blood spatter analyst at Miami Metro PD is fulfilling. And then there's his hobby... he hasn't given up gratifying his Dark Passenger. But Dexter's got his s*** together. As Season Six opens, he's off to attend his 20-year high school reunion. There, he busts a move to M.C. Hammer and plays flag football. He even gets lucky. But who're we kidding? Dexter is attending his high school reunion to target his next victim. Life is good for the Bay Harbor Butcher.
This is the season wherein Dexter starts exploring religion. The charismatic Mos Def plays Brother Sam, murderous ex-con turned man-of-the-cloth who walks into Dexter's life and befriends him. Dexter is initially skeptical and dismissive and even targets him as a potential kill. But there's something about Brother Sam. Has he really turned a new leaf? Can he teach Dexter about the nature of faith? Mos Def turns in a mesmerizing performance.Even as Dexter seeks religious enlightenment, Miami Metro PD's Homicide Division investigates a series of grotesque killings that immediately assumes biblical connotations. How long before Dexter's spiritual quest collides with the Doomsday Killer's apocalyptic mission?
This show has always been deliberately messy, but, yikes, the creep factor is off the chain this season. It's hard to pin down Colin Hanks' character. He's uneasy in his own skin. He's at war with himself, his reasoning self versus his very own Dark Passenger. However, I found myself wanting to skip ahead whenever the camera shifts to his and Olmos' narrative. Their dialogue is so heavy-handed. They just don't measure up to the show's past villains. Lithgow has set such lofty standards, it's ridiculous. Even Jimmy Smits from Season 3 brought a more commanding presence.
Okay, off the top of my head, the unsatisfying stuff (and there's quite a bit): I didn't like that Louis the intern's arc never really goes anywhere. We have to wait until Season 7 for that to play out. In fact, even the blonde intern's arc pretty much fizzled early in the season. And ***Mild SPOILERS*** now for the rest of this paragraph: I wasn't buying it when the detectives insisted on waiting for Dexter before entering a crime scene. This allowed Dexter to be the first to step into the room in which the Doomsday Killer had drawn Dexter's likeness on a mural painting of the Devil. Needless to say, Dexter promptly made some cosmetic changes. With a hammer.
And it's convenient, isn't it, that Angel Batista's sister had moved in next door to Dexter, this making it easier for Dexter to land a babysitter anytime he had to step out?
And then there's that shift in Dexter and Deb's relationship, predominantly from Deb's perspective. It's a stunning revelation and it's cheapening. It undermines what has been a constant strength of the show: Dexter and Deb as a dysfunctional brother and sister pair who screws up a lot but nevertheless cares deeply for each other. This monumental reveal feels a bit insulting, as if the writers all of a sudden determined that the preexisting family dynamics weren't enough to anchor the show. That, more than anything else, is what's disappointing.
I think whenever religion is introduced as a central theme, there's a concern that the tone may take on a certain heavy-handedness. Again, the scenes between Hanks and Olmos did nothing for me. There's also that telegraphed and pretty played-out plot twist concerning Olmos.
I do like that Deb's arc plants her and the self-promoting LaGuerta more firmly in the spotlight. I love Jennifer Carpenter's rawness, her evocation of a broken but resilient woman. David Zayas is solid as Batista. He projects quiet reserves of strength. The show's weak link,Desmond Harrington's Detective Quinn, continues to be the poster boy for super-bland bad boys. C.S. Lee's lecherous Masuka keeps making me laugh. Michael C. Hall keeps doing the improbable, making his serial killer a lovable character. His inner monologues continue to make for a fascinating listen.
Other folks had already mentioned this, but here it is one more time, just in case... Be aware that each of the 4 discs starts with a 2-minute promo that showcases several Showtime programs. Be aware that you cannot fast forward thru this promo or skip ahead to the menu. About a minute in, this promo reveals the shocking last scene of Season 6's final episode. It's a moment that fans had long been salivating for, and it just about salvages the entire season for me, a season which, by the way, feels more like a set-up for the next season. But now here's me backing down. As critical as I've been, I still love this show, love the cast, love the premise, love the final episode's jaw-dropping closing moment. So, 3.5 out of 5 stars for DEXTER Season 6.
Anyway, the 12 episodes are on 4 discs, with Disc 4 containing these following bonus features:
- Interviews with Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, Lauren Velez, C.S. Lee, Colin Hanks, and Desmond Harrington
- Text Biographies
- Photo Gallery
- HOUSE OF LIES - episodes 1 & 2