This week's must-see DVD/BD, and why we're lovin' it.
What? Dexter: The Fourth Season
Who? Created by James Manos Jr. and starring Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, Lauren Velez, David Zayas, Julie Benz and John Lithgow
Why? It may seem odd to feature TV shows on a movie site, but this Showtime series is so good (and this season so outstanding) I couldn’t resist--especially with only lame Brendan Fraser and Miley Cyrus movies new this week. Dexter, our favorite TV serial killer, is now a happily married man with a new baby and a house in the suburbs. His job as a blood-splatter analyst for the Miami Metro Police Department is not going to satisfy his bloodlust now that a new serial killer, code-named "Trinity" (John Lithgow), has invaded his turf. Trinity always dispatches his victims in the same pattern: a young woman in a bathtub, an older mother of two falling to her death and a father of two fatally bludgeoned. Dexter launches his own investigation and discovers that Trinity is actually Arthur Mitchell, a seemingly happy married man with a family who shares Dexter's struggle with duality. Intrigued by the possibility of learning how to cope from a kindred spirit, Dexter befriends Arthur and ingratiates himself with his family. The more Dexter learns about his creepy new friend, the more he realizes that Arthur is a dangerous threat to everyone around him, including Dexter's family. It's killer dad vs. killer dad that culminates in a jaw-dropping final showdown that shocked Showtime viewers.
If you worried that Dexter would mellow and lose his edge after getting married and moving to the 'burbs, rest easy—Dexter
is still as violent and exciting as ever. Hall, who in real life has been recovering from cancer, expertly walks the fragile line between two polar opposite personalities on the show. Guest star John Lithgow
—in perhaps his darkest role ever, and one that got him Emmy nominated—is especially brave in a performance that requires nudity and the gentle actor to abuse his TV family and wallow in depravity. The supporting cast, including Hall's real-life wife, Jennifer Carpenter, who plays his foul-mouthed sister on the show, is a solid team that remains oblivious to the monster in their midst. Dexter might never recover from the events in the season finale, but you'll want to catch up with this thrilling series on disc before the fifth season begins on September 26.
What Else? Both the DVD and Blu-ray contain interviews with Hall, Lithgow, Julie Benz, Carpenter and more; the BD adds access to episodes of Showtime favorites Californication and The Tudors via BD-Live. You'll want to check out: Each set includes a coupon for $25 cash back for three months of Showtime, so if you buy Dexter: The Fourth Season you'll be able to watch the upcoming season for a killer discount.