Dexter: Season 2 (2007)

DVD Cover (Showtime Entertainment)
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Connections: Dexter

Dexter Morgan, Miami Metro Police Department blood spatter analyst, has a double life. When he's not helping the Homicide division solving murders, he spends his time hunting and killing bad guys that slip through the justice system. He spends his sun-drenched days solving crimes - and moonlit nights committing them. But not to worry, our cool-blooded Dexter doesn't kill just anyone. He reserves his homicidal hobbies to taking only the lives of other killers. --IMDb
Review by Chad
Added: May 27, 2009
Before getting down to business with the review, I should point out that you're probably going to want to avoid reading this if you haven't already seen the first season. Season two picks up directly where season one ended, and as such, almost everything that I discuss in this review will require that I describe events that took place in the final episodes of the first season. Funny how that works, eh? So yes, I will be talking about who died in the first season, what the big twist was, Dexter's twisted family tree, and the entire affair will come with a hearty serving of spoilers. I won't spoil season two in this review, but if you continue onwards to season three... well, that's your call.

So as I was saying, season two picks up right where season one left off. Dexter's (Michael C. Hall) brother is now dead and buried while Miami rests comfortably knowing that the Ice Truck Killer will never bother them again, Debra (Jennifer Carpenter) is recovering from her ordeal with that twisted serial killer, and things are getting very serious between Dexter and Rita (Julie Benz). Doakes (Erik King) is still watching Dexter's every move in an attempt to uncover the truth behind his mysterious behavior, while Paul (Mark Pellegrino) is continuing to put the pressure on Rita to find the evidence that will set him free and put Dexter behind bars.

Meanwhile, the police have found Dexter's underwater graveyard and have brought the remains of his victims to the surface, and they along with the FBI set out on a large-scale manhunt for the new serial killer who has been dubbed "The Bay Harbor Butcher." Led by Special Agent Frank Lundy (Keith Carradine), this FBI task force was responsible for bringing down some of the most well-known and hard-to-catch serial killers in recent history, so it should go without saying that they know what they're doing when it comes to catching the bad guys.

As if all that wasn't enough, Rita forces Dexter into rehab after he lies about his "addiction" in an attempt to cover his framing of Paul, and there, he meets his new sponsor - an extremely attractive British lass named Lila Tournay (Jaime Murray). Lila seems to have a lot in common with Dexter, and the two hit it off a little too well... and yes, Rita notices. Trouble in paradise? You could say that. However, his problem with the ladies is nothing compared to what will happen if the authorities discover his murderous ways, and they seem to get a little closer to finding out that he was responsible with every passing day.

For those of you who read my review of the first season, remember how I claimed that Dexter was one of the best shows in recent memory? My opinion hasn't changed after watching season two, although I have to say that it wasn't an entirely perfect affair this time around. For the most part, the writing is just as strong as it was in the previous season, the main storyline is intriguing enough to support twelve hours of programming, and there are plenty of side-stories to keep the show feeling fresh throughout each of those episodes.

My one gripe with this season was the way that certain scenes were written. Keep in mind that I said that the writing was great for the most part, but this particular season had a habit of taking the cheap way out of key scenarios. Dexter would find himself in a world of shit, this problem would be built up over the course of an episode or two, and in the blink of an eye, he finds a way out of it by using a highly unlikely method and the entire thing is forgotten. In my ever so humble opinion, if something is worth devoting that much time to, you really need to come up with a concrete way of dealing with the ramifications that it brings along. Don't end an episode in a cliff-hanger in which Dexter is caught on tape, dwell upon this topic for the entirety of the next episode, and then say "Well, he went over to the computer and hit the delete button, problem solved!" Using the cheap way out of a dilemma is somewhat acceptable from time to time (the first season had a few instances of this), but this season seemed to use that trick more often than it should have.

All of the old faces have returned, and we also get some new characters to spice things up. Keith Carradine is damned good as the FBI agent with a thing for younger ladies, and we also get Jaime Murray as "the other woman" in a role that she truly makes her own. Both of these characters are vital to the overall storyline, and both of them are a pleasure to watch. The old faces once again bring their best to the table, so if you enjoyed them in the first season - and you should have - then you will certainly find a lot to love here.

I think that I'm going to wrap this review up a little earlier than normal, as with the exception of the above paragraph, anything else that I say about this season would be a rehash of my review from the season prior. The "Bay Harbor Butcher" storyline is just as good as the "Ice Truck Killer" scenario, the acting is still top-notch (with Erik King getting more time to shine this time around), and unless season three is a complete flop, I think that it's safe to say that Dexter will go down as one of my all-time favorite television series. It's that damned good, and I feel dirty for having missed out on it for so long. 9/10.
Lucid Dreams #1: Lucid Dreams - added 06/07/2009, 03:11 PM
I was almost getting a bit bored in the middle thinking maybe they just lost it, but the last few episodes had my heart racing and I was wondering what was going to happen after watching each one. 9/10
Griffinheart #2: Griffinheart - added 06/08/2009, 11:59 PM
Everything that was wrong with this season could have been fixed by liberal application of pie.
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