Dexter: Season Four Blu-ray Review

In the third season of Showtime’s Dexter, the serial killer moonlighting as a blood splatter specialist let his arrogance get the best of him by allowing Miguel Prado (Jimmy Smits) into his private world of permanently eliminating bad guys. As a mentor to an apprentice Dexter (Michael C. Hall) found companionship but soon learned, as the ghostly images of his father warned, that no good would come from letting someone get close.

Season four turns the tables on this relationship by putting Dexter in the apprentice role and introducing John Lithgow as his unknowing mentor, the Trinity killer. It’s a clever turn for a show that continues to open new doors into the mind of a clearly sick individual struggling to fit into a society where he does not belong.

Parallels between seasons three and four are evident coming from a mile away. Dexter’s arrogance overcomes his father’s wishes creating a mess around the chase for Trinity requiring a perfectly executed covert plan to clean up. Lithgow in a Golden Globe-winning performance at Trinity is no Miguel Prado and will not be easily erased. The cat and mouse game between a pair of monsters parading around as loving fathers and family men offers the best dramatic tension and final twist the series has served up thus far.

Wedged around the chase for Trinity is a subplot involving a budding relationship between coworkers Laguerta and Batista. It pops up early on and drags on throughout season four for no other reason than to fill minutes. Everything else including a nosy reporter (Courtney Ford) who secudes Quinn (Desmond Harrington) wonderfully converges into the final moments that set the stage for what should be an equally enjoyable fifth season.

High-Def Presentation

It should come as no surprise that Dexter: Season Four on Blu-ray matches the standards set by the three previous seasons in high definition. The 1.78:1 1080p transfer is full of detail and vibrant colors that make their presence known before the main title sequence is over. The only complaint is some excessive grain on a handful of scenes with awkward lighting conditions that jump out as feeling out of place. Those scenes represent less than 1% of the total season.

Showtime’s 5.1 Dolby TrueHD uncompressed audio track meets its video counterpart in completing the high definition experience. Switching back and forth between the Dolby TrueHD and compressed Dolby Digital tracks is undeniable proof at how much more depth and clarity is gained with the lossless track. True action scenes are the exception in Dexter so there aren’t many opportunities for LFE and surrounds to work overtime. Dexter’s dialogue, which is of paramount importance to enjoying the show, is always crystal clear.

Beyond the Feature

Booting up any of Dexter’s 3 Blu-ray Discs takes several minutes as it has to check to see if BD-Live is connected and then direct you first to Showtime’s BD-Live portal. Only after exiting the portal can you actually watch the show.

I love how Showtime presents episodes of their shows but their reliance on BD-Live to serve bonus features is a real drag. Dexter-specific bonus features only available to download via the BD-Live portal include Cast Interviews with Michael C. Hall, Clyde Phillips, David Zayas, John Lithgow, C.S. Lee, Julie Benz, Lauren Velez, Jennifer carptenter and James Remar. None were available to download at the time of this review.

That’s it for Dexter. The other supplements available via BD-Live are Full Episodes for Showtime’s Californication (season three, episodes 1 and 2) and The Tudors (season four, episodes 1 and 2).

Showtime pretty much drops the fall on Dexter bonus features but you cannot go wrong with what I consider to be one of, if not the best serial show running today. Season four looks and sounds as it should on Blu-ray and is arguably the best thus far. Be sure to watch seasons one to three before meeting the Trinity killer. There’s so much you must learn about Dexter Morgan.

– Dan Bradley

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