I think people gave last week's premiere the short shrift; it wasn't nearly as boring as some people made it out to be. Of course, I found the previous season openers to be more exciting, but that doesn't mean I wasn't intrigued by what we saw in "Those Kinds of Things." But this episode takes all of the little threads we were given in the first episode and elaborates on them, also throwing in some new characters and character developments for the actors who haven't been given as much to do.
Dexter learns that a man he once had the chance to kill and failed to has been released from prison. His name is Brother Sam (Mos Def) and his story is that after killing people and being put in jail, he found God, got released and now helps troubled individuals from heading back to jail by running a car shop. Dexter pursues Sam, as usual, and begins gathering information on him in typical Dexter fashion.
If that were the end of the story, I'd agree about the boring nature of the season, but Tim Schlattmann, the writer for this episode, shakes things up by having Brother Sam not be a bad guy but a true example of someone who is evil being reformed. Mos Def does a great job with the role, playing him up as a weary former criminal who has to fight day in and day out to resist the evil urges he feels. How he'll fit into the rest of the season has yet to be revealed, but I'm intrigued enough to give the show a chance to flesh it out.
Meanwhile, while mostly everyone will likely complain about all the time given to the supporting characters, I have to say... I can't complain. Besides Harry, all of the supporting cast got interesting moments. Okay, I can't say I love the character of LaGuerta, but Deb becoming lieutenant over Batista and refusing to marry Quinn sets up an interesting dynamic, one that I can't say irritates me. A show can't just ride on the back of one actor and I like that the show is trying to make the other characters people worth caring about.
I think the crux of the season will be on how the writers flesh out Hanks and Olmos' characters. We learn that Travis (Colin Hanks) is a pupil of sorts, following around Olmos' character and doing odd jobs for him that have to do with religion (and murdering people). What I liked most about this episode is that we actually got a tiny glimpse into Travis' life. Last season, with Jordan Chase, him and his friends were these lifeless evil men who raped and killed people without caring whatsoever what they did. They gave us no insight how a group of men could consistently remain so evil over time and what compelled them to do so. They sortof did, but I wasn't convinced. The show focused too much on Julia Stiles to give us a truly great villain. Trinity had a great backstory as to why he was so damaged, and I hope we get something like that here. And it's a good start: Travis has a sister who misses him, there's some tension between the two and Travis obviously seems torn between her and Olmos. I hope we continue to get an insight into these guys.
Right now, Season 6 is off to a good start. I wouldn't say great, necessarily, but definitely good.