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on 21 December 2011
Dexter Morgan is a police forensics expert, family man, and serial killer. Luckily he confines his murderous instincts to those criminals who have avoided justice, and he avoids capture by rigorously following rules laid down by his adoptive father, a policeman who realised Dexter was "different". The show never flinches away from the ugly truth, that Dexter is a sociopathic murderer who just happens to prey on bad people. He's always one mistake away from being a monster, and he knows it.

Previously, season five was a little disappointing, as it ended without properly confronting the consequences of what had happened during that season, and during the excellent season 4; the supporting characters were also a bit mishandled. However, season six is clearly determined to make up for this.

The best seasons of Dexter have a strong central enemy, and this season features the excellent Edward James Olmos as a reclusive academic obsessed with the Apocalypse, and Colin Hanks as his impressionable young sidekick, perpetrating a series of murders that they believe will bring about the End of Days. It could have been a bit cheesy, but instead it is handled brilliantly, with a series of macabre murderous tableaux that confuse Miami PD as they attempt to solve the murders. Dexter is, of course, closer on the trail, but he has troubles of his own. Dexter is now a single father, struggling with the fear that one day his son will be confronted with the murderous truth about his dad. It plays as a psychological battle between the killers, much as season 4 did with Trinity, and this brings out the best in the show.

In addition, the supporting characters are handled very well this season, as the writers throw spanners in their personal life. Debs in particular is given plenty to do, and gets some strong development. There are some interesting new characters too, including Masuka getting an intern and a new detective who reminds me of Doakes from the early seasons. La Guerta gets back to what she does best - playing dirty in internal police politics - while Batista has a quiet but competent season. I found Quinn a bit annoying though.

One excellent episode brings back some characters from previous seasons to tempt Dexter away from his code, and the show uses that to set up a brilliant twist a couple of episodes later - the writing is really good, particularly towards the end of the season.

This isn't the best season of Dexter - I still rate seasons 1 and 4 as the best - but it's very good, with some great performances, a twisty plot, and a sense that the show knows where it is going. And I guarantee the last scene will leave you wanting to know what happens next.
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on 23 March 2015
A duo of holy-rolling end-time killers are staging elaborate murder scenes to presage the coming apocalypse. Dexter, meanwhile, is having some close brushes with faith and religion himself and is considering his place in the world in relation to God (or not). Debbie, a pawn in a political game, finds herself promoted and isolated, Quinn struggles with rejection and Batista struggles with Quinn.

While far from the best of Dexter, this still proves compelling viewing and, despite fairly regular head-slapping, I was hooked until the end. I watched this season after the series itself had ended, and by all accounts it has provided a sterling lesson in how NOT to wrap a series up.

So, yes, you can see the wheels start to come off in this, and flaws that were becoming evident back in season 4 have bloomed here like weeds: the implausibilities, the inconsistencies, the sheer size of the plot holes. For instance, it appears that Miami is a major city without any CCTV at all, anywhere, and the murderers of this season are able to stage their amazingly convoluted tableaux which are only seen when dramatically convenient: Remarkably, nobody ever works out where these horses mounted with mannequins and body parts have actually come from, or even what direction.

Dexter, meanwhile, has transformed into a super-sleuth the likes of Sherlock Holmes, and has taken to solving crimes the moment he steps through the door with a handful of observations, while the rest of the Miami Metro police force stand by open-mouthed. He's also pretty indestructible, and performs one of those "and in one bound he was free" escapes from certain death the likes of which haven't been seen since 1930s Republican programmers bit the dust.

I actually liked Colin Hanks in his role, but - yes - I could see the twist coming, and when it did I felt he could have worked a bit more at showing the inner conflict , especially when some of the murders are so close to home. The blandness that worked so well early on tended to undermine the character once the proverbial cat comes out of the bag.

The thing that really bothers me, however, is the behaviour of Dexter himself. The recklessness and tunnel-visioned selfishness that he displayed in Season 4, denying justice so that he could have his own kill, continues here, with him deliberately obstructing the police investigation strictly so that he can get there first. As a result of this, more people die than need to, just so he can get his kill (and, as in Season 4, it turns out he's woefully misguided, and here others pay for his arrogance with their lives). So we seem to have gone from the original concept, of Dexter filling in the vaccum where justice failed to Dexter actually creating the vacuum just to give himself something to do. It's a subversion of the original theme that I'm uncomfortable with, especially as he doesn't seem to even question the fact that his ego is sending people to their unnecessary deaths.

