El Bicho's Hive

A Collection of Reviews Covering the Worlds of Art and Entertainment alongside other Snobbish Ramblings.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Dexter: The Second Season (Blu-ray)

The writers of Dexter do a great job of increasing the conflict throughout this season as it picks up 38 days after the resolution of the Ice Killer case that concluded the first season. That’s also how long Dexter (Michael C. Hall) has gone without killing anyone because the suspicious Sergeant Doakes (Erik King) has remained on his trail. However, Doakes isn’t the only person Dexter has to keep his true identity hidden from.

After the oceanic graveyard of Dexter’s victims is discovered, the media gets a hold of the story, dubbing the killer the “Bay Harbor Butcher,” and FBI Agent Lundy (Keith Carradine) begins to work on the case. Dexter’s girlfriend Rita (Julie Benz) is suspicious of his behavior, and when he admits to having an addiction, he doesn’t dissuade her when she assumes it’s to drugs. Rita demands that he join N.A. but wasn’t counting on his sponsor being the attractive Lila (Jamie Murray), who grows more attached to Dexter than he would like.

Dexter and the writers juggle the storylines well and conclude the season in a morbidly fun, believable way. They also reveal more about the character’s background, better explaining who he is and why he is.

Like the previous season's Blu-ray release, the second season contains 12 episodes that are presented in 1080p and an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. Cinematographer Romeo Tirone gets a great look shooting HD video as he and his team continue to bring the stylized look of the series and the Miami location to the small screen. Red is still a vibrant and important color in his palette. In some low-light scenes outdoors at night, however, there is some loss of detail and the richness of black levels.

The audio is delivered in English and Spanish 5.1 Dolby True HD. The dialogue is usually quite clear and presented through the fronts. While the music and ambiance make good use of the surrounds, I didn’t find myself immersed within scenes.

Once again, Showtime does a poor job of delivering on extras. There is an incredibly lame game called “Tools of the Trade” that is basically just busywork where you need to pick five out of seven items for Dexter’s kit. Everything else has to be accessed through BD-Live. Those include podcasts by Michael C. Hall, the first two episodes of United States of Tara, “Blood Fountains” featurette, and two “Dark Defender” shorts.

Fans of Dexter’s first season should find the second continues to deliver the goods and is at least worth renting to learn of his further adventures.

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