When I blogged about Season 1 of Dexter I expressed my concern about quality of the second season. Really good shows which deliver a satisfying conclusion in it’s first season’s finale can often suffer from a sudden drop in quality. I felt that this is what happened to Heroes. I lost interest around episode 3 or 4 of the second season, but kept watching until around episode 10 hoping they will find the spark back. They didn’t. At some point I will need to go back and find out how that season ended, but I’m no longer addicted to that show.
Dexter avoided this fate. In my honest opinion second season actually raised the bar a little bit. The story arc seemed to be more tightly woven. We delve even more deeply into Dexters past and explore his relationships, and see him make difficult choices. The whole season is built around the age old formula of taking a likable character, and then systematically ruining his life, relationships, shaking his belief system and making him question all the values he lived by until now. As the FBI launches a full blown investigation against him, discovers a new way to deal with his dark urges. But this new path leads him to question the code of Harry, jeopardizes his relationship with Rita and leaves him emotionally vulnerable. It is a rolercoster ride from the beginning to the end – and a masterfully written and executed one at that.
I believe that the writers decided to take the show in a completely different direction in this season, and it has very little in common with the second book. But since I didn’t read any of the Dexter novels, they get the benefit of the doubt. I liked this story arc, and I thought it tied in with the events of the first season very well. Since I enjoyed it so much, I will simply choose to believe that the choices they made were correct ones considering the overall differences and departures from the original that they accumulated in the first season. If you think otherwise, please feel free to correct me. I won’t argue against it, since I don’t really know much about the plot in the books.
Just like the first, the second season is a complete chapter and the last episode wraps up all loose ends. In fact, it does a better job of it than the S1 finale. There were still some unresolved issues that the final episode did not answer. This time around, Dexter’s universe gets almost rebooted back to the point where he can start with a clean slate, and a new perspective on life, and his role in the natural order of things. The ending of course implies that Dexter’s story will continue, but leaves absolutely no clues as to what is next in store for him. It really left me wondering what the hell will they do in season 3. They did such a great job at turning Dexter’s life upside down this time around, that they left almost nothing for future use. In season 1 we dealt with a serial killer who knew Dexter’s secrets, and directly threatened his loved ones. In S2 we are dealing with a full blown investigation, an identity crisis, and relationship problems. All of these things get resolved in a satisfying way. Any future threats to his loved ones, possibilities of being discovered or romantic issues may seem like a rehashing material from the previous seasons. So what is left? What is the next big thing that will shake Dexter’s life, and keep us glued to the TV for the next 12 episodes? I was concerned about quality of S2. Now I’m terrified about the quality season 3. I’m afraid that any direction they take from here will seem like nothing more than cheap re-packaging of already explored themes and topics. Keeping the show interesting and addictive will be a true test of skill for the writers. Can they pull it off? I believe they can! I hope they can. But only time will tell.
I don’t think I can say more about the season without letting out huge spoilers. So I won’t. It’s suffice to say that it is good, and that I loved it. If you enjoyed the first 12 episodes, you won’t be disappointed.
[tags]dexter, dexter season 2, tv, reviews[/tags]