TV REVIEW

Returning Sunday, ‘Dexter’ could use a retool

That ever-familiar formula bogs down the series’ seventh season, which begins Sunday night.

Updated: 2012-09-30T01:46:45Z

By SARA SMITH

The Kansas City Star

Miami’s tourism board must love “Dexter.”

Through six seasons, Showtime’s dark drama has displayed the city’s sun-drenched attractions, with only a couple of grotesquely staged corpses on public display during any given week. Visitors can take a boat into the stunning harbors as the Gulf Stream whisks away the trash bags of severed limbs.

Just use caution when checking out the hopping nightlife. Even after decades of Dexter Morgan scouring his fellow murderers off the map like Mr. Clean in a rubber apron, Miami is bubbling over with serial killers.

Usually, a new season of “Dexter” meant Michael C. Hall’s brooding blood-spatter expert would catch wind of an especially nasty specimen and cause a shortage of duct tape while narrowly avoiding detection.

That formula could use a shakeup after last season’s tedious Doomsday Killers (Colin Hanks and Edward James Olmos) forced us to sit through hours of twisted Bible study. The eighth season of “Dexter” will be its last, so things ramp up when Season 7 begins Sunday.

Dexter’s sister, Debra, who also happens to be in charge of Miami’s homicide squad, caught her brother mid-stab on a cling-wrapped altar at the end of Season 6. So they’re going to need to talk. Unless Deb slaps her cuffs on the most important person in her life, she will become a victim or an accomplice.

Come to think of it, most people in Dexter’s life, even his new friends, are either unwitting helpers or potential casualties.

ACCOMPLICES: STILL HELPING OUT

Vincent Masuka (C.S. Lee)

Dexter’s lab partner isn’t a crooked cop. He’s just a socially awkward strip-club connoisseur who’s easily distracted. Cleaning up Masuka’s messes sometimes allows Dexter to take care of a few of his own.

Hannah McKay (Yvonne Strahovski)

When she was 15, she was the Caril Ann Fugate to a Charlie Starkweather-type guy in Florida. When the cops come to her for help locating bodies in that case, Hannah refuses. But something about her awakens Dexter’s primal instincts.

Joey Quinn (Desmond Harrington)

You’d think Debra, as his ex-girlfriend and boss, would know that the cartoonishly chiseled, self-destructive Quinn is not a good candidate to send to Miami’s most glittery strip bar twice a day to harass employees. But he unearths a conspiracy there that could lead him back to Dexter.

VICTIMS: WATCH YOUR STEP

Louis Greene (Josh Cooke)

The new forensics intern for the homicide squad seems determined to mess with Dexter at every turn. Yes, he’s got sick computer skills, but those don’t explain why he’s not afraid of Dexter. He really should be.

Mike Anderson (Billy Brown)

Once he gets his heart out of Chicago and his swollen head through the door, the new detective turns out to be pretty good — and too shrewd for Dexter’s taste. A late-night traffic stop puts him in the middle of a deadly mob investigation.

Maria LaGuerta (Lauren Velez)

Miami’s newest police captain has never been convinced that the Bay Harbor Butcher case was really solved. When she finds a familiar-looking blood slide trophy at a crime scene, she snaps back into snooping mode — and she sends the lab work elsewhere.

To reach Sara Smith, call 816-234-4375 or send email to ssmith@kcstar.com.

Deal Saver Subscribe today!

Comments

The Kansas City Star is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Kansas City Star uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here