Why Dexter saved itself from being its own victim.

This post contains spoilers of Dexter's fourth season.

When the third season of Showtime's hit drama Dexter began in the Fall of 2008, it had already reached its peak. This is not good for any television show to have reached its peak by the end of the second season. The second season concluded with anti-hero Dexter Morgan (Six Feet Under's Michael C. Hall) eluding capture by the authorities and murdering the only living person who knew his true identity as Miami's most dangerous serial-killer, dubbed the Bay-Harbour Butcher. It seemed there was nothing left for Dexter Morgan - he had outsmarted his greatest threats. Already by the end of the second season, a formula for the program was beginning to show. Dexter would evade someone who threatened his secret and murder the major antagonist of the season. He murdered Lila in the season two finale in the same way he murdered his brother Brian in the finale of season one. Only two years into the series, it already appeared repetitive.

So I released a great sigh of disappointment near the beginning of season three when Miguel Prado (Jimmy Smits) learnt Dexter Morgan's secret. It appeared the cycle was repeating itself. And so it did for the remainder of the season, in an unbelievably mundane fashion. Miguel learnt Dexter's deepest secrets and so it was no surprise when Dexter killed Miguel in the penultimate episode. The show was on its deathbed, as it appeared like there was no where else to go. It would take a near miracle to save Dexter from the annals of failed television series.

Discussion continues here.


Default avatar cat
Dec 23, 2009 8:41AM EST

I think Dexter's killing of the Ice Truck Killer and Lila were VERY different things - the "formula" didn't show until season 3.

Dec 27, 2009 10:03AM EST

Yeah totally right their, s1 was the revealing of his bro and watching dexter remember everything of his childhood. Episode 2 was good as he was totally different with him cheating and meeting an arsonist murder gf then being so close to getting caught. Season 3 was all about him having an actual friend who knew all about him but who went overboard. This season's last episode has honestly lost me because i certainly don't want to watch after this as it was toooo much i think, I though debra was going to die I HOPE HE WAKES UP FROM THIS NIGHTMARE AND IT WASNT REAL

Default avatar cat
Dec 28, 2009 12:55AM EST

As much as I hated the ending too, I don't think it's going to be a dream. Fans would just be too outraged that they had been cheated like that. And in the video shown on Showtime after the episode, Michael C. Hall and John Lithgow confirmed her death.

Default avatar cat
Jan 18, 2010 5:04AM EST

I agree as well, S1 & 2 awesome. Number 3 was poor and it really angered me, but you have to remember all American Tv series around that period where "messed up" due the MASSIVE writers strike. Season 4 though... beautiful, the death of Rita has as shocked the shit out of me. I really hope it was a dream, and wouldn't feel to cheated as long as they explained it amazingly with an awesome narrative!I didn't think Debra was going to die, but did think she was going catch dexter in action of his true ways. Debra is to important to the story line, but then again i thought Rita was too! The idea of Single father of three... serial killer seems a bit ridiculous to me. Did the character who plays Rita get a new job or something? The ending however good it may be just doesn't seem to add up.

Default avatar cat
Jan 18, 2010 9:23PM EST

Julie Benz who plays Rita didn't get a new job prior to being killed off, she was just informed shortly before getting the script for the finale that she died in it. She does now have an upcoming arc in Desperate Housewives, but not a main cast role.
I think the show needed a major 'game-changer' to keep something going, so the show would still be alive after the phenomenal show put on by Michael C. Hall and John Lithgow together all season. Their individual Golden Globes were well deserved. I think the next season could be about Debra looking into Dexter's past, and I think there will be a lot of questions from the police, e.g "Why did the Trinity Killer murder your wife?" I certainly hope their isn't a huge time lapse between season 4 and 5 because if this is all swept under the rug I will be extremely annoyed.
Although the series doesn't follow the book storylines exactly, there are hints to be found in the books as to where the Debra/Dexter story line could go, but I don't want to spoil it for anyone.

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