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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Comedy > Murder > TV > Dexter – The Fourth Season (2009/Showtime Blu-ray)

Dexter – The Fourth Season (2009/Showtime Blu-ray)


Picture: A-     Sound: A-     Extras: C     Episodes: A



Wow!  Simply put, wow.  Dexter is above and beyond the best series on television today. I have been a fan from the beginning, each season increasing in intensity and continually peaking my interest.  The acclaimed and award winning series has managed to capture the hearts and minds of millions with its deeply engrossing plots that are flawless in their attention to detail, not to mention their ability to persistently outdo themselves.


Everything about the series Dexter is intense.  Every episode, every minute and every word spoken has you on the edge of your seat.  I have sung the series praises in the best, but nothing prepared me for what Season Four had in store.


For those who aren’t familiar with the series (and if you aren’t you should not be picking it up at Season Four), Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall) is a secretly a serial killer.  Dexter is a ‘special’ serial killer that has a set of rules he follows, choosing he victims based on certain criteria in which he only murders other killers.  I will not delve too much into Dexter’s back story as I do not wish to ruin any part of Seasons 1-3, but once again just know that you need to see the first three seasons to appreciate the greatness that is Dexter.


Season 4 starts off where Season 3 left off with Dexter continuing to live his secret life, but now has a baby on the way with wife Rita.  Dexter continues to struggle with his the murderous monster that lives inside head, while attempting to be part of a world feels no connection to.  In most instances, adding a baby to equation means that the series has ‘jumped the shark,’ but in the case of Dexter it only adds yet one more layer of complexity.  Dexter begins to question how fit he is to be a father; how can he possibly handle being both a killer and a father?  Will his son grow up to be just like him?  He fears the unknown and that his ‘monster’ hurting the ones he loves.  With a new family, Dexter quickly learns becomes new responsibilities; having many sleep deprived nights, which in turn means his blood splatter annalist by day and killer by night routine has to change.


The issue of family comes to the forefront this season as Rita (Dexter’s wife), who in the past was a façade to make him seem normal, demands more of her mysterious husband, who can no longer come and go as he pleases.  Even with Rita and her children being a number one concern for Dexter, Deb continues to be central in Dex’s life as he does everything in his power to protect her.  Deb is certainly a character that can test a viewer’s patience, but we have seen her develop from season to season into the strong one she has always tried to be.  She has been in one doomed relationship after the next, but Dexter has always been there to pick up the pieces.


Well, enough dancing around the topic, what made Dexter: Season Four so unbelievably good?   Dexter has met up with plenty of killers over the years, but it was the likes of a new killer in Miami known as The Trinity Killer that shattered Dexter’s world.  John Lithgow, as Trinity, made Dexter: Season Four what it is, using his amazing acting ability to personify Trinity like no other could.  Every time John Lithgow steps on screen as Trinity, a coldness arrives that is horrifying as he embodies creepiness.  Trinity’s level of psychological derailment and murderous rage are orchestrated like a gruesome opera as he cleverly and artistically plans every move.  Dexter has never met an opponent like Trinity before and he certainly will not and does not go easily onto Dexter’s table.


Season Four was amazingly intense and left me guessing throughout; as I was never quite sure what was going to happen. Would Dexter’s world come crumbling down?  The scenes in which Hall and Lithgow were together were simply amazing and unlike and television and perhaps film I have ever seen before.  Dexter has always been about the characters and their development and Season Four goes all out in demonstrating this.  Michael C. Hall and his supporting cast have always been brilliant, but having John Lithgow on staff this season could not have been any better.  I don’t know how Dexter plans on topping itself for the next season, but it certainly has some big body bags to fill.


The technical features on Dexter: Season Four are as well done as ever.  The picture is presented in a 1080p High Definition that excellently balances both the vibrant Miami daytime backdrop with the darkest of nights as Dexter feeds his monster.  The image is crisp, clean, clear and nearly perfect only having tiny issues here and there.  The colors blast vibrantly onto the screen and the dark inky blacks surround each frame to nicely capture each moment, with no light/dark issues to mention.  The detail of the picture this season is astonishing as every freckle, scar and blood drip can be seen with ease; so when characters hair is standing on end…you know it.  Outside of the few issues here and there the picture is demonstration quality, especially for a TV series.  The sound is not quite as good as the picture, but still awesome in its Dolby True HD 5.1 format.  The bass booms like a heart beat, adding intensity to dramatic sequences and when action hits the screen you are suddenly surrounded with sound.  The dialogue projects through crisp and clear with ease, making every word spoken into charismatically creepy poetry.  Overall, extras are excellent; only heightening an already extraordinary series.


The extras are lacking this time around and are only available through Blu-Disc Live.  Sadly the extras on Blu-Disc Live are only episodes of Californication and the Tudors.  There is also interviews with the cast and crew of Dexter (including John Lithgow), which are mildly interesting.


In closing, Dexter is without a doubt the best show on television today and you would have to be insane not to watch it.  In fact the series may be the best series ever and dare I say it, better than most films out there.  Dexter is a fully engrossing experience that should not be missed.  Trust me, I’m for serial.



-   Michael P. Dougherty II


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