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Dexter (The Original Series)


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While his poor, innocent child is in a foreign country with a heartless killer?

I found this to be one of the most unbelievable aspects of the finale. Dexter wanted Harrison to have a normal and happy life. Sending him to Argentina with Hannah wouldn't accomplish that. With Deb dead, I figured Dexter would have left Harrison with Batista.

I always loved Deb. I hated that she died at all, much less the way she died. 

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I’m reviewing season 8 in preparation for watching Dexter:New Blood.  I’m surprised at how much I had forgotten.  I really hate they ruined so much back then. Still, giving it another chance.  

Edited by SunnyBeBe
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On 11/4/2021 at 6:52 PM, Elizzikra said:

I found this to be one of the most unbelievable aspects of the finale. Dexter wanted Harrison to have a normal and happy life.

Yeah, Dexter had good intentions but as Ghost Harry told him, serial killers don't have happy families or home lives. He never loved or cared about anyone, not even his child.

So, he ended up destroying everyone around him - Rita (who he used and to whom he did nothing but lie) dead because of him, her children turned into orphans because of him, his sister emotionally wrecked and victimized twice by Dexter's girlfriend, decent people like Laguerta and Doakes dead, and his child abandoned in a foreign country with another heartless killer.

His final act of selfishness was dumping Deb into the water to join all the murderers and scum, denying Angel, Quinn, and others who actually cared about her the opportunity to even say goodbye.

Dexter's reaction to all this was along the lines of, "Why doesn't anything work out for ME?"

On 11/7/2021 at 11:34 AM, SunnyBeBe said:

I’m reviewing season 8 in preparation for watching Dexter:New Blood.

I can't rewatch that horrible, insulting crapfest. "Daughter boobs", anyone? I only watched it all the first time to see Dex get what he deserved, but he never did.

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They are valid points AngelHunter.  I think that tv writers have this irresistible impulse to throw characters into certain situations for drama sake, without consideration for how it will impact the story.  Dexter marrying and becoming a parent…..family man, was just ill conceived, imo.  The show suffered because of it.  The murder of Rita changed my feelings about the show and it never recovered.   Then….bringing in Hannah….more garbage writing, imo.  They abandoned the core of the show, which was protecting innocent people and stopping serial killers.  It made a wrong turn and kept going til it went over the cliff.  Granted, even killing the serial killers was illegal and wrong, but more tolerable than the ship show that they ended up with.  

Edited by SunnyBeBe
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On 11/14/2021 at 12:28 PM, SunnyBeBe said:

 They abandoned the core of the show, which was protecting innocent people and stopping serial killers.

Dexter was never a vigilante and didn't give a shit about any of the victims of the people he killed. He's a sociopath and killed because that was the only time he felt alive, the only way he could get a thrill that made his heart beat fast. Without Harry's code instilled in him - which all came down to "Don't get caught" - he would have been just like Brian.

Most of the people he killed deserved it, but that's not why he killed them. He was all ready to murder Quinn and Laguerta, for finding about him and they certainly didn't deserve it. His wants and needs always came before anyone else's. He really was and is a  monster.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I thought the first season of Dexter was a little slow, but the series hit its stride in Seasons 2 and 3. I agree with the poster from the first page that 4 and 5 (up until the 5th season finale) were the best. I used to watch the show as it was airing live and I remember frantically looking at the clock and dreading 9 pm because I knew the show was about to end on a cliffhanger. Season 5 was set to be the most intriguing season of a show ever and the finale was the most disappointing thing I've ever seen. The forums were full of all these interesting speculative twists about who the real bad guy was, and nope, there were no twists. Just a bad guy who once again seriously underestimates Dexter and takes way too long to kill his victim, naturally giving Dexter a lot of time to come in and save the day.

 

Season 6 sucked and the series never got better.

 

I did read on Reddit that Season 5 towards the end was actually hastily rewritten on the fly, because Julia Stiles was supposed to become a series regular and was written off the show due to her and Michael C. Hall having a thing while he was still married to Jennifer Carpenter. I haven't read anything besides that that confirms this but it would make a lot of sense as the show seriously went sideways and Michael C. Hall and Jennifer Carpenter did break up around that time.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 11/30/2021 at 8:48 AM, Tatum said:

I haven't read anything besides that that confirms this but it would make a lot of sense as the show seriously went sideways and Michael C. Hall and Jennifer Carpenter did break up around that time.

Years ago I read (I wish I could find the article) that the breakup came after MCH's bout with cancer. His own father died at 39 from cancer and MCH was also 39. This made him decide he didn't want to have any children, either because he was afraid he wouldn't be around to watch a child grow up or maybe that the child might get cancer too.

Jennifer badly wanted a baby so they split up. That they were able to continue working together and seem to have remained friendly makes me think that was actually the case.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 month later...

I'm doing a rewatch, which has been fun.

I think "Dexter" is at its best when exploring Dexter's loneliness and subconscious yearning to understand people, relationships, and emotions, against his trauma, detachment, and urge to kill. I know some feel it's the story of a guy with zero feelings simply acting out his impulses, but to me the show would be completely uninteresting if that were the case. Instead, I'd argue we're watching a classic potential transformation/redemption cycle. Will Dexter realize that he can feel, that he can love, that he is already a real boy? Etc.

The way S1 ends up being a battle for Dexter's soul between his two siblings is wonderful -- I love the conflict between his love for Debra and his (literal) kinship to Bynie and his urge to kill. We get the playfulness of Dexter's alien impulses (I love how delighted he is with the Ice Truck Killer) combined with his struggle to understand his own humanity. I also love Camargo as Rudy/Bynie—a terrific actor. He does a ton of Shakespeare onstage, so I'd love to see him live sometime.

  • S2 was okay—liked it better than I remembered, and awful Lila was an interesting way to contrast Dexter with someone truly amoral.
  • I like S3 but for me the Smits character is a little over the top. But there are some genuinely terrifying moments (the unearthing of the female lawyer still haunts me).
  • I love S4—it's justifiably praised, and I will never forget the wallop of that ending. It was so much fun watching Lithgow and Hall act together—they share a wonderful combination of cerebral acting technique with an experimental theatrical sensibility. They're both so talented and willing to experiment and it showed in the incredible tension.
  • I love S5. I know not everyone does, but Lumen and Dexter moved me enormously, I loved Stiles with Hall, and I thought Jonny Lee Miller was terrifying. He was so quiet and controlled.
  • Ugh, S6 — perfect example of why I just don't care for Edward James Olmos. I've always found him ponderously over-actory, even in BSG, and here he was awful. I also know from acquaintances who have encountered him that he is not a terribly nice person. I thought Colin Hanks was okay but the writing let him down.
  • But! I love Season 7 and think it's underrated. I like Hannah as a foil for Dexter, and Yvonne Strahovski was interesting in her combo of hotness and coldness. (I'll always remember cracking up at Joe's recaps over at TWOP when Dexter and Hannah hooked up on the table, and he was like, "Look, I'm a 6 on the Kinsey Scale, and I'd still jump her.") 

And do not get me started on how smoking hot Ray Stevenson is in S7. Holy cats. My tongue unrolled like a party favor every time he was onscreen.😅

I also thought Stevenson's character genuinely brought something new to Dexter, and I  still ship them. There was a slight erotic subtext there to me between them, and Dexter was still figuring enough out about himself that it would not have been unbelievable for him to explore at least some feelings for another man. Beyond that, the final scene with Debra running, sobbing, to embrace LaGuerta, will always break me (Carpenter is so good).

I'm embarrassed that I've never seen the end of Season 8. I liked some of it early on, and I adore Charlotte Rampling. But was just so angry at how it was going (I hated what it was doing to Debra), so I quit. I plan to keep going  now though. I'm pretty spoiled so I expect to hate it, but we'll see.

I do seem to like characters most people hate. I loved Rita, and thought Julie Benz was lovely and vulnerable in the role. I loved Hannah, loved Doakes (I still think there should've been an alt-universe spinoff of Doakes & Dexter as the ultimate odd couple fighting crime), loved Lumen, and most of all, I adore Debra.

