Sunday, August 17, 2008
Written by Senora Bicho
Good versus evil, how easy is that to define? Rick Warren recently hosted a discussion with Barack Obama and John McCain and asked the question “Does evil exist and, if it does, how should we deal with it?” Both candidates agreed that evil does exist, but is evil always so easy to identify? The second season of Dexter delves deeply into this issue and raises far more questions than it answers.
Dexter is the story of Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall) who works for the Miami Police Department as a blood-spatter analyst. He was orphaned at a young age and raised by Harry Morgan (James Remar), a police office who recognized his tendency for violence early on. Instead of trying to change Dexter, Harry decided to channel those urges for good and instructed him to focus his desire to kill on only the most heinous criminals. So by day he uses his talents to catch them and at night kills those that got away.
In season two, Dexter starts to question what he is doing. He wonders, “Am I a good person doing bad things or a bad person doing good things?” When the police discover his underwater dumping ground, a large manhunt that includes the FBI begins. Sergeant James Doakes (Erik King), who has been suspicious about Dexter since season one, is also on his tail, desperate to find out what he is hiding. As Dexter tries to follow the investigation and worries about being caught, he starts to learn more about his dark past too.
Deb (Jennifer Carpenter), Dexter's adoptive sister, continues to suffer the after-effects of her relationship with the Ice Truck Killer from the previous season and moves in with Dexter, but she manages to find a new more normal love interest.
Dexter’s relationship with Rita (Julie Benz), the divorced mother of two, gets more complicated, and he is forced to enter rehab for drug abuse to cover up his real addiction. A new character to this season, Lila (Jaime Murray), becomes his sponsor and ends up doing more harm than good. Keith Carradine and JoBeth Williams also join the cast.
Hall is the foundation of the show and without him the show would not be nearly as interesting. He is a wonderful actor who is perfectly cast in the title role. I was initially concerned when I heard that he was going to be the star as I had only seen him previously in Six Feet Under. While he was terrific in that show too, it was a vastly different role and I wasn’t sure he would be able to pull off this character. However, he has exceeded all of my expectations. You are able to see and feel Dexter’s struggle, learn to truly care about him and even come to cheer him on. The supporting cast is also stellar and each character brings in their own demons and issues to the story.
The DVD collection includes all 12 episodes but leaves a little to be desired in the special features department. Showtime is more interested in reaching new subscribers than in making the fans happy. They offer a $25 rebate and include two episodes of their other series: Brotherhood, The Tudors and Californication. The DVD case claims that the bonus content available online includes a Michael C. Hall podcast and interview; however, at the time of this review it was not available. Even if it was why should true fans have to have Internet access to be able to access the only items of real interest? Instead of trying to force shows on me that I don’t care about or that no one else is watching, focus on what the Dexter fans care about: new and interesting information. I have no problem with Showtime trying to bring some attention to their other shows but that should not be their only concern. I own several collections of HBO series and they include commentaries, behind the scenes documentaries, and much more. Take a lesson, Showtime. It won't kill you.
Season two of Dexter was even better than season one and provided a lot of excitement, interesting storylines, and raised thought-provoking questions. If you were one of those viewers who only saw the show on CBS, now is your chance to see it complete and unbutchered. Season Three starts on September 28th but considering the shenanigans by Showtime in regards to this set, I am not encouraging you to become a subscriber.