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To say that there has been hype about the upcoming season of Dexter would be a bit of an understatement, somewhat like saying that the serial killer is a well-balanced and perfectly normal member of society. With Rita’s shocking exit from the show at the end of the fourth season came one of the more dramatic twists of any show in recent memory, and along with it came both speculation and worry – the latter of which was not necessarily removed from fans’ minds when the fifth season came to pass. The worries for the most part came in the form of questions surrounding the direction of the show. Although Dexter lived on before his wife, the show had always been relationship-based, most specifically focusing on how Dexter kept his Dark Passenger a secret.
In the wake of Rita’s death came what now appears to be a somewhat standalone season, with Dexter getting himself a new girlfriend of sorts before she up and left him in the finale. Although there are bound to have been some effects as a result of the emotional ride that Dexter took in the fifth season, there wasn’t really as significant an event as usual in Dexter’s life this time around. He didn’t kill his brother, he didn’t get married or have his wife murdered. With that in mind, that dastardly speculation returned and until recently there was little to no information about what is set to happen in October. But now that at least some of it has surfaced, a picture is being formed – a picture that may just wash those worries away, too.
What seems clear from absolutely every interview given by a cast member and nearly every piece of promotional material that exists is that the newest season of the show is going to be “dark.” According to the above behind-the-scenes video, that darkness appears to be coming in the form of particularly brutal murder rather than the overall tone of the show. Taking place over a year after the fifth season’s finale, the new season appears to be focused largely on Dexter raising his son, in the process of which he begins to ponder religion. Naturally the aforementioned murdering is going to be a focal point as well and it would seem that they too have a religious undertone to neatly tie the spectrum ends of Dexter’s life together. What this all means for the show is hard to say, but, given the consistent strength of the writing on Dexter, one would imagine the story will certainly have legs enough to make for a very interesting watch and could even be character altering for everyone’s favorite serial killer.
Much like everything else this season and, well, everything else according to those that believe, God is also the creator of three major new characters in Dexter this time around. Enter Edward James Olmos, Colin Hanks and Mos Def. What can be gleamed from the information released so far is that Colin Hanks and Edward James Olmos are going to be the “bad guys” (quotation marks given that, depending on your views on what constitutes bad, it’s all relative when it comes to Dexter). Olmos joins the show as Professor Gellar, a professor in religious studies who also happens to be a serial killer that believes himself to be in the right for murdering his victims, much like Dexter himself. However, he is killing for a reason...one that Dexter is anxious to find out. Hanks is set to portray Travis Marshall, a student of sorts and presumed accomplice of Gellar. Mos Def’s character doesn’t thus far appear to be linked to the killers, but instead portrays a Samuel Wright – an ex-convict turned religious fanatic who now tries to convert those from his former lifestyle to his new one. He is set to cross paths with Dexter when one of the people that he is trying to save becomes a suspect in a crime.
Although the more standout names have managed to get themselves the most press surrounding their additions to the cast, they aren’t the only new people joining the show this year. Amy Garcia is to play Angel’s (David Zayas) sister who becomes Dexter’s new nanny. Described as a young, spunky, upbeat, bigger-than-life charismatic personality, she is likely going to be a source of friction in Dexter’s life, but if a consistent presence, she may have some positive effects on his outlook as well. Miami Metro will also have some new blood in the form of Brea Grant and Billy Brown. Grant will play Ryan Chambers, a new colleague of Dexter and Masuka, while Brown joins the department as hardened detective Mike Anderson. Molly Parker has also been cast as Travis’ sister, although her role in the show is unclear as of yet.
Until it actually airs, what we’ve been told is all that we can go on, but with a large cast of notables in place and a fresh setting following the time-jump, things do appear to be looking good for the sixth season of Dexter. Season five was understandably divisive to fans, but following a massively successful finale, it had a lot to live up to regardless. Now that the dust has settled and everyone is used to Julie Benz no longer being in the picture, the show seems set to put itself forth as an amalgamation of everything that has come before it. The good parts that is. Like season four, we already know who the killer is, but it is more about motive than lifestyle execution this time around. Taking a cue from season five, there isn’t just one bad guy anymore, allowing for the possibility of more shocking twists than the days of old. With more than one “big bad” to go after, there is always the possibility that Dexter kills one far earlier in the season than we are used to or that they turn on each other. Either way there is a much greater scope when there is more to work with and that can only mean good things for the show.
As for the "darkness" so often alluded to when it comes to this new season of Dexter, I can only ask, what exactly is darkness? Now don't get me wrong, I don't live in a place illuminated by eternal sunshine, I have seen the moon, but when a show deals primarily with violent death, how much darker can it really get? Whilst there are elements of cannibalism in Jeff Lindsay's novel Dexter Is Delicious, the books and the show really aren't one in the same. Introducing an element like that into the show would make less than no sense and is clearly not the intention for the show, at least for season six. If any particularly twisted individuals have thoughts on how one would go about making murder even darker, sound off in the comments box below; for the rest of you, here is the trailer for the sixth season of Dexter, coming to Showtime October 2nd.