Still, there are some good things here: the theme of faith, with Dexter's relationship with Brother Sam and his son's attendance at a Catholic school strikes a nice balance to the looney-tune end-times killers, and I felt it was handled well. I liked Debbie's conflict with LaGuerta and the in-fighting and isolation that she felt ran true, although I could have done without her feelings for Dexter coming to the surface. The emergence of a possible new baddie in Louis the computer nerd is also an interesting development, although I'm puzzled as to where the whole Ice Truck Killer hand thing is going (I'm assuming this is picked up next season, but will be both pissed off and unsurprised if it's not, as Dexter has form for plot threads falling through seasonal cracks). As I say, though, the story rattles along and, despite the nagging plot inconsistencies (and sometimes outright stupidity) I found myself hooked. While I may have shrugged or thrown up my hands in despair, I kept watching, which counts for something, but I do wish the writers would take more care and remember what made this show so great to begin with.
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on 27 May 2013
Season 6 is a series steeped in the programmes' history. Often referring back to past characters and situations, it is a constant trip down memory lane. Sometimes this is a good thing other times it is a reminder that this season is slightly weaker than the others proceeding it.

It has a slowish start and doesn't grab you by the scruff of your neck like previous outings. It also didn't seem to have as many cliff hangers and a rather dodgy storyline involving Deborah's feelings towards Dexter thankfully fails to derail the series completely. When the meat of the story sets in around episode 4 we are firmly back on solid ground.

Filled with religious undertones the killings feel infinitely more grotesque and macabre. Miami hasn't seen anything quite like this and with Deborah thrust into her new leadership role it is testing times for everyone. All your favourite characters are back and most have much more going on than usual. Only Quinn is a minor irritant constantly moping around and whining. The killers this time are being led by the book of revelations. Both of them carry the role of a killer perfectly and especially when a mid season twist happens one of them fully steps up to the plate.

It is amazing how creative the writers get. Each season they manage to find another facet of Dexter's personality to explore and exploit. This season it is about religion and how Dexter feels about. The introduction of a key character, brother Sam, helps with this subplot and he is one of the best new characters they have ever introduced. Dexter now finds it easier to connect on a basic level with people and Brother Sam is his new found buddy.

Once the season picks up it starts to fly and with a killer, no pun intended, cliff hanger to the series the anticipation of season 7 is high. Dexter is reliably one of the best program's on telly and long may it continue in this vein.....well until the mooted finale in season 8 comes along.
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VINE VOICEon 20 January 2014
With the advent of Dexter Season 6 fans were relieved to hear that the series was to be extended by a further two seasons. The season opens with a series weird ceremonial killings presenting openly religious `end of the World' allegory - and we are introduced to the Doomsday Killers. As Debra she now attends compulsory police sanctioned work rehabilitation sessions after her involvement in shooting. Her sessions throw out her subdued feelings that go beyond a brother sister relationship. The last episode of the season will be a real cliff hanger for Dexter Morgan. For me some of episodes seem too stretch the realms of the plausible - but they were still enjoyable.
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on 18 December 2012
TV shows are often like great racehorses, they hit their prime, but are not always sent out to stud early enough. There is nothing worse than seeing something once great become plain old average. `Dexter' season 6 is in serious jeopardy of this happening. Lead actor Michael C. Hall had wanted to finish after 5 seasons, but he was persuaded with wheelbarrows full of cash to hold out for two more. If Season 7 follows on the trend set by season 6, this will be a sorry end for what was one of the best TV shows of the past decade.

Dexter Morgan and co return; this time he faces a foe who believes he is doing the work of God by recreating the Book of Revelations. As usual Dexter relies on his own detective skills to try and find the killer first whilst using misdirection on his colleagues. The problems arise early as the big bad is the weakest of any season so far. Colin Hanks is reasonable as the conflicted artist, but Edward James Olmos as Professor James Gellar is ridiculous. The two of them are not cunning enough or strong enough to get away with what they do. In previous seasons the killer is lucky, or at least less obvious with what they are doing, here they are blazon, but somehow survive undetected.

