Dexter Series 5 Review: Bloodbaths & Babydaddies

DEXTER: Friday 17th June, FX, 10pm

The future certainly isn’t looking too bright for Dexter Morgan and his Dark Passenger. Rita is dead, Trinity has escaped, Deb is sleeping with Quinn, and to top it all off, Cody and Astor are living it up in Disneyland without him. Season five picks up right where we left off; Dexter emerges from his family home, Harrison in hand, amid a backdrop of police sirens and blood. “Rita’s inside. It was me,â€? he tells his bemused sister as he hands over his (psychologically scarred?) son. It’s the first time in 49 episodes Dexter hasn’t been able to keep his true feelings in check.

Thankfully, the rest of the cast are still showing their trademark characteristics. The ever tactless Masuka doesn’t disappoint. “I imagined her naked plenty of times, but never like this,â€? he says while examining what is quite literally a bloodbath of a crime scene. While Lt. LaGuerta opts to hand the case over to the FBI – or “Fu**ing Bunch of Idiots” as Deb calls them – much to the irritation of her underlings. There’s also an unintentionally comic moment in the back of the FBI truck, “Dexter take off your clothes, then we’re going home,â€? Deb asserts at her brother. No one seems to acknowledge the humour though; everyone obviously has a lot on their minds.

How ever will Dexter break the harrowing news to Cody and Astor that their mother died a brutal death at the hands of Dick Solomon from Third rock from the Sun? In a Mickey Mouse mask of course, how else? Shockingly, this ill-advised idea doesn’t get the effect he might have hoped for and Astor accuses him of being emotionless, storms off shouting “I wish you were dead”, and locks herself in a car. Dexter takes Astor’s cutting comments to heart and decides everyone would be better off without him. Gathering the few things that anyone needs to start a new life, “A fine suit of clothing, the tools of your trade, and some token of your past; a reminder of who you really are”, he sets sail to pastures new.

The episode is interspersed with guilt-ridden flashbacks to Dexter’s first date with Rita, when he was more concerned with catching a nameless killer than connecting with the woman who would one day become even more important to him than even his dark passenger. And after a run in with a random scumbag involving a brutal murder with an anchor – guess who murdered whom – Dexter decides maybe everyone isn’t better off without him and rushes to attend Rita’s funeral.

It’s a departure from the usual ‘Dexter formula’; there’s no nemesis, no planned kill and not even a mention of trinity. Of course there’s still an – albeit unplanned – murder and plenty of dialogue to set up the characters’ dynamic for subsequent episodes. It’s an even more introspective episode than usual, and although seemingly not a great deal happens, in reality, every action undertaken by every character in this opening instalment has far-reaching consequences for the rest of the season.