I Might Be an Anglophile
Without intentionally positioning myself as an anglophile, I appreciate the reserve under which English television operates. No matter how massive the hit, English writers and producers understand that quality trumps quantity. As such, these television professionals would rather sacrifice paychecks than integrity. Not so in the good ol’ U.S. of A.
Case in point, the best episodes of Showtime’s hit series, Dexter, exist in its rear-view mirror. With Season 6, the viewer continues on a plot development holding pattern. The setting remains the same—a vividly colored Miami where sins are flaunted for all to see; the characters stunted—a continued exploration of dark passengers among the levity of Miami P.D.’s homicide unit.
Bad Faith, Good Faith
In Season 6, the crew encounters another serial killer. As a brief aside, at what point must we conclude that something is wrong with Miami? Realistically, serial killers are a rare breed in the sea of homicides. For Miami to continually function as the hot bed for killing sprees seems extremely unrealistic. At any rate, the murderers (Edward James Olmos and Colin Hanks) are labeled the Doomsday Killers (or DDK) because they stage the apocalyptic imagery of Revelation in their gory murders.
The allusions to religion are not limited to evil representations. While Dexter competes with Miami P.D. in the chase for the Doomsday Killers, he meets Brother Sam (Mos Def), a reformed felon deeply committed to Jesus Christ, who uses his business—a car repair shop—to provide meaningful work for recently released convicts. Brother Sam’s faith compels Dexter to attempt to see the good in people.
Befriending Brother Sam, Dexter questions the maxims by which he governs his life. Is it possible to banish his dark passenger? Does faith in a higher power really work? I must give credit to the writers for exploring these themes.
But, such thoughts don’t alter the laziness surrounding the rest of the season. First, Season 6 reveals the killers in the first episode. As such, the mystery of a cat-and-mouse game between police and murderer is non-existent.
Second, Season 6 portrays excellent plot twists but I feel like these moves are seasons late. There has been no character growth in the past couple seasons and Miami no longer intrigues as a setting. As a result, the plot twists feel forced, disingenuous, and tardy.
Dexter continues to entertain but I miss the unadulterated, concentrated awesomeness of the show’s first seasons. Had this show been developed in England, I can guarantee that it would have never made it to Season 6. With stale plots and settings, Dexter’s best episodes are long gone.
Verdict: 2 out of 5
Posted by: Donovan Richards