Debra is probably my biggest quandary with the show, because I love her—love that she's an emotional, foul-mouthed, openly sexual woman who can still be a brat on occasion, but who's also a brave, skilled cop. For me her sibling relationship with Dexter was the core of the show. Jennifer Carpenter is a superb actress (both Carpenter and Camargo went to Juilliard) and I love the vulnerability and toughness she brought to Debra.

But the writing let her down—especially when the idiot writers had a psychiatrist basically TELL Deb she was in love with Dexter. First off, that's not how psychiatrists work, much less a police-sanctioned shrink exploring a work issue. It's a ridiculous moment, and polluted the relationship between Dexter and Debra, which had always been presented as genuinely pure and familial. The show's smug "they're not related anyway" enraged me—early lifelong sibling bonding would have made any attraction extremely unlikely. So, ugh.

I do occasionally get cranky at the show when Dexter's voiceovers want to have it both ways—he's constantly saying things like "If I had a heart, it would be breaking," which instantly shows that he is actually having that feeling in some sense, he's just not sure how to process or understand it, etc. But Hall's performance is always so much fun -- he's quietly funnier than I remember on rewatch (the pinnacle for me is the S4 "Dexter Credits with a Baby" sequence), and any scene where Dexter breaks down (as with Bynie's death) breaks my heart.

On 12/12/2021 at 8:53 PM, AngelaHunter said:

Years ago I read (I wish I could find the article) that the breakup came after MCH's bout with cancer. His own father died at 39 from cancer and MCH was also 39. This made him decide he didn't want to have any children, either because he was afraid he wouldn't be around to watch a child grow up or maybe that the child might get cancer too.

Jennifer badly wanted a baby so they split up. That they were able to continue working together and seem to have remained friendly makes me think that was actually the case.

Yeah, Hall's cancer was much more likely the straw that broke the camel's back in the marriage versus the affair rumors with Stiles. A friend of mine in the industry said that the rumormill was that Hall got sick, he and Carpenter were already having problems, and Stiles was a big help to him in physically getting through a lot of season 5 because he was struggling and sick from his final rounds of chemo (he wore a wig for most of that season).

The combination of his cancer struggle combined with the fact he and Carpenter had different life goals doomed the relationship. The irony is that Stiles tried to combat the rumors by making a public statement that she had nothing to do with the divorce, which of course made everyone instantly convinced that she was. I personally believe she wasn't. Either way, I respect that Hall and Carpenter were able to continue to work together as well as they did after the breakup, and it's lovely that Carpenter seems happy now (and has a child).

It's been fun to follow Hall's career since Dexter. As a theatre person, I love how different he is onstage. While I love his work in Dexter and SFU, to me he really only comes into his own onstage—he's incredibly charismatic, experimental, slinky, feline, a total chameleon. He was a terrific Hedwig, a fantastic Emcee in "Cabaret," and he was also terrific on David Bowie's "Blackstar" theatrical song cycle.

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1 hour ago, paramitch said:

I'm doing a rewatch, which has been fun.

I did that a while ago, and probably will again. The first minute of the first episode - the silhouette and "Tonight's the night"-  gripped me and I was hooked. So different and unique. I marveled that anyone could make me root for a serial killer.

1 hour ago, paramitch said:

I like S3 but for me the Smits character is a little over the top.

I really liked Se03. Jimmy Smits had me on edge in every scene with his barely contained anger and threat of violence always ready to explode. I really enjoyed Ellen Wolf too, well, until Miguel murdered her.

1 hour ago, paramitch said:

I love S4—it's justifiably praised, and I will never forget the wallop of that ending.

I liked it  too, and it had genuinely frightening scenes (Arthur in the bathtub with that woman freaked me out)but I think part of the overwhelming praise for it comes directly from John Lithgow and his immense talent. Substitute him for nearly anyone else, and this would be a regular season, minus of course the wrenching ending.

I felt the same about Lundy. Keith Carradine is an actor I have always adored and he was no less than riveting in this role.

1 hour ago, paramitch said:

I love S5. I know not everyone does, but Lumen and Dexter moved me enormously

Same here. I loved this season and yes, found it touching. It was also the very first time Dexter showed even a vestigial empathy and sympathy for anyone. It was really a breakthrough for him and I thought they were adorable together. The scene where he shyly presents her with the gloves "just like yours" had me squeeing.

2 hours ago, paramitch said:

And do not get me started on how smoking hot Ray Stevenson is in S7. Holy cats. My tongue unrolled like a party favor every time he was onscreen.

I won't get you started if you don't get me started. I may have ven drooled once or twice. Good lord. This kind of sexiness should be illegal. Smokin', indeed! It made me overlook all the stupidities and illogic of the plotlines of this season, along with the dread Hannah and Quinn's big romance with the stripper. This season was also when I started to hate Dexter and his rotten, selfish, lying ways and capacity to ruin the lives of everyone around him.

One major stand-out scene for me in the whole series and that still moves me to tears was after Deb was shot along with Lundy, and we had that meeting in the parking lot with Deb and Dex. I was a mess by the time it ended. Hard to believe we got such terrific times with this series, only to have it end so horribly it had fans feeling so insulted they devoted entire pages to making fun of it. My rewatches never include this season. Ugh. Lazy, sloppy junk which can be summed up with three words: "Daughter boobs" and "ARGENTINA". 🤢

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  • 3 weeks later...

Dexter rewatch update:

It's interesting. I still don't love Season 3, but it was once again better than I remembered. I know I was critical of Smits last time, but upon rewatch I think he was great. He's just SO intense, however, and that intensity is slightly off-putting when removed from the show (like, in scenes from S3 seen outside of the show). But when seen within the show, they really worked well, and he was a lot of fun opposite Michael C. Hall. He's also one of those performers who seems to have effortless chemistry with almost everyone around him.

I really enjoyed the Season 4 rewatch, although it was interesting to me that upon first introduction, Arthur's family doesn't show a hint of their fear of him, even in private, that we see later on. But of course that can simply be part of the complexity of abuse -- his family loves him and wants to please him even though they fear him. 

I also found Rita's almost-affair surprisingly heart-wrenching, because I couldn't help but think that the neighbor, who seemed like a perfectly nice, kind, lovely guy, would have been a loving, attentive, and of course MUCH SAFER, alternative to Dexter (although I have always loved Dexter's genuine care for Astor and Cody). It was like we were seeing an alternate timeline for Rita, only it was already too late.

That final episode in S4 is still an absolute stunner. The moment Dexter calls Rita's phone and we hear it IN THE HOUSE. And then Harrison crying. Just an incredibly terrifying ending, with the discovery of poor Rita. Absolutely devastating (and a perfect parallel to Dexter's equally awful past origins).

I'm finishing up Season 5 now and honestly, I like it even more than I did the last time I did a rewatch, which must have been at least 4-5 years ago. It's also quietly moving to me to watch how active and seamless Michael C. Hall is with his performance there, knowing how sick he was that entire season with cancer and chemo. He's terrific (and as always, really darkly funny at times, which I love).

I continue to love Lumen, and her relationship to Dexter, and how her story both parallels his and sort of bookends it. She is like him, a victim, but her experience of abuse was so, so much worse than his, and her Dark Passenger is temporary. What I like about Lumen is she isn't just a similar monster, she's the outcome; she enables him to see the damage caused by worse monsters. Season 5 is the first time, for me, that we see genuine, real empathy from Dexter -- the scene where Lumen loses it at the sound of the screaming and breaks down, and Dexter gently helps her cover her ears and faces her is one of the most beautiful for me in the show. My favorite thing about Julia Stiles as Lumen is that she doesn't overact it; she's very contained most of the time. And the scene when she watches Dexter kill the rapist security chief in the hotel room -- the way she sort of gasps when he does it in this way that implies both shock, horror, and yet relief and release -- is a great performance choice for me. There's something erotic about their connection there and yeah it's disturbing, but it's also sweet.

Which is of course all of Dexter & Lumen -- their entire story in S5 is a tragic dark fairy tale. That's why I love that the first thing Harry's ghost says to Dexter when he discovers Lumen is basically, "You're not the hero rescuing the princess here, Dexter" (or something to that effect), when, of course, that is exactly what Dexter is here.

