Nobody Said Being A Serial Killer Was Easy
The troubled existence of Dexter Morgan, blood spatter analyst for Miami Metro Police by day and serial killer by night continues and this time he has a lot of juggling to do. Sergeant James Doakes takes his suspicions about Dexter to the next level and he still has Rita and her kids to keep happy and away from his huge secret. Most urgent though is the arrival of FBI special agent Frank Lundy, a successful serial killer hunter, and this time they're looking for Dex. To make matters worse his sister Deborah has been damaged psychologically by the events at the end of the last season.
Season one set the bar very high, I'm pleased to confirm that season two is also excellent, maybe not quite to the standard of the first but very close. The plot in the first season was very focussed, with the occasional sub plot to show what makes Dexter tick. Here we find multiple plots working around one major one. It is a credit to the show's writers that they can pull it off.
The first season was largely taken from the first Dexter Book by Jeff Lindsey, here they make their own path. That's not to say they haven't taken elements out of the other books, in fact the Doakes plot is taken partly from the second book, but the main plot here is not and the outcomes are different.
The secondary plot is a spanner in the works for Dexter as he gets involved with femme fatal, a dangerous obsessive stalker who doesn't realise what she's getting into and takes Dexter's attention away from where it should be, Harry's rule number one, don't get caught.
Michael C Hall is again superb as the serial killer we're all rooting for, casting him was definitely inspired. James King is also excellent as the suspicious and impulsive Sgt. Doakes, he gets a lot more screen time and is an excellent nemesis for Dexter. Keith Carradine (brother of David) is also superb as Agent Lundy, the FBI's star serial killer hunter, his relationship with Deb is surprisingly well done. Dexter certainly has his work cut out this time.
Jennifer Carpenter also returns as Dexter's long suffering and foul mouthed adopted sister, scarred by events in the first season, she is excellent again this time. James Remar returns as Harry, Dexter's dead father who is still his ghost guide to not getting caught, and Julie Benz as Dexter's pretend girlfriend Rita along with her two children and round off the main cast very well.
The mostly inept police department is still filled with the usual suspects from the last season, Vince Masuka (C.S. Lee) and Angel Batista (David Zayas) return with scheming lieutenant Maria LaGuerta (Lauren Velez). They are back and putting flies in Dexter's ointment at every turn.
It's also great how they explore Dexter's birth as the pieces of what happened to him to make him become what he is slowly unfold, this did start in the first season but is really fleshed out here. It really adds a lot to the depth of Dexter's character.
I love the music in Dexter, It really fits in without being too noticeable. It's written by Daniel Licht apart from the title music. It's very eerie at times and at others very Spanish in style fitting with some of the Cuban references in the show. There's some different music added this season and it fits in perfectly with the style of the series.
That they manage to squeeze everything into twelve episodes is amazing, there is very little fat. It's a very worthy sequel to a very successful first season. You'll be rooting for Dexter at every turn, he's not all bad after all.
Main Cast List
Michael C. Hall - Dexter Morgan
Erik King - Sgt. James Doakes
Jennifer Carpenter - Debra Morgan
James Remar - Harry Morgan
Julie Benz - Rita Bennett
After becoming obsessed with Dexter Season 1 and watching episode after episode, I immediately ordered the Season 2 boxset from Amazon. This is because Dexter itself constantly has amazing amounts of plots, you can't simply watch one episode, it always leaves you wanting to watch more. It was around £17 when I bought it, however now there has been many series so the boxset has reduced in price to around £10.
Dexter is still pretty much the same as he was in the first season, dealing with the Ice Truck Killer from the first seasons aftermath. He still kills those that he feels has wronged the world usually murderers, using his position at Miami Metro Homicide to find out about them and follow them, making sure he is never caught. Dexter abides by the rules that his father, a police officer, set in him known as "The Code", which prevents him from killing the innocent.
The television show itself doesn't feel like a show when you're watching it, it feels more like a small movie similar to the Walking Dead or Sopranos due to the incredible acting, filming, directing and ever changing plotlines of individual episodes. This season of Dexter, was incredibly tense, as we see that the place at the bottom of the ocean, where he has buried all the bodies of those he's killed over the years, has been discovered.
The killer, unknown to the press that it is Dexter, is dubbed the Bayharbour Butcher, and the Miami Metro Homicide unit are out to find him. Dexter is a part of this investigation and every episode he is faced with a race against them to cover up the murders and prove that it isn't him. This isn't his only problem throughout the series, as he is faced with inner turmoil to. His father, Harry, regularly appears and talks to Dexter from his imagination, showing us the battle within Dexter to hide his dark side, or Dark Passenger as he calls it. The series raises many questions throughout, such as Is this the season Dexter gets caught? Will he be able to stop his Dark Passenger?
From episode 1, season 2 delves straight into tense plotlines, immediately putting Dexter into a race against his own discovery. Throughout the whole series, you are constantly kept on the edge of your seat hoping he isn't going to get caught (which is quite odd considering that he is a serial killer, but you can't help but empathise with him). Not only are you faced with great dark drama, but there are also lighter aspects to Dexter.
Aside from all of Dexters side activities, you see how his relationship with Rita has become strained as he tries to balance his work, Dark Passenger and Rita together. In this series, the plot entertwines with more of the supporting cast and they are definitely more included than they were in series 1 for example the audience follow Deborah's romantic life, and are given more of an insight to who she is as a character to. A new cast member, Agent Lundy, is introduced to Miami Metro, and although he isn't a main part of the storyline, I thought he was a great actor.
