Blu-Ray Review: Third Season of ‘Dexter’ With Michael C. Hall, Jimmy Smits

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CHICAGO – The buzz around “Dexter” seems to grow louder with each passing season. With the fourth chapter of this dark, demented, delightful drama about to debut on Showtime, catch up with the third season, now available on Blu-Ray and DVD, starring Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, Jimmy Smits, Julie Benz, David Zayas, and Lauren Velez. Blu-Ray Rating: 3.5/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 3.5/5.0

Being a hardcore fan of “Dexter” since the series premiere and someone who has already written extensively about how amazing I think Michael C. Hall is on the program, I can feel comfortable being a little tough on season three only in that I don’t believe this dozen episodes stands next to the first two seasons in terms of quality. The first two seasons of “Dexter” are so good that a let-down was inevitable.

Dexter: Season Three was released on DVD and Blu-Ray on August 18th, 2009.
Dexter: Season Three was released on DVD and Blu-Ray on August 18th, 2009.
Photo credit: Showtime/Paramount

The entire series arc of “Dexter” has been about the title character moving closer and closer to “normal”. Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall) is still pretty far from normal. He’s a serial killer with a moral code, someone who murders the people who fall through the cracks of the legal system. The first season saw him come to terms with the questions of his past and the second with the addiction that keeps him from his own version of happiness.

The third season of “Dexter” is about friendship and secrets. Dexter meets Miguel Prado (Jimmy Smits), a District Attorney who is known for cutting a few corners in the courtroom, and the two form an unusual friendship. The best scenes of season three beautifully balance the fiery passion of Smits with the cool, calm demeanor of Hall. They’re a remarkable pair.

Dexter: Season Three was released on DVD and Blu-Ray on August 18th, 2009.
Dexter: Season Three was released on DVD and Blu-Ray on August 18th, 2009.
Photo credit: Showtime/Paramount

While Miguel and Dexter form a crimefighting, dynamic duo, Deborah (Jennifer Carpenter) deals with falling for her C.I., Angel (David Zayas) falls in love with a cop, La Guerta (Lauren Velez) unravels the truth about her old friend, and Rita (Julie Benz) comes to terms with being a mother and a wife again.

“Dexter” is still one of the best shows on television but there’s a tension missing from season three for at least the first half of the twelve episodes. Dexter needs an adversary at all times. Season one delivered The Ice Truck Killer and season two featured Dexter against the world as his crimes came back to haunt him. Season three eventually delivers the action, but there’s a driving tension to the first two seasons missing from this one. Even the supporting character arcs aren’t quite as rich as the first two seasons.

Having said that, if you enjoyed seasons one and two, you have to take a look at season three. Hall has arguably never been better (and was nominated for an Emmy yet again, along with the show’s nomination for Best Drama). He is consistently mesmerizing, making one of the most interesting anti-heroes in TV history fully three-dimensional. As much as I love Gabriel Byrne and Jon Hamm, I’ll smile if Hall walks home with his first Emmy next month. After what he brought to “Six Feet Under” and how he’s topping it with “Dexter,” Hall should have at least one by now.

The Blu-Ray release of the third season of “Dexter” is nearly perfect from a technical standpoint but disappointing when it comes to special features. Showtime/Paramount has taken to using Blu-Ray and DVD special features on their series mostly to advertise for other properties. So, on “Dexter,” you’ll find the first two episodes of “United States of Tara” and the first two episodes of the third season of “The Tudors,” but no commentaries, deleted scenes, or detailed looks at the show itself. Other BD-Live features include book excerpts and interviews with some of the cast, but it feels like a scant collection for such a beloved show.

Luckily, the show itself looks remarkable. This is one of the best video transfers for TV on Blu-Ray to date, presented in crystal clear 1080p High Definition and accompanied by an English 5.1 Dolby TrueHD track.

Nominated for major Emmys, including Best Drama and Best Actor, for the second straight year, the cult of “Dexter” continues to grow. Jump on the bandwagon before the fourth season starts.

‘Dexter: Season Three’ is released by Showtime/Paramount and stars Michael C. Hall, Julie Benz, Jennifer Carpenter, C.S. Lee, Lauren Velez, David Zayas, James Remar, and Jimmy Smits. It was created by James Manos, Jr.. The Blu-Ray and DVD were released on August 18th, 2009. It is not rated. content director Brian Tallerico

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