The lovable serial killer is back for his third go-round in Dexter: The Third Season. After the rather shocking conclusion to season two, Dexter (Michael C. Hall) gets somewhat of a fresh start since the only people who knew about his dark secret are, shall we say, no longer with us. The season starts out with a bang — Dexter kills someone accidentally without properly vetting him according to the code.
This first victim is revealed to be the brother of Assistant District Attorney Miguel Prado (Jimmy Smits), which turns the Miami police department into a circus as the prominent Prado family demands answers and retribution. Prado’s involvement in the investigation leads to an unlikely friendship between him and Dexter, a friendship which bucks against all of Dexter’s instincts and the lessons he learned from his father. As the season plays out, Dexter must decide whether he can successfully become a normal member of human society — one with friends, meaningful relationships, even children — or whether he should largely remain a recluse for fear of being found out for what he truly is.
The success or failure of this season lies in whether or not the viewer likes the character of Miguel Prado. I honestly did not care for the entire arc involving him, so this season is the weakest of the three seasons that have aired, in my opinion. However, that’s not to say that if you do not like Prado, then the season is not worth watching. There are many reasons that Dexter is one of the best shows on television, and one of those reasons is that even if there is a weak point in a season, there is plenty more intrigue to keep one’s interest.
As has been the case in the first two seasons, we learn a lot more about Dexter’s deceased father, Harry (James Remar). Dexter starts to see that Harry might not have been the hero on a pedestal that Dexter has for so long believed him to be. Because of this, Dexter questions many of his father’s teachings, seeking to adapt the “Code of Harry” more to his liking, especially in trying to make a friend in Miguel Prado. Even if one does not like Prado’s character, watching the existential struggles that Dexter goes through in light of his relationship with Prado makes the season well worth watching.