I don't know why I haven't blogged about Dexter at all this season, I've really been loving it. This is the first season where I've started to watch it week after week and then continued (in the past I've gotten bored with waiting and then left it until I can watch the whole season in a weekend).
When the season started, I wasn't really sure what impact Rita's death would qualitatively have on Dexter's life. For one thing, I was concerned that the writers would dehumanize Dexter, turn him into a less disciplined, cold blooded killer. While he certainly has become less disciplined, Dexter has lost some of his bloodlust, which is a nice twist.
The second great decision the writers made was to get rid of Astor and Cody. While the bond between Dexter and Cody was one of the most heartwarming aspects of the show in the past, I don't think anyone wants to see Dexter deal with teen angst (and Astor had just become a pain in the ass by that point). The kids can still come back when necessary, but as the season moves along, the new connections Dexter has made more than make up for the loss of his past connections.
Which brings us to the third great thing about the show: Lumen. Julia Stiles plays her just right, with her pain and desperation barely concealed behind every move she makes; she's too damaged to be as calculated as Dexter of old, but ultimately she is looking for the same thing. But post-Rita Dexter has become less calculated as well, so at the moment they are kind of at the same level in their quests for meaning through revenge. It's nice for Dexter not to have to deal with a big bad evil superkiller, instead trying to help a vigilante in search of justice - a woman who is essentially Dexter on a small scale. She's such a kindred spirit that Dexter can't 'compartmentalize' her; at the end of the day, all he feels for her is compassion, real compassion, which is not something we've seen in Dexter before (at least not on this scale). I don't think I'd have a problem with a romance between the two, but I do hold a hope that they become partners in crime for seasons to come. A romance would lead to all sorts of complication from others in Dexter's life -
Which brings us to what does not work in the show: EVERYTHING NOT RELATED TO DEXTER. Until the end of last night's episode, Angel and Battista had reached a level of stupidity where the only appropriate response is the fast forward button. Quinn's 'bring down Dexter' thing is getting really old, really fast. It was annoying with Doakes, but we always understood the root of Doakes' suspicion and hatred of Dexter. What's Quinn's motivation really: that Dexter wouldn't watch a basketball game with him a year ago? Blech. Which is doubly annoying cause otherwise I would really buy the romance between Deb and Quinn if he weren't such a waffling turd.
But I look forward to what happens in the Dexter v. Lumen storyline, mainly because I can't predict where it's going, apart from lots of torture and blood, naturally.