The first thing you hear is his voice. It’s his voice that draws you in. Those soothing Bari sax tones are familiar to us by now, and we welcome them despite knowing of the monster behind the soft words. Dexter the virtuoso is back, really and truly, minus the hitches brought on by fatherhood and tremendous grief.
Season six opens with Dex taking down two organ-harvesting paramedics at once with the quickness. Clearly our antihero is himself as he defibrillates them to death with a big smile in the comfort of their own ambulance. The main plot-line of the premiere is Dexter’s 20-year high school reunion. One can imagine how aloof and unpopular Dexter would be in those times given his proclivities and intelligence.
So Dexter goes to his reunion, but not just to see who got fat. Dexter has targeted the ex-jock who killed the only girl who was nice to him in high school. Dexter uses his newfound popularity (due to his cool job, tragic events, and good looks) to lube the situation in his favor (there’s a pun there). Mission accomplished, and Dexter scores with the prom queen.
Meanwhile, Colin Hanks and Edward James Olmos look to be this season’s arch-villains, killers with a religious angle and a quotable knowledge of Revelation. Olmos, who also has a great voice, plays the Jedi to Hanks’ Padawan.
Then (sigh), there are the side stories or the needless filler in between what happens to Dexter. I will give the writers credit, sometimes they weave those split-hair thin subplots into the main story eventually somehow, but it is always a slog to get through. Especially when the same writers this season clumsily and unceremoniously break up Angel and LaGuerta, tossing out hours of said needless slog. Like Dallas ‘dream season,’ but without the dream, I felt cheated even if I didn’t really care about their relationship.
The excellence of Michael C. Hall’s portrayal of the madman among us is what carries the show, however, and Dexter looks to have his chakras aligned, such as they are. Last season was fairly weak, with Dexter seeking self-help from an acme brand bad guy. Jordan Chase, like season three’s Miguel Prado, was just a sociopath. These new killers show promise, you can tell by the enthralled/enamored look in Dexter’s eye as he combs over the first murder scene, whose grotesque details I will not spoil. Not coincidentally we see Dexter examining his own religious beliefs that with luck will converge with the new players, and culminate into a proverbial dueling of banjos featuring Dexter’s balmy Bari sax and Olmos’s weathered pipe organ (and although Olmos has taught him well, Colin Hanks is not a virtuoso yet). Sounds good so far.