Looking back on Season 5 of Dexter, it's not that it was a bad season, but it just didn't leave me feeling satisfied the way Seasons 1, 2 and 4 did. Season 5 started off strong, got stronger and simply fizzled out and limped into the finale. Everything wrong with the show was evident by the finale: Dexter nearly getting caught by Deb but is saved at the last second, Lumen randomly leaving, the relationships of the show, the much-too-tidy tie-up of Quinn and Liddy's fiasco... I just felt like the show was like "Well, that didn't work the way we wanted it to" and hit the reboot button.
That being said, the Season 6 premiere isn't exactly a reboot, but with Scott Buck at the helm (writer of some good Dexter episodes and some GREAT Six Feet Under episodes) and no romantic interest bogging Dexter down, Dex can somewhat get back to normal, despite having a kid in tow. What I liked most about the premiere was how skittish it felt. It sounds like something that's not worth liking, but to be honest, I was glad to see no romance for Dexter. We watch him go to his high school reunion, an episode that feels straight out of Season 1 because of how disconnected it is from the main plot. Last season found Dexter going after one guy, Boyd Fowler, and he ended up being connected to the main plot. It'll be nice to see some stand-alone kills from Dexter.
As for the main villains this season, played by Colin Hanks and Edward James Olmos, we didn't get enough here to exactly make a judgment on how they're doing, but I will give the show this: this is creepy. Whereas other villains operated because of their own psychosis and damaged pasts, these seem to be operating under the guise of religion, and that can be a freaky thing. It should be interesting to see how these characters bloom.
Another surprising development is the lack of Batista and LaGuerta being together. Talk about the writers taking the advice of the fans into account. Nobody wants to see those two having plots that take up significant chunks of time. That being said, I'm not sure how much better watching Batista and his sister is, but at least Batista is being given something to do besides pine for LaGuerta and argue with her. Also, I see Deb and Quinn as being strong enough to exist without Dexter. I'm looking forward to seeing how their plots grow from here on out as well.
The premiere was good for sure; I wouldn't go as far as to say great. There's room for improvement here, but this was a good start.
(Also, I love the way they use Harry here. Lately, I've seen less and less reason to have Harry stick around, even though I like James Remar, but tonight, we saw him be more of a father than we've seen him be since the flashbacks in Seasons 1 and 2.)