Dexter: The Sixth Season [Blu-Ray]

Dexter: The Sixth Season [Blu-Ray]
Not that the previous five seasons have always smoothly navigated the turbulent waters of plausibility or narrative cohesion, but compared to the half-baked proselytizing and cheap plot devices littering Dexter's spiritual awakening this season the past inconsistencies look keenly balanced. Recognizing just how forgettable last season's gang-raping motivational speaker and revenge mentorship angle was, the writers avoid all mention of Lumen, opting instead to mawkishly remind viewers of the emotionally shattering horror of season four's Trinity Killer and the fraternal ties of the Ice Truck Killer while Dexter Morgan explores the potential value of normalcy. As a father with unquestionably atypical proclivities, Dexter's paramount concern is that his son be perceived as a regular, all-American child. This means positioning Harrison to have a Christian upbringing, even though Dexter has no personal background or belief in an almighty. To shoehorn in as many biblical themes as possible, Miami's top blood spatter analyst finds the potential for redemption in the example of born again former convict Brother Sam (Mos Def, tempering the preacher's steadfast belief with un-sanctimonious readings of how the divine can be described), and hunts a duo of fanatical killers hell-bent on bringing about the apocalypse by staging tableaus from the Book of Revelations with their victims. Colin Hanks and Edward James Olmos make a laughable team as the "Doomsday Killers"; it's almost as if Hanks's nervous over-acting is meant to compensate for Olmos's expressionless delivery, but the disparity only exacerbates the sense of staginess. No amount of elaborate murder can compensate for an unbalanced cocktail of crapulence and apathy. The side drama in the Miami Metro Police Department fares better this season, for the most part at least. Increased focus on Debra Morgan's rise in the ranks is a boon, thanks largely to Jennifer Carpenter's continually refined performance. It certainly doesn't hurt that this also spells less screen time for Lauren Velez's exasperating Lt. LaGuerta. Even more so than in previous seasons, there are too many extraneous and unnecessary plot threads competing for attention, with every character, no matter how minor, getting caught up in some form of improbable drama. With abrupt and inexplicable tonal shifts throughout the season and a lazy twist cribbed directly from that movie we're not supposed to talk about (second rule, same as the first), it's looking like it's time for Dexter to hang up his knife and plastic wrap. As usual, the only special features included with these 12 episodes are generic cast interviews and a few episodes of other Showtime programs the network never tires of cramming down the throats of captive viewers. (Paramount)