More than ever Season 6 is reliant on Hall as Dexter; he is the beating heart of the show and probably the only character worth watching anymore. The writers have tried to evolve Debra, but she is so unprofessional that her new role is highly unbelievable, undermining some of the more realistic elements of the show. The rest of the ensemble cast have been side-lined further as if no one knows what to do with them. The story arc for the season is just not strong enough to hold your attention as well as earlier series. It is not quite awful yet, but this season is distinctly average and is a worrying downward trend for a once great show.
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on 28 October 2012
Having now watched this season on DVD, I can understand the mixed response to it.
The main plot is very good, with Colin Hanks superb as the nerdy wannabe religious zealot.
Yes, there's the usual suspension of disbelief over a couple of "close calls".

However, my main gripes are as follows:
1. Way too much screen-time psyachoanalysis/justification given over for Debra's strong bond with Dexter. Yes, yes, we got it from the previous 5 seasons how much she's devoted to him and she wants to see justice prevail (Lumen in season 5 for starters). I don't like the way that story arc is heading - especially in such a clunky a time-consuming fashion. Surely more time could have been spent on the lovely little side-plots/kills that made the previous series of Dexter so enjoyable.... which brings us to...
2. The one episode with the old "retired" serial killer was great - really enjoyable. But the whole detour to Nebraska things was truly awful and a waste of a good episode. I have no idea why they bothered jamming that in the middle of this series. It made no sense, and went, literally, nowhere. The reasoning behind Dexter travelling was idiotic, the "reveal" pathetic and the episode just fizzled out to nothing. A shame, because it was great to see Brian again - why couldn't they have built a better storyline for him to make an appearance?
3. Although I liked the whole Quinn meltdown thing, I thought they totally screwed up the timing of Deb breaking up with him - especially given how much time was given up later on her chirping away in therapy. It didn't ring true. "I want to marry you. "No thanks." "Oh you bitch! Get out of my apartment!" Seriously? They couldn't allow her to at least think about it and let him down and then let him spiral.

Basically, they've totally mismanaged Deb's character this season - manipulating things to shoehorn her into a situation in Season 7.

I have a feeling the producers are losing the plot. Dexter is in danger of jumping the shark pretty soon unless they're willing to get back down to nuts and bolts of what his character is and the fine line he treads between a socially-responsible serial killer and losing the plot completely.

It would be a travesty for this series to descend into a caricature of the original season, but it looks like it's inevitable...
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on 2 August 2012
There has been considerable criticism for this season in its lack to live up to previous installments of the Dexter series. So let me start by saying that I partially agree with those responses but let me assure you this is still easily one of the best shows on television.

Season 4 was so beautifully crafted and brilliantly executed that it is almost unfair to expect subsequent seasons to live up to it. If you are new to the franchise, definitely start from the beginning as it is a show built on suspense and you need to get on the ride at the start.

Without introducing any spoilers, I can safely say that the theme of this season is Religion and Redemption. Each season has developed its own identity. Season 1 = Dexter vs Ice Truck Killer. Season 2 = Dexter's murders exposed, Season 3 = Dexter has a friend, Season 4 = Empathy and loss, Season 5 = Revenge, Season 6 = Religion/Redemption.

As with all Dexter seasons, there is a killer out there not called Dexter Morgan. In this season it is the Doomsday Killers (DDK) who are seeking to re-enact biblical armageddon in a very gruesome manner. It has all the usual twists and turns you would expect and some new characters to engage with to boot; Batista's sister, an obsessive intern for Masouka, a reformed criminal with bible in hand and finally a Doakes replacement.

Quinn is very annoying in this season spending most of it acting like a brat and drunk and the new detective isn't as badass as Doakes but I can see him getting that way. LaGuerta is slowly getting sidelined and although gradually getting on Debra's side over the show she has now reverted to 'pain-in-the-ass' LaGuerta again. Shame that her built character has now gone back to where it was in Season 1. Batista, as always, is the heart of the show. Colin Hanks is good in the DDK pairing but he is not worth a mention alongside Michael C Hall and John Lithgow as the brilliant Trinity Killer.

As I said, religion is the theme here. The serial killers are acting in the name of God showing how religion really can make disturbed people have a reason and logic to their madness. Also, Dexter is facing religion in the face as well. He meets Brother Sam (played excellently by Mos a.k.a. the only rapper who CAN act) who is always trying to get Dexter to consider whether God is having a hand in his good fortune. There are some moments when Dexter faces problems where faith could provide answers. What I like about this show is that Dexter is quite clearly an atheist and the fact that we are naturally drawn to Dexter, logic would surmise that the writers have an atheistic slant on their writing.