Season 2 doesn't step away from the first person format shown in the previous season, and the audience still have the amazing commentary provided from Dexters mind. While dark at times, he can also be quite humourous, and the way that Michael C Hall delivers it, is truly fantastic. I prefer this style of commentary as we get a real insight to Dexter himself and Michael C Hall is great at portraying his character even through words.
I didn't really buy the DVD for the special features included, but when I had some time to kill I watched a few of them. There is some trivia for the season, a couple of interviews and a lot of factfile type things such as describing Dexters tools he uses.
I would definitely recommend anyone who loved Season 1 of Dexter to watch Season 2. It really finishes all the unresolved parts that were left hanging from the finale of Season 1, and you don't want to miss it. Unfortunately Dexter isn't a show that you could just start watching and understand all of the plot, even though it does have a handy what happened before at the start of the episode. An amazing combination of actors that provoke so many emotions from you, great locations and directing and plotlines that are forever changing and never get stale makes Dexter a show not to be missed. With romance, drama and a thriller what more could you ask from a television show.
Dexter Series Two
Michael C Hall -Dexter Morgan
Jennifer Carpenter -Detective Deborah Morgan
C.S. Lee - Vince Masuka
Lauren Valez - Lieutenant Maria Laquerta
David Zayas - Detective Angel Batista
James Remar - Harry Morgan (deceased father to Dexter and Deborah)
Erik King - Sergeant James Doakes
Catch ups online
DVD box set Amazon £10.99
Dexter is a bloody splatter analysis by day and a serial killer by night. He tracks down and disposes of those who escape the police. Dexter has a girlfriend Rita who has two children Astor and Cody from a previous relationship. Dexter also has a sister Deborah. Deborah is the daughter of Dexter's adopted father now deceased Harry Morgan.
In order to keep his secret undercover Dexter has adopted a "normal" lifestyle he is a hard working, friendly, reliable honest Miami citizen. Only one person dislikes and suspects Dexter; Sergeant James Doakes. Series 2 is all about the police tracking down the Bay Harbour Butcher aka Dexter Morgan as the police investigations continues Doakes suspicions increase and he starts tailing Dexter with sever consequences.
Series 2 diverts from the novel in terms of its plot. In some ways is a shame as I would have liked to have seen Dr Danco from the novel brought to life on screen; however not to fear this series in no way disappoints.
The first episode ends leaving your jaw wide open. Dexter is sat watching the news and a breaking story comes in that a deep sea diver has discovered an underwater grave yard; Dexter's grave yard.
This mind bending twist really gets you thinking how will he get away this time. Of course the Miami police have no idea who the killer is. The media dubbed the killer as the Bay Harbour Butcher. Miami Metro find themselves in deeper than they can handle so Detective Lundy from the FBI is brought in, a specialist in the art of hunting serial killers. Lundy is equally as intelligent as Dexter and a worthy adversary.
This on screen battle of wits really captures your attention and keeps you in suspense all the way through. But this is not all this series has to offer no.
Sergeant Doakes's dislike for Dexter has become stronger since series one to such an extent he loaves dear Dexter to his very core. So much so that Doakes starts to tail Dexter and track his every move; not the greatest of idea from Doakes.
But you would think that's all that's enough just to keep you going, oh no no no indeed there is more, much more. Dexter gets involved with another woman a very dangerous and disturbed woman. Rita's (Dexter's girlfriend) ex husband shows up and pushes Dexter a tad too far.
All of these stories do meet very nicely towards the end, building for a nail biting tense finish with Dexter battling with his morals and stringent code he lives his life by. Will Dexter finally go to Old Sparky?
And I have not even touched on how Deborah has reacted to nearly being hacked up by Dexter's biological brother Brian Moser.
I am quite critical of TV series and normal bore after a season as I feel the stories have run their course and become predictable. Dexter however I must admit is quite possible the best I have ever seen. Series two build on series one and is even better. This is an extremely difficult thing to do to captivate your fans again for a further season.
The tense storylines keeps you enthralled, the acting is superb and the way it has all been brought together I just can not fault it.
We delve further into Dexter's personal life really find out more of the characters that surround him bringing you as a viewer closer to Dexter.
Despite reading the novels and the varying storylines this is a fantastic edition to an ever growing in popularity story of Dexter Morgan.
If you like crime, mystery, love, sorrow, and action then believe me this is the show for you. It is great from start to finish.
Simply brilliant development based on a fantastic novel.
I hope that you have found this review of interest and it helps in your decision whether or not to purchase for yourself or a gift for a friend. I can assure you now, I recommend this to all friends and family and so far no one has said it is not worth seeing.
I imagine that anyone reading this review of Dexter Season 2 will have some familiarity with the basic premise of the series, but if not, here's a short recap: Dexter Morgan is a 30-something blood splatter expert for the Miami Metro Police. He's also a serial killer. Presumably due to events explained in the back story of Season 1 he is empty of emotion, and has an unnatural need to kill people. However, in order to control himself he follows the guidelines laid down by his foster father, Harry. One rule is never to kill someone unless they deserve it. Another is to never get caught.
Season 2 was, in my opinion, better than Season 1. We have the same regular cast of characters - Dexter, Debra, Angel, Vince, La Guerta, Rita, and Doakes, plus a couple of new characters.