And that S5 emotional evolution for Dexter (mostly via Rita's loss or via Lumen) also directly leads to some more of my favorite moments -- like when he realizes he did love Rita after all, or when he faces Lumen across the table and tells her exactly who he is (and more openly than he has ever done with anyone else, because he tells her both the cause and effect), or when he tells Astrid he loves her. Or when Harry's ghost (Dexter's own mind) admits to Dexter that he may not have been doomed after all -- that Harry may have been wrong to simply assume and train Dexter to be a monster. (Also, I should note that while Harry often bugs the crap out of me as a plot device, James Remar does really nice, quiet work as Harry in S4 and S5.)

I've got a few episodes left in S5 but so far it's been really powerful. Which also makes me sad because I'm gonna have to get through S6, which is a season I hated even more than what I saw of S8 (I did love S7 so I'm looking forward to that one).

On 3/4/2022 at 7:04 PM, AngelaHunter said:

I felt the same about Lundy. Keith Carradine is an actor I have always adored and he was no less than riveting in this role.

I loved [S5] and yes, found it touching. It was also the very first time Dexter showed even a vestigial empathy and sympathy for anyone. It was really a breakthrough for him and I thought they were adorable together. The scene where he shyly presents her with the gloves "just like yours" had me squeeing.

I won't get you started if you don't get me started. I may have ven drooled once or twice. Good lord. This kind of sexiness should be illegal. Smokin', indeed! It made me overlook all the stupidities and illogic of the plotlines of this season, along with the dread Hannah and Quinn's big romance with the stripper. This season was also when I started to hate Dexter and his rotten, selfish, lying ways and capacity to ruin the lives of everyone around him.

One major stand-out scene for me in the whole series and that still moves me to tears was after Deb was shot along with Lundy, and we had that meeting in the parking lot with Deb and Dex. I was a mess by the time it ended.

Yay, someone else liked Lundy! I thought Lundy and Deb were lovely and moving as a couple (and it's a trope I normally REALLY dislike). I thought Carradine was terrific, and their connection was so believable to me. And Jennifer Carpenter absolutely killed it in showing us Debra's grief both in that awful moment when they were shot and then afterward with Dexter.

I don't mind Quinn too much on rewatch, although it does feel like some of his scenes are from a completely different show. I sometimes feel like he was the producers' insistence so that the show would have a "hot cop" character to include. The funny thing is, I didn't like him in S4 but I sneakily like him in S5 and even like him and Deb (which I was dreading because it's always been so obvious).

I can't wait to get to S7 for my darling Ray Stevenson and (sorry) but I loved Hannah, as well, and thought she was a really fascinating new foil for Dexter.

I'm dreading going forward because for me (other than S7), S5 is the high point and it's all steeply downhill from here. I hate what the show does to Debra (no, producers, women do NOT FALL IN LOVE WITH THEIR ADOPTED BROTHERS, sigh) and also eventually to Dexter. I felt like by S8 that the show truly didn't understand Deb or Dexter anymore at all.

But... onward!

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5 hours ago, paramitch said:

I can't wait to get to S7 for my darling Ray Stevenson and (sorry) but I loved Hannah, as well, and thought she was a really fascinating new foil for Dexter.

I'm one of the few who agrees with you about Hannah.  I thought they were well matched.

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On 3/23/2022 at 4:17 PM, paramitch said:

I also found Rita's almost-affair surprisingly heart-wrenching, because I couldn't help but think that the neighbor, who seemed like a perfectly nice, kind, lovely guy, would have been a loving, attentive, and of course MUCH SAFER, alternative to Dexter

Yes. Poor, confused, mixed-up Rita could have what she always wanted - "a normal life" with this guy. "Instead what she got was... me" said Dexter. She was just his disguise.  He used her because as he said, "Married with kids" sounds a lot better and less suspicious than "lives alone, keeps to himself." I'm not saying he wasn't fond of her, but there was no great love there. He proposed to her by memorizing and parroting the words of a crazy, delusional woman who had stalked and murdered a total stranger! That was both hilarious and despicable as were a lot of Dexter's actions.

On 3/23/2022 at 4:17 PM, paramitch said:

I have always loved Dexter's genuine care for Astor and Cody).

Dexter liked kids because not only was he actually a child himself, but he didn't have to be constantly on the alert, watching everything he said with them or worry about them picking up that something was "off" about him. But for him it was "out of sight, out of mind." I doubt he spared them a single thought after they were gone. His emotions, such as they were, were always shallow and fleeting

 

On 3/23/2022 at 4:17 PM, paramitch said:

I hate what the show does to Debra (no, producers, women do NOT FALL IN LOVE WITH THEIR ADOPTED BROTHERS, sigh) and also eventually to Dexter.

I know Deb, who was so insecure and easily influenced let that creepy psychologist talk her into thinking she was in love with her brother (for fun?) but that whole and thankfully very brief plotline died quickly. What WERE they thinking? "You're not biologically related"?? Sorry, but someone you grew up with from infancy is your brother! We saw a lot of squicky things on this show, but for me this incestuous crap topped it all.

On 3/23/2022 at 4:17 PM, paramitch said:

Season 5 is the first time, for me, that we see genuine, real empathy from Dexter -- the scene where Lumen loses it at the sound of the screaming and breaks down, and Dexter gently helps her cover her ears and faces her is one of the most beautiful for me in the show.

Oh, yes, as I mentioned. Seeing the pain of someone else actually causing HIM to feel their pain was totally new. Unlike the fans who hated Lumen because they thought Dexter should mourn his "true love", Rita (not to me, she wasn't), I was totally captivated by their relationship. She could finally sleep because Dexter was there to watch over her and he got to be someone's shining knight in armour which he always wanted to be. I too thought Julia Stiles did an amazing job as we saw her transform from being resentful and distrusting of Dexter to seeing adoration for him shine from her eyes.

That's the difference, IMO, between this relationship and the one he had with Hannah. With Lumen, the feelings grew slowly, made sense, and felt organic. His instant, mad lust/love for Hannah made no sense to me.

With Lumen, we didn't need to be TOLD every minute how much he loved her. We were never told. We were SHOWN this through their actions and expressions and we could understand it. Why did he love Hannah so much? Because she was hot and blonde? When was Dexter ever smitten with any woman? And even Harrison: "I want Hannah to be my Mommy" after he saw her a few times? What about Jamie, who took care of him 24/7 and for all intents and purposes WAS his mommy?

Oh, and Lumen, unlike Hannah, knew how to disguise herself. 😄

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You guys have inspired me to do a rewatch ... well I actually never finished the whole series. I don't even remember where I left off! A friend of mine wanted me to watch the newest season but I figured I needed to refresh with the original before I try New Blood. So I am currently on episode 1 season 1! Wish me luck!

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I just finished Season 5, and absolutely loved it. I think I loved it even more this time than I did the first time. The writing is so strong!

For me, Lumen and Dexter's story was a gorgeous dark fairy tale, and Jordan Chase was one of the show's best villains—and hey, onto Dexter earlier than any others in the show. Jonny Lee Miller is so underrated (and even more so at the time, as this was before his beautiful work on "Elementary," although he's been an acclaimed stage actor in London for years now). For me his Jordan Chase was a fascinating combination of ice and fury, and I loved that he was a living, breathing example of toxic masculinity taken to the nth degree. The way Miller played Jordan with so much stillness that would erupt suddenly into savagery was genuinely terrifying.

I also loved Deb and her continuing journey toward maturity. It was thrilling to see what a good, confident cop she has become. And I was surprised at how much I liked a quieter more thoughtful Quinn this season too (Quinn shrieking "Not the plasma!" as Deb started to throw something at LaGuerta on TV remains one of the show's funniest moments for me). The acting by everyone—especially Hall, Stiles, Harrington, and the always wonderful Carpenter, was superb.

Season 5 had so many stunning moments. Dexter's eulogy for Rita (and his realization he had loved her the whole time). Lumen's rescue. The execution of Chase's security chief. Jordan's "Hello, Lumen." Lumen's conscious, gentle decision to sleep with Dexter. Dexter's knife in Jordan's foot! Deb letting them go, knowing how much Lumen had suffered. And I loved the image of Lumen laughing in the bow of the boat, finally free of her pain. Dexter huddled on the kitchen floor like the wounded little boy he once was, yet bidding Lumen farewell with so much love and acceptance, that he will carry her darkness for her. And then the happy brightness of the party set against Dexter's quiet grief, not just for the loss of Lumen, but also once again for Rita... and of course, he's also grieving himself.

