But this year has even more brilliant plotting, and the kind of unexpected twists you find only in a fine movie. Twists that are jolting and satisfying, make great sense in retrospect, and (of course) move Dexter one step forward to a better life, success, or safety, on the one hand, and one step back - being discovered - on the other hand.
I will reveal just one spoiler, which serves as the writhing backdrop of the first four episodes, and I'd bet of the entire second season. The burial ground of Dexter's victims, the place he has dumped their body parts in bags out in the sea, is discovered....
Other than that, I can tell you Sgt. Doakes (Erik King), Debra (Jennifer Carpenter), Rita (Julie Benz), Angel (David Zayas), Maria (Lauren Vélez), and Vincent Masuka (C. S. Lee) are sharp and more vivid than ever. Plus, Keith Carradine's in as a master Federal agent investigating the bodies that turn up in the bay, and dark-haired beauty Jaime Murray plays Lila who ... well, let's just say, she understands Dexter better than does Rita (not too difficult) and may understand him better than anyone.
Michael C. Hall is deft, just the thing as Dexter, as he was last year. His voice-over narration is sardonic and just the thing, as it was last year. The new season starts this Sunday.
But, if you'd like to see the complete first episode now, just click here for the VIP webite - and your password is Killer Shows.
I'll be seeing the first four episodes of Brotherhood tomorrow, which will debut its second season right after Dexter on Sunday.
But on just the irresistible strength of Dexter, I'd say Showtime can now lay claim to being the undisputed best network on television.
5-minute podcast of this review
See also my reviews of other Season Two episodes ... 5. Dexter Meets Heroes and 6. Dexter and De-Lila-h7. Best Line About Dexter - from Lila and 8. How Will Dexter Get Out Of This? and 10. Dex, Doakes, Harry and Deb's Belief Saves Dex and Season 2 Finale: All's ... Well
And see also my review of Dexter, Season One: First Place to Dexter
The Plot to Save Socrates
"a Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News
"Sierra Waters is sexy as hell" - curled up with a good book