Dexter Season 5 Episode 1 took things down a notch. However, Episode 1 pretty much had to, since the show couldn’t kill Rita again. After getting viewers talking for nine months by killing Rita, the Showtime hit now has to deal with the aftermath with a new head of the show. This is unfamiliar territory for the title character, who isn’t used to these kinds of emotions — or getting the innocent killed. Therefore, the first episode of the fifth season of Dexter left the newly guilt-ridden monster uncomfortably numb — even more so than usual.
Warning: Spoilers follow
It has been many months since viewers gasped at Rita’s dead body in a bloody bathtub, courtesy of the late Arthur Mitchell. But for Dexter, things are picked up several seconds later, as the only thing he can say is “It was me.” That raises red flags with Deb, Quinn, and the FBI, for various reasons.
As the whole series has done, Dexter Season 5 Episode 1 reinforced that Dexter is ill-equipped for regular human behavior. Mourning a loved one becomes his most difficult human emotion to fake — especially since he just learned to love. All he really knows how to do is blame himself and realize what a monster he is, which forces him to consider drastic measures.
Thanks to his odder than usual behavior, Episode 1 set up a few important side effects. Deb’s own grief causes her to get caught up in the heat of the moment with Quinn — although it is far from her most reckless hook up. As for Quinn, after growing to distrust Dexter for all of last season, he takes it to a new level in making him a suspect.
Fans have had obvious flashbacks to Doakes, as replacement Quinn also gets set to try to nail Dexter. However, Dexter Season 5 Episode 1 had Quinn begin to suspect him for the one murder he didn’t commit — at least not directly.
With Dexter sidelined due to what passes for grief, it also kept him from going back on the hunt in this one. However, the premiere flashed back to the first time that Dexter’s work and love life got crossed together — and in the present, he finally got to let some steam off.
Episode 1 devoted itself to Dexter’s unique grieving process, but the usual formula will be followed again starting next week. Although he can now recommit himself to his work, healing things with the kids, avoiding Quinn’s suspicions, and covering the tracks of “Kyle Butler” may be much harder. In addition, the likes of Julia Stiles and Peter Weller will drop by later to increase the stakes.
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