Generally favorable reviews- based on 372 Ratings
Oct 3, 2011This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. Oh dear. This is not a promising start for season 6.
It's been a year since the events of last season. I understand WHY they needed to skip a lot of time (both season 4 & 5 took place within a very short amount of time relative to each other, so a gap was needed to offset, I get it), but the way they did it caused one of the main issues with the whole episode. There was so much heavy-handed exposition (and heavy-handed is a term I will probably use repeatedly for the whole episode) that it made everything seem fake...if you have to spend most of the episode explaining what happened before the episode, then you know there's a problem! Remember the whole romance between Batista and Laguerta during seasons 4&5? Well, it's over. Whether that's a good or bad thing is purely up to the viewer, but there's no gravity given to it in the episode: They got divorced, and everything's back to the way it was before, no hard feelings or anything. Really? Such a situation is not unheard of, but it seems MORE like the writers just wanted to wash their hands of it and go a different route. In fact, it seems like they've used the large space of time between seasons to "resolve" a lot of things they didn't want to deal with this season. Quinn seems completely off the hook for Liddy's murder. Sure, Dexter helped him out by fudging the blood results at the end of the last season, but since when is a blood analysis the end-all of an investigation? Yes, it's a necessary step, but there were other implicating factors in Liddy's murder, such as the fact that Quinn had made a crapload of phone calls to Liddy right before he was killed. Well, such complicated issues won't be a problem here, they've all been swept under the rug like they never happened! Apparently to clean the slate for this season's own "issues", which apparently are going to focus on religion. Again, I am going to state how heavy handed this episode was. We've known all along that Dexter is not a religious person; remember that episode in season 5 where Dexter takes the nanny's little saint figurine and told the nanny he didn't like it, but later reconsidered it for Harrison's sake? Well, they redid that as a whole subplot here: Dexter takes Harrison to a preschool but finds out it's a Catholic preschool, so he rejects it, but later reconsiders, because it may help Harrison. Wow, Dexter, are you really going to be spinning your wheels like this, relearning the same things and never getting anywhere? I realize this is a tricky point with shows: the character needs to evolve, but if they go to far from what made them appealing in the first place then the show will collapse. But at the same time, if the character NEVER evolves, despite the various things he experiences which "open his eyes", he feels fake, almost a parody.
Unfortunately, Dexter did feel like a parody of himself the whole episode. In fact, his first kills in the episode (where he kills two organ harvesters) were out of character for him; did he really kill them by shocking them to death? But isn't Dexter's whole thing his obsession with blood? That's why he stabs them to death! And then, he goes to a class reunion to stalk an old classmate who murdered a highschool friend (and the coincidence factor in all of this had my reality-check meter going crazy), where we get to see Dexter become "popular"...and the ghost of Harry (yes, I know it's not really Harry, just part of Dexter's psyche) actually encourages him to embrace this...which seemed COMPLETELY weird. Harry is supposed to be that part of Dexter's brain that encourages him to be safe and cautious, to blend in, not stand out, to stick to the code. If this is what's going on in Dexter's head I think he's getting mentally unstable (and keep in mind we're talking about a sociopathic murderer here). Then he ends up dancing with his old classmates (it's completely ridiculous to watch and even Michael C. Hall looks embarrassed) and playing football (yes, I know he's trying to get blood; it looks more like an excuse to get Dexter into increasingly absurd situations to get what he wants).
There was a scene with Batista and his sister here that was just weird, and I don't even know why it was there. It wasn't interesting, it was just strange. Also, it seems like all the actors were "phoning it in," hardly any convincing dialogue at all.
Now, having said that, it wasn't ALL bad. I'm interested to see how Laguerta's and Batista's promotions play out in the group dynamic. The appearance of this season's villains, while underwhelming, is still somewhat interesting (although why they didn't show the actual murder happening is beyond me). And finding out why Quinn had been acting weird was a relief, and kinda cool, though the ending scene with the shootout in the restaurant seemed completely random.
Hopefully the season will pick up after a few episodes, but this was not a good start.… Full Review »
Oct 2, 2011The best season premiere yet. I have no idea how mainstream critics will give the fourth season of breaking bad near perfect reviews and give this mediocre ones when this show is without a doubt at least on par with, if not better, than breaking bad. The first episode gives a small preview of a few different interesting subplots that will no doubt soon be explored. I can't wait to see how the rest of the season turns out… Full Review »