Archive for October, 2009

TV on DVD: Dexter, Season Three (2009)

October 1, 2009

dexterOkay, let’s get right to it.  I’m a super-duper big fan of this series.  Season one completely blew my mind, season two was an absolute blast, and I’ve been looking forward to season three for months now.

Unfortunately, as it turned out, I found season three pretty disappointing.  For several reasons, but the primary one, and I’ll just say it flat-out right here so you have time to shake off the shock as you go, was JIMMY SMITS.

Now, Jimmy is an ex-Boyfriend of the Week, so when I heard he was joining the cast this season, I was naturally athrob with anticipation.  But no, no.  No, it simply did not work.   Not workage.  Workage of not.  NON!

As the season opens, Dexter is on the prowl for his next victim, a drug dealer and all-’round bad guy named Freebo.  He gets to Freebo’s house intending to kidnap and then kill him, as per usual, but finds someone else already there trying to do his job for him.  That guy immediately attacks Dexter, and in the process of brawling, Dexter kills HIM.

The next day, he learns the man he’d killed was the brother of District Attorney  Miguel Prado (Jimmy Smits).  Covering his tracks, Dexter casts blame on Freebo, and is then forced to cover THOSE tracks by killing Freebo as well.  But, oh no!  Prado catches him in the act!   Which scares Dexter half to death — until he realizes that Miguel is grateful he’s taken out the man he thought killed his brother.  For a while, the two become friends, but then Prado becomes obsessed with using Dexter to take out other bad people the system is failing to take proper care of.  As that spirals out of control during the season, Dexter is forced to distance himself from Prado.  In what way, I’ll leave for you to discover.

The problem I had with this storyline was that I never really believed Prado’s character’s nonchalance about murder.  Why he might want Freebo dead, I get.  But for him to want some of the other people he puts on Dexter’s hit list taken out implies that he too is a sociopath, really (or at least an acute psychopath — dude, what, like I’m a psychologist?), and that just didn’t feel right or make sense to me.   I sort of blame Jimmy’s acting skills for that, too.  Though I can’t tell you specifically what it was that struck me as off about it.

Of course, Dexter’s sense of relief at finally meeting someone who seems to understand him only furthered my theory that he’s not a real sociopath — that he thinks he is, that he was raised to believe he was, but that he is actually not.  (For more on this theory, see reviews of Season One and Season Two, both of which are now available for Watch Now at Netflix, by the way.)  Because, tell me this, would a real sociopath care about being  understood?  Feel a sense of relief upon finding someone who gets him?  Hell, I’m not even a sociopath myself and half the time I don’t give a good goddamn.

Anyway, I’m a little uneasy about the introduction of a BABY to all this as well (no offense to babies, but: blah).  And though I love Jennifer Carpenter’s character (Dexter’s sister), they’re not using her correctly either.   Unless this series truly is headed in the direction of uncovering a much more complex psychology for Dexter, it’s just not going to work for me much longer.  It’s too easy.  It’s chicken (no offense to chicken, but: bwak! bwak!).  No, sir, no good.

[Netflix me (if you insist) | Buy me (what are you, mad?  I said no good!)]

Genre:  Drama
Cast:  Michael C. Hall, Julie Benz, Jimmy Smits, Jennifer Carpenter