And the very last moment of the season finale is one of the show's best ever for me. Dexter holding Harrison in his lap, meeting our eyes over the birthday cake as he yearns for a love and humanity he believes is farther away than ever,  dreaming that a magical wish could make him happy. And then he blows out Harrison's candle with that look of grim acceptance—"But wishes are for children"—it's stunning.

Hall is just such a good actor, and this season in particular gave a beautiful, subtle performance.

Season 1 is perfect, and season 4 is a terrific chess match, but for me, on a purely emotional level, season 5 will always be my favorite season of Dexter.

On 3/23/2022 at 6:30 PM, izabella said:

I'm one of the few who agrees with you about Hannah.  I thought they were well matched.

I loved her. I'm psyched to get to Season 7 (I've just started Season 6 rewatch, sigh, so that's still ahead...).

On 3/24/2022 at 9:08 PM, AngelaHunter said:

Yes. Poor, confused, mixed-up Rita could have what she always wanted - "a normal life" with this guy. "Instead what she got was... me" said Dexter. She was just his disguise.  He used her because as he said, "Married with kids" sounds a lot better and less suspicious than "lives alone, keeps to himself." I'm not saying he wasn't fond of her, but there was no great love there. He proposed to her by memorizing and parroting the words of a crazy, delusional woman who had stalked and murdered a total stranger! That was both hilarious and despicable as were a lot of Dexter's actions.

I agree. But I also think the irony is, of course, that Dexter did all of these things AND genuinely fell in love with Rita. He just didn't know that was what was happening to him because Dexter is the last person to understand himself.

That's why it moves me so much that it's only while giving his eulogy to Rita that he understands that he did truly love her, and he actually uses the words, "I loved her."

 

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Dexter liked kids because not only was he actually a child himself, but he didn't have to be constantly on the alert, watching everything he said with them or worry about them picking up that something was "off" about him. But for him it was "out of sight, out of mind." I doubt he spared them a single thought after they were gone. His emotions, such as they were, were always shallow and fleeting

I love how different our POVs are, and it always makes me think! Here, I both agree and disagree. I think children were easy for Dexter because they connected him to his most innocent self, and you're right, he didn't have to second-guess every thought or gesture. I loved Dexter's relationships with Astor and Cody because he truly seemed to enjoy and play with them in this pure, sweet way. I definitely felt that it made Rita falling for him that much easier -- he was a dream of a potential stepdad. And it wasn't a lie.

I don't think his emotions were "always shallow and fleeting," though. I think the tragedy of Dexter is that his life would have been fulfilling (but there wouldn't have been a show) if his emotions had actually been shallow and fleeting and he just smilingly pretended to be human. But for me, the irony is, Dexter was always more human than he knew, and for me he has always felt things deeply, he just didn't know how to express or define them. And since Harry had defined him as irredeemable early on, Dexter had no basis for learning those finer, softer emotions.

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Oh, yes, as I mentioned. Seeing the pain of someone else actually causing HIM to feel their pain was totally new. Unlike the fans who hated Lumen because they thought Dexter should mourn his "true love", Rita (not to me, she wasn't), I was totally captivated by their relationship. She could finally sleep because Dexter was there to watch over her and he got to be someone's shining knight in armour which he always wanted to be. I too thought Julia Stiles did an amazing job as we saw her transform from being resentful and distrusting of Dexter to seeing adoration for him shine from her eyes.

That's the difference, IMO, between this relationship and the one he had with Hannah. With Lumen, the feelings grew slowly, made sense, and felt organic. His instant, mad lust/love for Hannah made no sense to me.

 

This is beautifully described, and among the many reasons I genuinely feel Lumen's story brings something new and vital to Dexter's story. She is the first person to see ALL sides of Dexter -- the victim, as well as the killer. She instantly understands why he is the way he is, and bonds to that. She doesn't see the killer first; she sees that child he was.

Which is why the final scene between them slays me so much -- Dexter regressing to a wounded child, crouching in the corner of the kitchen, Lumen being so gentle and not just treating him like "well, my killer boyfriend is finally violent" but instead realizing he is devastated to lose the first person to see the whole him. The realization that Lumen can free herself of her Dark Passenger while he cannot is so moving to me. And that they part with the love intact; that they both will always love each other.

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With Lumen, we didn't need to be TOLD every minute how much he loved her. We were never told. We were SHOWN this through their actions and expressions and we could understand it. Why did he love Hannah so much? Because she was hot and blonde? When was Dexter ever smitten with any woman? And even Harrison: "I want Hannah to be my Mommy" after he saw her a few times? What about Jamie, who took care of him 24/7 and for all intents and purposes WAS his mommy?

Oh, and Lumen, unlike Hannah, knew how to disguise herself.

 

I do think we were told (thanks to the reliable Dexter voiceovers), but I agree with you that so many lovely moments with Lumen were simply seamlessly presented as part of the action and evolution of the characters. And I absolutely do not think it was "she's hot and blonde."

Among the many things I loved in S5, was Lumen's active decision to sleep with Dexter, how she returned from that kill of her rapist to actively choosing someone avenging and protecting her. Julia Stiles does this lovely pause in that scene, a deep breath, then she turns to Dexter, and it's very a genuine breath, a moment of deep emotion. Then when she disrobes in front of him, she pulls off his shirt in tandem, and then pulls it behind him, and he allows it. The shirt holds his hands behind his back and it's like bondage. And he's aware of it. She faces him and she has all the power, and Dexter is just calm and waiting for what she wants -- it's a lovely empowered moment and important for Lumen as a victim (re-empowering her choices). The love scene is very tender, but what stays with me is the image of the aftermath -- those two damaged people, together and safe, while we can see that tenderness and connection and also the terrible scars on both of their bodies. They are both victims, not monsters.

PS -- Aaaand yet... I'm sorry; I like Hannah. I prefer Lumen, forever, but am looking forward to Hannah in S7. She was a smart, sharp, sexy foil to Dexter, and I will always really like her (and loved Yvonne Stahovski's portrayal). More later when my rewatch gets to S7! :D 

15 hours ago, hypnotoad said:

You guys have inspired me to do a rewatch ... well I actually never finished the whole series. I don't even remember where I left off! A friend of mine wanted me to watch the newest season but I figured I needed to refresh with the original before I try New Blood. So I am currently on episode 1 season 1! Wish me luck!

Yay! I hope you'll share your reactions here as you rewatch. Looking forward to your thoughts!

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Yay! I hope you'll share your reactions here as you rewatch. Looking forward to your thoughts!

I'm going to try but I doubt any of my thoughts will be as deep as some of you have here!

I know it's been a while since season 1 aired so I probably shouldn't be surprised by this but I remember none of the plot of season 1! HAHAHA. I watched the first 4 episodes last night and loved them.

I remember Debra used to annoy the hell out of me but not so far on my rewatch. I always found Doakes and his aggressive hatred of Dexter kind of off-putting and my opinion hasn't changed much on that. I mean I get that Doakes just instinctively senses something off about Dexter but come on Dex hasn't tried to kill him etc. I'd get fired if I was talking to a co-worker like that for no other reason than I don't like him or her!

I still love Angel and I'm not so sure about La Guerta. I think she gets better as we go but maybe I am misremembering.

I like Rita and the kids. I always felt like she humanized Dexter and I was sad when she was gone.

I can't remember which season it was that I stopped watching - maybe 6? I don't remember for sure but I guess I'll find out as I do this rewatch.

And OMG the flashbacks to dad in the hospital and Carpenter and Hall dressed and wigged to try to look younger were hilariously bad! Though Dexter's first try at following the code and killing the nurse was pretty funny.

Onward to more of season 1 ...

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On 3/27/2022 at 12:51 PM, paramitch said:

I'm sorry; I like Hannah. I prefer Lumen, forever, but am looking forward to Hannah in S7. She was a smart, sharp, sexy foil to Dexter, and I will always really like her

We all have different opinions. That's what keeps things interesting. Hannah: A cold blooded murderer who killed anyone who got in her way and then transformed into a pitiful victim of spousal abuse who used her superhuman strength to drug Dexter and carry him off in her car. Okay. Dexter was willing to drop his Dark Passenger for her after one throw-away observation by her, yet not for his wife, or his child, not for Cody and Asotr, or for Deb. Hannah must have been a witch who cast a spell on him and on his child, such a powerful spell he forced Deb to let this woman who had poisoned her TWICE to let her come and bunk in Deb's place. He knew Deb could not say No to him and abused her feelings for him - for Hannah.

