Dexter, Season 4

If you haven’t seen this season of Dexter, stop reading now. If there is a stretch of television that you don’t want to ruin, it’s going to be this one.

Season 4 of Dexter is at once horrifying and magnificent. It is shocking, maddening, terrifying, heart-warming, suspenseful, even funny at times. And I know I’m using every gushing adjective in the book to describe it, but it really is all of those things. And I even knew what was going to happen at the very end before I started watching.

Dexter took a huge risk, though it’s not the first to do so. What I love so much about Showtime (and HBO, of course), is that they’re willing to get rid of characters and add them in for the sake of the story, not because of network and actor obligations. And that’s precisely what happened this season on Dexter. They killed off three huge stars, and three key components to the Dexter saga—Frank Lundy, Arthur Mitchell and, of course, Rita Morgan. That’s a Trinity right there. It was sad to watch all of them go, even Trinity, because with all of their deaths, Dexter lost part of himself, too. And yet, with each passing episode, he becomes less of the monster that he thinks he is.

Michael C. Hall really has transformed himself in this role. He’s become someone who embodies all the clear-cut qualities of a killer, yet none of the emotional problems that you’d think one would have. He loves kids, he cherishes his sister, and he respects his father’s guidance. He’s been on a journey of intense self-discovery his whole life, and just when he started to figure himself out, his home based was ripped from his fingers. But that’s how it goes on Dexter. At the very least, you should tune in for this man’s mesmerizing performance. I’m a broken record.

The other performance that should be noted on this show is Jennifer Carpenter’s. I was reading an article about her and it all made sense: Your first impression of her is that she’s a bad actor. But as you get to know Debra Morgan, as you begin to understand her thought process and her motivations and her loyalties and all of that, you realize just how precise and beautiful Carpenter’s art really is. Debra Morgan has such a distinct way of talking and walking and being, and Carpenter is really, really consistent. She deserves an Emmy, too. I hope she gets one someday.

And then there was John Lithgow. What a transformative man. He went from crazy alien on 3rd Rock to the freakin’ Trinity Killer on Dexter. Just goes to show you what actors are truly capable of when they’re at that level. Sheer terror. I’m glad he won all those awards for this special guest star performance. He deserved it.

I only have one wish for next season: That Masuka finally gets some. That poor guy. He may be a perv, but he’s a nice guy who wears cool shirts. The least he could do is get himself a nice lady friend.

Onto Season 5.