14th Sep2011

‘Dexter: Season Five’ DVD Review

by Paul Metcalf

Stars: Michael C. Hall, Julia Stiles, Peter Weller, Jonny Lee Miller | Directed by Various | Based on the books by Jeff Lindsay

DexterS5

Dexter: Season Five comes off a tragic ending for the last season and probably one of the most life altering moments of Dexter’s life. His pride on being emotionless is torn from him as his world is ripped apart by his own actions and to not spoil what actually happened Dexter has a lot more issues to deal with now than he ever thought possible.

After the death at the end of season four which I am shying away from revealing as it’s would spoil it for people who’ve not seen it, Dexter has to deal with family life and come to terms with the pain he is feeling. He does this by going automatically back to what he does well, the punishment of the ones that deserve to die. This is going fine until he meets Boyd Fowler; not his average victim. Boyd and his subsequent death at the hands of Dexter lead the season into a world of torture and murder where women have been toys at the hands of a group of men led by the self-help guru Jordan Chase. The true inspiration for Dexter though is victim number thirteen; the one that got away from Chase and his friends. Lumen only survived because of the death of Boyd Fowler and through tutoring from Dexter she learns to avenge the actions that were taken on her and help ease her “Dark Passenger” which attracts Dexter to her as it is very much like his own. In the end they help each other to find a way through their personal pains and a way to fix their broken lives.

Dexter: Season Five continues as with all of the other seasons by the combination of excellent storyline and strong actors, especially the guest stars for this season. This time the most outstanding of these are Julia Stiles as Lumen and Jonny Lee Miller as Jordan Chase. Julia Styles manages to bring out the tortured soul of Lumen and present this to the viewers, portraying her pain in a believable way; she’s been through rape and torture by five men who have been using her as just as object knowing she would be killed in the end, even if this did not go exactly to their plan. By the time Dexter finds her she is in the final stages of the process of the game. Boyd is the disposer of the victims and she was ready for death, instead she survives and witnessing Dexter’s kill she is taken under his wing. He helps her to heal and teaches her to tame the feelings inside of herself and focus her need for revenge. She starts off as a girl afraid of anything that moves, expecting only pain but Dexter manage to turn her into a woman making her realise that with his help she will get her life back in order. In turn this will help Dexter himself with his issues, they are healing each other.

Jonny Lee Miller plays Jordan Chase as the exact opposite of the victims of his murderous little group. He likes to take the backseat in their actions and just inspire them to do what he wants. In a sense he is the Dark Passenger of the group itself; this of course makes him Dexter’s biggest nemesis of the season. Miller plays Chase with an intensity and confidence that extrudes everything you would expect from a psychotic killer who pushes people to do his will, making them believe it is themselves who actually want to do it. The others in his group are murderers but they are also only his tools in the game he is playing. Miller manages to portray this character believably and as the end of the season progresses also manages to add in the cracks in the characters psyche as he sees his little world crumbling at the hands of Lumen and Dexter.

This season, as with all the other seasons is very character driven. As always the life of the police department around Dexter goes on as they hunt down the killers Dexter is despatching as well as other cases and issues with their personal lives. One of these issues is brought about by Quinn who becomes obsessed with Dexter, getting help to investigate him from a corrupt detective Stan Liddy; played by another guest star for this season Peter Weller. It was quite fun watching the actor who once plays Robocop sleazing his way through each scene as he discovers the truth behind Dexter’s secret life, and Quinn’s reaction as he falls in love with Dexter’s sister while at the same time finding that his instincts may have been right, the outcome of that storyline is quite surprising.

Personally I think Dexter: Season Five has been the strongest so far. Leading off the shocking end to season four it had a lot to live up to and it did it with flair and intelligence. It is a season of redemption and healing for Dexter, he manages to be brought back to life after a tragedy that all but sent him back to the unemotional character we first saw in season one. It will hopefully lead into another strong season that is coming that looks to be hinting at a new stronger and more confident Dexter ready to get back to his job we all love him doing, murder.

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