Speaking of Debra, Dexter's adoptive sister is having your average, routine workload here as well. Promoted to lieutenant after the division's previous commander, Lt. LaGuerta (Lauren Vélez), advances up the rank to Captain via that timeless, surefire method of promotion, blackmail, Debra discovers being the boss isn't all it's cracked up to be — especially after she begins to realize the feelings she has for her adopted brother aren't as wholesomely family-like in nature as she always suspected. And they say there's nothing new under the sun.
As any good Dexter fan knows, one of the keys to the success of this particular series is the fact that its writers like to throw us for a loop. Quite a bit, in fact. At the finale of Season Four, the character of Rita, Dexter's annoying wife, was written out of the equation completely. Interestingly enough, there's barely a mention of her or her children here; they are only mentioned briefly in passing without so much as a glimpse of them in recap footage. That in itself suggests a new direction. Sadly, I'm not quite sure Dexter's writers knew where that destination lied, as it seems they are frequently pulling out the "Oh, no, we were just kidding" card — something we discover about mid-way through this season when one of our antagonists turns out to be a total red herring.
Although Dexter's former family is nowhere to be seen, we are treated to a surprise appearance by another relation of his; a character who, while deceased, gets to ride side-by-side with Dex à la his ghostly step-father, Harry (James Remar). This two-episode subplot makes for a nice change of pace during an otherwise irresolute season, though it still seems out of place to me. Frankly, the whole season seems like an overlong introduction to the next one — as the finale of Dexter: The Sixth Season finally bridges the gap between our titular character's two very different lives.