While this season is interesting so far compared to last (which I didn't actually mind at all except for the villain) the show is showing signs of falling into mediocrity.
Everything seems to be rushed, cut scenes are abrupt and they've suddenly starting adding an outside view of Miami Metro (seemingly from across the canal or perhaps even from a boat) that seems pretty sloppy and doesn't look like anything we've seen previously; exclusively parking lot shots in the past.
Aside from sloppier camera work the story lines, like the friendship with Brother Sam, seem to happen too quickly with no real lead up. How long did it take for Miguel and Dexter to become friends? Perhaps close to the same number of episodes but at least with Miguel there was a thoughtful logical progression as they went deeper and deeper into each others pockets, reluctantly on Dexter's part. This season with Brother Sam he has a heartfelt conversation in the hospital room that seems rather too deep for where the relationship was at; made me think that the actors jumped into the friendship fully established because that's what was in the script for that episode. Dexter should if anything be harder to reach now after everything.
To me even his inner monologue comments to outside conversations, the one liners especially where he finishes the sentence of the person he's listening to, don't seem to have the same umph or sense of perfect timing and fitting the mood like it did in the past. What happened to the overall flow?
Last but not least the real or not so real Professor Gellar. Though they may twist this before the end its pretty clear that he is a figment of Travis' psychosis (my thought is that he killed Gellar himself and now his ghost haunts him just like Dexter's brother is now doing with Dexter (i just watched episode 7 too so it fits better) and likely this is the very reason that they did it; its to prepare us so that we understand when they "surprise" us. If I'm right it's another sign the writing is becoming predictable and sloppy. I've never known in the previous season's how it was going to end, though I always had an idea (that ended up being wrong) so to know now would be disappointing, especially if Dexter and Gellar (Olmos) never actually interact at the end of the day.
I still love the characters, I still l love the show but its like having a hero suddenly show clay feet.
Since its my first review I'll just finish with my thoughts on how I would like to see the show end someday (likely next season). Dexter must be caught, if not by the law then at the very least Debra and one or two coworkers. If by his sister and peer(s) only then they will choose to keep his secret and this would only be possible if he turns over a new leaf and stops killing; this would be with the help of Brother Sam in a reprise role perhaps.
The better scenario is that the law catches him finally, meaning his sister and a coworker like Quinn (who seemed so close last season but seems to have lost his memory this season), but with the call being made by an outside agency to force it into the public eye with no chance of keeping it in the closet. Imagine the incredible fallout that would occur. Imagine the press getting hold of it (I picture something like the end of Season 1 with the imaginary "We love you Dexter" parade which could then really happen) and the public/political debate that it would create. How could he not be a vigilante hero "keeping the streets clean" in this scenario. We can picture him in an asylum and the interviews with FBI psychologists trying to unravel his mystery while other scenes focus on the lead up to a trial and his coworkers dealing with the truth. What would be the verdict will be the big question. The department would go down in flames, like La Guerta and the jerk Chief Lieutenant, for not seeing it all along and having gotten it all wrong, like with Dokes to name one. He's really really made them look like fools over the years after all.
Well, its an either/or in my opinion in how it eventually all ends and I hope it's the latter since, like the old saying, "it's not if you get caught but when". I just hope the writers don't run out of juice before they get there and give us an ending the story and fans deserve.