So, while this won’t be very comprehensive, Dexter (Michael C. Hall) is certainly worth a mention. The show is currently in its Seventh Season, and I’m distraught at missing it, but (as with other shows) my plan is to be caught up by season 8, which is the show’s final season.
For those that don’t know, Dexter Morgan is a serial killer. So why watch him? Well in short, because motive is everything. Dexter, having experienced brutality as a toddler, when he watched his mother murdered, has spent life with a “Dark Passenger”. To sum it up, he gets great satisfaction, and a feeling of being whole when he kills, but his late adoptive father Harry Morgan (James Remar), helped train Dexter to control his urges, kill only those deserving (like serial killers, and those that are an unrepentant danger to society), and how to keep himself from getting caught. Despite the fact that Harry is dead, we see him quite frequently, as a sort of Jiminy Cricket to Dexter,
appearing here and there in each episode offering Dexter advice on anything from how to clean up his messes, to dealing with people, and even with raising Dexter’s son Harrison, who Dexter has to raise alone because his wife Rita was murdered last season by a serial killer Dexter was going after. Also in the Morgan family, is possibly my favorite character Debra (Jennifer Carpenter). When it comes to Deb though I have to generally take her in small doses. I have this issue with accents, for example if I watch Justified (new season and related posts to begin in Jan 2013), I end up with a southern drawl, or if I watch Doctor Who, I some how start talking with a British accent. I can’t help it, and it only stops when someone points it out. Debra Morgan does not have an accent, but she does have a mouth that would likely shame a sailor,
So while the above was pretty spoiler free, what follows is specific to Season Six, and full of spoilers.
Season Six found Dexter searching for answers and religion around every corner. As a Christian I found myself annoyed here and there when the writers got it wrong, when it comes to what it means to be saved, and who Christ is, but overall they were pretty fair, especially for a cable show addressing religion (don’t even get me started on this season of American Horror Story…oh wait I did get started on that…). The main killer went by the nick-name The Doomsday Killer, a mentally unstable young man literally hell bent on causing the apocalypse by murdering people and offering them as signs and sacrifices to God that the end of the world may begin. It should be noted that my main annoyance was non-existent by the end of the season, because we the audience were led to believe that the work was being done by two individuals, Colin Hanks, and Edward James Olmos, the latter supposedly being an end times scholar, James Gellar, gone nuts, and Travis (played by Hanks) a misguided student aiding him. I repeatedly asked my T.V. (yes I also yell at other drivers on the road), if Gellar’s a “real” end times scholar, why, even as a crazy man, would he believe that he could cause it? Turns out, he didn’t. Turns out Travis had wanted to start the apocalypse, and had killed Gellar three years prior, when he first tried convincing Gellar to start it all.
Throughout the season Dexter was repeatedly confronted with questions regarding life and death, why religion should be a part of Harrison’s life, and the value of forgiveness. There’s a particularly amazing scene where he ends up killing a man he’d been asked by a victim to forgive. Dexter did try to forgive the killer, but because of his gloating unrepentance, Dexter can’t stand to let him live. While I normally cheer (as others do) when Dexter gets his man, the writers were superb at bringing myself, along with other audience members, to feel saddened that Dexter gave in to his anger, and his “Dark Passenger”
The season ended of course, with Dexter getting his man, it may feel a bit formulaic, but we love it every time. The big difference this season (and the big difference we ALMOST got last season) was his sister Debra catching him as he killed the Doomsday Killer.
I can’t wait to see next season. And even though Dexter hasn’t completely sorted out his feelings about God and fatherhood (though he was zeroing in on it), and remains faithful only to his “Dark Passenger” I remain faithful to Dexter, because the show has delivered every season.