Every Season of Dexter, Ranked by Rotten Tomatoes – saimmalik


Operating for eight seasons between the years 2006 and 2013, Dexter was a present of outstanding highs and generally soul-crushing lows. It began nicely, with an simple central hook, and it slot in successfully with the types of anti-hero-led/morally grey drama sequence that had been widespread within the 2000s (and are arguably nonetheless widespread to today). Like Tony Soprano earlier than him and Walter White (simply) after him, the lead character of Dexter was an advanced and never totally nice man who was however fascinating to look at, regardless of – or maybe due to – the horrible issues he did.


Dexter Morgan’s a forensic technician working within the Miami Metro Police Division by day, however by evening, he is a serial killer who typically targets different serial killers, all to satiate his compulsion to homicide. The present had an general narrative and loads of recurring characters, however most seasons had been outlined by having a give attention to one primary storyline or antagonist. In consequence, the seasons are straightforward to tell apart, and including to that is the truth that some are significantly better than others. What follows are all eight seasons of Dexter (excluding the 2021 reboot, Dexter: New Blood) ranked by the proportion of critics on Rotten Tomatoes who reviewed them favorably.


8 Season 8 (2013)

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 33%

Picture through Showtime

Season 8 of Dexter serves as the unique present’s climactic season, and if something, it is stunning that roughly one-third of critics on Rotten Tomatoes apparently appreciated it. Over its 12 episodes, it feels remarkably unexciting and lacks the type of influence you’d hope against the law/drama TV present’s closing season would have. The stakes aren’t there, the pacing is gradual, and all of it pales compared to the dynamite final season of Breaking Bad, which aired in 2013 at nearly the very same time.

It revolves round one other serial killer on the town for Dexter to cope with, guilt for his sister, Debra, to course of concerning issues that occurred earlier within the present, and a mysterious psychiatrist named Dr. Evelyn Vogel with a hyperlink to Dexter’s previous. All of it builds sloppily and slowly to the infamously bad series finale titled “Remember the Monsters.” Regardless of how a lot you want Dexter, it is sensible to bow out earlier than ever reaching this disappointing closing season. Regardless of the poor scores from critics, Dexter’s closing season managed to interrupt data on Showtime, the place the season premiere amassed 2.8 million viewers.

7 Season 6 (2011)

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 38%

Colin Hanks and Edward James talking in front of a crucifix in Dexter
Picture through Showtime

Whereas not fairly as disliked general as season 8, season 6 of Dexter remains to be seen as one thing of a low level for the present general, and comparatively weak in comparison with the seasons that got here earlier than. Season 5 felt self-contained in a means that did not give season 6 a lot to go together with initially, which results in one other pretty self-contained plot getting kicked off: this one being a couple of sequence of killings which are all seemingly non secular in nature. Amongst different issues, season 6 introduced viewers with bad character arcs, a strange love story, and poorly executed religious undertones.

There is a good quantity of lifeless air all through this sixth season of the present, with wheels being spun endlessly till a not-so-shocking plot twist is revealed. There’s an actual sense of “That is it?” to a lot of your entire season, when this twist feels just like the pay-off, however fortunately the final scene of season 6’s finale is an efficient cliffhanger (and one thing that was a very long time coming) that may nicely pique a viewer’s curiosity for a seventh season.

6 Season 3 (2008)

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 72%

Jennifer Carpenter as Debra Morgan in Dexter
Picture through Showtime

Even when the primary 4 seasons are inclined to characterize Dexter at its finest, it is normal to seek out rather less reward for season 3 in comparison with seasons 1, 2, and 4. It is actually not dangerous by any means, and that is mirrored by the truth that its Rotten Tomatoes score remains to be significantly greater than the 2 seasons of Dexter that characterize the present at its worst. Nevertheless it does recycle issues to some extent, and is not fairly as impactful because the present’s finest early seasons.

It would simply be that seasons 1 and a pair of had been so good {that a} “merely” strong third season feels somewhat disappointing as compared. However even then, the central plot of season 3 – which sees Dexter turning into mates with an uncommon District Legal professional performed by Jimmy Smits – is pretty partaking. So too is the continued exploration of the romantic facet of Dexter’s life, together with his accomplice, Rita Bennett, being pregnant this season with Dexter’s youngster.