Season 2 opens in the aftermath of the catching and subsequent death of the Ice Truck Killer. A new stash of bodies have been found, in bin liners at the bottom of Miami Bay. The big difference now is that these are the remains of Dexter's own victims. In essence he finds himself hunting himself, which of course poses a number of problems as he tries to keep the others off his scent while still appearing to do his job.
The characters again are excellent and have great chemistry. We see a deeper side of Doakes as he relentlessly trails Dexter, convinced that Dexter knows more about the Ice Truck Killer than he lets on. Debra is still brilliantly dork-cool, Vince more wisecracking than ever, Angel still trying to be smooth, and we can even feel sympathy with La Guerta, who was more of a hate object in the first series. Of the new characters, Special Agent Lundy is a calm FBI agent with a love of Chopin and lunch at 1 o'clock, who becomes Debra's new love interest, while Lila is a British nutcase convinced she is Dexter's soulmate. The only character that annoys me is "perfect girlfriend" Rita, she's just too sickly sweet.
Of course, the most interesting character of all is Dexter, who, starting to feel emotions for the first time in his life, finds mistakes creeping into his "work", making him struggle harder than ever not to be caught. This season presents a curious dilemma for the viewer - to like or hate Dexter. Eventually he wins through but for several episodes in the middle of the series you actually find yourself wanting him to get caught.
Overall Season 2 is extremely well written in a similar vein to Season 1. The plot is ongoing throughout the series with very few subplots involved, unlike Season 1. We discover a lot more secrets about Dexter's past, and my only consideration is where does the series go from here? I heard that it's currently on to Season 6.
If you liked the first season you'll like this. Again, there's a lot of swearing, some violence and gore, and a bit of nudity. Nothing an adult can't handle!
Also on ciao.
The second season of Dexter is without a doubt, one of the finest stretches of television that I have watched in a long time. Dexter is one of the rare series on television that has a cinematic quality to its storytelling - like the Sopranos, you feel as if you are watching an extended film due to the quality of the acting, filming and the intricacies of the plotlines. While, as with all television and film reviews, spoilers are best not included, this overview of season two of Dexter may have some slight references to plot points from the first season.
For those not acquainted with the show, it deals with the life of Dexter Morgan - a blood splatter analyst for the Miami Metro Homicide Department. By day, he helps solve murders, but by night, he himself is a deadly killer. Yet he is not like any of the felons he brings to justice at work. His Father, picking up on his murderous tendencies, trained him with a 'code' - a set of principles which means that Dexter only kills those who truly 'deserve' it. This can lead to a lot of mental turmoil, as Dexter must unravel the dark lives of his victims before he can convince himself to end their lives.
Season two, for me, is the most intense of Dexter as his stash of bodies at the bottom of the ocean are uncovered. The 'Bayharbour Butcher', as he is dubbed by the press, is investigated and Dexter must race to make sure his own department do not succeed in inadvertently uncovering his true nature. Meanwhile, he struggles with questions regarding his Father's code - is Dexter controlled by his own 'dark passenger', or is it possible that he will one day grow strong enough to control it?
I really enjoyed the first season of Dexter, however, it was not until seven or eight episodes in did I truly become enthralled with the plotlines. It felt a little too episodic, and there weren't enough threads linking each week together. This problem is immediately rectified by the writers, with the first episode immediately establishing a sense of peril and danger towards Dexter. It may seem quite odd for someone who has not seen the show that the viewer may feel empathy or concern for a serial killer. Yet, without a doubt, I felt my heart pounding in my chest whenever his secrets were close to being uncovered. Such intense characterisation and sympathy is difficult to cultivate under such unconventional circumstances, but I really felt that the first person narration (well-timed and never too intrusive) helped me really get inside the protagonist's head. Dexter is one of those really clever shows in that you feel your own morality and principles turned upon their head and challenged by such a complex character.
At times, such dark drama series can feel a little draining, and so the writers weave in comedic sub-plots and romantic encounters to keep the supporting cast pre-occupied. This, for me, is where the strength in the series lies. Season two is when you really start to feel like there is an ensemble cast, each actor being incredibly skilled and adding something to the plot. While in season one, they felt a little like spare parts (besides Dexter's sister), you suddenly become more and more concerned with every member of the Miami Metro.
I have to praise Michael C. Hall (Dexter) and Julie Benz (Rita) for their portrayal of such a fragile relationship between two, very different characters. Benz plays Rita with so much vulnerability and warmth, that you begin to really believe why Dexter would be tempted to settle down and have a family. As the season progresses, the domestic dramas for Dexter become almost as compelling as who he has tied up on his table.
There are so many plotlines started up earlier in the season, which are never conclusively resolved, meaning that they eventually converge into the perfect storm for Dexter in the final few episodes. The frantic atmosphere as the character juggles so many commitments, people and places are so intense that I was able to watch three episodes in a row. That appears to be the major flaw with Dexter - you can't simply watch one episode and forget about it for a couple of weeks. It compels you to finish the series very quickly and start the next.
Without a doubt, the explosive finale comes up with some unexpected and creative ways to resolve existing plotlines and initiate a compelling premise for season three. You get a sense of closure and also a need for reprise - which to me, is how any good TV season should end.
