Showtime is not making it a secret, that this is the last season of Dexter in fact they are being heavy handed in promoting the season that way. Normally, the show sees a late September launch, this year it got pushed up to July, meaning less production time. The quality of the first episode doesn’t show signs that it was been rushed.
It starts off six months after LaGuerta’s death. Dexter is reviewing how he has moved on with his life, but we later see things might not be as intact as the picture he tries to paint in his narrative. His relationship with Deb has deteriorated and she has maintained contact with Quinn but not her brother, as the episode builds we see how this effects Dexter.
The first major new character we see is Charlotte Rampling playing Evelyn Vogel an expert on psychopaths, who comes into consult on a case. She appears at first to be implied as a foil for Dexter, which is another zinger the writers seem to be teasing you with is who will catch Dexter. Will it be Deb who tells her brother she shot the wrong person or Angel who becomes obsessed with Maria’s death and rejoins the force? I think its safe to take Quinn out of the equation as he is too embroiled in drama with Angel’s sister , though it’s teased in promotional footage that Deb is confessing to him.
Last season they really began to work in the angle of Dexter losing control and getting sloppy as a precursor to his downfall. This season that is amped way up, almost to the point of where it seems to be out of character an made me wonder if their aim is to make him less likable as a character so viewers will cheer against him , like someone turning heel in professional wrestling. I would think the show has tried to maintain some creative integrity and would go about this with more grace, but things like Dexter losing his temper with Harrison and later putting him in harms way felt like clues thats this was the direction being taken.
While we don’t see anyone on Dexter’s table aside from the intro where this is only hinted at he does kill someone, though in a less controlled and calculated manner than usual. The new serial killer which has become like a monster of the month element on the show, doesn’t start off with a vulgar display like the Ice Truck Killer or Doomsday, but then Trinity didn’t either. To the show’s credit this season while somewhat melodramatic in its start was much enjoyed and has me chomping at the bit for the next episode, the elements that bothered me was due to the deconstruction of a character that has come a big part of three months of my life for the past seven years so my grieving has begun.