Five Reasons to Tune Back In to Dexter This Season

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Season six promises to restore your faith.

Dexter got a lot of flack last season for a dull plot, the casting of a Save the Last Dance alum, and a general failure to live up to its previously sterling reputation. But season six, which begins this Sunday, offers new hope for our beloved serial killer. Here are five reasons why you should return to Dexter.


1. Fresh blood on the cast and crew

In addition to signing fresh faces as guess stars, Dexter has also gotten rid of a source of much fan ire: Julia Stiles’ Lumen. The cast and crew have confirmed that she’s definitely gone, and that Dex is “unplugged” from that storyline, though rumors abound that she could pop up unexpectedly, since she didn’t exit via, you know, murder. Dexter has picked up a new helmsman as well. Scott Buck, who’s previously served as an executive producer, is taking over for season six. A new boss should hopefully translate to a new, interesting direction, but since Buck is no stranger to Dexter, we shouldn’t expect any shark-jumping plotlines like, say, the revelation that Dexter’s dad has been alive this whole time.

2. The narrative jumps forward a year

Dexter is doing its darndest to purge any unpleasant memories of season five. The new season picks up a year from where we last left our hero, meaning he’s no longer moping over a lady and his son Harrison is now a full-fledged toddler. Harrison’s rapidly developing cognitive mind means Dexter has to start worrying about what the kid is picking up from him, or the little guy stumbling upon Daddy’s blood slides during a game of hide and seek. The chronological break between seasons is a clever move — it both separates the new material from the divisive previous season and opens up a whole new range of storylines.


3. The guest stars will be awesome again

Still craving a guest star as awesome as John Lithgow? Well, look no further than Edward James Olmos, who will be appearing in mysterious, menacing form as a religion professor with some twisted schemes. If that weren’t enough, Olmos will also be mentoring Colin Hanks, whom you might remember from his stint creeping out Peggy Olson on Mad Men. Oh yeah, and Mos Def pops up as a reformed killer named Brother Sam. Meaning Mos Def and Commander Adama are going to exist on the same show. At the same time. This is not a drill, folks.


4. Dexter goes to his high-school reunion

In the season opener, Dexter attends his twentieth high school reunion. No details about embarrassing yearbook photos or awkward brushes with an ex-BFF have surfaced, but Dexter will live out every unpopular kid’s fantasy by going after the prom king. High school was rough for everybody, but it’s gotta be especially rough when your dad is secretly training you to act as a sociopathic instrument of revenge. Let’s all keep our fingers crossed that Showtime also grants us an interpretive dance to "Time After Time."

5. The show's themes are getting more interesting

Season six will feature an overarching theme of religion. On the “yay, God” end of the spectrum is Mos Def, whose character has renounced his wicked ways thanks to a spiritual awakening (though Dexter has his doubts). On the “yikes, God” end of the spectrum are Edward James Olmos and Colin Hanks’ characters, who use faith to justify horrific acts. As always, Dexter is torn between his two worlds, and this season will find him trying to negotiate some place in the middle. It’s easy to take the jaded route and assume this subject matter will get handled poorly, but right now, the gleefully bombastic posters referencing religious iconography and the trailer’s clever use of “Personal Jesus” are distracting us from those nagging concerns.