Dexter is without a doubt one of the best written TV shows out there today. The sprinklings of dark comedy, detective drama and romance also keep the premise from getting too stale. The impeccable cast and clever dialogue mean that every character will provoke a reaction from you, stopping you from passively watching the television and making you truly invested in the lives of the characters you're watching. Out of the four seasons of Dexter on DVD, season two is in my opinion, the best. It's priced fairly, retailing for just over £10 - however, some of the later seasons are a bit more expensive as they have been just released on DVD. While the quality of the series is incredibly high, you might want to wait a while before buying Season 4 (and inevitably Season 5), which some stores will try and sell you for £25 (not worth it, for only 12 episodes).
Without a doubt, one of the darkest, most enthralling and most brilliant seasons of the best show on television right now.
This season takes a different direction to the first, which is refreshing as it seems to focus less on Dexter's killing, and more on his crises of moralitywhen it appears as though he might get found out for what he really is.
We see Dexter begin the season as somewhat of a family man, he is happy with Rita and the kids, and is content with his life - that is until some divers discover his underwater burial site, and Rita discovers that he may have had something to do with her ex-husband being back in jail.
The walls begin closing in on Dexter as the FBI are called in, and evidence is found that could lead them to him. He also finds himself being tailed by the ever suspicious Dokes, who is convinced that Dexter is hiding something.
Dexter gets himself involved in an extremely irritating character this season, to say much more than that would give several parts of the plot away -but if you watch it you will know to whom I am referring!
Although this season takes a different direction to the first, the viewer is still left with the confusing feeling that they want Dexter to get away with his murderous habits, and the hope that he does not get caught!
This season continues from the aftermath of season 1. Dexter has just killed his brother the "ice truck killer". Trying to continue his life he gets closer with his girlfriend Rita but he can't get back into the swing of things as "Sgt doaks" is suspicious since catching him in an incriminating position last season. Throughout this season we see Dexter mistaken for a drug user, being seduced by a psychotic sponsor the brilliant Lila then frame Sgt Doaks for all his old murders. Mean while his sister Deb climbs up the career ladder and meets special agent Lundy who's been brought in to capture the "bay harbour butcher" AKA Dexter,
Like the last series writing is dark, witty and well paced. This season we start to see a more human side to Dexter which adds intrigue. The acting is superb throughout with a great addition to the cast in Jamie Murray as Lila.
The DVD set include many extra features including an animated blood slide and tool collection, a game, featurettes on the music and a few commentaries. This is more than you get in most box sets.
** I always try to avoid putting spoilers in DVD reviews. However, this review contains some information about Dexter Season One, so if you've not seen the first season and plan to, then you probably shouldn't read any further! Oh, and this is a programme-only review **
** Synopsis **
Dexter's back! Florida's favourite serial-killer-serial-killer is still a Miami Metro police forensics expert by day and a dark avenger by night, cleaning up the city's trash with his bag of surgical instruments and reams of duct tape. Season Two (made in 2007) carries straight on from Season One.
With the Ice Truck Killer case still a recent and painful memory for the Miami Metro Police, and especially for Dexter and his policewoman sister Deb, another large-scale murder investigation is launched after divers discover a cache of dismembered bodies on the ocean floor off the Miami coast, which are all attributable to the same killer, nicknamed the Bay Harbor Butcher. This time the case is so high-profile that the FBI are called in to assist, and Dexter finds himself increasingly out of his depth, making his troubles in Season One seem a mere trifle. This time it looks as if it's just a matter of time before our hero's murderous secret will be revealed. As if that weren't bad enough, Dex has relationship problems, two stalkers and even more shocking family secrets to contend with. Meanwhile Deb is haunted by her brush with death in Season One but manages to take her mind off it by concentrating on her burgeoning career and, of course, new men.
** My opinion **
If I start by saying that I watched all 12 1-hour episodes in less than a week, I think that will convey just how gripping this series is. This is one of the cleverest, most thrilling crime dramas I have seen in a long time, and Season Two had me on the edge of my seat from start to finish.
I didn't think the plot could be more exciting than that of Season One, but the writers managed to make this season even more shocking and full of twists, while not forgetting to add a large dose of humour to the mix (this mainly stems from the sharp contrast between Dexter's public and private lives). The action is a little less routine than Season One, which had Dexter killing someone is almost every episode in the same ritualistic way - this time round he is forced to be a little more inventive as new events require his to act more quickly and think on his feet. Every episode brings new dangers with it and the tension is almost unbearable at some points - after some episodes I was literally unable to sleep until I had seen the next one.
Michael C Hall continues to pull off the all-important pivotal role with absolute virtuosity and the camaraderie and chemistry with his actor colleagues, particularly Jennifer Carpenter (who plays Debs) and David Zayas (who plays Detective Angel Batista) is plain to see. I was also pleased to see a new young actor playing Dexter's girlfriend Rita's son Cody; since her children are in every episode it's good to have child actors that aren't completely wooden. I was also greatly impressed by the performances of Erik King (Sgt. Doakes) and Lauren Velez (Lt. Laguerta), who are very believable in their roles. The addition of Special Agent Lundy, a detective called in to lead the Bay Harbour Butcher investigation, is a good way to keep the Miami Metro police's team dynamic fresh, and it also adds a twist on the station's internal politics, which form heir own sub-plot.
