|written by Scott Buck / directed by John Dahl|
starring Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, Colin Hanks, Edward James Olmos,
David Zayas, C.S Lee, James Remar, Lauren Vélez & Desmond Harrington
It was entertaining to see Dexter in this unusual context, giving us a few insights into his adolescent life (he was a whizz at dissecting animals in biology class), but it also reminded me how far the show's slipped from its chilling first two seasons. It's part of the show's curse that its lead character can't help getting appreciably more funny and likeable, as we're so desensitized to Dexter's acts and the twisted morals behind them. In some ways Dexter Morgan's fallen prey to the same problem that Freddy Krueger encountered in the '80s, and it perhaps won't be long before he's delivering one-liners as he injects bad guys in the neck.
I'm not very excited by any of this season's (very mild) shake-ups, either. Masuka (C.S Lee) now has a group of forensic students following him around like geeky ducklings (including a Hurley-from-Lost lookalike and Heroes' Brea Grant), which doesn't seem to add much beyond some more comedy. Seemingly bored of having to write tedious romantic scenarios for Angel (David Zayas) every season, the writers have now divorced him and given him a sister he's uncomfortable around in public because people might think they're lovers; LaGuerta (Lauren Vélez) has been promoted by blackmailing Captain Matthews (Geoffrey Pierson) with evidence of him sleeping with prostitutes; and Quinn (Desmond Harrington) is thinking about popping the question to Debra (Jennifer Carpenter). All changes that do very little to excite me about the season ahead.
Overall, it's not that I strongly disliked "Those Kinds Of Things", but it wasn't a particularly strong start to the season. It was okay. It just irritated me that so much was almost entirely focused on concerns that feel specific to this one episode (the high school reunion), and it didn't spend much time on events or characters that will assumedly be the season's real focus. Given the extensive five-season recap that opened the episode, and the lightweight tone to many scenes, it was almost like this marks a new start for the show and it's adjusting to be more of a black comedy. (Case in point: Dexter killing two paramedics using their own defibrillators, hahaha) If true, I'm not so keen on that. The show always had its gallows humour (mainly with Dexter's wry voiceovers), but it was never too prominent. I hope the remaining episodes get back to making the show scary again, as best it can given the difficulties inherent with keeping the show's premise raw and uncompromising.
What did you think? Are you happy or worried about the sixth season, based on this premiere?
- This premiere was Dexter's most successful yet, with an impressive 2.2 million watching live. This number rises to 2.8m when you include its repeat and the online/on-demand audiences.
- I noticed a few soundtrack changes which weren't very good. The show's original music by Daniel Licht is fantastic, and he's been recycling most of its cues for five seasons, so it's about time it got refreshed. But was Licht behind these new tracks? They didn't sound very Dexter-y to me.
- Any early theories about things relating to this episode? Is Angel's sister going to be killed, or discover Dexter's secret? Will Matthews get revenge on LaGuerta? Will Deb and Quinn get married? Who was that gunman in the restaurant, who just appeared from nowhere and started shooting? What is Gellar hoping to achieve?
- Has Dexter's methodology changed somewhat? The paramedics weren't killed in a conventional way, and no plastic wrap was used in the ambulance. Are the writers shaking things up because they're bored of the usual kill rooms?