Thursday, 14 June 2012


No fan of "f+++ing a++holes!" Jennifer Carpenter as the potty-mouthed Debra Morgan in DEXTER. Images: SHOWTIME.

In all honesty, I have to say that I've found this current sixth season of the hit SHOWTIME series DEXTER, showing exclusively on the FX channel in the UK, a little disappointing. At least the most disappointing since its second year, where, at that time, it took a while for the show to find itself and regain it's killer identity (excuse the reference!) after what had been a superb showcase premiere season. Here, the mostly padded out, occasionally wandering off base year six hasn't been as enthralling as the John Lithgow showpiece that was year four, or even the group evil led by Brit Jonny Lee Miller in year five, failing to capitalise on a promising story linked to religion and the doomsday prophecies with what also should have been a terrific duo of villains (Edward James Olmos and Colin Hanks). There have been a few good twists ands turns here and there, and some cool gross-out moments, plus the series looks as stylish and well-made as ever, but I expected that little bit more as Year Six reached its penultimate episodes. The promise of an apparently very strong finale to wrap it all up, however, gives me hope, especially as the series now has a locked in end date set for year eight (year seven is just about to start Stateside), so expect the dramatic fireworks to begin as Dexter's life as a serial killer will surely, inevitably, be discovered. Just how the ramifications of this happening will play out, and how it will affect the lives of his family and friends, is unknown, but I'm sure the blood will continue to flow and the body count of his wanted villains will increase just as we viewers want it to. There's still lots to explore in this darkly comic universe...

Debs on the case with Dexter (Michael C. Hall), Quinn (Desmond Carrington) and  Masuka (C.S. Lee).
Dexter rescues Debra, and vice versa, from a gas attack in a dramatic scene from the Season Six episode Talk to the Hand.

Whatever happens down the path to hell, though, one great constant for DEXTER has been its excellent series casting, and we couldn't have been better blessed with its lead actor choices than we have with the terrific Michael C. Hall as Dexter Morgan, a character now firmly established in TV history as everyone's favourite adaptable serial killer with a heart who tries to maintain a balance between his blood lust and his humanity, with an ultimate destiny not yet revealed, whilst Jennifer Carpenter has been a quirky and to-root-for delight as the determined, brave, fouler than foul mouthed, but generally kind-hearted and loyal sister, Debra. Debra has had quite a tough year in season six, in a period which saw her relationship to fellow policeman Joey Quinn (Desmond Harrington) disintegrate during her sudden and unexpected rise up the ranks to the position of Homicide Department lieutenant, a situation which often puts her at odds with her squad comrades and particularly with her ex-boss, Maria La Guerta (Lauren Velez), on matters of judgement, criminal procedures and the allocation of manpower in solving crimes (especially to violent and gory events linked to the all-important Doomsday Killers, and another murder which has covered up links to Police Captain Matthews (Geoff Pierson)). All in all, such work and emotional pressures/conflicts have led to the gradual death of any kind of life for Debra outside her career, of which she is also seeing a police appointed shrink after a violent incident earlier in the season, where she was forced to take a life during a violent nightclub gun battle. From all this rising emotion, her feelings for Dexter, her late father's adopted son, have started to dwell and ferment in her mind as she discovers that he has been just about the one loyal and loving constant, and positive factor in her life during all these difficulties. But are such stirrings indeed just because of her weakened frame of mind? Nothing more than a mild transience? Or are the series producers planning something so dark, and possibly so tragic, that it wouldn't look out of place in the kind of finale that Thomas Harris wrote for FBI agent Clarice Starling and serial killer Hannibal Lecter at the end of the love it or hate it HANNIBAL novel? Audiences will find out sooner rather than later, I think, in a scenario that will no doubt be a great and rewarding challenge for the talented and lovely Miss Carpenter before she continues on with a promising film career...

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