Monday, December 15, 2008

Dexter - Season 3

I found the third season of Dexter to be neither as enjoyable nor as believable as the first two, but it's still a solid show with an edge. It's hard to pinpoint the problem, because there's still a lot of good stuff going on. It just felt less like a show about a serial killer and more like a show about a guy who happens to kill people occasionally. When the show started, Dexter was a cold, mysterious person, with all of his outward niceness a facade to hide his terrible secret. He tracked down and killed criminals because he had an insatiable desire to. By now, he's basically transformed into the nice family guy he was pretending to be, it's just he still has to murder once in a while, but it's usually protecting himself anyway. This is all the result of developing the characters over a period of time and clearly intentional, it's just less of a compelling existence.

The main problem Dexter deals with this season is Miguel Prado, an Assistant DA played well by Jimmy Smits. He and Dexter become close friends, and eventually, he becomes the third person in as many seasons to learn Dexter's secret. And if you've seen the first two seasons, you know what's probably going to happen after that. The problem is that I just didn't buy his character arc as easily as the others. His transition from seemingly normal guy to a big problem to be dealt with is just too quick. He has strong convictions, but it's just not something you see happening that way. The supporting cast does a fair bit of growing and changing itself, and the major case the cops are working on is solid enough, if not as well connected to Dexter as it's been before. Another season's on the way, and I hope they can maintain the show's identity enough while still doing what they want to with the story.

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