So were there any bad points? Well, yes. The plot really is far-fetched, and while I don't mind that too much, there were a few moments where I thought the characters wouldn't really behave in that way e.g. not locking their cars, being careless with keys/ weapons etc. - some things seemed a little contrived. These aren't big things on their own but when considered as a whole they weaken the tightness of the writing, in my opinion. The actress who plays Rita looked as though she might have had too much facial surgery since the previous season, which I found quite distracting, especially when she had one eyebrow way higher than the other on an immobile forehead. It confused me as she looked worn out and sad in most scenes, even when she wasn't supposed to be.
By far he worst thing about this series was the addition of the British actress Jaime Murray, playing the enigmatic character of Lila. While she's not supposed to be a very sympathetic character, I found Murray's gruesome portrayal (accent wavering between Lady Diana and Lily Allen, constant pouting, faux-dramatic pauses, heavy breathing and talking through her teeth) so off-putting that I almost considered stopping watching it early into the series.
I'm glad I persevered, though. In spite of the few annoyances mentioned above, I think this is a brilliantly clever, witty and entertaining series, with some of America's best current television actors.
I was introduced to the first series by my mates and found myself being hungry for more so when series 2 came out the newly formed Dexter club (other friends that are Dexter nutters) sat through the whole of series 2 over one weekend. Seriously guys if you thought the first series was good this one will completely blow you away.
This is the second series of the Emmy Award winning North American television drama series. The show is based on characters created by Jeff Lindsay for his series of Dexter novels and was adapted for television by Emmy Award-winning screenwriter James Mano's, Jr. The series is set in Miami and follows the life of Dexter (Michael C. Hall) a normal guy who works for the Miami Police department as a blood expert but who also leads a double life as a serial killer.
Well if you thought season one was good you'll be blown away by this one. Dexter is loosing the plot and appears to be falling apart and seems to be struggling to complete his work as a serial killer. A new love interest enters his life and appears to understand him and excepts him for who he is but ends up becoming more trouble than she's worth. Dexter's relationship with girlfriend (Julie Benz) is on the rocks. The stress levels hit the roof when his secret dumping place for his victims bodies is discovered and the FBI send their best man Special Agent Frank Lundy (Keith Carradine) to investigate and Dexter may have met his match. If Dex hasn't got enough problems intuitively paranoid Sergeant Doakes (Erik King, Oz) is hot on Dex's trail.
Just when you think it can't get any better it does. The first series took some beating but this is just as good if not better. This series is so intense as you see the walls closing in on Dexter and you just can't imagine how on earth he will escape justice. I just love the whole concept of the friendly serial killer who is doing the world a favour by getting rid of the scum and is just trying to live a normal life but is feeling the stress levels. Who said being as serial killer wasn't stressful in this series I'm surprised he doesn't get an ulcer.
Having sat transfixed through the first series of Dexter and feeling huge disappointment that I had come to the end of the story I was quick to order season 2 from Amazon with some Dooyoo earned vouchers. I was slightly apprehensive before settling down to watch it as I had read mixed reviews about season 2 with some people commenting that it didn't match up to the magnificent first series, however I needn't have worried as Season 2 was just as good, if not better than its predecessor.
This time round the police are on the hunt for the 'Bay Harbour Butcher' following the grisly discovery of dismembered body parts that have been discovered at the bottom of the sea. Unfortunately for our hero, the butcher is in fact Dexter himself as his attention to detail and meticulous planning didn't take into account the discovery of his stash of body parts.
On top of this Sergeant Doakes is still following Dexter everywhere he goes which leaves Dexter feeling frustrated and stifled, he cannot satisfy his urge to kill and when the FBI bring in a team of experts intent on discovering the Butchers identity it appears that it is only a matter of time before Dexter is rumbled and his secrets finally revealed.
If life wasn't complicated enough for the conscience-free Dexter he is having problems in his relationship with Rita; his girlfriend, and makes an uncharacteristic rash decision that results in a drastic change in his personal life. An introduction to someone who claims to be able to see the man behind the mask gives Dexter the opportunity to finally reveal more about himself and by doing so he discovers some details of his mother's murder and the relationship he had with his mentor and Foster father; Harry.
There are some revelations that even Dexter himself isn't expecting and as the series hurtles towards its shocking finale there are going to be some uncomfortable moments in store for the murderous blood spatter analyst.
As the same faces are back in this season there is no need to waste time in telling us, the viewer any back stories or history and indeed, the first five minutes of the opening episode give a concise recap of the events in season 1 and then its straight into the action. The style and episode direction are the same and there are no startling changes to the dynamics between the main actors so it's back to business as normal (or as normal as it can be when the hero is a serial killer)
All the main characters are back and as the focus of this season is the FBI trying to identify the identity of the press-nicknamed 'Bay Harbour Butcher' we get to learn more about Dexter himself. More details about his childhood are revealed and further revelations about his mother's murder and Foster fathers 'code' are explored and explained.
Michael C Hall once again gives a flawless portrayal as Dexter and the narrative 'voices in the head' are often witty, cruel and deliver some great one-liners whilst commentating on the chaos that is going on around. All the supporting characters are well defined and play a significant part in the season with strong performances from all. There are unlikely relationships that develop which catch you off guard and you end up wondering how it's all going to pan out.
What I love about this series is that it is never predictable, there were some subplots that I thought I had worked out how they would develop and rather than going for the straight forward way out the writers and director throw some curveballs into the plot which takes the action in a direction that I would not have expected. There are many twists and turns throughout and I have to say that I was completely caught off guard with last two or three episodes and a grand finale that well and truly blew me away.
