Sunday, September 30, 2007

Reviews & Previews: Dexter, Season 2

When push comes to shove, you gotta do what you love...

But what happens when doing what you love becomes impossible?

The undeniably strong Shotime original series Dexter returns with a brand-new and very promising new season. Re-enter Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall, brilliant as ever), vigilante, who killed his murderous brother more than two weeks ago. He's feeling damaged, of course, and has got to find someone new to kill, and fast... but doing so is becoming surprisingly difficult ever since Sargeant Doakes (Erik King) is beginning to truly suspect something hidden within Dexter. So he carries on regardless, trying to seem as boringly normal as possible... which isn't helping much.

At the end of a night of bowling with fellow employees, Doakes goes home early, giving Dexter the chance he needs to strike. His target is a blind man who casts voodoo death spells on whomever his clients request, and Dexter's got everything he needs to get the job done... but on the cutting board, he can't find it in him to finish off his prey. With the man's blindness as a golden opportunity, Dexter confusedly releases his would-be victim.

Meanwhile, Dexter's sister Debra (Jennifer Carpenter), who was almost killed by Dexter's brother and her former fiance, is struggling to move on. She reluctantly returns to work with her brother, much to the dismay of ex-lieutenant Maria LaGuerta (Lauren Velez), who can tell she's not ready for a comeback. The agency's new lieutenant insists Debra can work again, and alas, she returns to the crime scene... only to be harrassed by a man who'd seen her on the news. LaGuerta is ready to defend Debra, but she smiles at the man and walks away.

The agency has found a body by the water who was suspected to be killed by a gang leader by the name of Lil' Chino. The victim's mother speaks to Dexter in Spanish, saying she wants Dexter to kill Lil' Chino... and the victim's daughter gives Dexter a look he recognizes, and he unfortunately knows exactly what it says: "I know what happened. Please do something."

Dexter makes plans to kill Lil' Chino... before he sees him in person. He is HUGE. But Dexter isn't dismayed... he can't resist a challenge.

Meanwhile, Dexter's girlfriend Rita (Julie Benz) is continuing to receive calls from her ex-husband, Paul, who was put in jail through Dexter's careful frame... and totally knows it. He tells her he doesn't deserve to be in such a hardcore jail. He tries to convince Rita that something is up with Dexter, and she needs to look for the shoe that Dexter used to render him unconscious. Rita has her doubts, but is denying Dexter is guilty of anything.
She takes Debra out for some drinks, but before she goes, Paul calls and tells her to look for the shoe... she, still in denial, says whatever she can to get him off the line. He protests, and she hangs up and it's off the bar. She and Deb have a drink... only to have a man almost bring up exactly where he has seen Deb's face... before she punches him. Debra has snapped.

Dexter is getting everything set up for Lil' Chino, does the old routine, tapes him to the table and everything. But as the cheek cut goes wrong, his prey recollects his consciousness and Dexter is almost killed before Lil' Chino escapes. Shit. What the hell is up? A total failure. He drives to Rita's for consolation, only to hear her sobbing in her backyard. She says she got a call from the police. Paul's dead. He was killed in a fight. She could've saved him. How is she going to tell her kids? Dexter tells her it was Paul's fault he was in jail... and Dexter is almost certain she knows. Time to fess up? No. She breaks down in his arms.

He comes home to a spellbound Debra on his bed. She shows him what they've been playing on the news all night: bodies. Almost every one of Dexter's victims has been found in Bay Harbor. Debra tells Dexter that breaking down another mass murderer is exactly what she needs...

...but not this one.

Dexter is as captivating as ever, and previews of the forthcoming episodes promise this season will be even more engrossing than the flawless first. With an excellent cast and superior storyboarding, this episode is worth the wait fans have taken.

Hall is a spectacle, and he does not disappoint in this episode. He continues to shows Dexter addicts that his starring role was pre-destined. But one to watch this season will definitely be the scene-stealing Erik King, whose performance as Doakes is nothing if not bone-chilling. His stoic glance is so convincing that he'll make you think he knows your secrets, too...

My predictions for Season Two?
  • Fans will really have to buckle up... this season will be a helluva ride.
  • Dexter will find romantic feelings for a new character who will become his offbeat conscience... and could stand in Rita's way.
  • Dexter will manuever his way out of the agency's hawkeye, one way or another, like he has before.
  • Dexter will have to make up SOMETHING to satisfy Doakes's bloodlust.
  • I have a feeling (and a hope) that we'll learn a little more about Angel Batista (the badass David Zayas).
  • A few people will learn Dexter's secret. I don't think the entire public will.

Want more? Wait until next Sunday. I hear this one's going to be a real killer.

Dexter is on Shotime every Sunday at 9/8 PM Central.



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