Blu-ray Review: DEXTER: SEASON TWO

Paramount Home Entertainment
Release date: May 5th, 2009
MSRP: $59.99

Stars: Michael Hall, Julie Benz , Jennifer Carpenter , Keith Carradine , Erik King , James Remar , Lauren Velez , JoBeth Williams , David Zayas

Season one of Dexter saw it become a surprise hit for Showtime, slowly building a very loyal audience. The overall quality was high, with Michael C. Hall delivering a performance that was, in my opinion, worthy of an Emmy.

So it is not surprising that I was nervous about season two. Would it maintain a similar level of quality?

In a word: Yes.

In season two, Dexter’s dumping grounds are discovered, which leads the local press and police dubbing him the “Bay Harbor Butcher.” As a result of this, the FBI sends a profiler to work the case.

Enter Keith Carradine as FBI special agent Lundy. Carradine takes this character and really gives it depth with a nuanced performance that is worthy of an Emmy nomination. While Lundy is obviously driven, he takes great pains to enjoy the world around him and relax whenever possible. This makes for some very enjoyable scenes with the hyper-driven Deb.

Dexter has Sgt. Doakes following him around all the time. Out of an entire building full of cops, Doakes is the only one that senses something is odd about Dexter. Towards the end of last season, Doakes and Dexter had a confrontation that has pushed Doakes from simply feeling uneasy about Dex, to a level of dislike that has him spending virtually all of his off hours watching Dex in an effort to uncover his secret. This prevents Dex from letting the dark passenger out to play.

Dexter also has issues on the domestic front; because of his impulsive behavior in lashing out against her ex-husband, Rita becomes suspicious, and ends up thinking Dexter is a drug addict. As a result of which, she forces him to seek treatment.

While attending meetings, he meets Lila, a rather unusual woman who, while not knowing exactly what Dexter is, senses the darkness within him. She agrees to be his sponsor.
The discussion of drug addiction serves as an excellent metaphor for Dexter’s darker side. One particular scene where Dexter and Lila talk about the hole inside that needs to be filled is especially strong.

Initially Lila seems good for Dexter, but she ends up fueling his “dark passenger.” Dex thinks he has found a confidant, but her own darkness starts to come to light. She does not have the control Dex does, which puts everything he has worked to protect at risk.

I won’t go any further because some things should be a surprise, but the producers do an excellent job building various storylines over the course of the season to some rather explosive crescendos.

Season two is presented with a 1.78:1 ratio in 1080p with an AVC MPEG-4 encoding. The quality is the same as season one. Again the lush Miami backdrop is gorgeously presented. The colors are great, very crisp. The aforementioned outdoor scenes making me almost want to head south…almost. The blood also really stands out so you might not want to watch while eating.

The audio is offered up in 5.1 Dolby TrueHD. The most notable aspect is the moody background music. The mix between said music and the dialogue is very well done. There is also a Spanish track as well as English subtitles.
Now we come to the negative part of this review: Where in the hell are the extras? Paramount often fails to give extra features. These have become the norm in the home entertainment field and thus, most of their releases feel incomplete. While not have an interview with author Jeff Lindsay? I would be curious to hear what he thinks about the series and the actors that have brought his characters to life.

Dexter is a very unusual show, why not have some segments looking at its unlikely success? I want to hear what Hall thinks about playing a serial killer.

I have always thought the opening was wonderfully original. Why not give us a segment talking about how it was thought up?

Season two does a nice job of continuing the evolution of Dex and Rita’s relationship, as well as developing the cast regulars. Both Lundy and Lila are very strong characters and fit in nicely. While I don’t know that season two reaches the level of excellence of season one, it holds up quite nicely. Fans of season one will enjoy the continued adventures of Dexter and company.

Order the Blu-ray of season two of Dexter.

Jeremy Lynch

For more reviews from myself, and the rest of the Crimespree crew, check out the index of reviews.