Dexter is coming off killing his own brother, The Ice Truck Killer, and now finds the newest serial killer he must help track down is none other than himself.
Dexter finds himself in a strange place following Season 1. His brother turned out to be the Ice Truck Killer he was hunting and, before Dexter could find and dispatch him in his own unique way, completely screwed up the life of Debra, who found herself in love with a murderer who planned to make her his next victim.
The season starts off slow and presents a little too many generic episodic situations. At the bottom of the barrel is the relationship between the new captain and the woman passed over for the job. There is also an important growing animosity with Sgt. Doakes, who knows there is something wrong with Dexter. This is a very important relationship in the season but Erik King only plays Doakes as a straight, no nonsense asshole and never veers from this throughout most the season. He is one-dimensional and drags down every scene he carries. There is also the problem of wrapping up the Season 1 dealings, including Debra’s recovery from the Ice Truck Killer escapade and the situation between Dexter’s girlfriend Rita and her ex-husband Paul.
It is clear from the outset that, while Dexter only kills bad guys, he is a destructive force in the lives of everyone around him. He was partially responsible for the devestation suffered by Debra at the end of Season 1 and the end of Season 2 sees him doing the same thing to the psyche of another major character. He is also a hypocrite, as he easily passes the blame for wrongdoings onto the shoulders of others while keeping himself clean, if only in his own mind. What results is one of the most interesting characters on any television show airing today.
Michael C. Hall is spectacular in his portrayal of this difficult, conflicted man and carries the series through the ups and downs of some of the weaker storylines. In Season 2, the producers take the show in a direction that, to me, seems early to approach. The serial killer being hunted in Season 2 is the Bay Harbor Butcher, aka: Dexter. At the end of the first episode all his bodies are found at the bottom of the bay and Dexter finds himself on the outside looking in at the investigation being put together to hunt him. Leading this investigation is Special Agent Lundy, an impressive guest turn from Keith Carradine. He enlists officers such as Debra to help in the investigation and vicariously helps her overcome the guilt and fear left from the events of Season 1. Part of the best sections of the season surrounds the FBI investigating the murders while Dexter scurries to circumvent them every step of the way.
There is also another newcomer to the season in the mysterious Lila. When Rita learns that Dexter is has an addiction, she mistakenly believes it is to drugs, much the same as her ex-husband. She demands that Dexter start going to NA meetings and in a moment slightly mirroring the setup of Fight Club, Dexter begins to develop stories to be accepted by the organization and is given a sponsor in the form of Lila. To say that Lila is psychotic is an understatement. Lila begins to interject herself and almost helps destroy everything Dexter holds dear, from his job to his relationship with Rita to his friend’s lives. Lila, Dexter and Doakes travel throughout the season and setup a fantastic conclusion to the Bay Harbor Butcher murders that proves Dexter might be the luckiest man in the world as well as a true bad guy who will bring down anyone, lie to anybody, and hurt whoever steps in his way to achieve his goals.
Dexter Morgan is the most complex, interesting character on television today, a bad guy who believes he is a good guy, and no better actor could portray these contrasting states of being than Michael C. Hall. Despite all the shortcomings of the plot fillers in Season 2, Dexter still provides an amazing experience and remains one of the best shows on TV.
I have a real problem with the special features on this DVD. When you look at the Blu-Ray it advertises a Michael C. Hall podcast, Michael C. Hall interview, and the first two episodes from Brotherhood, The Tudors and Californication. I was already disappointed that the Blu-Ray was being used to advertise other Showtime programs with little to no features covering Dexter itself. I was even more frustrated when I saw that only the first two episodes of Brotherhood were available to watch on my regular Blu-Ray player. There is a lot of room on these Blu-Rays and the tactic they used to get you the other special features was annoying. The first three discs only include the episodes. The fourth disc includes the finale and the two episodes of Brotherhood.
The other extras are only accessible through a computer connection. Luckily, I also own a PS3 and a Blu-Ray drive on my computer so I can tell you what you are missing if you only have a basic Blu-Ray player. First, in order to access most of the special features you must insert the Blu-Ray into your computer and enter to win a 46” flat panel television. If you do this you can watch The Tudors and Californication episodes. This is not a Blu-Ray Live sort of thing it is more of a BD-ROM type affair. This is a freaking Blu-Ray disc, don’t make me jump through hoops to see the extras. But hoops it is.
Clicking on the bonus features opens a website that would not work in Internet Explorer but did work in Firefox. On this page there are special offers ($25 off Showtime, Win a Trip to the Cook Islands, Download Dexter eBook excerpts), the two aforementioned TV show previews and the actual Dexter extras. There are short interview segments with Michael C. Hall, Erik King, Lauren Vélez, C.S. Lee, David Zayas, Jennifer Carpenter, Julie Benz and Keith Carradine.
The Blu-Ray also lies. There is an extra feature advertising the premiere episode of Dexter Season 3. When you click on it you are told you can see it by buying Brotherhood Season 2. And the E-Bridge podcast with Michael C. Hall is hidden so well I can’t find it. What is easy to access are text biographies of all the actors and a photo gallery with about a dozen pictures in it. The extras on this disc are crap. The audio and video for the Blu-Ray are spectacular though.