Dexter: Season 2 - Review
Review by Jack Foley
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Dexter Victim Slides; Trivia Track; Trivia Game; Code of Harry; Composer Piece/Main Title Theme; Cast and Crew Bios/Fimographies; Animated Still Gallery; Jeff Lindsay Featurette; Dexter Tool Kit.
DEXTER is now the most successful series on Showtime’s schedule and it’s easy to see why. It’s one of the best programmes on television: grim, compulsive, witty viewing that consistently entertains.
If you were astounded and/or dismayed by the bloody events of Season 1 and the Ice Truck Killer, then Season 2 matched and often surpassed it in terms of quality.
Michael C Hall, in the title role, was as brilliant as ever, mixing menace with vulnerability to surprisingly engaging effect, while returning cast members such as Jennifer Carpenter, as Dexter’s tormented sister Debra Morgan, and David Zayas, as the sympathetic Angel Batista, continued to shine and grow with each episode.
Newcomers, meanwhile, slid into play in exemplary fashion, whether it was Britain’s Jaime Murray as the superbly malevolent Lila (Dexter’s unexpected and unhinged new love interest) and Keith Carradine as the wily Special Agent Frank Lundy (the man on Dexter’s trail).
The main thrust of season two focused on the discovery of Dexter’s dismembered victims at the bottom of the ocean and the search for the “Bay Harbor Butcher”. Hence, the hunter [Dexter] was very much the hunted and it was left to Miami’s finest blood spatter analyst to outwit not only his sister and Lundy, but also the increasingly suspicious Sergeant James Doakes (Eric King).
To complicate matters, however, Dexter is experiencing a crisis of confidence brought about by last season’s revelation that the Ice Truck Killer was, in fact, his own brother – and that foster father Harry Morgan (James Remar) wasn’t all that he seemed.
When we first meet Dexter at the start of season 2, for instance, he’s lost his appetite for killing and comes up short when it comes to finishing off his victims.
His relationship with Rita Bennett (Julie Benz) is also under increased strain, prompting him to enter into counselling where he meets Lila and embarks on an unwise affair.
As matters spiral beyond his control, Lila turns out to be as dangerous as Dexter himself, while Doakes provides a formidable opponent. Debs, meanwhile, embarks on another precarious relationship – this time with Agent Lundy – and Lt. Maria Laguerta (Lauren Vélez) is making her own play to seize back power within her department.
Season 2 of Dexter was a more character-driven series than its predecessor by virtue of the fact that many of the principal characters were still dealing with the fallout from the first series.
It made for deeply involving entertainment that maintained its ability to mix disturbing moments of violence with jet black humour, tense situations, and fine character development. There was barely a dull moment and we came to care for just about every character… even the ill-fated Doakes, whose collision course with Dexter could only end in heartbreak and pain for one of them.
Hall, though, remains the show’s finest attribute… and his central performance as the charismatic serial killer is perfectly pitched to cover all bases. He’s terrifying when he wants to be, sympathetic at others… and most definitely a personality you wouldn’t want to mess with.
Dexter: Season 2 is bloody thrilling, top-drawer entertainment that really shouldn’t be missed. So don’t… or else.
UK DVD Release: March 30, 2009
- Read our review
- Dexter: Season 2 photo gallery
- Dexter: Season 2 - It's Alive (Season Premiere Review)
- Dexter: Season 1 - Review