Okay, finally I'm thru my DVDs. The other thread seems to have vanished, so I'll start this one with a new twist: in light of what's happened in S1 and S2, where can they go with S3? Judging from the other thread, lots of people have seen S2 already, so uncoded spoilers are okay for S1-S2, but code anything for S3 beyond speculation. My take on S2: even better than S1, mainly due to the Doakes vs. Dexter stuff. The cabin chats were absolute gold. Loved the crazy twists and turns and sick sense of humor - Dexter's dream dragging the drug dealer thru the police station and his rehersals of confessing to Deb and her reaction were my favorites. The had me going on the first one - he confesses, and she promptly chokes to death on a piece of steak. Lila was obnoxious but I think she was supposed to be; they cast an off-putting actress so we wouldn't feel sorry for her when Dexter finally killed her. Keith Carradine was a great addition to this season. Minuses: The writers did such a good foreshadowing job that I actually managed to predict many of the plot twists in advance; I'd been spoiled on S1 but I think if I hadn't, that would have come as more of a surprise. I figured out as soon as Doakes ended up locked in a cage that he would die due to Lila's pyromania and actually worried that it would be far more horrific than it turned out to be, and really did not want to see that last episode. A quick death by explosion, phew! I was actually relieved. I think they could have added more irony in the final scenes, and tie it back into the final fantasy parade ending of S1. I'm sure judging from real world experience that when the Bay Harbor Butcher was "unmasked," that he would become a hero in some quarters - tabloids, idiot radio shows, wingnut blogs - particularly if he were both a cop and a bad-ass war hero. MANY people would totally go for that, he'd be a popular martyr. Maybe that Dark Defender comic book would end up getting published after all, with a character who looks like Doakes. But the irony would be that the types of people who would lionize Doakes would not be the sort that Dexter would want in his "parade." That alone would be a wake-up call for him. Also, Dexter lied when he said he was better than Doakes because more people depended on him. There were four people besides Dex at that funeral - the same number Dex could expect to attend his funeral if he were unmasked as a serial killer. He should have realized that and acknowledged it in the voice-over. On to S3: I honestly don't think they can keep up this level of insane quality. But they're at so high a level, that even dropping a notch or two will keep this one of the best shows on TV, or ever. Doakes' warning to Dexter that the Dark Passenger is a cancer that's spreading is a good way to go. Lose the tension over whether Dex will be caught for a while and ramp up tension of what happens if he feels safe. Will he get less cautious? Since he's now living by his own Code and not Harry's, is this slippery-slope time? Will the Dark Passenger start pushing down his standards for "who deserves it"? How sure is he, really, that he'd never be a threat to innocent people? Also, I have a gut feeling Paul isn't really dead. He needed to seem dead to propel the crisis that led Dexter to Narcotics Anonymous, but maybe he's done some deal inside prison to infiltrate some gang and lessen his sentence? And he needs to change identities and appear dead? Yeah, that's kinda 24-ish spy fantasy crap, but I'm really trying to find a way for him to be alive, and released, and coming after Dex. And then there's LaGuerta. She has enough evidence to exonerate Doakes (so ironically, Dexter's frame-up wouldn't have worked). Nobody wants to listen because they want the case closed and no more bodies will be found, so everyone's happy except for her. She still has no reason to suspect Dexter, but that could change. Dexter's obviously very attached to his box of slides. If that were ever discovered, nobody would have to test the slides to know what it means that he stole it back from the evidence locker (or however he got it). I suspect that when he is finally unmasked, his one bit of sentimentality in keeping that box is the thing that will do him in. The key relationship in this show for me is Dex & Deb. Their discussion in the scene where Dexter was supposed to confess really sealed it - she's the yin of life to his yang of death. Whenever the producers decide to end this show, it's going to be Dexter vs. Debra. So the parallel development of both will be key. Dexter will become a smarter and maybe scarier killer. Debra has already started on the road from being a quasi-incompetent cop to becoming someone capable of doing what no one else could, see thru Dexter's disguise and catch him. The scene where Dex jumps Deb by accident in Lila's apartment was - I think - the first clue she's had about how dangerous he really is. Other clues, such as finding out about their father's suicide, will help her start putting together the whole story. And Harry's whole story has not been told. Even in S1, I thought he acted way too maniacal about training Dex, as though he were driven by a heavy burden of guilt and was training Dex to be a vigilante in order to expiate his own guilt - was he a corrupt cop? Did he actually set Laura up to be killed? It wasn't just Dex turning out to be horrifying that made Harry kill himself, it was that he knew he could have at least tried to get Dexter help and the fact that he didn't was his own selfishness, nothing more. Which explains why he left Brian behind. Harry was never trying to help either kid. I'm thinking that with some creative pushing at the limits of this story, we could get five good seasons in total. Like Dexter's steak, it's the kind of thing that makes life worth living. Not that I'm planning on confessing to my own murders anytime soon, but even if I were: I don't think they get Showtime in prison. Edit: details on S3 from eonline. The "big reveal" in the premiere isn't there, but there's one pretty spoilery element in the section about Miguel Prado, so you might want to avert your eyes and skip down to Harry's section. Ah, this sounds very good... Spoiler: vague S3 spoiler, re: Debra Just between you and me, she will also be involved in Dexter's big emotional arc of the season.