 

On 3/27/2022 at 4:00 PM, hypnotoad said:

I remember Debra used to annoy the hell out of me but not so far on my rewatch.

I nearly gave up on watching the show at first because I found her so irritating. But then I came to just love her the most of any TV character I can think of, although I felt sorry for her and wanted to reach through my screen and shake her more than once.

On 3/27/2022 at 12:51 PM, paramitch said:

Then when she disrobes in front of him, she pulls off his shirt in tandem, and then pulls it behind him, and he allows it.

That was such a touching scene. Dexter would never have made a move on her, but he knew she needed to feel safe and in control so he let her bind his hands with his t-shirt. I loved that scene. It felt so genuine and real.

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Sorry I'm gabby y'all, I'm dealing with a sick kitty cat, so I've had more time to keep bingeing the past few days, and I'm zipping through S6. Especially since I admit I mostly fast forward through Edward James Olmos's scenes. I've seen it before and they don't offer anything new except ponderous overacting. I FF through a lot of Colin Hanks's scenes too unless Dexter's there.

The good news is, this season is more watchable than I remember. It still sucks, but it's still Dexter, and it's always entertaining thanks to the solid cast. It's weird watching an A+ show become a C+ show but still with an A cast, basically.

The thing is, the S6 premise is just SO labored and flawed. I get the desire to explore religion and Dexter, but that conversation is basically over in 15 minutes. Dexter is a scientist, for goodness's sake. Not to mention a self-aware serial killer. It's just a faulty premise. There's just no capacity for inherent soul examination so all of S6 is artificial. Then you add in the clunky "religious serial killer" angle and it's just so bad.

And the Colin Hanks/Olmos serial killer conceit doesn't measure up to the other villains  for me because Hanks is just this really, really mentally ill guy who's unaware of his own actions. So he's not a fun villain because he's not in the same league as the others. Sure, it can be argued that every serial killer is mentally ill to some degree, but the other Dexter villains are self-aware and choose what they do (and therefore deserve what they get). Whereas here, we're just watching this guy basically delude and abuse himself. It's sort of pathetic and sad instead of vicariously exciting. Yes, the identities seem to merge in the later episodes, but it genuinely appears that for most of the season, he has no idea of what he's doing -- we're even confirmed this in a scene with Olmos -- so that's more pathetic than enjoyable or suspenseful.

On the plus side, I forgot that Mos Def was in this season, and he's a lovely character, although I do wish he didn't mumble all of his dialogue (as he always does, although I also really like him as an actor, I mean, Something the Lord Made, don't even get me started!).

And OH MY GOD, the one episode that is AWESOME in Season 6 -- DEXTER'S ROAD TRIP WITH BYNIE! Seriously, it's honestly hilarious. Dexter's sudden psychotic break was weirdly fabulous, it was awesome to see Christian Camargo again (and yes, my inappropriate crush on Brian/Bynie is still intact, yes, I'm going to Hell), and the whole thing was weirdly joyful and snarky and fun. I especially loved every single eyeroll by him when Dexter fought to be his better self: "You don't turn the other cheek, you slice it," he tells Dexter, and I fell in love all over again. (I KNOW IT'S TWISTED. I need years of therapy.)

But -- sigh -- the Quinn/Debra stuff is painful (and seriously, Quinn falls so far and hard that there's a point by the end of this season where I'd be grossed out to be within 10 feet of him, he's practically a walking radioactive STD), the Debra promotion isn't really convincing, and we also get the worst plot contrivance ever -- Debra and that HORRIBLE SHRINK. Gah. Who literally tells her she's in love with her brother. I hate the shrink even more than I did the first time I watched it, and the actress is terrible (she was better as the mom on "One Mississippi" but even there she was the rare weak spot on a gorgeous show, and before that she was just the creepy child-bride to Tea Leoni's father in Deep Impact).

Anyway, Season 6 sucks. It's still surprisingly entertaining, and while I still just see her horrible, awful, annoying "Lucifer" character when I look at her, Aimee Garcia is fine as Dex's nanny, and it's fun to see Molly Parker -- who is so cool, contained and sexy on "Deadwood" and "House of Cards" -- convincingly play Hanks's doomed, sweet sister.

I just have a few more episodes and then on to my beloved Season 7 and out of this ridiculous hellscape. 

On 3/27/2022 at 1:00 PM, hypnotoad said:

I remember Debra used to annoy the hell out of me but not so far on my rewatch. I always found Doakes and his aggressive hatred of Dexter kind of off-putting and my opinion hasn't changed much on that. I mean I get that Doakes just instinctively senses something off about Dexter but come on Dex hasn't tried to kill him etc. I'd get fired if I was talking to a co-worker like that for no other reason than I don't like him or her!

(SNIP) And OMG the flashbacks to dad in the hospital and Carpenter and Hall dressed and wigged to try to look younger were hilariously bad!

This seems to be a common theme! Everyone talks about how much they hated Debra, but then on rewatch it's like, "Oh, wait, she's not so bad..." or even "I kind of love her." This makes me happy, since I adore Deb, and she's such a great character, and I love the beautiful rich portrayal by Jennifer Carpenter on the show.

And YES, OH MY GOD the flashback wigs! They're, like, EPICALLY bad. But awesome. My favorite aspect is, like, they barely try. It's like, "Well, we all know it's Dex and Deb, so just pretend that these terrible wigs mean they are both kids again," and I am here for it.

Looking forward to your continued bingewatch!

10 hours ago, AngelaHunter said:

That was such a touching scene. Dexter would never have made a move on her, but he knew she needed to feel safe and in control so he let her bind his hands with his t-shirt. I loved that scene. It felt so genuine and real.

You're so right! That's the best part -- Dexter would never, ever, have approached Lumen that way, even though we see and know (more than he does, as always) that he is excited by what she does. And even if it had been conscious (I don't think it was, since Dexter compartmentalizes), he still wouldn't have made a move on her. It had to be her, first.

So -- agreed -- and that was definitely an image that I thought was lovely. It was one of those performance choices that felt organic to me -- my impression from interviews is that Stiles was really focused on the blocking for Lumen where given that opportunity, and that Hall supported her to give Lumen these little empowered moments, like Lumen actually crawling on the table to take out Chase's lieutenant or here, when she chose to sleep with Dexter. As a playwright and theatre person, I live for those kinds of moments, and they definitely added to Lumen for me as a character.

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7 hours ago, paramitch said:

And the Colin Hanks/Olmos serial killer conceit doesn't measure up to the other villains  for me because Hanks is just this really, really mentally ill guy who's unaware of his own actions

When I saw we were getting Edward James Olmos that season, I was looking forward to it. Sadly the whole season is so clunky, so obvious, and truly outlandish with Hanks performing impossible stunts. Okay, the horses presented a stunning visual, but if you think of the logistics behind the display it results in major eyerolls. He was the silliest, weakest "Big Bad" of the whole series. He was supposed to be scary or intimidating but he merely looked as though someone had farted in his face.

Granted, a lot about this show was silly - no one in Miami has security cameras or deadbolts or puts passwords on their computers, ever, but we could overlook that when the writing and stories were strong. The worst part of Doomsday was Hanks, of all people, totally snowing Dexter and making him look like a fool.

 

7 hours ago, paramitch said:

and we also get the worst plot contrivance ever -- Debra and that HORRIBLE SHRINK. Gah. Who literally tells her she's in love with her brother.

Dr. Ross was way scarier than Hanks. Poor Deb, so naive and suggestible in spite of her age and experiences was once again victimized by someone she eventually trusted with her thoughts and feelings.

The only relationship in this show I always loved was that between Deb and Angel (I loved Angel!), and even then she screwed him over at the end to protect that toxic viper of a brother. Dexter cared not a whit for the anguish that caused her. Someone on this show must have hated Jennifer Carpenter, considering the endless traumas and disgusting ending they gave her character.