However, as an atheist myself, what I like about this treatment is that the writers present the religious side of the argument equally and although they allow Dexter to ridicule it with logic, reason and science, they do so in a way which isn't insulting. By this I mean that someone religious would not be offended by watching this. It is not an atheistic tirade ala Richard Dawkins although it does make you question whether a God would allow such atrocities to happen. Personally, I think this was a natural step from Season 5 where they had a killer who was akin to a pastor in the bible belt of USA. It gives another aspect for murderous reasoning. Some do it for revenge, some for the personal need, some for God.

I prefer this to Season 5, which I think was the weakest. I also prefer it to Season 3, which I thought was a weak link. Order of greatness as follows (from greatest to poorest):


Do get this to complement your Dexter collection. By the way, if you are interested, well known and late atheist Christopher Hitchens can be found on youtube shredding Mos Def apart. I thought Mos Def (or Mr. Definitely as the Hitch calls him) was great in Dexter but boy he really doesn't know his politics.
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on 27 July 2013
When a TV show is renewed for a new series, it can be difficult to innovate and take the show in a new direction without alienating the fans of the previous series. However there are times when a show takes existing plot points and character relationships from the previous series and captivates the audience. This is the case with the latest series of Dexter.

In the first series we established that Dexter is a serial killer who views himself as a vigilante who is 'taking out the trash' by eliminating the dregs of society. He helped Lumen Pierce get her revenge, but her Dark Passenger is gone, unlike Dexter's so she has to leave.

This time the main star of Season Six is the character Professor Gellar who is recreating the Doomsday Apocalypse scenes with snakes, fallen angels and more. There's also Travis who is Gellar's former student, who is torn between doing the right thing and enacting "god's will".

Detective Quinn breaks up with Debra and he becomes an alcoholic and a drug user. Returning characters Debra, Angel, La Guerta and Masuka all show character development in their own way. Debra and Dexter bond more and they share some moments as Debra begins her psychiatric treatment.

Season Six is a fantastic series full of twists and turns. It constantly surprises, amazes and astounds, in terms of plot and characterisation. Some brilliant acting and tense moments.
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An uneven season - combination of continued strengths and serious misjudgments. As ever, Michael C. Hall holds everything together - his Dexter determined to be a good father, killing of villains never clashing with little Harrison's bedtime stories (where a hero despatches monsters).

The series again interestingly evolves. Dexter stands at the crossroads, torn between light and darkness (well acted reformed gangster Brother Sam prompting a rethink). Also with impact is Debra's promotion to Lieutenant, she feeling increasingly isolated - her therapist kept busy.

The great flaw concerns the dominating Doomsday storyline, source of spectacularly gory deaths. The theme itself has possibilities, but not as presented here with loopholes abounding. Not for a moment does the Gellar-Travis relationship convince, especially after the Ep.9 bombshell where everything becomes ludicrous. An embarrassingly miscast Colin Hanks as Travis lacks any hint of the inner torment, driving mania, essential for the role.

Amongst other concerns? No mention of Dexter's two step-children. Quinn in freefall, now increasingly a boring waste of space. Lazy plotting - some escapes of the "with one bound he was free" gene (as with that blazing boat), people turning up out of the blue (as with that otherwise brilliant season cliffhanger).

12 episodes. Modest extras, of them cast interviews the most interesting.

Most series inevitably sometimes wobble a bit, emerging the stronger with lessons learned. With plausible storylines and more carefully chosen guest stars, there is plenty of life left in Dexter - although, hopefully, not in some of the people he targets.
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on 21 September 2012
I confess that Dexter is my guilty secret. The first five series were utterly brilliantly written and hugely entertaining with a taut narrative that twisted and turned and kept me on the edge of my seat. Series 6 however feels very tired and the heart has gone out of it. I'm nbot quite sure why. Perhaps it is the lack of menace in the villains here, despite a neat twist close to the end. Perhaps it was because the characters failed to interrelate in the way that they did before and felt motiveless in this. I think my biggest grievence is the shockingly poor end to the series where Dexter takes a wholly un-Dexter like risk in offing a villain on a crime scene next to a public park. Worse still.... But that would be a plot spoiler. Suffice to say coincidence never makes up for poor scripting.

I hope that series seven, which I have every intention of buying, will get back on track.
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