Dexter Season 3: Cutting Deeper Into the Mind of TV’s Favorite Killer

22 03 2010

Season 1 had the Ice Truck Killer, Season 2 had the Bay Harbor Butcher (and Lila), so, naturally Season 3 has a resident serial killer. But, thankfully, Season 3 of Showtime’s Dexter doesn’t fall victim to rote formula. Sure the season has a main baddie, but things are a bit more complicated – and viewers appreciate the added depth. Here’s the breakdown:

Dexter finds himself deeply intertwined with the powerful Prado family, in particular, Miguel Prado, Miami’s Assistant District Attorney and a role model for the local Cuban population. As Miguel starts to get dangerously close to becoming Dexter’s first real friend, Dexter must also come to grips with the next step in his relationship with Rita – children and marriage. Not to mention the horrible killings of Miami’s new serial killer, the Skinner.

The Monkey: After the first two seasons of Dexter, it seemed hard to believe a third season could deliver new thrills and interesting plot lines that wouldn’t feel recycled. But viewers love to be pleasantly surprised, and Season 3 does just that.

Minor Spoilers Ahead

By taking a deeper look into Dexter’s psyche and his personal relationships, the show takes a different approach to the familiar “serial-killer-kills-serial-killers” plot that fans of the show have come to expect. Jimmy Smits does a fantastic job of playing Miguel, foil to Dexter. His presence in the series opens up new doors that Dexter, and viewers, didn’t even think would be possible. Can Dexter really have a friend? An ally? An accomplice, or even a partner? While viewers might know the answers to these questions deep down, the progression of the season leaves things to chance and shakes up the Dexter world enough to keep old and new characters interesting and multi-faceted.

As with Season 2, the guest stars of the season shine brightly. Jimmy Smits was thoroughly enjoyable and the tense tete-a-tete between him and Dexter towards the end of the season were some of the most suspenseful moments of the series so far.

While the last two season finales have failed to satisfy, the end of Season 3 felt much more natural, the events unfolding as they should. Dexter is finally faced with new challenges and decisions and his human side makes several revealing appearances that leaves viewers excited for what Season 4 has in store.

The Weasel: While I usually gripe about Deb, she actually surprised me this season by engaging in a relatively adult storyline, curbing her annoyance considerably. Instead, it was Rita that took the cake for annoying character of the year. Sure she’s pregnant, but her constant naiveté and overall inclusion in the series is waning. Season 4 better find a way to make Rita more relevant (besides acting as the supposed tenuous link between Dexter and the real world) in order to please viewers and keep the Dexter/Rita relationship believable.

The Skinner plot line felt a bit forced, as if the writers suddenly realized they didn’t have a main serial killer baddie and decided to add him in – and what would Deb and the rest of the Miami PD be doing without a killer to chase? The fact that he played second to Dexter’s more personal story lines was smart, however.

A surprisingly strong follow up to two great preceding seasons. In fact, the interesting and unpredictable nature of this season made it much more enjoyable than Season 2. And the “almost-a-cliffhanger” ending makes me eager for Season 4!

4 Death Stars out of 5

What do you think? Was Season 3 a satisfying chapter in the Dexter series? Could the Miguel/Dexter relationship have worked out under different circumstances? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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One response

22 03 2010
Cassandra Okamoto

Oh my gosh you finished!!! ha ha I completely HATED Rita that season too… but then fell back in love with her in Season 4 :/ Deb always annoys me but I really liked Anton ha ha and was just so happy to not see ANYMORE scenes of her and Lundy, double ew. Oh & guess what… I read that it has been confirmed that Season 5 is going to start up exactly where Season 4 left off, crazy!

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