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Conscience is a Killer

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Trailers | July 26, 2010 |

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Trailers | July 26, 2010 |

The first trailer for season five of “Dexter” debuted over the weekend at Comic-Con and is now up on the Internet. Just to put a caveat on it: if you are watching the show, and haven’t gotten to the last few minutes of season four, you really do not want to watch this trailer, or read the text below.

Looks like the murder of Rita is bringing the pressure back onto Dexter again, via Quinn this time instead of Doakes. Of course the catch is that this time, Dexter really didn’t do what he’s being suspected of. It feels like the show is on a cycle, slowly circling towards an end point. Or you might just argue that it’s repetitive. The authorities get closer, Dexter gets more human, the pressure eases off, Dexter experiences new found freedom, rinse and repeat. At first glance, the trailer could almost play bit by bit from Season 2: Dexter is suspected by Quinn/Doakes, he’s free of Rita because of death/breakup, and he buries himself in ?/Lila. If they’re playing a similar iteration, the question is, what does Dexter lose himself in? What is the intoxicating danger that makes him less human even as he becomes more human in the complimentary half of the cycle?

My guess is that the teased bits of Dexter being actively suspected for Rita’s murder is going to run its course within a few episodes, but that Quinn’s not going to be convinced just like Doakes wasn’t before. My hope is that they’re moving towards an ultimate goal, that there’s an intersection between those paths of becoming human and getting caught. There are two cop out endings to this show: trail off with Dexter continuing to kill, or trailing off because he decides not to anymore. The first renders the entire show pointless, and the second is a mockery of any actual development of the main character. The sinner doesn’t get to earn a soul and then ride off into the sunset.

Steven Lloyd Wilson is the sci-fi and history editor. You can email him here or follow him on Twitter.

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