I began watching Dexter earlier last year and watched it in the way only one person can: in day-long binges. Before I knew it I was well into the third season after just a few short days and I was blown away by how quickly I progressed through the series. Although since the first season was so stellar, it’s easy to see why it’s so engrossing as the characters were easy to become acquainted with and really sink your teeth into. Of course the second season made things a bit undesirable, but lucky for me the third season was underway already so I was able to jump between the two fairly easy and much to my delight, it seemed that the third season of Dexter was back to its first season greatness with new characters that were genuinely mysterious and interesting and a great big heaping of more murder. I thought Dexter had hit its peak…until the fourth season started and John Lithgow made for one of the most devastating and disturbing characters ever put to film (or digital storage mediums, more likely).
The Showtime Original Series DEXTER™ is back with an all-new season, and this time America’s favorite serial killer has gone from freewheeling bachelor to responsible husband and doting dad. Maintaining an average-guy facade while satisfying his need to kill has never been easy. But now, with wife and kids in tow, Dexter’s got more to lose than ever, as he gets drawn into a deadly game with a killer every bit as dangerous — and conflicted — as he is.
Words cannot really begin to describe how superb this season of Dexter was. Not only did it elevate Dexter and Rita’s relationship with the introduction of their baby (Harrison), but the whole character of Trinity (John Lithgow) gave the show a real sense of urgency. While Dexter figures out early on who Trinity really is, the fact that he pretty much just shadows him to learn about his life rather than end his life as he knows he should makes for a very intense season. There’s so much that went on during this fourth season that it’s hard to gather it all up coherently, as just when it all wraps up neatly in the end the season goes out on a devastating note.
In addition to the intricacies and complexities of Dexter’s life, we also got the return of Frank Lundy into Debra’s life. This of course mixed things up again for her, but more importantly the way the Lundy’s character eventually leaves the show is as devastating to watch for the viewer as it is for Debra to experience. It’s definitely gut wrenching and a little unsettling to watch unfold and it’s just one of many reasons why this is one of my all-time favorite shows. It gives you so many controversial and disturbing things to watch, yet as screwed up as it all is Dexter often prevails in the end and it’s that sense of vengeance and justice that makes it such a satisfying show to watch.
Of course this season didn’t end with Dexter being so victorious. In fact it ended in such a way that left me staring at the blank TV screen for several seconds after the credits began to roll. It not only left you wondering where the series would go after this but it also cleaned up a few issues with the season, namely what Rita was doing to Dexter and his “side job.” It’s not something you really wanted to happen simply because of the devastation it would send throughout the series, but in the end it was a necessity for the show to move on. There were other moments in the season that felt like they could’ve been trimmed up or cleaned a bit (namely the Angel Batista and Lt. Maria Laguerta relationship—which was a surprise at first and then just an annoyance as it took us away from the real meat of the season), but in the end it all boiled down to Dexter vs. Trinity and every single one of their scenes together caused you sit on the edge of your seat.
I honestly don’t know how they’re going to follow up this fourth season, but we’ll find out soon enough I suppose. With it rumored to pick up moments after this fourth seasons shocking finale, the fifth season will definitely have large shoes to fill but if the writers can invigorate it with as much potency as they did for the fourth season then I really look forward to it. Highly Recommended.
The season, spread across three discs and stuffed inside a single width Elite Blu-ray case comes with nothing more than a firmware upgrade notice and grey washed discs and a plain white backdrop behind the discs with a description of the episodes on each disc as well as their content.
Video arrives in the form of an AVC encoded transfer and, as can be expected from this show, it looks terrific. My comments regarding the previous season can pretty much be transposed over here as well, as if ever there was a sequence to view in high-definition, it’s this series intro sequence. Comprised almost exclusively of extreme close-up shots, the amount of detail present in each of the frames as we see fingers up close, stubble being shaved away and fruit sliced and squeezed is simply breathtaking. I may have a new “show off” piece when it comes to high-definition clarity and what the Blu-ray format is capable of, as the 1080p transfer for every one of these twelve episodes is simply flawless. Beautiful video through and through, we see plenty of gorgeous exterior shots as well as a smattering of gruesome dismemberments. Every frame of the season boasts plenty of detail and you’ll be hard pressed to take issue with any of this season’s video content.
The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix is slightly less impressive, simply because it’s such a dialogue driven show that there aren’t many opportunities for the surrounds to get worked here, but there were a few instances where they kicked in for some of Dexter’s murder scenes. The only complaints about the transfer is that some of Dexter’s scenes with his “father” are overly soft, but that’s just the way the footage was constructed to begin with and really isn’t a flaw of the transfer as it helps distinguish what we’re seeing (or about to see). Spanish 2.0 Surround and English SDH subtitles are included as well.
Sadly the no extras trend continues with this set, as the only extras are those accessed via BD-Live. There are some cast Interviews, but the remaining extras are just episodes of Californication and The Tudors. I really don’t get how an Emmy winning show gets treated so poorly on Blu-ray…but that’s par for the course for all of Showtime’s release for the most part, sadly enough.
Overall a Recommended set for fans, as it’s definitely a season worth watching multiple times.
Dexter – The Complete Fourth Season is now available on Blu-ray and DVD.