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DEXTER: THE SECOND SEASON
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Reviewed by: JimmyO

Directed by: Various

Starring:
Michael C. Hall
Julie Benz
Jennifer Carpenter

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
After the death of his brother, Dexter Morgan finds himself not able to kill. His inability to reign his own brand of justice isn’t helped by his girlfriend who begins to question him, and of course, the chance of being caught when his handiwork is discovered at the bottom of the sea. It seems as though things are getting tough for America’s favorite serial killer.
Is it good movie?
Dexter was inspired and uniquely fascinating during it’s first season. The search for the Ice Truck Killer and the continuing players that surround this strange man… a man who is hiding a vicious monster deep within was a terrific introduction. It was hard to imagine that a series this powerful would hold up as well for the second year. But luckily, there is always such a thing as good imagination. The second season of Darkly Dreaming Dexter not only lives up to the first, but expands on it’s universe in a oh so satisfying way. It all begins with Dexter (Michael C. Hall) dealing with taking the life of The Ice Truck Killer, aka his brother, and saving his foster sister Deb(Jennifer Carpenter) from the monster. It seems he is having some trouble exacting his brand of justice after killing the only one who understands him. And as the season progresses, everything gets even more complicated. When his girlfriend Rita (Julie Benz) confronts him in regards to possibly being involved with drugs (I won‘t go into the reasons, but trust me, it worked), she forces him to go to rehab. There, Dexter meets a beautiful and seductive woman named Lila (Jaime Murray) who complicates his life in a very dark way.

There is so much happening in this second season. And frankly, all of it works. Jaime Murray is a find as Lila. She is just as enticing for the audience as she is for Dex. She reminded me very much of Helena Bonham Carter in Fight Club and in the beginning, her character functions much the same way. But it is not just her that really bring this season up a notch, I loved Rita’s (Dex’s girlfriends) growth. From a woman who is stepped on and abused to what she becomes in this season was an extremely satisfying turn. Julie Benz really shines here as she stands up to Dexter and she even stands up to her mother, played by the wonderful JoBeth Williams. And along with Ms. Williams, there is also a fantastic character named Lundy who is played with absolute charm and believability by Keith Carradine. Lundy is brought in to help find a new serial killer in town, one that seems to be killing off some pretty bad men. Can you take a guess at who he might be? And yes, both of these two players bring a lot of trouble to our man Dexter.

This is such an impressive cast. Everyone I’ve mentioned does terrific work here including the lovely Jennifer Carpenter as Deb. I also have to mention Erik King as Doakes. You think he was a danger to Dex the first year, wait until you see him this time around. In the last few episodes, both Hall and King share some really captivating moments together. And Doakes plays a major part in the outcome of where in the hell this dark journey will end. As does Lila. It may sound convoluted but it is far from it. There is some really strong writing going on here, giving real life to these characters that author Jeff Lindsay created. As with the first season, it all looks and sounds better than most of what you get on television. This is a smart series that explores the mind of a sociopath with good intentions. While it is not as graphic as you would think being on SHOWTIME, it is not the gore that keeps you involved. I found myself hooked early on wondering how in the hell they can get to season 3 from here… you’ll see what I mean when you check it out. If you are new to the world of Dexter, I highly recommend it. I also apologize about the first season spoiler. Dexter is a must watch.
Video / Audio
Video: This 16.9 transfer is as good as you could hope. It is clear and looks as if you have a damn good cable hook up.

Audio: Also pretty terrific is the 5.1 and 2.0 Dolby Surround. I’m happy that they made sure that this DVD looked and sounded good enough to kill for.
The Extras
And now the bad news. I love Dexter. In fact, it is currently my favorite show on television. So when I get Dexter, The Second Season, I would really like to know more about him. But no, it seems that SHOWTIME feels the need to sell us all of their other television shows. You get two second season episodes of Brotherhood. And if you pop the last disc into your computer, you can watch the first two episodes of The Tudors season two, and Californication season one. Don’t get me wrong, I actually enjoyed all of these shows. But I would have been much happier with a few commentaries, and maybe a little more behind the scenes for the series itself. It seems like SHOWTIME is desperate to get subscribers. Hell, they even give you a twenty-five dollar rebate if you order the channel.

As for what we do get that actually has to do with the series, you will have to check it out on your computer and not your television. There are a small handful of interviews with Michael C. Hall, Erik King and Lauren Velez (who also shines this season as Laguerta). I liked each of these interviews, but it is terribly annoying that I have to watch them on my computer and I can’t just pop it into the DVD player. I guess if you have everything hooked up which many people do, it’s all good, but I don’t.

And finally, you get more from Mr. Hall. I have become a really big fan of Michael, he is a really talented fellow and has offered up some truly original work in this and of course Six Feet Under. So for those of you that dig this guy, there is a Michael C. Hall Podcast for the fun of it.

Please… Showtime… for Season 3 give us MORE DEXTER! That is the show people are buying and that is the show they want to know about. Sure you can add on the other shows too, that is a nice plus. But that should be an “extra” extra, not the main course (the only extras that are actually on the disc are the “Brotherhood“ episodes.
Last Call
I’m happy to say that Dexter The Second Season was able to excite and compel just as much as the first time around. In fact, I think it was an improvement over the first season, which says a whole lot. Not only has the wonderful Michael C. Hall been able to expand this truly fascinating character, but the supporting players have become a much richer part of his world. I think every actor involved has been given a chance to shine this time around. This is a smartly written show that seems to be getting better. I can’t wait for Season Three. In other words… this is one killer season.
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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