So as of last night, we’re three episodes in to Dexter‘s latest season, the seventh. And while there was a lot of criticism of the previous season, and rightfully so, it finally seems that Dexter is back on track.
First thing’s first- fans have to realize and accept that we will never get another season like the fourth. Trinity is arguably the peak of the show (though I myself prefer the first two seasons as an elegant and haunting duology), and that’s the way it’s going to be. And y’know what? That’s fine.
Because season five, despite all of the moaning, was actually fairly good. It had likeable characters, an interesting plot, and was a great way to give Dexter some room to grow as a character after the vast, vast changes that came at the end of the fourth season. And I think it was important that the writers put a Big Bag serial killer on the backburner for a while, because it legitimately gave Dexter an excuse to develop in realtime as a character, and prioritize other things in his life that needed looking after.
But that ended with season five. He did his soul-searching. He figured things out. Season six was billed as a return to form. It would be classic Dexter again, with high stakes, a Big Bad killer that needed to be taken out, and all manner of drama with our titular wanderer caught in the middle.
And it disappointed. It underwhelmed completely.
Season six accomplished virtually nothing for Dexter’s character. Dexter’s interest in religion, and any sort of growth that may have come with it began and ended all within the same season. And this would normally be fine (Dexter has experimented, tried and failed with many things over the course of the show, it’s a big part of why his character is so appealing) if it hadn’t felt so hollow and pointless.
But now? Well, I think the writers have finally gotten their ideas in gear. It was announced previously that the next season will likely be Dexter’s last, and that the writers had already begun setting things up for the inevitable endgame. And y’know? It suits the show well. We’re seven seasons in here- the endgame should be a serious consideration at this point, especially with a show so story-driven as Dexter.
There’s no BS now. The writers are running with what they have, and Dexter is back to being, well, Dexter. The show doesn’t feel like it’s trying to recapture the glory of Trinity. It’s moved on from that point, and I think that we as an audience have moved on as well. The new dynamic between Deb and Dexter has created a lot of new room for their characters this season, and I think that the writers are really handling it well so far. This season, 3 episodes though it so far may be, is living up to my expectations simply because it has not promised me grand things.
The show hasn’t promised me anything really, except for Deb’s revelation, which I find was handled well. Its continued exploration will be an important part of the show between now and the end, and now that it is finally out of the bag, it leaves room for Dexter’s character to change and grow in new and heretofore unimagined ways, which is quite exciting.
All in all, I’m back to being excited about Dexter again. I’m not bored with the plot, or disappointed with its claims, in fact just the opposite- the show seems to be back to delivering engaging and dynamic television, which is why we all started watching in the first place, this time without trying to recycle the excitement of years past.
I will be sad to see Dexter go, but at the same time I am terribly curious about what will happen between now and then. I hope that you are too. Tell me what you think of this season in the comments section below.