TV Review: DEXTER – SEASON 5 – “Teenage Wasteland”

Michael C. Hall in DEXTER - Season 5 - "Teenage Wasteland" | ©2010 Showtime

A lot of things get blown open in the latest episode of DEXTER called “Teenage Wasteland” and all of them matter. Deb (Jennifer Carpenter), confined to file room duty, finds DNA evidence that there’s more than one perpetrator in the barrel girls” case. Deb convinces a reluctant Lt. Laguerta (Lauren Velez) to reopen the case, previously considered closed. Deb is shocked when her boyfriend Quinn (Desmond Harrington) says he loves her – and shocked again when Quinn admits that he suspected Deb’s brother Dexter (Michael C. Hall) might be Trinity Killer associate Kyle Butler, though he now wants to leave it alone. Liddy (Peter Weller), the disgraced cop Quinn hired as a private investigator, doesn’t want to leave it alone, and has pictures of Dexter and Lumen (Julia Stiles) doing something late at night on Dexter’s boat with big plastic bags.

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TV Review: DEXTER – SEASON 5 – ‘Take It!’

Desmond Harrington in DEXTER - Season 5 - "Take It!" | ©2010 Showtime/Randy Tepper

Over its five seasons, DEXTER has come close to what happens in “Take It” a few times. Dexter (Michael C. Hall) found a measure of mutual understanding with fellow killers Lila (Jaime Murray) in Season Two and Miguel (Jimmy Smits) in Season Three, but neither of them had a code and both eventually became his deadly nemeses due to their differences. Now, however, Dexter has Lumen (Julia Stiles), whose motivations are sympathetic – she feels an urgent need to avenge her rape, torture and captivity at the hands of a ring of serial killers, the kind of men who are Dexter’s natural prey.

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TV Review: DEXTER – SEASON 5 – ‘Circle Us’

Jonny Lee Miller in DEXTER - Season 5 - "Circle Us" | ©2010 Showtime/Randy Tepper

The DEXTER episode “Circle Us” may be a good indicator that when Dexter (Michael C. Hall) is mulling things over rather than reaching epiphanies, the episode tends to feel like its holding back, even when its action lunges forward. Such is the case here.

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TV Review: DEXTER – SEASON 5 – ‘Everything is Illumenated’

Julia Stiles in DEXTER - Season 5 - "Everything is Illumenated" | ©2010 Showtime/Randy Tepper

“Everything is Illumenated” (the idiosyncratic spelling refers to both the character and the blood-illuminated substance) is a DEXTER episode in which a great deal, albeit not everything, is in fact illuminated. We see what gets under Dexter’s (Michael C. Hall) skin, we learn a lot about Lumen (Julia Stiles), we see the dangerous double game Quinn (Desmond Harrington) is playing and Batista (David Zayas) and LaGuerta (Lauren Velez) start communicating. All this plus two murders and baby Harrison’s first words make for quite a show.

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TV Review: DEXTER – SEASON 5 – ‘First Blood’

Julia Stiles in DEXTER - Season 5 - "First Blood " | ©2010 Showtime/Cliff Lipson

Before baby Harrison was even conceived on DEXTER, Dexter (Michael C. Hall) worried that any child of his might inherit his homicidal tendencies. It appears that Harrison, now ten months old, may have scratched the cheek of a playmate, drawing blood, which sends Dexter spiraling into anxiety. Not that he’s all that calm anyway, what with assault/kidnap victim Lumen (Julia Stiles) wanting Dexter to help her kill her remaining assailants, a desire that almost leads Dexter to mistakenly taking out the wrong man. Meanwhile, Quinn (Desmond Harrington) persists in his quest to tie Dexter to the mysterious Kyle Butler (the alias Dexter used to get close to the Trinity killer) and Batista (David Zayas) almost screws up a sting operation in his jealousy over what his wife/boss LaGuerta (Lauren Velez) may be doing to save her husband’s job. Deb (Jennifer Carpenter), continuing to investigate the Santa Muerte murders, finds clues in a very messy, maggot-infested murder scene.

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TV Review: DEXTER – SEASON 5 – ‘Beauty and the Beast’

Michael C. Hall in DEXTER - Season 5 - "Beauty and the Beast " | ©2010 Showtime/Cliff Lipson

After the “!!!!” moments of last week’s episode “Practically Perfect,” it makes sense that in feels like both DEXTER the series and Dexter the character (Michael C. Hall) are taking a little time to recover from various shocks and plan ahead. A good portion of “Beauty and the Beast” is concerned with Dexter’s dilemma over Lumen (Julia Stiles), the young woman who was captured and tortured by Dexter’s latest target. Problematically for Dexter, Lumen witnessed him killing Lumen’s captor. Dexter tries to nurse Lumen back to health – she’s got criss-crossing cuts all over her back – while trying to figure out what he can do that won’t cause either of them to die. Harry’s shade (James Remar) urges Dexter to kill Lumen, as the number one rule remains “Don’t get caught,” but Harry instead tries to get the wary woman to trust him. When she does, it turns out that Dexter’s victim wasn’t her only tormentor, and now that Lumen knows she’s not going to be killed, she wants payback.

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TV Review: DEXTER – SEASON 5 – ‘Practically Perfect’

Julia Stiles in DEXTER - Season 5 - "Practically Perfect" | ©2010 Showtime/Cliff Lipson

Bless DEXTER. Five seasons in, it still has the ability to surprise us with twists small and large. In “Practically Perfect,” the show is paying off so many threads already that we aren’t missing the one huge arc of a season-long villain. The show runners have said essentially they can’t attempt to top John Lithgow’s Trinity Killer right away, and that seems a sensible assessment. Instead, they give Dexter (Michael C. Hall) a whole new kind of problem.

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TV Review: DEXTER – SEASON 5 – ‘Hello, Bandit’

C.S. Lee in DEXTER - Season 5 - "Hello, Bandit" | ©2010 Showtime/Randy Tepper

The DEXTER episode “Hello, Bandit” has a lot in common with Dexter (Michael C. Hall) – now that both have gotten past the shock of Rita’s death and figured out the direction they’re taking, they’re both slowly getting back to normal. This is understandable, but there’s a certain amount of clean-up and waiting for things to return to normal that’s more realistic than it is engaging.

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TV Review: DEXTER – SEASON 5 – ‘My Bad’ – Season Premiere

Michael C. Hall in DEXTER - Season 5 - "My Bad" | ©2010 Showtime

Stars: Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, Lauren Velez, Desmond Harrington, C.S. Lee, David Zayas, James Remar Writer: Chip Johannessen Director: Steve Shill Network: Showtime, Sundays @ 9 PM Original Telecast: September 26, 2010 Sometimes when a show does an episode that veers from the basics of that particular series, the audience has to exhale a collective deep, patient breath and wait for the show runners to get whatever it is out of their systems. Then again, sometimes there’s an episode like DEXTER’s fifth-season premiere, “My Bad,” that has no mystery running through it, yet is a stunningly effective hour of […]Read On »

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