5 Season 7 (2012)

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 79%

Dexter (Michael C. Hall) and LaGuerta (Lauren Velez) on 'Dexter'
Picture through Showtime

Resting between the 2 lowest-rated seasons of Dexter comes a surprisingly good season: the seventh and penultimate one. Whereas it is not consultant of Dexter at its best, it’s a enjoyable season that has a certain quantity of power to it, benefiting from the best way season 6 ended, and the truth that it locations its titular character within the sorts of really precarious and constantly tense conditions he confronted extra typically within the present’s early years.

As a season that hits the bottom operating, it arguably peters out somewhat in its second half, but interesting antagonists and guest stars and a very good quantity of depth maintain issues watchable. Season 7 helps redeem Dexter to some extent, making it inconceivable to say that each one of its seasons within the closing years had been horrible, although it is undeniably flanked by two seasons that had been, in reality, fairly dangerous.

4 Season 1 (2006)

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 82%

Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall) holds a camera on 'Dexter'
Picture through Showtime

Season 1 of Dexter is nice tv, with a lot of the present’s success largely coming from how immediately partaking its pilot episode is. It is a season all about introducing the viewer to the title character, organising the dynamics he has with all the opposite supporting characters whereas introducing a mysterious villain who seems to have some eerie similarities to Dexter himself.

Season 1’s additionally notable for being the one season of the present that adapted a novel from the book series the show was based on; particularly, the primary, titled Darkly Dreaming Dexter. Different seasons had been extra impressed by books, or deviated from the unique occasions totally, with Dexter general being a present that modified issues within the supply materials up somewhat extra efficiently than say, one thing like Game of Thrones.

3 Season 5 (2010)

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 84%

Michael C. Hall pulling Julia Stiles' arm in Dexter
Picture through Showtime

It is one thing of a shock to see season 5 of Dexter be close to the highest of the highest-rated seasons of the present in accordance with Rotten Tomatoes critics. It is actually not a foul season, however it has a central story that is somewhat acquainted and fewer partaking than a lot of what had come earlier than, although season 5 does start in a really robust means, with its opening episode depicting the aftermath of season 4’s dramatic conclusion.

After that, issues decelerate, with Dexter’s interactions with a younger girl named Lumen Pierce (Julia Stiles) making for a strong, if not fairly nice central narrative for the season. Past the primary episode, it is a very self-contained season, succeeding in offering extra Dexter, even when the Dexter it supplies is not all the time as much as the requirements of the present at its best.

2 Season 4 (2009)

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 88%

Michael C. Hall and John Lithgow in Dexter
Picture through Showtime

Dexter’s fourth season sees the present at its most dramatic, intense, and emotionally devastating. Following the delivery of Harrison, his and Rita’s son, Dexter is now struggling to discover ways to be a father, and all of the whereas has an uneasy dynamic with Arthur Mitchell (John Lithgow), an older man who’s additionally a serial killer like Dexter, albeit one who’s labored out tips on how to steadiness his murders together with his household life.

Lithgow’s efficiency right here is extensively praised and deservedly so, and he may nicely be the most effective antagonist featured in any season of Dexter. Issues are significantly excessive stakes all through the period of the fourth season, and it feels robust and even climactic sufficient that bowing out of the present after season 4 (or maybe after the primary episode of season 5) may nicely be the easiest way to get pleasure from Dexter as an entire.

1 Season 2 (2007)

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 96%

Michael C. Hall pointing a gun at Erik King in Dexter
Picture through Showtime

After a fairly intense first season, Dexter’s second season raised the stakes to a close to ludicrous diploma, setting the bar excessive sufficient that many of the seasons that adopted failed to come back shut. A lot of the season revolves round Dexter’s co-workers investigating the crimes he himself dedicated prior to now, as early on within the season, numerous our bodies of his previous victims are found, launching an enormous Miami-wide investigation.

It is the type of monumental storyline in a present like this that, in hindsight, may’ve finest been saved for a later season, however regardless, it is undeniably entertaining right here. Its conclusion (and the way it kills off a great character) might need damage the present’s probabilities to achieve comparable dramatic heights sooner or later, however the 12 episodes contained inside season 2 are nonetheless a blast to look at. Like Rotten Tomatoes, season 2 additionally did nicely on IMDd with episodes scoring between 8.3-9.3 stars.

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