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Dexter Season Premiere Review: A Man in Mourning

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From Miguel Prado to the Trinity Killer, Dexter has spent the last two seasons dealing with a single antagonist.

Producers have insisted that won't be the case on season five, but its opening episode proved otherwise, as Dexter has a new enemy with whom to do battle: himself.

At a Funeral

From the first words out of Dexter's mouth ("It was me.") to his concluding eulogy at Rita's funeral, the man whose Dark Passenger controls his life tried as hard as he could throughout this hour to act human.

At times, it seemed like Dexter felt legitimate guilt; at other times, he seemed like he simply wanted to. Whenever that emotion did set in, however, it wasn't due to any over-arching self-analysis. Dexter doesn't lament who he is, he accepted that a long time ago.

Instead, our favorite serial killer focused on the practical aspects of his mistakes, wondering why he hadn't killed Trinity sooner, thereby saving Rita's life.

As always, Michael C. Hall was simply outstanding at playing someone struggling with how to fit into a world with which he's wholly unfamiliar. I both shuddered and smirked at Dexter's cold way of breaking the news of Rita's death to her kids and parents: I'm sorry for your loss. But what, exactly, did Dexter here? It remains unclear whether he truly loved Rita, or simply saw her as a way to seem... normal.

What did you think of the flashbacks to their first date? These scenes made Rita seem like the most understanding woman on the planet. Who out there would actually call up your blind date a couple hours after he acted so strangely at dinner?

Overall, this was a necessary episode, but it wasn't exactly an exciting one. We do need to see how Dexter mourns, or attempts to, but I adore this show for the holes Dexter often digs for himself. I want to see him embrace his Dark Passenger... while trying to act like a regular human being... while trying to stay a step ahead of the police or his latest adversary.

It's safe to assume Dexter's connection to Trinity, along with the mystery of Kyle Butler, will soon be explored (likely by Quinn, if he can stop getting down with Deb on kitchen floors for a few minutes) and then the cat-and-mouse adventure will truly begin.

What did you think of this premiere?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.1 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (62 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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Oh, and I forgot, has anyone noticed Deb always wears the same shirt, a button down with the sleves cuffed to her elbows, just in different colors... always!

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I was expecting something stellar, and all i got was ok, where is this going. First of all, let's back up. Am I the only person who thinks that Trinity didn't kill Rita? If you go back and watch that episode again, when did he have time. The only address that came up when he searched for Dex was 1, D. Morgan. I assume that the house was in Rita's name. He breaks into Debs at night. Where does he go that night, because remember, in the am, Dex gets the kids off with their grandparents, and Rita and Harrison in the car. Then he's off to his search of Trinity. Keep this in mind, Dexter must get to the autobody shop first if he get's the oil cap... Which means he was watching him for a while... Also, it's true, it's out of the cycle. There wasn't a boy killed first (Dexter saved the first boy, so he went back to the arcade) and he doesn't kill married women. Ok, back to 5.01. Why the hell does he say it was me? Deb is on to him, Quinn too, and it seems that from the "scenes from the next" they are going to talk to Jonah about Kyle B. Is the series coming to an end? Dexter isn't following the code at all. Killing the man in the bathroom, not going to talk to the FBI, and whatever happened to the wake, he went there to pick out a dress, why would you pick out a dress if there was only going to be a burrial? And lastly, Astor... I get that she is angry about her mother, but the things she says to Dexter seem a little far fetched... He was good to those kids, and they always loved Dexter, so why now does she hate him? And all he has been saying is the kids are his number one priority but he tries to give his son away to Deb?
I don't know, I'm a little dissapointed, but I won't turn my back on the show, not now... I'll be curious to see what is going to happen.

Tennislover

I thought the episode was really good. How did people want Dexter to come back, this is right after Rita dies... I don't know how else it could have been written. But I do miss that we didn't get too many Masuka jokes this episode I love LaGuerta and Batista together! I don't think Season 5 will be as bad as Season 3... that was not one of my favorites...

Smileyglen

whoops: Dexter already killed Trinity "my bad" haha.

Smileyglen

All I can say is I'm glad Dexter started like that it was great, it showed Dexter as a grieving husband, now he can get on to the business of tracking down Trinity and kill him for killing Rita. How can you say it was boring. It would have made no sense jumping it ahead in time. I love Dexter showing his true raw feelings after killing that guy in the woods.

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I don't know, the change in producers may not be the answer. This episode was not only boring, but it was also sloppy which I would not have expected for a cliffhanger reliever. For someone as sharp as Dexter, he sure acted pretty obvious in this episode. It was me??? Come on, that's just a lazy attempt to get someone to investigate in his direction. What about him killing the guy at the boat station? He had nothing on this guy other than he was a dick. All that aside I still could go along with it, but two things were very poorly written in. First Deb having sex with Quinn at the crime scene of her sister in law. say what you want, but that is ridiculous. It is way too far fetched. What about the funeral? Deb calls Dexter When she gets there, but he finds time to burn his things, run away, kill a guy, decide to stay, shower (because of the blood from the dead guy),and make it back in time, although late to deliver the eulogy. That is also ridiculous. I also left out the first date which was laughable. I feel the show is lacking a certain atmosphere which has always been present and helped me get through season 3 ( the black sheep of the series). I highly anticipated season 5 like everyone else, but so far early, I am not impressed.

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@TennisLover: It HAS been two whole seasons. Compared to how much patience the writers had with hooking Deb up with every other guy we've seen on this show, that's something like a miracle. I'd also like to point out that Dexter's internal monologue did indeed admit that he loved Rita during the funeral scene, which suggests that he DID love Rita (well, as much as a sociopath really can love anyways.) I was most impressed with how the show didn't turn into a melodramatic mess as it easily could have after Rita's death.

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Interesting episode, I definately like where the show is going with Dexter's dealing with his emotions, or lack there of. One thing though, I realize Michael C Hall is recovering from his recent illness, but the wig was a little too distracting.

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deb is way too skinny. Debs Partner looks like Skeletor... he is even more skinny. The whole thing feels like a billy mays commercial... its too early for me to give up on season 5 but I hope it gets better. I feel like they are trying too hard. All I can do is keep trying to love Dexter... and Hope that the show recovers. daniel.

Tennislover

I had a feeling Deb and Quinn were going to hook up, but not in the first episode!!

Dexter Season 5 Episode 1 Quotes

His wife just died; he's submitting a lab report.

Quinn

I've watched 67 people die, and at the moment of truth I looked into their eyes and I knew - and they knew - they got what they deserved. But what if that's not what happens, if you don't get what you deserve?

Dexter