We do like Dexter very much. We would say that it’s a ‘slick US drama’ • ‘slick’ being the word that must always prefix the words ‘US drama’ • but in this case, the usually reliable adjective isn’t quite on the money. Dexter’s theme is always red, but it’s pitch black in tone and fortunately nothing seems to have changed for this eagerly waited second series. Well, eagerly awaited for those of us who are not Bit Torrent Pirates, anyway.
What was good about it?
• The superb opening title sequence has remained the same. Possibly only the overlooked Showtime series Huff can match this wonderful opening montage.
• Michael C Hall’s performance was as riveting as ever, somehow combining his terrifying psychosis with charm and lizard-like sex appeal.
• Dexter’s voiceover, although occasionally needless and even heavy-handed, still threw up some wonderful lines. On preparing to disembowel a blind black man who had killed three times, Dexter observed: “I’m not one to discriminate on race, gender or disability.”
• The previous series ended with a kind of resolution, but in this short hour, Dexter was opened out once more into fascinating directions. Inspector Doakes is convinced that Dexter is guilty of… something, and is following him remorselessly. Unstable love interest Rita seems to sense that Dexter had something to do with her husband’s incarceration after finding an incriminating shoe. Dexter himself has lost his previous precision in killing and bungles two murders in one episode. And finally, most intriguingly, some divers came upon his set of over 30 chopped up bodies lying at the bottom of the Miami ocean…
• The stunning photography, particularly one set piece where young Dexter balanced in bright sunlight on a rooftop, desperately trying to feel the thrill of fear in his heart.
• And as usual there is plenty of interest surrounding Dexter • the power struggle between Maria Laguerta and Esme Pasquale; Debs’ hesitant recovery from almost being maimed by the Ice Truck Killer; and the threat of Paul, Rita’s husband, even in his death.
What was bad about it?
• Perhaps one criticism would be that perhaps there was too much packed into this opening episode, but that would be a minor quibble.
• Angel looked remarkably chipper for someone who was nearly fatally stabbed only about six weeks previously.