Dexter Season 6 Premiere Review: Snakes on a Beach

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In numerous interviews leading up to the sixth season premiere of Dexter, "Those Kinds of Things," producers drove home the point that they wanted to give this serial killer a fresh start.

Hence, the one-year time jump and the guilt-free Dexter Morgan we meet in the opening scene, as he's clearly over any Rita or Lumen-related issues and back to his joyfully murderous days (not even needing to go through with his ritual, in this case, in order to earn satisfaction.).

It's a welcome move by the series, but establishing this essentially clean slate felt a bit clunky and expository.

At His High School Reunion

It's always frustrating when there's no smooth transition between seasons. The result is a premiere that spends a majority of its time catching viewers up and tossing a lot of information at them in an uncreative way. Here, we were pretty much just told that Batista and Laguerta divorced... the latter blackmailed herself to the captain's job... Deb and Quinn are living together... Dexter bought the apartment next to him and hired Batista's sister as a nanny.... and Masuka is hiring an intern.

That's a great deal of telling and not a lot of showing.

The reunion storyline also dragged on and didn't really take us anywhere new. We've seen Dexter track a potential victim dozens of times before and it wasn't exactly shocking to learn he wasn't popular in high school. And when a major plot point (the cell phone grab/subsequent deception) rests on a blow job from a random former classmate? Not exactly an example of great writing.

Same for Deb coming to the rescue of all those bar patrons. It's safe to assume the phone video of her bravery will elevate her to Lieutenant above Batista - I'd have to imagine the only reason for his extended scene with his sister was to later crush his hopes/dreams by giving the job to someone else - but the robbery just felt contrived and out of nowhere. What criminal barges into an establishment, guns blazing, like that?

Still, it's only one episode and I understand the need to reset the show after a subpar season five. I also have very high hopes for what appears to be the grand theme of upcoming episodes. I'm sick of Dexter wondering if he can ever be a normal human (answer: no), so let's see him tackle how an abnormal human can still be a caring, effecting father, especially in light of no belief system. This ought to be an interesting, tricky subject to navigate.

Finally, though it's way too early to know what they are up to or how they fit in to the grand narrative, Colin Hanks and Edward James Olmos definitely made a creepy first impression. I look forward to a lot more from this mysterious mentor and his protege.

Those Kinds of Things Review

Editor Rating: 3.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.2 / 5.0 (83 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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