Keeping Michael C. Hall’s Dexter Morgan interesting is walking a knife’s edge. The premise defines him as a sociopathic killer masquerading as a regular guy, but at some point his humanity stops being just a mask, and it’s hard not to feel for him. These competing characterizations end up holding him firmly in place, like one of his own saran-wrapped victims.
After the bloody apotheosis of the Dexter‘s fourth season, things have calmed down a bit, and in the ? ensuing quiet you can hear some wheels spinning. Julia Stiles’ Lumen — a victimized woman who latches onto our hero’s vigilantism — is in part a replacement for the late Rita, but she also echoes some of the same can-Dexter-have-a-friend? themes of Jimmy Smits’ guest run in season 3. It’s still compelling, thanks largely to Hall’s deft handling of the moral ambiguity, but the series needs to take a sharp stab at something new. Even the EXTRAS are more lifeless than killer. B
Michael C. Hall plays a serial killer who only murders evildoers in this gruesome drama