7 hours ago, paramitch said:

But -- sigh -- the Quinn/Debra stuff is painful (and seriously, Quinn falls so far and hard that there's a point by the end of this season where I'd be grossed out to be within 10 feet of him, he's practically a walking radioactive STD)

Agree! Quinn...he was kind of interesting when he joined the show, a little shady, streetwise, and savvy. After Deb dumped him (I  think he really loved her and I actually felt sorry for him) he deteriorated into a buffoon, a clown, a sleazy man-hoe who ended up being dumped by a stripper secondhand through another stripper who was in the midst of giving someone a lap dance. It was kind of funny, but really, show?

In spite of how sadly it fell, this show remains one of my favorites but no one I know ever watched it so I'm really enjoying this convo!🙂

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Rita was the only love interest of Dexter's I enjoyed. While I'd like to think he loved her, I am not sure he ever did. I think he certainly appreciated her, and he admired her as a mother and caregiver, and  I think he wanted her to be happy, but I always got the impression he did not consider her his intellectual equal and judged her for it.

 

I couldn't stand the Lumen romance. I actually really enjoyed their pairing when it was more of a big brother vibe. He could have loved Lumen in a non romantic/sexual way and I would have been happy.

 

And as much as I disliked the romantic turn for him and Lumen, I liked his pairing with Hannah even less. And agree with someone else who posted that Harrison's attachment to her came out of left field.

 

And agree that "Take Care, Lumen" was one of the creepiest lines I have ever heard on a show, and Julia Stiles totally sold the reaction.

On 3/29/2022 at 1:36 PM, AngelaHunter said:

He was the silliest, weakest "Big Bad" of the whole series. He was supposed to be scary or intimidating but he merely looked as though someone had farted in his face.

Haha, we did crack up at the way after Dexter confronted him from the backseat of the car, they always showed Colin Hanks checking the backseat before ever entering a car again. That was a nice, subtle, touch.

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On 3/23/2022 at 3:17 PM, paramitch said:

I also found Rita's almost-affair surprisingly heart-wrenching, because I couldn't help but think that the neighbor, who seemed like a perfectly nice, kind, lovely guy, would have been a loving, attentive, and of course MUCH SAFER, alternative to Dexter (although I have always loved Dexter's genuine care for Astor and Cody). It was like we were seeing an alternate timeline for Rita, only it was already too late.

The part where Dexter punches the neighbor was always kind of conflicting to me, because on the one hand, punching is bad and it shows possession, not love, but on the other hand, Rita was SO flattered he did that and in her world, was probably a lot of validation, and I always liked Rita, mostly because I like Julie Benz from her Buffy/Step by Step/various guest spots on popular 90s shows days.

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4 hours ago, Tatum said:

The part where Dexter punches the neighbor was always kind of conflicting to me, because on the one hand, punching is bad and it shows possession, not love, but on the other hand, Rita was SO flattered he did that and in her world, was probably a lot of validation

Dexter didn't give a shit if Rita kissed the neighbour. In fact, he wouldn't have cared if she'd had an affair with him, since that might have gotten her off his (Dexter's) back. I believe it was Masuka who told him(?) and his reaction was, "Yeah, I know. Rita told me." *shrug* But as usual when faced with unfamilar situations/emotions he tried to act the way he thought "regular" people may react and since it seemed like some action was called for, he went and punched the guy. It was just another annoying charade (in this case, "outraged husband"mode) he needed to put on to appear normal.

That Rita found this flattering and proof of Dexter's love was just sad. She didn't know any more than he did what a mature, loving marriage was all about. I guess she figured that if Dexter didn't beat her up or abuse the kids, all was good.

4 hours ago, Tatum said:

Haha, we did crack up at the way after Dexter confronted him from the backseat of the car, they always showed Colin Hanks checking the backseat before ever entering a car again. That was a nice, subtle, touch.

This show used to do subtle so very well, until it deteriorated into, "Women's shoes!" and "He's not here!" It was pretty funny when Dexter found out Travis was wearing his shirt, too, and eating his cereal. 😄

Dexter always seemed surprised to find someone had been in his apartment. I don't know why, since it happened all the time and he never learned to install a deadbolt or a security camera. Well, the camera may have been a problem when Maria arrested him,  if she had checked the footage. She would have seen Arthur Mitchell, Isaak Sirko, Doakes, Ramon Prado, Travis Marshall, Stan Liddy, etc, breaking in on the regular. A little suspicious!

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14 hours ago, AngelaHunter said:

But as usual when faced with unfamilar situations/emotions he tried to act the way he thought "regular" people may react and since it seemed like some action was called for, he went and punched the guy. It was just another annoying charade (in this case, "outraged husband"mode) he needed to put on to appear normal.

He didn't know how people "should" react, but I thought his gut reaction (okay, it's fine) to Rita was actually one of the best reactions the husband could give in that case.

 

Too many men, even in this day and age, who probably consider themselves enlightened and all for equality between the sexes, would still consider another man kissing his wife without her permission to be a violation against him (the husband). The fact is, in that case, it's the wife's boundaries which have been violated and she is the injured party. Dexter seemed to look at it from a law enforcement perspective- Rita was the injured party, she handled herself well, the situation was resolved, there was no need for any additional action, and certainly no need to be angry.

 

But Rita was so hurt and offended that Dexter wasn't upset, because in her world, a guy considering his wife an autonomous individual who is perfectly capable of taking care of herself and doesn't need a knight in shining armor to defend her honor, or considers her "his" property, means he doesn't love her (well, I mean, he didn't, but she shouldn't have gleaned that from his reaction alone).

 

So, later, in view of Rita, he does punch the guy, but I could never figure out if he did that solely as a show for her (I am not sure if he knew she was watching, but I guess he would have known it would get back to her regardless).

 

I don't know if Rita believed Dexter loved her, and I am not sure she would have minded if she thought he didn't. She was so traumatized by her last relationship that I don't know if she could separate love from possession, control, and violence. Dexter financially supported her and treated her and her kids kindly (at least to her face). That might have been the extent of what she could emotionally handle. I mean, I don't know if Rita loved Dexter either. Despite being together for several years, they did not seem to have much emotional intimacy and I don't even mean she didn't know about his dark passenger. It may have been a marriage/relationship of convenience and necessity for Rita as much as it was for Dexter.

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(edited)

I'm halfway through Season 7 rewatch and my crush on Ray Stevenson (Isaak) is alive and well. Holy schnikes, he didn't do anything for me on ROME, but the whole silver fox thing is totally working for him here. 

I forgot how painful it is to watch Debra try to process this new knowledge of who Dexter really is, and it's harder to watch than I remember. She's trying so hard to accept the brother she loved, while also trying to acclimate herself to the fact that he's a killer. And the most tragic aspect for me is that Deb is a pure cop, through and through, it's who she is. Watching her realize what Dexter actually is is heartbreaking because it's like watching her die in slow-motion.

On 3/29/2022 at 11:36 AM, AngelaHunter said:

The only relationship in this show I always loved was that between Deb and Angel (I loved Angel!), and even then she screwed him over at the end to protect that toxic viper of a brother. Dexter cared not a whit for the anguish that caused her. Someone on this show must have hated Jennifer Carpenter, considering the endless traumas and disgusting ending they gave her character.

This is a great chance for me to mention how much I always love Angel. I've always adored him, and David Zayas is great in the role. Did you know he was ACTUALLY A COP in real-life before he began acting? I had no idea, but he's so good on "Dexter!" I love that he was able to bring some realism to the role.

I always liked Angel, loved his unflagging and warm support of Debra, and even liked him with LaGuerta. He always felt like one of the more real cops in the story to me, and I attribute at least some of that to Zayas. 

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Quinn...he was kind of interesting when he joined the show, a little shady, streetwise, and savvy. After Deb dumped him (I  think he really loved her and I actually felt sorry for him) he deteriorated into a buffoon, a clown, a sleazy man-hoe who ended up being dumped by a stripper secondhand through another stripper who was in the midst of giving someone a lap dance. It was kind of funny, but really, show?

In spite of how sadly it fell, this show remains one of my favorites but no one I know ever watched it so I'm really enjoying this convo!

 

I do wince at a lot of Quinn's story this season, although as always I do think Desmond Harrington is doing his best with a thankless role. 

