After five seasons of Dexter, viewers know the drill. Dexter needs to kill, so he spends the episode tracking a bad guy down while navigating around his work and personal life. Meanwhile, yet another serial killer murders people so Miami Metro is hard at work cracking the case. And in between this, various relationship dramas play out among the characters not named Dexter, always in the most vapid, undeserving ways.
So for those who enjoyed the previous seasons–the false sense of dread, the multiple fake outs, the serial killer per season, Dexter victim per episode–nothing has changed. Dexter is simply a show which is going nowhere. Certainly, the writers could take gambles with the marvelous concept they have, but they refuse to even after years of maintaining the status quo. Alas, I keep watching not for plot but for Michael C. Hall, and part of me always reminds me that the show could be so much more.
“Those Kinds of Things” is as standard as it gets. Dexter goes to his high school reunion to kill a former classmate while traversing this bizarre world where high school status meant nothing. There are some fun moments sprinkled in there, offsetting the expectedness of the kill. Then there’s the rest of the episode–LaGuerta having divorced Batista and been promoted, Quinn about to propose to Deb before a guy shoots up the restaurant–which is as uninteresting as the filler content as ever been. On the plus side, there are two serial killers this season, played by Edward James Olmos and Colin Hanks. Their technique, placing young snakes into bodies, is very grisly, so it’s somewhat better than the generic slasher serial killer.
Thematically, this season is on far shakier ground than the previous season, with an emphasis on religion than someone who can accept Dexter’s dark passenger. The posters for the sixth season portray Dexter as an avenging angel, and it’s a dumb idea, as if Dexter, after five seasons, magically stumbled upon religion and decided to apply it to his extracurricular activities.