Horror TV at its finest might just be Showtime’s Dexter. If you’re not watching it, you should be. If you can’t pay for the premium channels, Netflix it, ask for the DVDs for Christmas, or find it online.
For those who live under a rock, Dexter is a serial killer who kills… other killers. He watched his mother get murdered with a chainsaw when he was three and has been royally screwed up ever since. It didn’t help that his foster father, Harry the cop, decided to train Dexter into a machine for taking out the trash that the law can’t catch.
Dexter, like any seasoned sociopath, appears friendly and normal, if a little emotionally stunted, to his coworkers and sister, Deborah. Deb, who has the mouth of a sailor, is a cop just like dear old dad. And Dexter? He works as a blood spatter analyst for Miami Metro Homicide.
And, in his free time, his hobbies include murder and dismemberment.
The story is based on Jeff Lindsay’s books, the titles of which enjoy alliterative phrases around Dexter’s name. On the show, Dexter, played by Michael C. Hall, manages to be both a sympathetic protagonist as well as a psychotic serial killer.
Most shows start to get stale by their sixth season (I’m looking at you, Supernatural), but not Dexter; the seasons seemed like they were losing some steam the later we got, but season six is kicking ass like none other.
There’s always a big overarching bad-guy plot in each season. Season 1: Ice Truck Killer. Season 2: Bay Harbor Butcher (which was Dexter), and Lila the nutty Brit. Season 3: the skinner and Miguel Prado, who wanted to do buddy-buddy stuff like killing together. Season 4: Trinity Killer. Season 5: Barrel Girls rapists-slash-murderers led by Jordan Chase, and Lumen the vengeful sidekick. And season 6 brings us the Doomsday Killer, who’s bringing to life gruesome scenes from the Book of Revelation.
Dexter was getting a little tame and domesticated with his wife, children, and house in the ‘burbs, but once they offed Rita and he found his way after Lumen, that went right out the window. Dexter hasn’t been this dark and dangerous since season one, and they call this up nicely with references to that first glorious season, even bringing back Rudy/Brian Moser for an episode of wicked revelry.
The tableaus of death that the Doomsday Killer sets out are as creepy and gory as they come, from a dude with live snakes inside of him to a girl strung up with angel wings. We haven’t seen a killer this eager to show off his macabre handywork since… season one!
There are only a few episodes left in this season, but man are they going to be good. I just watched episode nine and couldn’t believe how they ended it. This twist really amped up the awesomeness of season six and invigorated the tension by introducing a surprise element into a plot that we all thought we had figured out. I haven’t felt this mindfucked since we found out Rudy was Dexter’s biological brother in season one!
I’ve mentioned season one a lot here; that’s because this show is so surprisingly fresh in its sixth season that it feels like the first, instead of languishing in the been-there-done-that that most shows seem to fall victim to as they age. I won’t give away how episode nine ended, but I will say that it totally changes the dynamic between Dexter and the Doomsday Killer.
Dexter, you devious devil!