Dexter: Season 5 review (DVD)

No church bells. No Hallelujah chorus. Nothing feels different. If anything, I'm emptier. — Dexter Morgan

WARNING: Here there be spoilers ... if you haven't seen Dexter Season 4, then read no further.

So, thanks to the Trinity Killer, Dex is now a single dad. And a widower. For as we saw in the shock finale of season 4, Rita is dead. And buried. But just as Dexter is getting used to the single life, another pretty blonde comes into his life. She's Lumen Pierce (Stiles), who witnesses Dexter in action and decides she wants to team up ... for reasons of her own.

There's also a great guest-star turn from Miller as motivational speaker (with a nasty secret) Jordan Chase, as well as RobOcop himself, Weller, as Stan Liddy – a rather dirty former cop hired by Quinn (Harrington) to investigate Dexter. Elsewhere, Quinn and Deb (Carpenter) get involved,and Laguerta (Velez) and Batista (Zayas) get married.

After the amazing conclusion of Season 4, Season 5 begins slowly and feels a little lacklustre. The highlight is Stiles, playing a rape visctim hell-bent on revenge; she is more than a match for Dexter, perhaps even the ying to his yang. And Miller and Weller are also terrific. What lets the season down are the romantic subplots, which feel somehow forced. Despite this, Dexter continues to enthrall – thanks primarily to the brilliant central performance of the magnificent Mr Hall – and is still one of the best shows on TV today.

EXTRAS ★★ A Sit-Down With the Cast & Crew, called 20 Questions; and a Photo Gallery.

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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