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Dexter: The Fourth Season



John Lithgow, you are forgiven for all that silly slapstick stuff on "3rd Rock from the Sun." Because now you scare me.

Lithgow gives an Emmy-nominated (and hopefully Emmy-winning) performance as Arthur Mitchell, aka The Trinity Killer, the primarily villain for our favorite serial killer of serial killers, forensics tech Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall, also due a statue), in the fourth season of Showtime's "Dexter."

The season finds Dexter settling in to his new role as husband to Rita (Julie Benz), stepfather to her two children, and father of a new baby of their own. While making amends for the sins of his past, both real (an affair) and fictional (drug abuse), he's convincing himself he can become the all-American family man and still allow his "dark passenger" to come out and play.

There's plenty of playtime to be had when Trinity comes to town, with now-retired FBI Agent Lundy (Keith Carradine) on his trail, and thus, back into the life of Dex's detective sister, Debra (Jennifer Carpenter). Trinity is so named for a three-pronged ritual of slayings he repeats in cities across the country, dating back decades, and now it's Miami's turn.

Quite cleverly, the show gives us very little of Arthur in the early batch of the 12 episodes. He's established as the bad guy from frame one, but it's not until the last third that he gets really creepy, and the things he does, really disturbing. It all leads to a finale whose final moments are shocking "? game-changing, even "? so don't let anyone spoil it for you. (Given the lag between airtime and DVD, it was for me, yet didn't hamper my enjoyment of the season.)

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