Showtime’s introverted serial killer, Dexter, will be having major life shifts for his third season that airs tonight. Lots of life-affirming normalcy tinged with the piano wire-taught drama that takes our laconic anti-hero in and out of happy and horrific moments. <P></P> <P>There will be no spoilers here. The delight of a show like Dexter is the curve ball you don’t see or even anticipate coming. </P> <P>Suffice to say the once held-upon-high father figure in Dexter’s (Michael C. Hall) life (James Remar) is no longer idolized.</P> <P>Dexter has doubts and surfacing anger that oddly bonds him with the season’s first guest star, Jimmy Smits, who plays a grief-stricken assistant DA Miguel Prado. Prado finds out his baby brother has been killed in a drug-dealer’s den. Dexter finds himself straddling a cover-up and developing an odd friendship as he and Rita now socialize with the Prados.</P> <P>Smits overdoes it at times in this role, but overall he possesses the gargantuan ego that a striving political animal would need in a flashy city like Miami.</P> <P>Lovely Rita and Dexter solidify their relationship, and that curve ball further grazes Dexter and thrusts him into an existential and moral free-fall that occupies his mind at least the first four episodes.</P> <P>The Showtime series has been crafted with more complexity this season; the vigilante serial killing now takes on greyish hues, and Dexter discovers there is more to it than living out his previously ordained and paternally sanctioned path. </P> <P>Dexter is craving life, and it shows this season.</P> <P>The grounding aspects of Rita and what she represents is key to new season. Executive Producer Sara Colleton talked about the shift: "Dexter will always be looking to connect with others in his life. It’s the nature of being human, even when you don’t think you are capable of being human. Yet Dexter is ambivalent about his reasons for wanting to have a family around him. Is it because he really cares for them or it is just that it’s a lot easier for a serial killer to blend with a wife and kids, than to be the lone single white males in his 30’s…"</P> <P>The secret to Dexter’s success is the deep-rooted limbic longing in all of us that wants to bypass the lawyers and flawed due process of the law to see punishment meted swiftly on those who commit heinous unimaginable crimes.</P> <P>It is the same reason why the "Death Wish" franchise was so wildly popular, and why the man in Texas who shot burglars dead on the spot as they were fleeing his neighbor’s home was so soundly defended and lauded by his community. Justice happens so rarely and favors the moneyed, that regular people will suspend human recoil to cheer for a mild-mannered killer who loves his bull-in-a-china shop cop sister and brings favorite assorted donuts for his co-workers.</P> <P>***image3:right***</P> <P>This season more of the story revolves around the women too; we see more of Rita (Julie Benz) and Dexter’s sister Debra (real-life love Jennifer Carpenter) and Lt. Maria LaGuerta (Lauren Vélez) as they get to show us their talent. </P> <P>Executive Producer Clyde Phillips spoke about Jennifer Carpenter’s character Debra Morgan: "Debra is coming to this season with a different focus. She’s sworn off men, booze and smokes , and is committed to the job, hoping to get her detective’s shield before she turns 30. But, as we all know, love can come from the most unexpected of places, especially for Deb…"</P> <P>Fans of the late Doakes will be glad to know a new complex character has entered the Miami police family; the cryptic and cagey Detective Quinn (Desmond Harrington), now partnered with Deb who unknowingly finds himself under the bug light of Internal Affairs.</P> <P>There is so much to enjoy, so no spoilers dear Dexter fans, please watch tonight and rest assured you are in good hands. The first four episodes I was lucky enough to watch are gripping, emotional, and make Sunday night a savored TV experience.<BR></P>Note the date on this article may be incorrect due to importing it from our old system.