Dexter : Season 3

  • Network: Showtime
  • Series Premiere Date: Oct 1, 2006
Season #: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Generally favorable reviews - based on 13 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 13
  2. Negative: 0 out of 13

Where To Watch

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Critic Reviews

  1. 80
    Dexter enters season 3 on Sunday at 9 p.m. with an increasing--and pleasing--urge to make us like the curious man-child at its center.
  2. The results are exhilarating.
  3. A relationship with Julie, which has been percolating for some time, might be just a good cover for Dexter. But it feels more complicated than that, which at the very least reflects good writing and acting.
  4. Though there isn't anything appreciably wrong with the third season, it's hard to fight the feeling that maybe Dexter is a concept that has reached its expiration date.
  5. It's still a hugely entertaining show thanks to its charismatic lead actor and the tension that builds in its twisty-turny plots. But when a lead character is a murderous anti-hero, there's a fine line to walk between cheering a righteous vigilante and offering sympathy for the devil.
  6. 80
    The perversity of this connection cannot be overstated (Smits makes Miguel both charismatic and creepy, often in the same breath). Dexter sees it, though he also yearns for the friendship, the brotherhood, even.
  7. When Season 3 kicks off spectacularly, there's a slight exhale in the first 59 minutes--then a twist. And not a small one, either. By the second episode, the writers give you roughly 40 minutes to digest that twist, then drop a real stunner. Which is--just to cut to the chase here--truly and incredibly exciting television.
  8. 75
    Should we actually trust his actions over what he says as a true indicator of who he really is? It does not seem that the writers of the show have discovered this apparent problem in their storytelling, but it certainly could be something worth exploring in the coming season.
  9. The nature-nurture question has always been central to the show: had his upbringing been different, would his genetic makeup still have led him onto the same path? Now the stakes have been raised compellingly in that debate.
  10. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    I'm interested but not engrossed, though it offers the potential for a change-up in the Dexter storyline.
  11. 90
    Dexter is real, all right. Real good.
  12. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    With the larger narrative diminished, what remains are the smaller moments. There Hall's terrific performance--full of sly wit and contradictions--elevates the show
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 517 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 43 out of 48
  2. Negative: 1 out of 48
  1. Jun 8, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. Dexter season 3, while being the least interesting season of the show thus far, still has some highlights (there is no such thing as a "bad" season of Dexter, but it does not quite stand up to seasons 1 and 2.)

    Starts out interesting enough-Dexter kills the wrong guy! Who happens to be the brother of the ADA. That's the good part. The bad part is this ADAS is played by Jimmy Smits-who I had trouble buying into all season long.

    The rest of the cast shined brightly in season 3-although Batista's romance with the vice-cop seemed forced, and vanished as soon as the season ended.

    But, the centerpiece of the season is Dexter's relationship with Miguel Prado. I did find it difficult to believe that Dex would be so quick to let him in to his dark world-and he indeed learned at the end that it was a very bad idea. The red-herring of the bachelor party kidnapping was perfectly done, as we knew the Skinner was on his trail. Speaking of that though-I had a VERY difficult time believing that Prado and the Skinner would be in cahoots. That may have been the low-point of the season crow-barred in just to keep the tension going throughout the 12 episodes.

    I did like the storyline about Deb and Anton. She did seem happy there for a short time. Quinn came across as a jerk, but not nearly the total a%$hole that Doakes was.

    All in all-the least amazing of all of Dexter's seasons I would say. It was hard to buy into Jimmy Smits as the "big bad" but still lots of good fun to be had. The show MORE than redeemed itself 10 x over with the following season.
    Full Review »
  2. Apr 8, 2011
    This was my least favorite season, besides season 5, but it's still a 10! Another great plot, great acting, great twists and lots of tension.This was my least favorite season, besides season 5, but it's still a 10! Another great plot, great acting, great twists and lots of tension. Loved every minute of it and the new characters they added. Full Review »
  3. Sep 29, 2015
    The best parts of this show center around Dexter struggling with realizing just how human he actually is. This season explores those elementsThe best parts of this show center around Dexter struggling with realizing just how human he actually is. This season explores those elements even deeper. His love/family life takes some shocking turns and begins to develop an actual friendship with someone who is in on some of his dark secrets. Yet even when Dexter's life is at it's most interesting, side-characters new and old are able to steal the show from time to time.

    Jimmy Smits is awesome as the new character Miguel Prado. His backstory and relationship with Dexter makes him just as compelling as the title character. Every moment these two are onscreen together is incredible. They have fantastic chemistry and it's their stories that make this season so electric even if it is slower than the previous two overall.

    Jennifer Carpenter is just as fantastic as ever as Dexter's sister "Debra." Her role in the show is only increasing and that's for the better. Debra is a fantastic character who's plots are just as interesting as the main character's even if they hit the same beats each season so far with a focus on relationship drama. The more from her, the better.

    It's slower, sure. However the writing is still fantastic and has some shocking twists and turns in areas you wouldn't expect them. Some of the more minor side-characters are given a little bit more to do, but it's mostly still the main cast that shines. A lot of the more miniscule plots surrounding Dexter's coworkers don't really go anywhere. That's okay because with a dynamic as exciting as Dexter's and new character "Miguel Prado" you want every moment to focus on them. This season delivers something exciting and fresh with it's main plot, rather than falling back on what made the previous seasons a success. It's all the better for it.
    Full Review »