The fourth season of the acclaimed show Dexter introduces a new twist to the dramatic thriller. With a new baby in tow, being a serial killer becomes more complicated than ever for the charismatic protagonist, Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall). The show started out as an adaptation of the novel Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay.
The show returns with Dexter continuing his vigilante actions which, as always, are policed by his embedded moral code.
During the day Dexter seems like a normal guy who works as a blood splatter analyst for the Miami Metro Police Department, but at night he moonlights as a serial killer, killing criminals who have escaped the punishment of the legal system.
Triggered by trauma from his childhood and training from his adoptive guardian, Dexter believes he is bringing justice to the world by killing those who have harmed or severely hurt others.
Consequently, Dexter becomes an undetected serial killer, who is able to clean up after each murder by using what he knows about crime scene investigation from his job.
This season, Dexter juggles his impulsive urge to kill and his new cliché, suburban family. The premiere episode, entitled “Living the Life”, aired Sept. 27 at 9 p.m. on Showtime. The episode focused on Dexter’s new victims as well as his new baby.
Several scenes in the episode highlight the contrast between Dexter’s roles as a new father and a serial killer. In one particularly disturbing moment, Dexter sings his baby to sleep over the phone while looking at gruesome pictures of the crimes that his latest victim has committed.
Dexter’s target, a man who beats his victims to death, is an especially important and personal kill for Dexter. The man was allowed to walk on his murder charge because a sleep-deprived Dexter brought the wrong files to court, preventing him from effectively testifying against the criminal.
This season shows more of Dexter’s humane qualities while keeping his well-established persona alive. The first episode has already managed to have viewers hooked, especially with the addition of the “Trinity Killer” (John Lithgow) a psychopathic killer who has been killing people in sets of three for over fifteen years.
The opening scene showed the Trinity Killer murdering a young woman in a bathtub. As the Miami Metro Police Department becomes more involved in investigating the case, Dexter becomes more interested in making the Trinity Killer one of his targets.
Dexter also features several intricate and dramatic subplots, including one which focuses on Debra (Jennifer Carpenter), Dexter’s younger sister. The season premiere shows Debra hunting for more information about her deceased father, who seems to have had his fair share of secrets that he took to the grave.
Other supporting characters have their own subplots, making each episode a complex and incredibly dramatic look into several people’s lives. Dexter has such a strong supporting cast to work with that it is able to create multiple interesting stories at once. The strong narration and creative writing pull the show along smoothly, ultimately resulting in an action-packed hour that leaves audiences dying for more.
The premiere definitely ended with a bang and opened up dozens of questions that will inevitably create plot twists and increase the series drama as the season continues.