Dexter – Season 7
For six seasons already our favorite serial killer, Dexter Morgan, has been keeping house in sunny Florida and many criminal who managed to evade the police ended up on his table. In just about every season he got a formidable opponent who made his life difficult and next to that he also had to try keeping up appearances for the outside world, something that isn’t easy for a person who’s job is to analyse blood spatters (see also his weird colleague Vince Masuka) and certainly not if you have a “dark passenger” who needs to be let loose to kill someone now and then so you don’t go completely berserk.
At the end of season 6 the setting was created for a shift in the show; Dexters sister, lieutenant Debra Morgan, saw her beloved brother stab a knife in the heart of the “Doomsday Killer” and it was all too obvious that it wasn’t a case of self-defense. With that in mind season 7 promised to add a completely new dimension to the show and we have to admit that the makers have gone above and beyond to do things a bit differently.
In this new season Dexter doesn’t go hunting for a true serial killer but instead has to take on a hardened criminal who in turn is after Dexter in order to get revenge for the death of one of his companions while LaGuerta still hasn’t gotten over the fact that Sgt. James Doakes turned out to be the “Bay Harbor Butcher” and starts her own investigation, something that puts Dexter into a corner. Meanwhile there’s luckily also some good news for Dexter and this comes in the form of a rather peculiar relationship with the former partner of another serial killer. “And what about Dexters sister then?”, we hear you wondering. Well, that she didn’t immediately put cuffs on her brother shouldn’t come as a surprise but that she immediately approves his behaviour is another matter. Her feelings regarding Dexter and his dark secret are the pillar on which the other plots are hung on and make that a totally new dynamic is brought forward which brings along several surprises and gives the show the necessary breath of fresh air.
Season 7 deviates from the well-known path where Dexter lets his “dark passenger” partially lead him and takes on some superior serial killer while trying to hide his true self from the outside world. This time we get to see a totally different view where Dexter most of all feels freed and can share his thoughts with others, something that of course also brings along the necessary problems, not in the least for his sister who needs to take some very hard decisions. That Ray Stevenson only gets to play a rather stereotype Eastern-European criminal may be a bit of a disappointment, but this gets evened out by the dynamics between Dexter and Debra, and the other plots that fold out in this season.
After six years the formula started to become a bit predictable but season 7 brings forth enough fresh ideas to keep going for a little while longer and the cliffhanger at the end makes that the 8th and final season is again one to look forward to. Let’s only hope that Dexter gets to say his goodbye in beauty.
We saw the previous seasons on DVD and we always found that things looked quite good, but this season was delivered on Blu-ray and immediately we again notice the big difference and how good this medium actually is. Where Dexter has always been vivid and colorful the colors now truly splash from the screen. Especially in the intro as well as the first episodes you immediately notice this. Certain images in sunny Florida are so beautyful and give so much depth that you’re almost wondering whether you’re watching a 3D version. But then one with a sharpness that 3D movies can’t reach. The level of detail is huge and the only minor downpoint we noticed is that the sun-tanned skin of most characters at times starts to look a bit yellow.
Qua sound Dexter arrives on Blu-ray with a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track that for a TV show that’s mostly about dialogue does have plenty of punch when necessary. Dialogues are Always clear and understandable and well-positioned, each time we get to hear Dexters thoughts these get a nice portion of bass, and the few action scenes that pass by use all channels at full capacity while also here the subwoofer gets plenty of action.
Qua extras we don’t really get much, but seeing as the US release doesn’t have any at all we can’t really complain all too much. There’s two short “Behind Episode” features that are good for six minutes of background info, two minutes of dissecting of a scene (Dissecting a Scene: The Might Pen), six minutes on the character of serial killer Ray Speltzer (Becoming Ray Speltzer), and a roundtable discussion with producer Scott Buck, and writers Manny Coto, Tim Schlattmann, Wendy West, Jace Richdale, Lauren Gussis, Scott Reynolds, Arika Lisanne Mittman and Karen Campbell. Finally there’s commentary by Jennifer Carpenter with the season finale.