I worry that I can no longer be objective when it comes to Dexter. I watch a lot of television. Obscene amounts of television. It would be an embarrassing amount if it weren't my job. And Dexter is consistently one of the best shows on television. The acting is amazing. The writing is crisp. The characters are vivid and real. Compared to everything else on television, Dexter at its "worst" is still fabulous. So is season six of Dexter good for a TV show, or good for a Dexter season?
So far, I would go with the latter. It's good - and it's different. Previous seasons of Dexter have focused on love and romantic relationships as ways for Dexter to "fit in." The show has pretty much mined all it can from that aspect, so they are taking a different tact: religion. Religion is nothing that Dexter ever thought about. When pressed for an answer to his faith, Dexter admits he is an atheist without using the "A" word - "I believe in nothing." The question comes up when shopping for a pre-school for Harrison - the one Batista recommended is a Catholic school. It makes Dexter realize that if he wants his son to have a normal life in a Judeo-Christian society, he better introduce religion into both of their lives. Naturally, the "big bad" of this season runs parallel with the religious theme. Edward James Olmos holds a strong, cult-like hold over Colin Hanks, and the two kill in the name of religion.
This season seems to have a slow burn in a sense. The killers are not focused on much in the first two episodes. Instead, the focus is more on our main characters and where they are in their lives. Things have changed - some for better, some for worse, and you can see that drama will erupt at some point during the season. However, Olmos and Hanks's first murder is quite involved. It was well thought-out, highly organized, and pretty horrific. If that one kill is an indicator of the rest of the season, then it's going to be a good season of Dexter. If that one kill is the only cool thing in the season, then it's going to be a good season of television. Either way, the audience wins.
Dexter returns to Showtime on October 2nd.