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Dexter

Dexter Season 6 Premiere Review: Snakes on a Beach

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In numerous interviews leading up to the sixth season premiere of Dexter, "Those Kinds of Things," producers drove home the point that they wanted to give this serial killer a fresh start.

Hence, the one-year time jump and the guilt-free Dexter Morgan we meet in the opening scene, as he's clearly over any Rita or Lumen-related issues and back to his joyfully murderous days (not even needing to go through with his ritual, in this case, in order to earn satisfaction.).

It's a welcome move by the series, but establishing this essentially clean slate felt a bit clunky and expository.

At His High School Reunion

It's always frustrating when there's no smooth transition between seasons. The result is a premiere that spends a majority of its time catching viewers up and tossing a lot of information at them in an uncreative way. Here, we were pretty much just told that Batista and Laguerta divorced... the latter blackmailed herself to the captain's job... Deb and Quinn are living together... Dexter bought the apartment next to him and hired Batista's sister as a nanny.... and Masuka is hiring an intern.

That's a great deal of telling and not a lot of showing.

The reunion storyline also dragged on and didn't really take us anywhere new. We've seen Dexter track a potential victim dozens of times before and it wasn't exactly shocking to learn he wasn't popular in high school. And when a major plot point (the cell phone grab/subsequent deception) rests on a blow job from a random former classmate? Not exactly an example of great writing.

Same for Deb coming to the rescue of all those bar patrons. It's safe to assume the phone video of her bravery will elevate her to Lieutenant above Batista - I'd have to imagine the only reason for his extended scene with his sister was to later crush his hopes/dreams by giving the job to someone else - but the robbery just felt contrived and out of nowhere. What criminal barges into an establishment, guns blazing, like that?

Still, it's only one episode and I understand the need to reset the show after a subpar season five. I also have very high hopes for what appears to be the grand theme of upcoming episodes. I'm sick of Dexter wondering if he can ever be a normal human (answer: no), so let's see him tackle how an abnormal human can still be a caring, effecting father, especially in light of no belief system. This ought to be an interesting, tricky subject to navigate.

Finally, though it's way too early to know what they are up to or how they fit in to the grand narrative, Colin Hanks and Edward James Olmos definitely made a creepy first impression. I look forward to a lot more from this mysterious mentor and his protege.

Review

Editor Rating: 3.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.2 / 5.0 (83 Votes)

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

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Hey, Dexter never leaves any loose ends, remember? The "stabbed" staggering and such was clearly for us in the audience, but who cares? It's all about suspending our disbelief and enjoying the novel show that definitely goes outside the box.
We all know how Dexter does his homework before a kill, right? It's entirely plausible that he would KNOW those guys were going to be the responders. It was his own voice, but he faked being under stress; could sound like anyone! The phone probably went into the drink with the jock's body and if there was anyone that would be implicated, it would be the ditzy blond whose phone number it was. For that matter, Dexter probably picked up another phone for the fake 911 call. He thinks of everything with Harry's help!
Aside from the stupid BJ, which was still in character of the stupid blond, I think the episode rocked. Let's all lighten up and let Dexter do his job.

Ronald-simkins

I really enjoy this sites reviews - even when I don't agree 100%. That said - this has been a very entertaining discussion and I understand where the various comments are coming from. What I will be most interested in this eason is Deb and Quinn. You have Deb - who is possibly much more damaged and flawed than her brother and Quinn (who I still am not sure about - though he is totally hot). I am surely looking forward to the new season and especially Dex and his son (whoa).

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Dexter rocks. I love how people are so critical of another person's work, and yet they write misc. b.s. on a blog site. Hey, dont worry though, your mommy still thinks your successful and important. Why don't you go out a write a show? Why dont you contribute to society instead of degrading it?

Strawberry-fields

So what you are saying, Matt, is that you would like this season to pick up where things were left in the the end of last season and have Dexter deal with Lumen leaving? Wouldn't it be too... repetitive? I agree, maybe writers took an easy way out. But maybe what Dexter needed was to move on? And moving on doesn't happen easily. If you want things to be different, you need time. And with time, changes come. That means someone getting a divorce, someone getting a promotion, someone changing the address. I actually liked this opening. I agree it's good that Dexter seems to be over the whole "am I human?" thing. At the same time I'm excited about the religion theme that was set. It will be very interesting to see how someone like Dex fits in all that. I specially enjoyed the conversation Dexter had with his last victim. In his cold logic mind God doesn't make any sense. Edward James Olmos and Colin Hanks definitely have potential.

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It was a great premiere, a lot better than I would have expected from a season focused on the theme I most dread in TV shows - religion.
On another note, there's a difference between "effect" and "affect" and "effecting father" makes no sense.

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This episode was indeed more than a bit lame. I'll give it a break since it is just a setup for the rest of the season and Olmos and Hanks look to be interesting. Dexter murdering the two EMTs and the QB all seemed rather weak. Dexter texting the QB from his admirer's phone was a bad move and plus why did the QB have the chick's number in his phone? When he saw her at the party he acted like it was the first time he saw her since high school plus he lives in VA. Don't know why the hate for last season with Lumen, I liked it. I also loved Lithgow in the other season but I was really hoping that Rita would get axed. She was a bore and a drain. As far as season openers go my favorite was the one from season one.

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Apart from the sooting in the bar, I thought this was a great premiere. I can't wait for the rest.

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I completely agree with Peter. I'm a big fan of Dexter and this was the worst episode so far. The exposition was grueling. It felt like a list of writing-for-television "don'ts". I assume they will turn it around but I worry this is the new vibe of the show.

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I agree that the whole murder of the BMOC was clunky; the blowjob was fanservice/fantasy (and not even Dexter's kind of fantasy), and if someone goes missing, it's pretty common procedure to check the victim's phone history, which is searchable even without the actual phone. If Trisha's implicated, she's going to remember that the last time she saw her phone was before she, um, saw Dexter. I found the preschool teaching nun's comment about "coming all the way out here to tell me that" odd; isn't it likely that a parent would pick a preschool resaponably convenient to home and/or work?

Matt-richenthal

@Terrance Whitted: Why is this not creative? Because the number-one thing I look for in a show is a plan. I want to believe the writers have really thought out where things are going to go. My favorite series of all-time is The Shield because something that happens on the first episode is STILL dealt with on the final episode. All 7 seasons feel like one, well planned out narrative. Conversely, when a show reboots itself in this manner, it feels... uncreative. Like the writers are making up each season as they go and that's just not what I prefer.

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