What had been established in season 1 was built upon and developed further in this season and even though I absolutely adored my introduction to Dexter in season 1 I would go so far as to say that this season was overall better in my opinion. I was lucky that I had managed to watch the whole season without reading any spoilers and I would certainly recommend that you watch this without reading too many reviews or comments that reveal any important details as your commitment to the 12 episodes will be well rewarded.
Now that I'm up to date with the region 2 DVD releases I am waiting in anticipation for season 3 to be released and will be buying it as soon as it is available. For me, Dexter is one of the best TV series to have come from America and I am a firm fan and ardent follower now. Rated as an 18 for violence, sex and bad language, it certainly doesn't hold back with ample helpings of all three!
A perfect 5/5 Dooyoo star rating from me, it's a must watch serial for any horror/thriller fan that enjoys an intelligently written, superbly acted drama that provides twists and turns during its 12 episode run.
Highly recommended by me and available from Amazon for £12.98 or slightly lower from Market place. Thanks for reading my review.
Season two of Dexter, the show about a blood spatter analyst who moonlights as a serial killer of evil doers, finds Dexter suddenly thrust under the microscope. His underwater graveyard is discovered by a diver and the FBI's top serial killer hunter is sent to investigate. As the season progresses the police come ever closer to discovering Dexter's true identity. On top of that, Dexter's relationship with Rita hits a rough patch as she starts to believe he's taking drugs and he is being stalked by an increasingly suspicious sergeant Doakes.
Now, I'm going to go against the grain a little bit here. Most fans of the show would argue that season 2 is even better than the outstanding season 1. In terms of character development, script and pacing, I would agree. Especially compelling is the character of Deborah Morgan as she tries to overcome the trauma of her relationship with the ice truck killer.
The problem I have with season 2 is the main plot. If this was the last season of Dexter then the plot would be perfect. Last seasons of a show generally have an all-bets-are off, anything goes, approach to them and there would be a real chance that by the end of the season Dexter would be ousted as the mass murderer that he is. However this isn't the last season of Dexter, it's only season 2 and as such the viewer knows that the chances of Dexter being found out are pretty slim. That's not to say that it isn't fun to watch Dexter furiously try to avoid detection, its just some of the tension is lost as the viewer knows that no matter how close the cops come to unmasking Dexter, in the end he will somehow wriggle out of it.
Plot quibbles aside, Dexter season two is a very entertaining season that further develops the characters and relationships introduced in season 1. If you enjoyed the first season then you're going to enjoy this.
I got the season 2 boxset on my birthday in Auguest this year, and it was the first time I watched these episodes; I know I'm dragging my feet in catching up, but it was so worth the wait.
In Dexter's second season we find him frustrated at not being able to exercise his needs as Sergent Doaks is stalking him. He is also struggling to deal with the fact that he killed his own brother at the end of last season, someone who could really understand him.
He eventually meets someone else who understands him more than he would like her too, Lila. Lila seems to make him nervous and is a threat to him keeping up his 'happy family' life he has become so good at.
The main plot throughout the season is catching the 'Bay Harbour Butcher', who of course is Dexter, and a name he hates he has been given.
The more the season progresses, the more tense Dexter becomes, and in turn, the viewer begins to sweat for him.
Things I liked about season 2 was how we were able to see Dexter become more human; his protector status for the kids and his worry over Rita for example.
I really didn't like the character of Lila at all. And I was upset at the death of Doaks.
Dexter is one of Showtime's flagship programmes, and helped them become an established American TV network, with other shows like Weeds and The L Word also helping. Dexter revolves around Dexter Morgan (brilliantly played by Michael C. Hall), a blood spatter analyst working for the Miami PD, but he has a dark secret: he is also a serial killer, but the twist is that he only kills "bad" people, and those who have wronged (usually murdered) others and escaped justice.
Dexter Season Two begins in the aftermath of last season: The Ice Truck Killer, revealed to be Dexter's brother, has been ridden of, but another problem emerges: the Miami PD have discovered the body parts that Dexter has been dumping in the harbour for years, and have deduced that a new serial killer is on the loose, who they have dubbed the Bay Harbor Butcher, when in fact of course, it's just Dexter. Things get more complicated when dilligent Seargant James Doakes noses around, believing Dexter to be the Butcher but not yet having sufficient proof to do anything with his suspicion.
Meanwhile, Lila Tournay (played by Hustle star Jaime Murray) meets Dexter when he is forced to attend Narcotic's Anonymous meetings to cover up to his girlfriend Rita what he's doing when he goes out to kill, kick-starting a strange tryst between the two which links him ultimately back to Doakes in a thrilling conclusion.
This is the show's strongest season: it builds well with suspicion surrounding Dexter, while also featuring a brilliant appearance by Keith Carradine as FBI Agent Frank Lundy, who falls for Dexter's sister Deb. It has drama, it has violence, and even a tragic hero fall at the end: this is great TV and the best that the show has to offer.
Dexter Season 2
The second series of Dexter continues the story of Dexter Morgan (played by Michael C. Hall). He is the Miami Police Departments Blood Analyst by day and serial killer of murderers by night. While serial killers don't usually have rules Dexter lives by a code given to him by his father, Harry, so he only kills people who have harmed others and gotten away with it.
