Series five of Dexter began where the last series ended: with Rita in the bath tub, the last murder victim of the serial killer Trinity. Dexter remains numb and impassive, in the shock stage of grief, as those around him worry for his sanity. That is everyone except Quinn who becomes the new token "suspicious of Dexter" guy (remember Doakes?) and hires shamed, sleazy cop Liddy to find out all he can about our favorite serial killer. Debs, of course, then gets close to Quinn so she can be let down once again by a guy she felt she could love and trust (remember Rudy?).
The series continues in this overly familiar way, yet still manages to sustain our interest with it's cliffhangers and beautifully textured characters. No character is merely good or bad and every single one of them has weaknesses, faults and endearing qualities to either frustrate or make us realise we do like them after all. Take Laguerta as an example. She cares more for what the press thinks of her than her the police force she is in charge of; leaving even Batista, her own husband, taking second place to her pride. She uses Deb as a scapegoat for her own mistakes in the Fuentes shoot out and refuses to open a closed case because it will look bad to her detective skills. But still, she manages to save herself from our hatred by re-opening the case, taking Debs off her punishment of filing duty and also gets the clause to prevent Jordan Chase (the new token bad guy played by Johnny Lee Miller) from leaving the country.
The past four series gave us The Ice Truck Killer, The Bay Harbour Butcher, Miguel and Trinity. There has always been a serial killer for Dexter to either hunt down or get close to emotionally and this series is no exception. There is one slight difference though, this time it is four men who rape and murder women under the watchful eye of motivational speaker Jordan Chase. The men are all best friends from school and have killed twelve women over a period of fifteen years. It would be thirteen but Dexter notices blood in a lorry he wants to use for moving house and the blood leads him to Boyd Fowler. Dexter finds the bodies and the locks of hair that Boyd kept as trophies which is enough proof for him to kill Boyd as a hidden Lumen Pierce (played by the brilliant Julia Stiles) watches.
When Dexter finds Lumen he must battle with Harry's code and his own small amount of humility. Can he really keep someone alive who has seen exactly who he is? Deep down, Dexter is just as shattered by his traumatic experience with Trinity as Lumen is with Chase and his closest friends and the two become close over their losses. For a serial killer with little need for emotional connections Dexter doesn't do too badly on the romantic front. There was of course Rita the fragile and damaged wife, Lila the arsonist artist and now Lumen the gang rape survivor. He also had a close friendship with Miguel, the lawyer cum serial killer who didn't know when to stop. It is a great way of humanising Dexter by giving him a companion, but at the same time makes us question how many times can he keep showing this part of himself to people before his luck runs out?
Lumen and Dexter become the new serial killing duo on the streets of Miami and successfully take down all of Jordan Chase's men, remaining a mere few steps ahead of the police force Dexter works for the whole time. But there is a problem, someone has bugged Dexter's apartment using the incredibly scrumptious baby Harrison's walkie talkie, and has seen the two planning their kills. The observer in question is Stan Liddy: a sleazy, disgraced ex cop with a grudge against Laguerta and a desire to get back on the police force. Quinn (played by a worryingly thin Desmond Harrington) paid Liddy to look into Dexter, but as he got closer to Deb he lost interest in the case. Liddy didn't, knowing he was on to something big. It takes a battle to the death for Dexter to save him and Lumen from the electric chair, but Quinn has been told to come to Liddy's van and gets blood on his shoes. Will Dexter save Quinn or let him go down for a murder he didn't commit?
The series continues with Dexter and Lumen and also the Miami police department battering down the wall that surrounds world famous Jordan Chase: a control freak who doesn't like his cage to be rattled. Knowing his time is running out, Chase plans a European tour in an attempt to flee the country. Debs has a clause preventing him from leaving but Chase hasn't shown up at the airport, he's been too busy kidnapping Lumen. Dexter is again in trouble as he crashes his car at the hideout where Chase and his men's obsession with rape and murder began. Could it be the end for him and Lumen? Of course not! The two kill him, not realising Deb is on the way to the camp site. She finds the body of Jordan Chase and notices the silhouettes of Lumen and Dexter behind a wall of sheets. She can not tell who they are, but has been deeply affected by the DVDs of the rapes the men kept and allows the two to escape.
With the body parts of Jordan Chase thrown into the sea Lumen can finally be released from her demons. Sadly this also means the end of her relationship with Dexter (talk about use and abuse!) who she feels she can not be with any more because he is still carrying his dark passenger. The series was a slow starter, but quickly grew more exciting and kept it's audience on edge throughout. There is definite need for a few kinks in the plot next time though to prevent the series from getting as stagnant as one of of Dexter's bags in the bottom of the ocean.