Category Archives: Season 1

DVD Review: Dexter: The First Season

Everyone knows that Dexter features a serial killer who only preys on other killers, but what it’s “about” is much more than that.  This series gives us one of the most troubling, complex looks at morality on television and, for my money, the first season does it better than any other.  Subsequent years would see improvements in acting, writing, etc., but I dare anyone to find tighter plotting or character development over twelve episodes. Continue reading

You can’t be a killer and a hero. It doesn’t work like that!

Doesn’t it?  That, my friends, is the six million dollar question.  Dexter is fascinating on any number of levels; it’s an everyman story, a superhero origin, and a crime procedural; it’s about identity and community, relationships and alienation, honesty and affection; but its central conflict, first and foremost, is a moral one. Continue reading

I’m here and you’re not

It’s difficult to pinpoint where the shift is in “Truth Be Told.”  Confronting his past in room 103 has rattled Dexter, but he’s still in control.  He’s more preoccupied than ever with understanding his past, but he’s the one driving the story arc.  That’s changed by episode’s end.   Continue reading

It’s hard for me, you know that

“Seeing Red” throws Dexter as far out of his comfort zone as we’ve seen.  It’s not just the panic attack inducing bloodbath but the mounting strains on his personal relationships that do this.   Continue reading

I don’t know what you want from me

We’ve known for some time that Harry is not infallible, but “Father Knows Best” is the first episode to put that fact into focus and make Dexter confront it.  The notion that Harry knew about Dexter’s birth father and lied about it certainly isn’t a good thing, but the Morgans do seem to be overreacting a little.  The problem is Continue reading

I do crave control

It’s been three weeks since Dexter killed anybody and, as if to make up for lost time, “Shrink Wrap” gives us our most intriguing victim yet.   Continue reading

Living inside my head

As a whole, the first season of Dexter presents one of the tightest story arcs ever to grace television, with each episode driving us steadily toward the climax.  Episode-to-episode, it’s less about steady progression than it is about addressing the same issues from different angles.   Continue reading

Nothing ever goes bump in Dexter’s night

Right on the heels of Dexter making a connection beyond the superficial we get an episode which reminds us of just how much his compulsion to kill costs him.  “Return to Sender” not only gets Dexter thinking about the likely fallout if he gets caught, it highlights the toll keeping his secret takes on the people around him. Continue reading

I like to pretend I’m alone

“Love, American Style” opens with one of the most loaded lines of the series.  What truth it holds isn’t what Dexter would have us believe.  His desire for isolation is asserted throughout the episode; he’s unable to connect with other people and wishes he could stop faking and yet Continue reading

Some people would call me a fraud

Authenticity is the Ice Truck Killer’s challenge to Dexter in “Let’s Give the Boy a Hand.”  Dexter’s double life has already been well established, but this episode explores its roots in Harry’s lessons on fitting in. Continue reading