contains spoilers for the first two seasons.
Showcase has released the third season of Dexter just in
time for viewers who missed it to catch up before season four starts
month. If you've enjoyed the first two
you'll definitely want to catch season three also.
While I enjoyed season two just a tad more
than three, this was still an excellent series filled with mystery,
surprises and plenty of murder.
Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall, Six Feet Under) is a
blood splatter analyst for the Miami Police
Department. He examines murder scenes
and determines where the victim and perpetrator where standing and
movements based on the drops of blood that are left.
Dexter has a secret though; he's a serial
Adopted when he was three after he saw his mother butchered
with a chainsaw and then left trapped with her body for days, Dexter
all the early signs of a psychopath. He
had trouble relating to other people's feelings or even feeling
himself, and killed small animals. His
adopted father, Harry (James Remar), was a Miami police officer and
what was wrong with Dexter. Rather than
trying to change Dexter's personality, something that probably wasn't
Harry decided to channel his son's anti-social (to say the least)
tendencies. He showed him how to blend
in with other people, how to fake being normal so that no one would
what he really is. Harry also instilled
a moral code in the immoral child. He
convinced him that he has to resist his urges to kill and only let
people who deserve it: murderers who are
beyond the law. Harry also trained
Dexter in criminal investigative procedure so that he would know how to
without leaving evidence and to stay off of the police's radar.
It worked well.
Dexter appears to be a normal, if somewhat quite guy. Not event those closest to him, his
step-sister Debra (Hall's real-life wife Jennifer Carpenter), his
Rita (Julie Benz), or his co-workers commanding officer Lt. Maria
Vélez), Detective Angel Batista (David Zayas), and lab tech
Vince Masuka (C.S.
Lee), suspect that Dexter loves to kill people and cut up their bodies.
With everyone thinking that the late Sgt. Doakes was the
'Bay Harbor Butcher' things are still stressful at the Miami PD, but
getting back to normal. Dexter is on the
hunt again, and this time he's tapped a low-level drug dealer who is
guilty of murder who goes by the name "Freebo".
Dexter plans out his attack, setting up a kill room as always,
he arrives at Freebo's house late one night he walks in on a fight. Someone else is trying to kill
Freebo and they turn their knife on Dexter as
soon as he's seen.
During the struggle Dexter kills the unknown man with his
own knife and quickly leaves the scene.
He's called to the scene the next day in his role as a blood
expert and finds out that his victim is the brother of a very powerful
successful Assistant District Attorney, Miguel Prado (Jimmy Smits) who
only a smooth politician but also an old flame of Lt. LaGuerta's.
Dexter is worried that the police will find Freebo before he
does and that the criminal will talk.
Using what he knows about Freebo he tracks him down to his
house, where he kills him. End of
story? Not quite because ADA Prado,
using his connections in the Sherriff's department, has also tracked
Freebo and arrives on the scene just after Dexter has killed him.
Miguel isn't horrified to discover a blood-stained Dexter at
the home of the man he thinks killed his brother. Just
the opposite, he's excited and
happy. Freebo deserved to die, and
Dexter just saved the people of Florida
the cost of an expensive trial. From
that point on Miguel decides to become Dexter's best friend; to hang
him and maybe even learn from him.
Dexter is leery at first, but what would it be like to have a
friend that he could trust with his darkest secrets?
If that's not enough to keep Dexter up nights, he discovers
that Rita is pregnant, and he's the father.
Should she have the child? If she
does what sort of father would he be, and would his child turn out to
monster like he is?
Like the earlier seasons this was a great set of shows,
tightly plotted and well executed. The
various plot lines are well thought out and the program is obviously
out a season at a time. Nothing feels
rushed or half-assed. Everything from Rita's pregnancy to the problems
Debra has with her love life and Maria's feelings for Prado are all
in an efficient manner and then all come together in unexpected ways. There are a lot of great shows being
broadcast but none are constructed as carefully as this one.
The creators made the right choice in selecting Jimmy Smits
to costar in this season. He's an
excellent actor and has done some wonderful work on L.A. Law, NYPD
(my favorite) West Wing. He surpasses
all those roles in this time. He
portrays Prado with just the right mix of slick politician and caring
friend. You're never sure if he's a
villain or a real friend to Dexter through most of the season and
to pull off. He's also incredibly
dynamic and steals many of the scenes that he's in.
A definite asset to this season, he really
makes the show better than it would have been with a lesser actor.
The 12 episodes that make up the second season of Dexter
come on three Blu-ray discs contained in a single-width case. A page in the middle holds two discs (one on
each side of the page so they aren't overlapping) while the third is
to the right side.
Presented with a 1.78:1 1080p AVC MPEG-4 encoded image, this
set looks very good, just as good as season one. There
is a lot of detail in the picture, and
many times the image just leaps off the screen, especially in the
exterior scenes. The acne scars on Jimmy
Smits' face are clear and sharp and gives the actor even more character. The colors are outstanding, reproducing the
lush greens of the Miami
setting as well as the deep red blood splatters that Dexter analyses
care. Some of the darker scenes do have
a bit of grain in them, but this was a minor concern.
The show comes with a 5.1 Dolby TrueHD soundtrack that works
well for the show. Being mainly dialog
based, there aren't a lot of fancy audio effects but the show does
sound to the rears, mainly background music.
There are also some unexpected sound effects positioned nicely
the room a doorbell ringing behind you for example, that are spare but
As with the two seasons, fans of the show are going to
disappointed with the very, very meager bonuses. This
time all of the extras that are
'included' have to be accessed via Blu-ray Live. First
off the early adopters who don't have a
Blu-ray Live enabled player are just plain screwed, as are the people
have their house networked. Also, I have
to wonder how long the content will be available. I
have DVDs that are going on ten years old
that I still enjoy. In a decade is
Showtime still going to be hosting these on-line extras?
I don't think so. The Blu-ray Live
downloadable features include
two episodes of two other Showtime programs, The United States of
Tara and The Tudors, a book excerpt, and
an interview with Michael C. Hall, Julie Benz, Jennifer
Lauren Velez, and David Zayasa. With a
show this good that has a substantial following, there really should be
bonus content. A real disappointment.
After three seasons Dexter still hasn't jumped the shark and
is going strong. As with the two earlier
seasons they tell one whole story with this set of programs, and they
very well. The show also sets up plots
for the next season, something they hadn't done if the past. A great program on a great set of Blu-ray
discs, this comes Highly Recommended.
images in this review are not from the Blu-ray disc and do not
represent the image quality on the disc.