Recently finished Dexter season four. I’ve been a big Dexter fan for a while now, for a number of reasons, foremost being that the plot is completely unpredictable, the show strikes the right mix of humor and horror, and features excellent acting. I also love the ironies in Dexter’s deadpan voiceovers.
Season four in particular was very well done. It started off slowly with a rather dull first episode that introduced Dexter in his new position as a suburban family man (as overtired as the rest of us new fathers), as well as what I thought to be a unbelieveable romance between Sgt. Batista and Lt. LaGuerta. In addition, it introduced a John Lithgow as a “special guest star” – a dubious move, since I’m not a fan of Lithgow’s overacting. However, as the season went on, it was fascinating to see how desperate Dexter was to reconcile his honorable serial killing with his need for a family life, and the lengths to which he would go to achieve it. As the season progressed, Dexter started making more and more choices that he simply wouldn't have made in previous seasons, but it was all completely believable because of the storylines that led him to this point. And Lithgow was a revelation: the series used his two best acting techniques – over-the-top friendliness and dead-eyed menace – as a counterpoint to Dexter’s bi-polar personality. In fact, the most compelling moments in the series were when Michael C. Hall and Lithgow would circle each other in this regard. Dexter pulled a masterful performance out of Lithgow in the same manner that it did from Jimmy Smits in season three. I can’t say any more without giving anything away, but the three episodes that ended the season were intense, scary, moving, and ended with a shocking plot twist that floored me with it's daring.
I can’t recommend the Dexter series enough. It’s one of the best programs I’ve ever seen on the small screen. Even if you don’t like an episode or two, give it time, because Dexter plays the long game, and really builds up into something special. Season Five arrived in the mail this weekend, so i'm looking forward to continuing the journey!