The second series of Dexter deals with the fallout of his encounter with the Bay Harbour Butcher. Dexter is having trouble completing his work that is his night job. Such hesitation is new to him and isn't exactly the best trait that he needs when trying to secretly kill someone off. Not only is he facing this personal dilemma, but Sergeant Doakes (Erik King) is also upping his interest in Dexter outside of the police station. This relentless pursuit brings Dexter close to the mysterious Lila (Jaime Murray) who also has some dark secrets of her own. These secrets are revealed more as the season continues and she becomes much more than an acquaintance to Dexter. Her introduction brings problems for Dexter and Rita (Julie Benz) but is this a good or a bad thing for Dexter?
I really enjoyed the first season of Dexter so I was looking forward to getting the second series on DVD as quickly as possible. The characters are all detailed and all have their own dark secrets that are being kept. This leads away from the traditional kind of programmes where the serial killer is the automatic bad guy and the police the good people. With Dexter crossing into both sides it makes for a blurring of lines between what is good and bad. There are times when I wasn't even sure who I was supposed to be supporting.
All the cast were picked perfectly. They all fit their roles with seemingly great ease including the newest cast member Jaime Murray whose role grew more and more throughout the series. By the end of it I really believed her storyline. In my opinion, Michael C. Hall and Erik King yet again stole the show with their parts as Dexter and Sergeant Doakes. The interaction between the two is one of the best parts of the whole programme.
I've really enjoyed both series I've seen of Dexter and I am currently trying to find out when I can see the third one! I'd recommend it for most people. The killing scenes aren't too gruesome but there is still some parts that may put off squeamish viewers. It's also not really a programme to watch if there are children in the room but apart from that there aren't really any negatives about it. I'd have liked more programmes in the series but that's only really because I enjoyed these 12 episodes so much. On Amazon its available for £12 so well worth having a look.
Season one of the darkly delightful Dexter introduced us to the life and loves of our lovable serial killer Dexter Morgan. Now back for its second season, Dexter's life hasn't gotten any easier - in fact after an underwater find by some divers Dexter's dubious double life looks set to self-destruct. Will Dexter and Rita find domesticated delight in their deepening relationship, or will he run away with the duplicitous danger that is Lila? Will Dexter's devilish diversion be discovered? How will Deb get over her dementedly devoted lover being the Ice Truck Killer? Stay tuned for season two of Dexter!
When Is Season Two Set?
Season two of Dexter is set shortly after the jaw-dropping finale of the last season, both Dex and Deb are still shocked by the identity of the Ice Truck Killer - though for different reasons of course. Deb is now staying with Dexter as she can't face being on her own and needs to be looked after. Rita and Dexter's relationship has become very strained as Dex tries to mourn the loss of his brother without telling anyone who he was and to cap it all off some scuba divers have found Dexter's deathly dumping ground and the police swoop in to investigate - the police he works with. Awkward, no? Well on the upside, Dexter finally gets his very own serial killer name - The Bay Harbour Butcher - catchy but a worry for our undercover killer.
Any New Characters?
But of course, as Dexter's double life deepens more characters arrive to make things just that little bit more difficult for him. And these two really have it in for him!
Lila (Jaime Murray): Ah, so sweet, so pretty, so undeniably insane. Lila and Dexter meet at his NA (Narcotics Anonymous) meeting and she becomes his sponsor, and his friend. Rita is rather threatened by the British beauty and she has good reason to be. She wants Dexter, and will stop at nothing to get him - even threatening to reveal his dark pastimes to the world.
Special Agent Frank Lundy (Keith Carradine): The crème de la crème of FBI agents, Lundy is sent to Miami to help the police in their search for the "Bay Harbour Butcher". Unlike Doake's this guy is actually good - really good. Has Dexter finally met his match? Will Doake's finally be proven right on his intense paranoia?
It's Alive: It's been a month since Dexter's last kill and that frustration is taking its toll on him, so much so that on his first chance in weeks he finds himself out of practice. Meanwhile a discovery is made that could put Dexter's life in jeopardy.
Waiting To Exhale: After botching his last kill attempt Dexter is determined to get himself back into the swing of things. In seeking out his victim again he is surprised to find that his intended is waiting for him. What will Dexter do?
An Inconvenient Lie: In order to quell Rita's questions Dexter tells her he is an addict (Not a complete lie as he's addicted to killing), and is then pushed into joining a NA 12 step group. So will he stand up in front of others and say "My name's Dexter and I am a serial killer"? Nah!
See-Through: Dexter's NA sponsor Lila and Rita meet for the first time, and Rita is decidedly threatened by her. Rita also has to face a meeting with her estranged mother while Dexter tries to cover his tracks with an FBI agent on his back.
The Dark Defender: Road trip! Dexter finds out that one of his mother's murderers is not only alive but running a pub in Naples courtesy of the witness protection program.
Dex, Lies and Videotape: A copycat killer is on the loose, emulating the Bay Harbour Butcher and drawing attention to things Dexter would rather not have publicly known. Will Dexter be able to stop the copycat before the FBI gets too deeply involved?
That Night, A Forest Grew: Doake's is on Dex's back once more as he tries to confuse the police and get them off his case. Will a manifesto to the Miami Tribune succeed in doing that?
Morning Comes: The FBI agent comes very close to figuring out the identity of the Bay Harbour Butcher due to some bad blood-work. Is it curtains for Dex?