I just wish they hadn't had Quinn fall QUITE so far this season. Like I said, there are moments when I seriously would sanitize myself just for being a foot away in the elevator with him -- the guy spends whole episodes blitzed and banging multiple partners semi-consciously, just aghghghg.

Although one of the funniest images ever on this show was a Quinn moment for me last season (S6) when Quinn wakes up in his car after a bender, disheveled and discombobulated, his feet sticking out his passenger window, and the sprinklers come on. I laughed myself silly.

And this has been a wonderful conversation! I've had a blast and so appreciate you and others here chiming in on all our rewatches.

On 4/1/2022 at 9:54 AM, Tatum said:

Rita was the only love interest of Dexter's I enjoyed. While I'd like to think he loved her, I am not sure he ever did. I think he certainly appreciated her, and he admired her as a mother and caregiver, and  I think he wanted her to be happy, but I always got the impression he did not consider her his intellectual equal and judged her for it.

I love Rita and think she's so important to Dexter and the story. I was also very moved by her backstory and her fragility.

I do 100% believe he loved her. But as almost always with Dexter, his awareness is two steps behind his heart. That was why I loved the S5 opener that was all about the aftermath of Rita's death as Dexter processed it, and he only realizes, "I loved her," at her funeral. He says the words, but even then -- only in his mind. He didn't say it out loud. I wish he had.

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Haha, we did crack up at the way after Dexter confronted him from the backseat of the car, they always showed Colin Hanks checking the backseat before ever entering a car again. That was a nice, subtle, touch.

HOW did I miss this??! I can't believe I missed this, but I admit I was kind of checked out when I rewatched S6 and did a little bit of fast-forwarding (I swear I don't normally do that but I found EJO and CH scenes just so tedious). This makes it all worthwhile however.

On 4/1/2022 at 10:04 AM, Tatum said:

The part where Dexter punches the neighbor was always kind of conflicting to me, because on the one hand, punching is bad and it shows possession, not love, but on the other hand, Rita was SO flattered he did that and in her world, was probably a lot of validation, and I always liked Rita, mostly because I like Julie Benz from her Buffy/Step by Step/various guest spots on popular 90s shows days.

I disliked what Dex did there as a person, of course -- nobody needs to hit someone over a flirtation, or anything. It's 100% toxic.

But I liked the moment from a character perspective because it is yet another example of Dexter responding viscerally to a moment that his emotions understand before he does. He isn't going to punch the neighbor because he needs to pretend he's jealous over Rita. He punches him, unexpectedly, in the moment, because he IS jealous over Rita. 

No, it's not healthy. No, it's not the right reaction. But I liked what it said about Dexter's feelings and that (as always) he did care deeply about Rita even if he couldn't always articulate that.

And I adore Julie -- I thought she was wonderful as Rita, and I loved her on "Buffy" as Darla but even more so on "Angel," where she got to play a much richer more complex imagining of her character. Her final episode's last 5 minutes absolutely broke me.

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I don't know if Rita believed Dexter loved her, and I am not sure she would have minded if she thought he didn't. She was so traumatized by her last relationship that I don't know if she could separate love from possession, control, and violence. Dexter financially supported her and treated her and her kids kindly (at least to her face). That might have been the extent of what she could emotionally handle. I mean, I don't know if Rita loved Dexter either. Despite being together for several years, they did not seem to have much emotional intimacy and I don't even mean she didn't know about his dark passenger. It may have been a marriage/relationship of convenience and necessity for Rita as much as it was for Dexter.

@Tatum, I do think Rita loved Dex and thought Dexter loved her, but like most people, she still needed reinforcement on that front -- especially the closer she got to seeing the real him.

I thought we saw a lot of evolutionary emotional involvement and complexity there between them, year by year. And in S4, while she was whinier and more complaining, she was also able to do so because she had recovered from her abuse and was feeling stronger. She was becoming a true partner in her marriage with Dex, not a victim. So I liked that she was able to say "You need to be here for this," about the kids, or "I need you to show me that you care about me." She was more high-maintenance in S4 but also finally his equal. She was able to go to Dex and ask for what she needed.

The irony for me is that while Dex was willing to provide all that, it always probably did feel like hard work. What I thought the neighbor showed was that it could be effortless -- and I thought it hit Rita pretty hard. Like, "Wow, this was so easy with him. Why is it so much work to get this from Dexter?" Etc.

20 hours ago, AngelaHunter said:

Dexter didn't give a shit if Rita kissed the neighbour. In fact, he wouldn't have cared if she'd had an affair with him, since that might have gotten her off his (Dexter's) back. I believe it was Masuka who told him(?) and his reaction was, "Yeah, I know. Rita told me." *shrug* But as usual when faced with unfamilar situations/emotions he tried to act the way he thought "regular" people may react and since it seemed like some action was called for, he went and punched the guy. It was just another annoying charade (in this case, "outraged husband"mode) he needed to put on to appear normal.

I disagree with you, and I think Dexter's punch to the neighbor demonstrated that. He didn't punch the guy because he was "pretending" to be a jealous husband. He punched him because he actually was (he realized belatedly) jealous.

I agree that it was a belated reaction and one that took time for him to process, but that's Dexter for me. It was actually a strangely moving moment in Dexter's evolution with Rita (especially in hindsight) -- the realization (among many) that Rita was not just his prop. He genuinely cared about her and did not want to lose her.

Dexter would not have been okay with an affair from Rita with the neighbor, and he wouldn't have been emotionless about it. The punch shows that in a 30-second scene.

For me the entire lesson of the S5 opening episode is Dexter's realization that it was never a charade. A true sociopath wouldn't have given it a second thought beyond how to appear for the world. Instead, Dexter is wracked with guilt and sadness. He can't get Rita out of his mind. He flashes back to his first date with Rita, looking back with guilt because he was just there to scope out a target. 

But he liked her, I think. More than he realized at the time (he just responded to the impulse of "I should see her again"). And she liked him. And he grew to care about her, to want her (even when he never always understood why he felt desire), to marry her... culminating in his openly telling us in that S1 opener: "I loved her." He's not telling anyone else. he's telling us. Which means it's real.

And then his moving speech at her funeral. So for me, yes, he loved Rita. He just didn't always have the capacity to understand himself or his emotions enough to realize that.

And for that, I blame fricking Harry. Harry decided a child was irredeemable TWICE (he did it to Bynie and then he did it to Dexter). He discarded the "defective" Bynie (I disagree that Bynie was doomed) and then focused on Dexter -- and then turned Dexter into a killing machine without even attempting to get the kid therapy. I mean, yes, I get that there would be no show without the premise, BUT STILL.

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That Rita found this flattering and proof of Dexter's love was just sad. She didn't know any more than he did what a mature, loving marriage was all about. I guess she figured that if Dexter didn't beat her up or abuse the kids, all was good.

It was sad that Rita liked that Dexter punched the guy, but again -- in terms of human nature, I get it. Dexter could be remote, cool and reserved. Rita responded to the neighbor because he was honestly giving her the warmth and intimacy that she had so often craved from Dexter, and that he found difficult. 

So when Dexter punches the neighbor -- yes, it was wrong -- but Rita sees something emotional and visceral there. Confirmation that Dexter cares about her, cares who kisses her, wants to be the one she chooses.

The moment is toxic as all hell, mind you, but it's fiction, so I can sort of let it slide (especially given that punching a neighbor is very far down on the list of Dexter's sins!).

And of course, this happens on the downslide of S4, so in hindsight it's sadder than ever as I honestly wanted Rita to throw her arms around the neighbor and go, "Take me away!" Sniffle.

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Dexter always seemed surprised to find someone had been in his apartment. I don't know why, since it happened all the time and he never learned to install a deadbolt or a security camera. Well, the camera may have been a problem when Maria arrested him,  if she had checked the footage. She would have seen Arthur Mitchell, Isaak Sirko, Doakes, Ramon Prado, Travis Marshall, Stan Liddy, etc, breaking in on the regular. A little suspicious!

LOL!! This made me laugh out loud and was so true!

And what always cracks me up is despite all of this, Dexter STILL KEEPS PUTTING THE STUPID SLIDES IN THE AIR CONDITIONER.

