Dexter season 4: first episode leaks

News Billy Grifter
21 Aug 2009 - 12:30

The return of Dexter, for the third year running, is leaked to the Internet ahead of its debut....

The new season of Dexter is one of our most eagerly awaited shows at Den Of Geek. Ahead of its transmission, the first episode appears to have leaked, and here's what one of our readers had to say about it. Be warned, SPOILERS for this episode follow...

After what can only be described as the triumph of season 3, where can season 4 take America's favourite serial killer? That's pretty much the question I've been asking myself for a while, and now with an early look at the new season some of those mysteries are revealed.

The first five minutes or so are taken up with the ubiquitous title sequence and then a quick recap of who Dexter is and how messed up the previous season got. But the total running time of the episode is just over 54 minutes, so you won't feel short-changed by the season opener.

Living The Dream is an amusing play on words because, on the surface, newly married and now father Dexter is living an idyllic existence, But the dark passenger in Dexter's psychology is always there too, along with a new one - sleep deprivation.

Young Harrison Morgan isn't an easy sleeper and his nocturnal issues are translating into zombification for poor old Dexter. In this condition Dexter isn't killing anyone.

However, that doesn't mean that Florida residents can sleep easy in their beds. Out there is John Lithgow, a totally methodical killer with a preference for three act fatalities. He likes to kill his victims in the bath, with a mirror handy so from behind them he can experience their last moments. There's clearly a sexual element to the serial killer called Trinity, who has been doing this without being caught for some 30 years or more it's later revealed.

When we return to Dexter we get a cruel pastiche of the opening credits where Dexter looks like hell and puts on a shirt that has a baby puke stain. He's not having a good day, and it gets worse when he takes the wrong evidence into a murder trial and a known killer walks free. That's something he can fix in his own way, if he can only stay awake long enough to get creative.

I'd detail the centre section of the episode but it's mainly re-establishing all the characters and where they've gone since we saw them last. Almost all of them have progressed in some fashion with their lives, and relationships. Debra Morgan is still having a relationship with Anton Briggs, and trying to find out who her father had an affair with in the past. There's a lovely cameo by Adrienne Barbeau (Escape From New York, The Fog) who appears as a woman Debra goes to for answers, and gets very few.

Angel Batista and Lt. Maria LaGuerta are a secret item, and working hard at keeping that a secret. Other characters show less progression, Joey Quinn just prowls around making derisory comments about Dexter's ability to screw up, and Vince Masuka hasn't developed a grip on what might be considered diplomatic conversation.

A key character from season two also makes a less than welcome appearance for Debra, when Special Agent Frank Lundy, now retired, walks back into the station house. He's trying to solve the only case that eluded him, the Trinity Killer. He and Debra had a brief relationship, so their paths crossing again is an uncomfortable moment.

If you're reading this and thinking this all seems rather laid back and chilled, compared with the frenetic state the show got itself into by the previous season finale, that would be a reasonable prognosis.

Yet the writers of Dexter always like to quicken the pulse towards the episode climax, and that's exactly what they do here. Disappointed by his courtroom mix-up, Dexter determines to fix the problem that he caused in his own special way. He creates a killing room in a derelict boxing venue, abducts his victim and dispatches him in ritual fashion. But a call from home about a teething baby Harrison causes him to rush things a little more than normal. He's heading home in the darkness with medicine on the passenger seat when the lack of rest finally overtakes him and wrecks the car. Oops. What evidence is in the car? Parts of his latest victim? His surgical kit?

Until this point the season opener was a little stately, but the possibilities for the second one look positively mouth-watering. As yet, Trinity and Dexter haven't met in person, and recalling Raising Cain (1992, directed and written by Brian De Palma) and how creepy Lithgow can be, I can't wait.

Dexter returns to Showtime on Sunday 27th September in the US.

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