Note: Many spoilers follow. You have been warned.
The sixth season of Dexter begins with a stabbing. And it’s not one from Dexter to a killer who deserves to die; it’s Dexter being stabbed himself. A bloody knife in his hand, a gash across his chest and a call to 9-1-1 make it seem like Dexter may be out of the game for a bit. But it’s all a setup, and a very good one at that, for Dexter’s next two victims. Both of them are paramedics, helping some patients live but making sure others die so they can harvest body parts. Now that Dexter has them, they won’t be partaking in anymore dirty deeds.
After the loss of his wife in season four and the departing of Lumen last season, Dexter adjusts to his life as a single parent. Angel’s sister, Jamie, serves as his babysitter for Harrison while Dexter is working. Harrison is just about to enter pre-school and Dexter has to attend the interview process.
The pre-school is a private Catholic one. When asked if Dexter is Catholic, he declines. He also declines to the other religions the nun asks. When asked what he believes, Dexter replies, “nothing.” This leads Debra to ask what he meant by that. Dexter ponders not just what he believes, but his faith. He was never raised in a religious household. Does he feel safe putting Harrison in a place like this?
At Miami Metro, Laguerta is promoted to captain and Angel is promoted to lieutenant. The two divorced last season, but, in this episode, they still seem like close friends. Debra and Quinn are still dating as well. Masuka begins teaching a class about forensics and brings his interns into the station. One is blonde, fully developed and perky and she attracts the attention of the male staff.
While Dexter wonders about religion and if there truly is a God, we are introduced to this season’s new killers. They are Travis Marshall (Colin Hanks) and Professor Gellar (Edward James Olmos). They are boating around in the swamps of Miami, fishing for a pregnant snake which becomes part of their plan. Later in the episode, we see the two killers strike a fruit stand vendor and kill the owner. Blood is found, but there is no body. However, there are intestines in the weight scale, these killers like to leave a tease.
Dexter gets ready for his 20-year high school reunion. He doesn’t care about seeing all the people from his past, he hated high school. “It’s a miracle I graduated without killing anyone,” we hear in his narration. He’s planning to make a kill here though. The former prom king, Joe Walker, is on his list.
Joe killed his wife, also a former classmate of Dexter’s, and made it look like a suicide. As he tries to make his way toward his subject, people stand in his way. They all want to know what he’s been doing, and they are all very sorry for the loss of Rita. One of his former classmates tells him he was the last man she ever dated and she is now a lesbian. One tells him that she had a crush on him and from the looks of it, she still does. Dexter seems to have become popular, even though he never was in high school.
The body of the fruit stand vendor is found later just on the edge of the ocean. When Miami Metro investigates, the body has a Greek symbol stitched around the stomach. Inside the stomach are the snakes. Masuka brings one of his interns (not the cute one) to the scene of the crime and the intern faints. There go his chances of working with blood and dead bodies.
At a restaurant, waiting for their dinner to arrive, Debra and Quinn try to discuss Quinn’s recent behavior. As fans recall, Quinn was following Dexter around last season suspecting him of possibly being a killer. Quinn makes a break to the restroom to calm himself down and in the bathroom, he pulls out a ring and practices his proposal to Debra.
Shaky and nervous, Quinn keeps trying until he stops struggling. Before he can even walk out of the bathroom door, a gunman enters the restaurant and opens fire. Debra takes cover and returns fire. Quinn comes out of the bathroom to help. The gunman is subdued and both characters seem to be alright.
After one failed attempt and several interruptions, including fellatio from a beautiful former classmate, Dexter has finally captured Joe. When he has him in custody, the obvious questions arise. “Why’d you do it, Joe?” being one of them. As Dexter gets ready to make the kill, he finds a tattoo of Jesus on Joe’s chest. Dexter questions Joe’s belief in Jesus and why he committed such a forbidden crime. When Joe starts babbling on how Jesus forgives, and how he will be forgiven for the murder, Dexter puts an end to it.
The final moments are spent with Dexter questioning religion and questioning whether he wants to commit himself to believing. We then see Travis and Professor Gellar discussing the murder. Travis recites a line from the Bible that is related to their kill. Their murdering spree, or religious quest as some may see it, has begun.
Last season got off to a rocky start when the writers tried to find a way to wrap up the Rita story and move on. The season five premiere wasn’t bad by any means but it just didn’t feel like a normal Dexter episode. The pacing was a bit off and the emotions toward Rita’s death didn’t seem entirely convincing. The season got better as it went along, but it wasn’t the best of Dexter.
This season seems like it’s off to a better start. This episode had a much faster pace, many humorous scenes, great comedic narration from Dexter and some pretty tense moments. Michael C. Hall still delivers a wonderfully deadpan performance as the oddball investigator by day, killer of other killers by night and the other actors are at the top of their game as well.
The introduction of Olmos and Hanks was an almost silent and eerie approach. We hardly know who they are, other than religious people on a murdering spree. It’s creepy and both actors deliver great performances, despite their small screen time in this episode.
Overall, it was a strong start for the show and although not much insight was gained as to where we’re headed, I’m still looking forward to seeing what the writers have in store for us.