First of all, this is Miami. I grew up in Florida (more backwoods Jax area, but then later in Hollywood and Boca). And there's no way that a swanky water-view apartment like Dex's doesn't have CENTRAL AIR. So the air conditioner should have been a weird red flag for visitors, not a seamless background element they never noticed in plain sight.

And then all his zero security! So damn funny. I loved that here in S7 (where I am right now) there's a semi-hilarious shot of Isaak just chilling out in Dexter's apartment, waiting for him to come home, sitting in the middle of the living room.

All that needed to complete the picture was a six-pack of beer in Dex's fridge that just said "VISITORS PLEASE TAKE ONE."

(Okay, I'm done. Back to S7 and drooling over my darling villain Isaak...)

Edited by paramitch
Added response to Tatum :)
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2 hours ago, paramitch said:

I loved that here in S7 (where I am right now) there's a semi-hilarious shot of Isaak just chilling out in Dexter's apartment, waiting for him to come home, sitting in the middle of the living room.

And Dexter is all, "Someone's in MY APARTMENT!" as though that were an unusual event.

The second time Isaak broke in and was making tea I couldn't help thinking I wish I could come home and find this in my kitchen holy shit. 🤣

 

 

 

 

 

dexterKitchen-696-718.jpg

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On 4/2/2022 at 2:38 PM, AngelaHunter said:

And Dexter is all, "Someone's in MY APARTMENT!" as though that were an unusual event.

The second time Isaak broke in and was making tea I couldn't help thinking I wish I could come home and find this in my kitchen holy shit. 🤣

dexterKitchen-696-718.jpg

Yes, please? LOL.

I should be so lucky to find THIS GUY in my kitchen. I mean, okay, he's a killer and an organized crime boss and a drug dealer. BUT -- he's also sensitive and loyal and LOOK AT HIM.

Woof.

Sorry, I'm shallow and it's been a challenging few weeks.

Although the gun in his pants is cracking me up. ("Isaak, is that a pistol in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?")

(SORRY)

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11 hours ago, paramitch said:

I should be so lucky to find THIS GUY in my kitchen. I mean, okay, he's a killer and an organized crime boss and a drug dealer. BUT -- he's also sensitive and loyal and LOOK AT HIM.

The murdering and stuff... I can overlook a few foibles.☺️  No one's perfect, after all and it was rather amusing watching him burn down Miami to flush out Dexter. It was also interesting seeing Dexter dealing for the first time with the collateral damage of his crimes AND seeing him scared for once.

11 hours ago, paramitch said:

Although the gun in his pants is cracking me up. ("Isaak, is that a pistol in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?")

I had to check and make sure I didn't post that. Okay, I see where this is going and I heartily approve.

11 hours ago, paramitch said:

(SORRY)

Why? What's wrong with being appreciative of a gorgeous, masculine, virile-looking hunk of man like this? They are becoming scarce as hen's teeth, as my mother used to say. But, yeah, women aren't supposed to lust this way. Ha!

Dexter? Dexter who? Oh, right.

On 4/2/2022 at 2:39 PM, paramitch said:

So when Dexter punches the neighbor -- yes, it was wrong -- but Rita sees something emotional and visceral there. Confirmation that Dexter cares about her, cares who kisses her, wants to be the one she chooses.

Yes, it's sad that Rita saw something flattering and as proof of caring in this espisode. Sad, sad it was. IMO, Dexter just felt like he was being pressured by Rita, who was clearly looking at him and expecting some action - although Dexter knew not what -  and, knowing no more than Rita did about such things probably thought punching Elliot would make this all go away. "There. Satisfied?fNow leave me alone. I'm busy."

On 3/29/2022 at 6:27 AM, paramitch said:

And OH MY GOD, the one episode that is AWESOME in Season 6 -- DEXTER'S ROAD TRIP WITH BYNIE! Seriously, it's honestly hilarious. Dexter's sudden psychotic break was weirdly fabulous, it was awesome to see Christian Camargo again

"Dexter Channels Biney" was indeed hilarious, in a really fucked-up, psychedelic way. Shooting the gun, banging the girl working at the store, murdering the guy at the garage - Dexter showed us what he would have been without Harry's code keeping him in check.

Brian was the one Big Bad in this series who gave me serious creep-outs. When he was drawing the lines on the prostitute? Truly horrific, for me anyway, on par with Arthur murdering that woman in the bathtub and killing the poor night watchman. I had no problem watching Dexter verbally torment and murder his victims, but seeing innocent people suffer squicks me out.

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On 4/4/2022 at 5:47 PM, AngelaHunter said:

Yes, it's sad that Rita saw something flattering and as proof of caring in this espisode. Sad, sad it was. IMO, Dexter just felt like he was being pressured by Rita, who was clearly looking at him and expecting some action - although Dexter knew not what -  and, knowing no more than Rita did about such things probably thought punching Elliot would make this all go away. "There. Satisfied?fNow leave me alone. I'm busy."

I'm going to disagree slightly with this. No, I don't think Dexter was jealous, and I don't believe he loved Rita. I know mileage may vary there, but I don't believe he did.

 

That said, I think he punched Elliot to make Rita feel cared for. Not because it would get her off his back- she had already backed down at that point and may have been disappointed by his non reaction but she wasn't going to do anything about it, and a pouting partner never bothered Dexter anyways- but because he genuinely wanted her to feel cared for. I think Dexter wanted her to be happy, and not only because making Rita happy made life convenient for him, but there was intrinsic value to him of Rita's happiness (I mean, in addition to the benefits Rita provided him).

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On 4/7/2022 at 12:52 PM, Tatum said:

but because he genuinely wanted her to feel cared for. I think Dexter wanted her to be happy, and not only because making Rita happy made life convenient for him, but there was intrinsic value to him of Rita's happiness (I mean, in addition to the benefits Rita provided him).

Yeah, I never saw it that way. To me, yes, he wanted Rita to be content, not because he cared for her feelings - feelings he absolutely could not understand -  but because a content Rita wouldn't be "nagging" him about his lies and where he was and what he was doing. He really never knew what she, or anyone else, wanted from him. Being questioned annoyed him greatly, as in when he took off and left Cody with the sailing group so he could go kill someone. He always thought he was smarter than anyone else.

He was fairly confident in familar situations, like at work, where he was pretty sure his reactions were mostly appropriate (if he wasn't sure he'd check out the others and copy whatever emotions were being displayed) He would laugh at jokes, even though he never "got" them and had no sense of humour, fake interest when someone confided in him, etc. but Deb got it right when she told him no one else was real to him. He sent his child off to a foreign country with a remorseless serial killer because his needs topped anyone else's.

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  • 1 month later...

For any Vince Masuka fans out there, the actor CS Lee is listed in the cast of a new CBS show called "East New York".   It's another cop show, following the police working in the East NY section of Brooklyn - it starts later this month.

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  • 2 months later...

This was my impression of season 1-5 Dexter:  he thought he was without feelings of love and affection for other people, but I thought that he really did care for the people close to him, such as Deb, Harry, Rita and the kids, Angel and Lumen.  He definitely went after people who hurt any of these, and it seemed to me not just because of the Dark Passenger.  Brian, Lila, Rita's husband, Lumen's tormenters were all killed or neutralized.  Dex also wanted to protect Trinity's wife and children, and Astor's friend whose stepfather beat her.  That's just my thought process.  I think it's great that we could watch this and have different reactions to Dexter's actions.

I also loved the Lumen story arc, although I think it got a little sloppy in the last few episodes.  The way Dexter found her, gained her trust, realized that there really was a group of torturers--some of my favorite moments of the series.  I also loved Lumen's theme music!  In season 5 I also liked all of the romantic pairings, Dexter and Lumen, Deb and Quinn, Angel and Maria.  I wish they would have let the latter two play out some more into later seasons.

Enjoying (and sharing) the love for Ray Stevenson.  He was so great in Rome!  I am a goner for I'd Die for You friendships (Kirk and Spock, anyone?) and I loved his friendship with Kevin McKidd's Vorenus.

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  • 1 month later...

I'm doing a Dexter re-watch for the second time. I forgot how much I hate Lila! And how much Masuka makes me laugh every time he does his creepy little laugh. Just knowing what is going to happen makes me want to shout at the characters! LOL 

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