Resistance Is Futile: Dexter's blood slide mementos have disappeared sending Dex into a spin. He thinks his number's up, but is there more than meets the eye.
There's Something About Harry: Doake's explains that he knows the truth about the death of Dexter's father whilst caged, leading Dexter to discover a truth he had never imagined about Harry.
Left Turn Ahead: With Doake's still held captive, Dexter gives himself a day to tie up loose ends before turning himself in to the police. But will he actually do it?
The British Invasion: Dex's NA sponsor finds out something big about Dexter and uses it to her advantage to try and get Dexter back. In the season finale Dexter must make his biggest choices, what will he decide?
Why Should You Watch This?
You should watch this because if you are reading a review about the second season chances are very high that you've watched the first season and been hooked into watching and rooting for the exploits of serial killer eradicator Dexter. And if you haven't, then you are probably very confused by most of what has been said in this review - in which case go read the first and catch up on one of the best drama's still going.
The first season set up the characters, the setting and the back-story for us, now the second season moves past this and onto a question many will have had during the first - what would happen if Dexter got found out? After all it was inevitable that one day Dexter would be found out, as precise and organised as he is, unless you can vaporise you victims into nothing this day was always coming. Oddly though, as meticulous as Dex is, he doesn't appear to have worried too much about that eventuality.
Bad for Dex but great for the viewer as you get to see a new side to the murderous man - he has emotions. He's scared about Lundy finding him out, frustrated at his mess of a relationship, worried about his sister, lusting after his sponsor and mourning his brother. Though he believes himself to be a complete emotionless monster this season proves him to be wrong, and it is amazing to see these sides of Dexter that he can't even see himself. And though he still doesn't feel and act like a normal human being, there are glimpses of it coming through that we as the viewer can see and yet frustratingly he can't.
If you thought that you loved Dexter in the premiere season you will love him even more now, his glimpses of humanity are very endearing and the fear you will feel for him when his graveyard is found will follow throughout the season. You'll also see a newer more vulnerable side of Deb since the season finale; still shattered from the epic finale which almost saw her killed she is softer and less tough than before. Though it isn't nice to see her in such pain the acting is fantastic and shows a new depth to the character who was such a feisty fighter previously.
DVD Info, Special Features And Price
Season two is currently available for the princely sum of £13.68 on Amazon, though if you shop in Asda I'd suggest popping a copy in your basket during your weekly shop as they have it on sale currently for £13 - not a huge saving but think of it this way, that 68p can go towards a big bag of popcorn for munching whilst viewing! It has a running time of 610 minutes which works out at 2.2p (Or 2.1p from Asda) per minute of murder packed thriller.
The special features, though cool are nothing to write home about I'm afraid:
Dexter Victim Slides: Animated menu of Dex's blood slides, choose a slide and a clip of their murder will be shown. Good for jogging your memory on who died and where, but otherwise a little boring.
Trivia Track (Only on episodes 2, 4, 6 and 8): A subtitle track you can enable so that you can read trivia and fun facts about the show whilst watching. Interesting for a second viewing but would be a little distracting on your first view of the season, also is only featured on 4 episodes which is a shame as there must have been more that could've been said.
Trivia Game: A multiple choice quiz that unlocks hidden content that the box blurb doesn't mention. Very cool gimmick, especially good for testing friends but obviously has limited entertainment value after you've all tried it and won.
Code Of Harry: Montage of Harry's code. Interesting as we have only heard bits and pieces about the code throughout the show.
Interview With Rolfe Kent: A very short interview with the composer of the opening title theme.
Cast & Crew Bios: Cast biographies and a list of past and current film/TV projects. Essentially think of it as an IMDB search on each person without a computer.
Animated Stills Gallery: Pretty self explanatory - nice to see but not mind-blowing.
Jeff Lindsay Featurette: Another very short interview, this time with the writer of the Dexter books. A great addiction except for one problem - the word very in my description should be in bold, italics and double underlined. It would have been really nice to see a long interview with the man who made Dexter but perhaps we'll be luckier in the new DVD?
Dexter's Tool Kit: Stills of Dexter's tools and information on what they are used for. Very informative if a little creepy.
After watching the first season I thought it would be impossible to top it, especially after sitting open-mouthed watching the finale. But they have managed to with a surprising second season that kept me on the edge of my seat throughout. I love the character's new depths, the latest additions to the cast and that they didn't do a cop out and set the series much later when everything with the Ice Truck Killer had died down - which would have made for easier writing but a much more boring series. Seeing the fallout of the finale and the effect it had on monstrous Dex was well worth the hard work that went into writing it. The introduction of someone who could really figure out Dexter in the form of Lundy is great, though you may feel a tad guilty that you are rooting for the serial killer to kill what in any other series would be the good-guy hero of the piece. It's okay though, because my love of Dexter Morgan made any guilt fade away fairly fast as I prayed he wouldn't get found out.
This is a must buy for any Dexter fan - but of course any Dexter fan will know that already. However if you've been putting it off stop hesitating and pick it up now, especially if like me you gave up trying to watch it in what was truly the graveyard slot on ITV (not once did it actually start on time from what I could tell!). Channel 4, I implore you, pick up the next season from ITV and show it at a sensible time (perhaps in a double bill with the next season of True Blood...hint hint).
Watch this and roll on season 3!