Friday, June 28, 2013

Dexter: Ranking Seven Seasons


With an early start to the final season of showtime’s Dexter just two days away, I have decided to take a look back at our favourite serial killers exploits, adversaries, triumphs and tragedies by ranking each season from the ones that nearly butchered the series to the bloody best the show has offered over the last seven years.

#7 Season Six
Despite some visually creative and gruesome crime scenes offered by the seasons villains, watching the Miami Metro Police Department puzzle over the identity and motives of serial killers for an entire season in spite of the audience being privy to this information from the beginning made for a tedious 12 episodes. A predictable twist taking much too long to drop, uninteresting sub-plots involving the supporting cast (Batista goes through a mid-life crisis? Fascinating…not!) and a bizarre and twisted ‘love’ realization do not help the already infamous sixth year.

#6 Season Five
A relatively weak ending and overall predictable plot involving the then-becoming tiresome 'villain of the season/someone is close to catching Dexter’ narrative prevent this season from ranking among the best, however, the inclusion of Julia Stiles as the complex and fascinating Lumen Pierce, guest star Peter ‘Robocop’ Weller and the involvement of a group of villains rather than the standard lone adversary allowed for enough of a shake-up to keep the story interesting, suspenseful, and of course the entire cast continues to deliver excellent performances.

#5 Season Three
In spite of a slow start, the third season does not deserve the status of being one of the weaker entries of the show in this writers mind. Jimmy Smits delivers an outstanding performance and to date remains one of the most interesting characters to grace the series. Granted, very little else about the season is memorable, however, sometimes all it takes is one captivating relationship between two characters such as Dexter and Miguel Prado to keep a season going, especially when the writers take it in intriguing and surprising directions.

#4 Season One
The very first season remains one of the shows best. Often a freshman series has trouble finding its legs and does not hit its stride until the second season once the kinks have been worked out. While the show has evolved over the past seven years, very little needed to be changed from the first season. Introducing us to a cast of colourful and captivating characters with a cleverly written murder mystery and overall fascinating concept of a serial killer who hunts other serial killers, the first season is a prime example of how to write a great crime drama.

#3 Season Two
In spite of only being the shows sophomore season, the writers brought Dexter Morgan to arguably his closest call yet! With the FBI and Miami Metro attempting to solve the case of the murders for which Dexter is responsible, the writers delivered a new and enthralling obstacle for Dexter to overcome each episode. With the inclusion of a love interest, a cat mouse game between Dexter and perhaps his most relentless foe, Sergeant Doakes, and a deep look inside Dexter’s murderous tendencies, season two remains a complex and rousing entry into the show’s catalogue with perhaps the most surprising conclusions to each of the season’s stories.

#2 Season Seven
By the time Dexter entered its seventh season, criticisms towards the show included the tiresome ‘villain of the season stories’ and lackluster material for the supporting cast. The writers must have taken this to heart as this season’s villain, Isaak Sirko, remains interesting and suave enough to keep viewers engaged even before the writers switch course with his relationship to Dexter by taking the “Big Bad” storyline in a whole new direction, all while introducing a new love interest, played by the stunning and talented Yvonne Strahovski. Both characters allow Dexter to explore himself further while forcing viewers to re-examine their support of Dexter and his code. Additionally, while some of these storylines end up going nowhere, the supporting cast is given a great deal to do and Jennifer Carpenter delivers her best performances yet this season. Let us not forget that game changing, heart pounding and suspenseful season finale!

#1 Season Four
Not only is this the greatest season of Dexter, but it remains one of the best seasons of television. Period. John Lithgow captivates and terrifies as the seasons villain: The Trinity Killer. Dexter forms an intriguing relationship between his foe that involves them being both friends and opponents simultaneously. The writers continuously throw in plot surprises and character development that keep us stunned and engaged. The supporting characters were involved in the main storyline and were allowed to be explored further. Of course, who can forget that gut wrenching ending that left this writer filled with high emotions and a sickening feeling as though someone had punched me in the stomach. The series has always (sixth season excluded) had talented performers, skilled writers, and top notch production value…however this was the year that every single aspect of the series was at its absolute best!

Where will the eighth and final season of Dexter rank? Tune into Showtime this Sunday as we begin to watch the thrilling and intriguing story of Dexter Morgan come to a close to find out for yourself!

1 comment:

  1. I completely agree with this list except for I would switch season 3 and 5 around. I loved all the seasons except for the 6th season. The seventh season for me was just amazing especially after my lost confidence of the sixth season. The 6th season did offer an interesting finale that set up the second best season of the series. Season 1, 2 and 5 were just amazing and kudos to 5 for being as good as it was considering that its predecessor season 4 was the best season of any television show PERIOD!!!!! Trinity to me is the Hannibal lecture/Norman bates of the television world. Hands down the most chilling serial killer of all time and the ending tossed my emotions into oblivion, that I still have not recovered from.........I still haven't seen season 8 just because I don't want this journey to end,,,,,DEXTER please don't r.i.p and come back again!!!!!