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Blu-ray Review Dexter: The Fifth Season Blu-ray Review (1 Viewer)

Matt Hough

Senior HTF Member
Apr 24, 2006
Charlotte, NC
Real Name
Matt Hough
[COLOR= black]Everyone’s favorite next door neighbor serial killer Dexter Morgan returns in the fifth season of Showtime’s hit series Dexter, and this season he once again has a fellow partner in crime. The Peabody Award-winning and Emmy-nominated series delivers a fifth season that is only a half step or so behind the magnificence of its first, second, and fourth seasons. It remains one of the most gripping and addictive dramatic series currently being telecast and earned five Emmy nominations for this season’s episodes. The twelve episodes that make up this fifth season set display the same surprising amount of heart (not just eviscerated ones) as in previous seasons and even probe more deeply into Dexter’s longing for a connection to the real world which, for a time this season, he gets. The unbearable suspense inherent in his slayings, on the other hand, continues to bring viewers to the edges of their seats. There is humor and horror here combined into a delectable package that makes Dexter one of television’s most unique series.[/COLOR]


[COLOR= black]Dexter: The Fifth Season (Blu-ray)[/COLOR]
[COLOR= black]Directed by Steve Shill et al

Studio: CBS/Paramount
Year: 2010[/COLOR]

[COLOR= black]Aspect Ratio:[/COLOR][COLOR= black] 1.78:1 1080p AVC codec
Running Time: 618 minutes
Rating: NR
Audio: Dolby TrueHD 5.1 English; Dolby Digital 5.1 French, 2.0 Spanish
Subtitles: SDH[/COLOR]

[COLOR= black]Region:[/COLOR][COLOR= black] no designation
MSRP: $ 67.99[/COLOR]

[COLOR= black]Release Date: August 16, 2011[/COLOR]

Review Date: August 10, 2011

The Film


The end of season four found Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall) eliminating one of the show’s most vicious serial murderers, The Trinity Killer, but finding that before he himself was murdered, the Trinity Killer had paid Dexter’s wife (Julie Benz) a visit and murdered her. Thus, Dexter’s fifth season has him grappling with his enormous sense of loss, shouldering the burden of his ten-month old infant while at the same time enveloping him in a complex search for a nest of serial rapists and murderers who ditch their dead prey in oil barrels in the Miami swamps. Unwittingly saving the life of a girl near death, the vulnerable Lumen Pierce (Julia Stiles), Dexter grudgingly allows Lumen to exorcise her demons by assisting him hunt down the killer tribe, a journey that leads him to millionaire motivational guru Jordan Chase (Jonny Lee Miller).

But there are other problems brewing in Dexter’s life. His sister’s (Jennifer Carpenter) detective boy friend Quinn (Desmond Harrington), suspicious that Dexter might have murdered his own wife, first begins investigating the crime and then hires an ex-cop (Peter Weller) to continue the job. The squad room is also busy with a series of beheading murders that brings the newly married Sergeant Batista (David Zayas) and Lieutenant LaGuerta (Lauren Velez) to disruptions in both the office and at home.

Having won both the Golden Globe and the SAG Award for Best Actor for his work during the fourth season, Michael C. Hall finds himself once again Emmy-nominated for this career-defining performance as Dexter Morgan. His on-screen charisma blazes to the fore in every episode, and one literally can’t take his eyes off him even while the character is doing the most ghastly things. Coping with Rita’s shocking death has also brought the role an additional set of emotions that Dexter must plumb giving the actor even more of a field day than ever before. Jennifer Carpenter as Dexter’s sister Deb continues her über-foul-mouthed ways this season as she gets drawn into all of the cases swirling around her brother. Lauren Velez and David Zayas, both great assets in previous seasons, become a trifle more irritating this session as their tiresome marital squabbles intensify as the season progresses. Julia Stiles, herself Emmy nominated for her superb performance as a woman brought back from the edge of death with only revenge uppermost in her thoughts. The always outstanding Jonny Lee Miller scores strongly as the nefarious motivational shyster, and Peter Weller, his social antithesis as a scumbag informant, also makes a dastardly impression.

Here are the twelve episodes contained on the three discs in this Blu-ray set:

1 – My Bad

2 – Hello Bandit

3 – Practically Perfect

4 – Beauty and the Beast

5 – First Blood

6 – Everything Is Illumenated

7 – Circle Us

8 – Take It!

9 – Teenage Wasteland

10 – In the Beginning

11 – Hop a Freighter

12 – The Big One

Video Quality


The series is broadcast on Showtime in 1080i, and these 1080p transfers (AVC codec) constitute a significant upgrade in image quality from their cable television airings. Color timing has been adjusted to eliminate the hot, oversaturated colors of the Showtime broadcasts, and we’re given instead a crisp, inviting picture with superb sharpness and color saturation levels that are much more pleasing to the eye. Flesh tones are much more inviting and believable. Black levels are very good throughout. Only a slight lack of detail in the darker night scenes prevent this from reaching reference levels of clarity and effectiveness. Each episode has been divided into 7 chapters.

Audio Quality


The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 sound mix is very strong for a television audio track. Care has been taken to add significant but appropriate ambient effects (a nightclub, ocean sounds, police station noises) in available channels. The music, a mixture of salsa and hip-hop, envelopes the soundstage effectively. Dexter’s voiceover narration is pitched at perhaps too loud a volume level for pleasant listening without some adjustments to the center channel, but dialogue otherwise has been excellently recorded and resides in the center channel. The LFE channel doesn’t get a great workout, but there are significant moments when its use is most effectual.

Special Features

½ /5

The discs themselves do not contain any bonus features. The press notes indicate that the BD-Live portal will offer interviews with Michael C. Hall, Julia Stiles, Jennifer Carpenter, C. S. Lee, Lauren Velez, James Remar, Desmond Harrington, David Zayas, and writer/producer Chip Johannessen along with an interview with Julia Stiles reflecting on the season along with the first two episodes from the most recent seasons of The Borgias, Californication, and Episodes.

However, BD-Live had not been turned on during the review period, so it was impossible to check out the substance of these bonus features. BD-Live also assists in the use of Movie IQ which can be turned on for each episode once BD-Live is operational.

In Conclusion

4/5 (not an average)

Dexter had another very strong and effective season of thrills and drama in this its fifth season. The Blu-ray release offers tremendous video and audio quality that surpasses the network broadcasts, but the lack of bonus features on the discs themselves is something of a liability for fans of the show.

Matt Hough

Charlotte, NC

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