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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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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. Okay my questions to you is, why is this not creative and do we really need to spend a lot of time on these little subplots? My answer is no them telling us was perfectly fine in my eyes,why because we have been with these characters for 5 seasons now most of us understand the characters. For example Batista and Laguerta getting divorce seen it coming, Laguerta is a power hungry woman and through out the series hey character has been more than questionable at times,so blacking mailing herself into a better position and divorcing Batista because he isn't on her level should be a big surprise and should not need to be shown on screen the subtle mention was effective we didn't need to see deb and Quin actually move in they were already practically living together last season,it is the opening show you have to utilize the show to update and introduce the new story all of the subplots were in place in the first ten minutes and the main plots and villains were already introduce so all we have now is a straight forward story . I would like to also ask about how the kills were poorly written, you already know that Dexter is smart enough to cover his tracks, I am thinking with the 1st kill or kills depending which way you look at it. He used a throw a way phone he clean the ambulance from any trace of evidence and took care of the bodies. Kill three the girl was place there as a logical way to get to the guy because Dexter wasn't having much luck getting that guy alone, so I am guessing that the woman was there hooking up with the men probably got the jocks number because he was next on her list and was too drunk to realize that her phone was missing until the next day also I am sure that Dexter Disposed of both cell phone living and if no one knows he is missing and has no way of checking his and her phone I don't see how Dexter could get caught. My question is do the writer have to explain everything to us? We have been watching Dexter for 5 season now, you know how Dexter get down. There is more I want to say but I feel like I need to do something else

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Clunky is a good word for it, but overall I was ok with this episode. I think the writers heard so much negative feedback about Season 5 that they knew they had to change course big time. I'll give them an episode to do that, but not much more than that. I know I should just enjoy the show, but I have to agree Atenea, the old Dexter would have never called for an ambulance using his own voice, and what are the odds that the two men that he was hoping to kill would be the two dispatched to help? A possibility? Yes. Likely? Not really.
I'll give this episode 3.5-4 stars since it did keep my interest more than any episode of season 5.

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The new serial killers (Edward James Olmos and Colin Hanks) are obsessing about the end of the world. The 7 snakes represent the 7 headed Beast that the Harlot of Babylon rides into the Final Days. Should be fun to see this wacky philosophy that is getting more popular due to 2012, get the Dexter treatment.

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This season Dexter seems a bit sloppy. (SPOILER ALERT!!!) He uses his own voice to make a recorded phone call for his first kill. His second kill can be traced back to him through that popular girl and the phone he used. The Dexter I remember was extremely careful about not having any loose ends or anything that could be traced back to him. Maybe the writers are overlooking important details in favor or driving plot points home, but I for one, am disappointed.

Aries93

I throughly enjoyed the premiere. Yeah, it wasn't the best season opener, but it wasn't necessarily the worst.
Dexter being over Rita and not mentioning Lumen makes me happy. It's sad, but I'm glad he's out of the woods about women altogether. However, it would be interesting to see him get laid every once and a while. I think it's sad that Batista and Laguerta divorced, as they were quite fun to watch. I do NOT think it'll be interesting to see Quinn and Deb's relationship either go on an emotional roller coaster, once she knocks back his proposal, but eventually accepts in the finale. Not really jumping for joy about Masuka, but I suppose it'll be good, as he never gets a storyline.
Side note: I couldn't help, but laugh at Dexter dance to a sing he'd never heard of at his high school reunion. Priceless!

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this is going to be another great season.

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Great episode, i agree on robbery barging scene being contrived out of nowhere, but the rest of the episode was fun and light.
The mentor and his protege are definitely one's to watch out for.
Even dexter (light, popular, and coupled with a little humor) made a great watch.
Sorry matt, but it didn't disappoint at all.

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Worst episode of Dexter yet. The high school reunion storyline was brutal. The hottest woman there gives him a BJ for all the test cheating she did? Give me a break. The opening Dexter is stabbed scene was ridiculous also. Why would he put on a big show staggering, dropping knife, etc. if nobody was watching? To get into 'character'? The entire episode was very poorly written. I'm a bit surprised Matt gave it such a generous rating. 1/5 for me.

Ashh

i thought it was a great opener. I agree with the point that it was a bit too "clunky" with all the catching up that was needed, but it was just that. Needed. either way, it felt like the old Dexter again. Complex, fast paced. Consuming. nothing like season 5, which, in my opinion, up until the last couple of episodes, contained no catch, nothing to hold my viewership. this season looks promising, and it's the first time i've really truly enjoyed a Dexter episode since season 4.

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> "What criminal barges into an establishment, guns blazing, like that?" Actually, a lot of them do. I've heard a shocking number of news stories about exactly that scenario. The guy gets pissed at a bartender, or his ex-wife is there, or something, so he goes and gets a gun and comes back shooting. Just last month, some nutball walked into an iHOP in Carson City, guns blazing, and just started shooting. And this episode was filmed long before that happened. Granted, the chance that Debra (or any given individual) would be there when it happened is unlikely. And it might have helped if they had shown him get thrown out of the place earlier in the episode. But events like that DO happen fairly regularly.

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