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103 of 112 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good season
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...
Published on 11 Jan 2011 by M. Hepworth

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29 of 37 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A problematic season
Well, I feel I am about to unleash the wrath of fans, because I have a fair few problems with this, the fifth season of a show I think is pretty much the best slice of TV for years. Still, being a fan shouldn't require the loss of critical faculties, so here goes (a list in no particular order):

Season 5 is rather weak visually. After four years of exemplary...
Published on 3 Jun 2011 by S. D. Nunn


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103 of 112 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good season, 11 Jan 2011
By 
M. Hepworth (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Dexter - Season 5 [DVD] (DVD)
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.

It's probably fair to say that season four of Dexter was a triumph, with an excellent plotline and a truly shocking ending. The challenge for season five was how to follow that. The first episode opens minutes after the shocking finale of season four. Dexter had spent much of that season trying to see a way to combine a family life with his murderous impulses, and thought he had managed to deal with the threat of the Trinity killer and find a way forward. However, the last scene of the series destroyed all that, and now he has to try and deal with the consequences.

Some of the smaller problems are that Detective Quinn becomes suspicious of Dexter and hires someone to investigate him, and that Dexter's precarious relationship with his step-children is wrecked. However, the main plot sees Dexter find someone he might be able to share his issues with properly, and is a decent attempt to follow season four without copying it. The new characters, and the murderous plot surrounding them, are good, and the casting is excellent. Nothing meets the heights of the Ice Truck Killer or Trinity, but it's a worthy addition to the show. However, whereas Trinity's psyche was explored fully last season, the new main threat finishes the season without their mindset really being explained.

The use of other characters in Dexter has always been a bit patchy. His sister Debs doesn't really evolve much, and her new relationship in this season doesn't make much sense. The relationship of Batista and La Guerta has much melodrama but very little change, and Masuka is underused.

Ultimately, this series shies away from confronting some big problems. Harrison is shuffled off whenever he's not convenient, Dexter gets remarkably little trouble from the Trinity investigation despite having left a trail that could expose him, and the big question of how Dexter can live like an ordinary person is ignored. The end of the season doesn't quite hit the reset button, but very little is really solved, sorted or changed. Still, it's a good season of Dexter, and Dexter is very good television indeed.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars High Five for this season, 20 Sep 2011
By 
This review is from: Dexter - Season 5 [DVD] (DVD)
Not been moved to review before, but all the Dexter series have been excellent (my personal ranking - 5,1,4,3,2). However, whilst i agree that the season started slowly, I thought the final episode one of the finest and most moving pieces of television I have seen in a long time. I thought I was going to be disappointed when I realised Dexter was going to "team up" with someone else - how could that work? Work it did and how? Julia Stiles was brilliant as was Johnny Lee Miller - love the understated menace. Peter Weller was inspired casting...he does grubby like no one else. Niggles..yeah, I have some:
I have to agree with an earlier reviewer - when did Quinn get a part time job as a male model?
Would have been good to understand what pushed Quinn and Deborah together? ( male model looks I guess)
There's plot holes you could drive a car through, but aren't there always and we love it just the same.
Wish I'd waited for the DVD so I didn't get stuck with those bl**dy adverts for deodorant every 12mins watching on FX
I'm not getting enough sleep as I invariably have to watch the Sky+ recording at about 6am on Saturday or Sunday morning!

Brilliant acting, bloody, tense, great characters and, to top it all, my first grandson is due in November...and what are his non-Dexter watching parents to name him?..........................Harrison! I'm putting a lock on the knife drawer!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dexter meets another's `Dark Passenger', 13 Jan 2014
By 
Amazon Customer "Sussman" (London CA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Dexter - Season 5 [DVD] (DVD)
Possible spoilers

At the end of Season 4 we find that Trendy's parting shot was to kill Dexter's wife, and leave his son in her pool of blood. This act was so very reminiscent of how Dexter was found as child when his Mother was murdered. Once again Dexter attracts the attention of those that will discover his other life as a serial killer of serial killers. As we become `embedded' into this new season. Dexter's step children move in with their grandparent's and he is now living alone with his son. He now begins to track a new predator (s) only to find a tortured and raped hostage who he tries to help - he sees in the captive one Lumen Pierce (played by the very capable actor Julia Stiles) a fellow `Dark Passenger'. While some events seem to stretch the realms of the believable - I have really enjoyed them as each story is `fresh' and entertaining, season 5 has good acting and great storytelling. In my opinion, for what it is worth, if you cannot buy it, at least rent on-line, but definitely give them a try.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MASTERS OF THEIR CRAFT, 14 Sep 2012
By 
Mr. D. L. Rees "LEE DAVID" (DORSET) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Dexter - Season 5 [DVD] (DVD)
An excellent season, arguably the best yet - so many of the established cast evolving in sometimes surprising directions. Major tragedy has left Dexter reeling. How to adjust? He realizes only by continuing his quest to remove villains can his life again have meaning - he before long back on his cabin cruiser ("Slice of Life"!), dumping overboard more dismembered victims....

