The previous season of Dexter ended pretty conclusively, wrapping up just about every subplot without creating many new ones. Lumen is miraculously cured of her "darkness," Dexter almost gets caught by Deb but manages to get away, and Quinn has given up his investigation into Dexter's suspicious activities. While this all made for a fairly tense finale in December, it gave the writers little to work with when coming up with this season's plots. As a result, a lot of last night's premiere felt extremely rushed and forced, establishing a mind-boggling number of inane subplots.
I'll try to avoid devolving into a complete synopsis, but I'll give a quick rundown of what happened in the episode. So, spoiler warning, I guess:
Oh, and those were just the over-arching plots they established. Specific to this episode, Dexter goes to his high school reunion to kill the former prom king. No, he isn't getting revenge for years of high school torment, this particular prom king happened to murder his wife and not get caught. So, after indulging in literally every single "high-school-reunion-episode" cliche, Dexter tracks down the jock and kills him in the usual fashion. But not before the prom king gives an embarrassingly ham-handed speech about God and love and forgiveness and sin. Also, Dexter gets a blowjob from the girl who used to copy his homework!
If you think you're seeing a theme here, you would be right. Most of the episode's plots revolved around the concepts of religion and faith. It seems pretty clear that this is going to be a major issue for Dexter, but on which side of the fence he will ultimately fall remains to be seen. It certainly has potential for an interesting philosophical discussion, but this show isn't generally one for subtleties or nuance.
This season premiere has me a little concerned about the rest of the season, but hopefully the next few episodes will give each of these plots a little room to breathe and grow. There's definitely potential for this to turn into a great season, but this first episode leaves a lot to be desired. If you haven't watched it yet, you might be better off waiting a few weeks so you can watch the first few episodes all at once.