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Dexter: Season 5 - Review

Dexter: Season 5

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

HAVING astounded fans with one of the most shocking finales in recent memory, Dexter always had its work cut out impressing them again in the subsequent fifth season.

But while it took time to get going and occasionally veered into some odd and unsuccessful directions, Dexter: Season 5 proved to be another winner.

Opening in the immediate aftermath of the murder of his wife, the season’s early episodes were devoted to Michael C Hall’s guilt-ridden single dad’s struggle to atone for that death, while deciding what to do with his family.

It got more interesting when his dark secret was discovered by a woman (Julia Stiles) seeking revenge against those who brutalised her, and who became an unlikely kindred spirit who may finally save – or destroy – him.

Their killing spree brought them up against a rape and murder club run by a famous psychology guru (Jonny Lee Miller’s Jordan Chase) and also threatened to expose Dexter’s dark secret to his sister, Deb (Jennifer Carpenter), who was simultaneously investigating the Barrel Case murders perpretrated by Chase and his crew.

And it made for some very exciting, tense moments, especially late on, as Deb came perilously close to unwittingly exposing her brother, while providing some typically strong emotional complexity for Dexter himself (as he attempted to move on from Rita’s death and find love with someone who could see him for who he really is).

Strong, too, was the sub-plot involving Quinn (Desmond Harrington)‘s investigation into Rita’s death, which saw him employing a shady ex-cop (Peter Weller) to follow Dexter and get the goods on him. It jeopardises his fledgling relationship with Deb and put him on a collision course with Dexter (never a good move!).

Weller was suitably sleazy as the dogged detective on Dexter’s trail and, at one point, looked the most likely person to get an advantage over Dexter.

Less successful, however, were some of the more contrived relationships, with the treatment of Lauren Velez’s Lt. Maria LaGuerta sometimes poorly handled, especially in her relationships with new husband, Angel Batista (David Zayas), and in some of her dealings with Deb.

But while this proved an unnecessary distraction during the early episodes, Dexter nagivated such tricky waters well to deliver a final set of episodes that were as emotionally involving as they were twisted and exciting.

And while the bittersweet resolution of the series did provide some sort of closure for its main characters, the prospect of a sixth season remains a hugely exciting one. Dexter remains as sharp as one of its main character’s blades.

Find out what’s going to happen in Season 6

Certificate: 18
Episodes: 12
UK DVD Release: September 5, 2011