12 50 minute episodes, all superbly crafted and abounding with sly humour, discovery so often seeming inevitable. Outstanding examples? Ep.6 with its black comedy and audacious climax. The final showdown, problems ever mounting - viewers perhaps dreading the season may end as it began - with an appalling loss.

A splendid addition to the fine cast is Lumen, whose tortured past triggers major developments. Dexter's dead dad is still around to advise. Debra, expletives disconcerting, has become protective of her now more vulnerable brother. Dexter's other family relationships come over well - scenes with stepdaughter and stepson occasionally very moving. A particular delight is baby son Harrison, who hopefully has not inherited tendences.

As ever there are the villains, overdue for despatching - it a guilty pleasure to see them at last get their comeuppance.

The bonuses are all interesting (especially how the sounds are added), but the "20 Questions" feature proved fiddly to operate.

On many levels this is a season to applaud, a worthy addition to a remarkable series. Greatest accolade has to be reserved for Michael C. Hall. Really Dexter Morgan should not invite sympathy, he a psychotic killer and all that, but Hall's sensitive portrayal ensures most of us are with him all the way. Great.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good but not the best, 26 Jan 2012
This review is from: Dexter - Season 5 [DVD] (DVD)
overall i was pleased with season 5 of Dexter, it had an interesting plot and introduced yet more realms to the everyones favorite serial killer. however, it was by no means the strongest season and felt weak and at times dull, especially when compared to season 4. all of the characters were intersting but caring for them enough to make the story work was difficult. definitely a must buy for any Dexter fan but don't expect to be wowed like we were last season.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazingly good!, 15 Oct 2011
By 
scififorbreakfast (Amsterdam/New York) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dexter - Season 5 [DVD] (DVD)
Amazing how the writers and Michael C. Hall succeeded in making another great Dexter season. It reveals another aspect of Dexter. The theme of this season is Dexter growing into a person who is capable of love and empathy and willing to stand up for people he cares about. Again, great acting, good writing and an extraordinary story.
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29 of 37 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A problematic season, 3 Jun 2011
By 
S. D. Nunn (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Dexter - Season 5 [DVD] (DVD)
Well, I feel I am about to unleash the wrath of fans, because I have a fair few problems with this, the fifth season of a show I think is pretty much the best slice of TV for years. Still, being a fan shouldn't require the loss of critical faculties, so here goes (a list in no particular order):

Season 5 is rather weak visually. After four years of exemplary production, we're suddenly confronted with a few poor quality sets, significantly less creative lighting, and some very pedestrian camera work.

The quality of writing seems to have deteriorated (though not across the board). This is particularly noticable with Dexter's step children who previously, in my view, were the benchmark of excellence for child actors. But in season 5 they have little in the way of innovative, plausible material to work with ... and it shows.

There are some gruelling continuity problems, most manifest in Quinn. Given that season 5 is meant to begin a mere few minutes after the end of season 4, it's somewhat unlikely that Quinn would have undergone such drastic physical changes ... truth is initially I wasn't entirely convinced I was witnessing the same performer - Desmond Harrington. Let's face it, Desmond's been on one harsh diet/workout regime, and possibly taken a detour via the cosmetic surgery clinic. It doesn't help that the writers haven't managed to maintain what was becoming quite a complex, interesting characterisation.

But most seriously, season 5 lacks narrative depth. The ethical quandaries ... aren't. Maybe this is a show that just happened to tap in to four years of challenging moral explorations, but I think there's more to it than luck. The loss of a key writer and exec producer has certainly eroded the show's strengths. Suddenly characters are coasting or, worse, regressing. Major talent is underused - Peter Weller is chronically underexploited, and here plays a very one-dimensional part in proceedings. Even Julia Stiles, who easily handles everything thrown at her, isn't given the opportunity to explore her potentially really interesting character. As for the key narrative threads, season 5 revisits rather familiar territory, resulting in a loss of plausibility: how many times are police officers going to raise suspicions before someone actually thinks there might be something behind these?

The bad decision fuelling these weaknesses is undoubtedly the decision to bind season 5 to the end of season 4. The result is a bunch of episodes necessarily tasked with providing closure to the previous season ... they are the worst episodes of Dexter in 5 years, and in fairness things certainly improve once the Julia Stiles plotline starts to dominate. But by then the damage is done...

I borrowed a DVD promo so as to watch season 5 again ... I'm afraid that for me this is the first time Dexter hasn't held up to repeat viewing. Hopefully season 6 will see the show back on form.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dexter, again, for the fifth time!, 22 Nov 2011
By 
Urban Andenius (Gothenburg, Sweden) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dexter - Season 5 [DVD] (DVD)
Dexter and his world in Miami, Florida has always been one of my favourite american tv-series and this the fifth one is as good as the other ones. Somehow it seems that are getting shorter and shorter each season. Or could it be that I usually can't leave them. I watch program after program till there aren't any more to see. Suddenly I realise it's three o'clock in the morning and I have seen it all in two nights.
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A weak season, 26 Sep 2011
This review is from: Dexter - Season 5 [DVD] (DVD)
Before I start this review I will just say I'm a huge fan of Dexter, I've been there right from the start - read the first novel and couldn't wait when I found out a TV series was been made (and who would have guessed it would be ten times better than the book!).

It has to be said though, season 5 was a little bit weak, and certainly didn't do a good job of following up on the excellent season 4 with the chilling Trinity Killer climax.

My main gripe with the season was, it did seem to be basically a re-hash of the season 3 storyline with the Jimmy Smits character Miguel Prado. We find Dexter, half in shock at the death of Rita find a new `friend' in the form of a female victim of abuse, obsessed with getting revenge on the men who hurt her. Because she is female, vulnerable and mentally scared, the relationship between Lumen and Dexter is obviously different than the one between Dexter and Miguel, but it's basically the same set up - can Dexter have a partner in crime and share his ritual? Felt very much like old ground.

Another problem with the series is the main storyline (the tracking and "dealing with" the group of men who hurt Lumen, headed by the Jonny Lee Miller character Jordan Chase) just doesn't have enough depth and substance, consequently I got the feeling that the whole thing was been eaked out to fill the 12 episodes, and by the end of this I really didn't care what happened to Jordan Chase - compared to the previous series, the whole thing seems a total none-event.

Side storylines include Dexter's son Harrison and his new nanny (I agree with another reviewer, they are very much just slotted in when convenient). Deb in yet another relationship and a crooked cop named Liddy (Peter Weller) tracking Dexter, because he rather unrealistically believes capturing him will make the Miami police turn a blind eye to his been caught with large amounts of drugs, and reinstate him as a police officer.

It's worth seeing, but certainly the weakest season of Dexter to date (in fact the only weak season to date!) Lets hope we see a come back in series 6.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A weaker season, but still one of the best things on television, 4 Sep 2011
This review is from: Dexter - Season 5 [DVD] (DVD)
The end of Season 4 posed an interesting question for both the writers and fans of "Dexter." It's almost unanimously accepted that Season 4 was the high point of the show, partly because of the pitch perfect plot twists and wonderful casting of John Lithgow as the Trinity Killer. So, after such a wonderful season, how did "Dexter" continue?
Well, the answer is mostly very good. The premiere episode "My Bad" begins merely minutes after the end of last season's jaw dropping finale and -while I didn't think it was the strongest first episode "Dexter" has had, it dealt with the consequences of the previous season well.
At the heart of Season 5 is a very compelling story, and it's here that many of the show's strengths come into play. The character of Lumen (played brilliantly by Julia Stiles) is out for revenge on the men who have held her captive and needs Dexter's help. Lumen and Dexter's partnership throughout the season is extremely well written, bringing up themes of guilt, regret and, ultimately, redemption. The acting between them is terrific - I've been a fan of Michael C Hall for a long time, and I think this season shows some of his best work. Dexter finds it difficult to let Lumen in but, gradually, he takes her under his wing.
However, the season isn't perfect. The beginning few episodes, in particular, are slower than usual. The consequences of last season seemed to have been buried under the rug, which I found a bit of a wasted opportunity. When the story of the season kicks in, though, it is nothing short of compelling. The turning point, for me, is the wonderful episode "Everything is Illumenated." Here, the pace quickens considerably, delivered a fast paced episode, ending on one of several classic "Dexter" moments spread throughout the season. After that episode, the season picks up, as such episodes as "Take It!" and "Teenage Wasteland" continues the momentum and propels the story forward in fascinating ways.
This turning point also coincides with another inspired form of casting. The role of Jordan Chase could have become a stumbling block, but Johnny Lee Miller plays it in a deeply menacing way. The character is somewhat of a chameleon: on the one hand, Chase is a motivational speaker, designed to help people through their times of need. On the other, he's a dark and disturbed figure, desperately trying to hide a horrific past.
So, overall, I would say Season 5 of "Dexter" is a success. While it begins slowly, and ends too neatly for its own good, the core of the season is a fascinating, multi-layered story. Dexter and Lumen grow together, throughout the Season and, as in typical "Dexter" fashion, the show continues to create edge-of-your-seat moments like no other show on television. Season 4 of "Dexter" is still a classic, but Season 5 is a very worthy follow up.
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