Dexter: Season 3 (2008)

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Critic Consensus: America's most amiable serial killer has lost some of his dramatic edge, but this third outing continues Dexter's streak of delivering deliriously twisted entertainment.

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Episodes

1
Air date: Sep 28, 2008
2
Air date: Oct 5, 2008
3
Air date: Oct 12, 2008
4
Air date: Oct 19, 2008
5
Air date: Oct 26, 2008
6
Air date: Nov 2, 2008
7
Air date: Nov 9, 2008
8
Air date: Nov 16, 2008
9
Air date: Nov 23, 2008
10
Air date: Nov 30, 2008
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Dexter: Season 3 Photos

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Series 3 of the drama about the Miami forensic expert (Michael C. Hall) who moonlights as a vigilante serial killer features Jimmy Smits as ADA Miguel Prado, who does more than prosecute homicides---he engages in them. While getting ready to make his move on Freebo, an abusive, drug-dealing lowlife who got away with murdering two college women, Dexter interrupts a two-man skirmish and winds up dispatching one as the other, Freebo, escapes. The victim, Dexter later discovers, is Oscar Prado, the righteous, respected "pride of Little Havana" and Miguel's younger brother. Miguel eventually ingratiates himself with Dexter and it appears the latter is on the verge of having something he's never had before---a best friend. On a trip to the grocery store with Rita (Julie Benz) and the kids, Dexter catches a pedophile buddying up to Cody and must decide whether this sexual deviate fits the Code and is a candidate for Dexter-mination. As Dexter and Miguel become closer, Dexter feels his new pal is on to his dark-side job, so he tests Miguel and the results are most interesting. Soon, Miguel pressures Dexter to work his lethal magic on a "bloodsucking, soulless defense attorney" who keeps putting "murderers, rapists and carjackers...back on the street...to commit more heinous crimes." But hey, she's just doing her job, and that doesn't necessarily conform to the Code, so Dexter balks at taking her out. On the home front, Rita startles Dexter with news that she is expecting, and he's faced with a big-time family decision involving her and her two children. And later, when everyone is on board with Rita's pregnancy, she decides it would be a good idea for Dexter to move in with her, Cody and Astor, but he's somewhat conflicted by this possible major upheaval in his very structured existence.

Critic Reviews for Dexter Season 3

All Critics (24) | Top Critics (11)

There's a danger with a character as striking as Dexter that everyone else will become peripheral, to the detriment of the show, but that isn't happening here.

Jan 8, 2019 | Full Review…

It's hard to fight the feeling that maybe "Dexter" is a concept that has reached its expiration date.

Sep 28, 2008 | Full Review…

Watching Dexter Morgan on Showtime's amazing "Dexter" has been like watching the unfolding back story of a Batman-like superhero.

Sep 28, 2008 | Full Review…

Smits tears into his character and gives us a look at an ethical chameleon that can match wits and will with Dexter.

Jan 8, 2019 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…

All the archetypical characters seem to be horrendous call-backs to John Hughes or the like -- a feature that I have never found endearing about the series, even at its inception.

Jan 8, 2019 | Full Review…

The most complexly inventive season of Dexter's three.

Jan 8, 2019 | Full Review…

Michael C. Hall playing off Smits was quite electrifying... I think this could be the strongest Dexter season yet.

Jan 8, 2019 | Full Review…

It's already feeling a bit like a reshuffle.

Jan 8, 2019 | Full Review…

I'm interested but not engrossed, though it offers the potential for a change-up in the Dexter storyline.

Jan 8, 2019 | Full Review…

After two excellent seasons, this is the first time that Dexter ever felt like it was on auto-pilot.

Jan 8, 2019 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Dexter: Season 3

took a bit to get as exciting as the previous seasons, but still amazing. also wasn't a fan of the storyline with deb and her new love interest. not sure if it's the only reason but i don't like the guy (about 2 viewings)

In my opinion this was the worst of all the first 7 seasons of Dexter. Dexter’s new friendship was uncomfortable and forced throughout the entire season, but Dexter’s relationship with Rita definitely saves the season. The suspense is minimal and it is just a poor follow up to one of the top two seasons in this series. Not a terrible season, but not great either. Just eh.

Dexter Season 3 Dexter season three is significantly less entertaining to watch as a viewer compared to seasons one and two of Dexter as it fails to find the rhythm it carried so graciously throughout the first two seasons. Dexter season three is filled with disappointment and lost opportunity as the shows central idea begins to lose its luster. New characters fail to truly develop throughout the season and are left as the same flat characters as they began with. The idea of a character who is a serial killer who also works as a forensic scientist for the Miami Metro Police Department is a genius idea. A character who finds joy in murdering people, slowly and painfully, but only kills those who are criminals themselves, is completely original. Showtime really struck gold deciding to create a TV show around Dexter Morgan. Season one and two have such an exciting feel to them, viewers are still trying to figure out who Dexter Morgan really is and why he does what he does. Season three, however, becomes lackluster the same way Star Wars has after the sixth movie. Viewers know who Dexter Morgan is and what makes him tick, season three doesn’t develop him as a character at all except getting his girlfriend pregnant and deciding to marry her because she is pregnant. There are a few things Dexter season three has done very well, better than either of the other seasons - cinematography. Season three does a beautiful job using lighting and other key elements to provide details to the show without having to use dialogue to explain them. Dexter Morgan is often times shot with side lighting when talking to other characters to show how he is hiding something from them - possibly the fact that he’s a serial killer. Dexter is shot like this in conjunction with eye line matches between characters for most conversations, which is nothing special, most shows are typically filmed this way. Non-diegetic thoughts from Dexter Morgan’s brain build irony as Dexter often times makes jokes about his unsuspecting coworkers. Season three, unlike the storyline, has found perfect rhythm in how it is filmed. Transitions between scenes feel fluid and smooth compared to the first two seasons which felt a bit clunky. Establishing shots after settings switch to new locations are very organic and definitely help the show maintain its flow. Flashbacks in the first two seasons had extremely high contrast shots that looked heavily dated are now streamlined. Overall the filmmakers of this show have found their niche in the filming style they use and have perfected how to show emotions and develop characters by cinematic elements alone.

Another strong season. The domestic side of Dexter is just as interesting as the darker side of Dexter and watching him being a father should feel cold but is quite charming. Although not matching the high bar of the 2nd season this is still a strong season.

This season has a good moments but it's just not what I wanted 6/10

Not gonna lie but compared to season 1 and 2 this one was a little forgettable but it still has Michael C. Hall doing what he does best. Being Michael C. Hall!

The friendship-angle was okay, but not overly exciting. The skinner was not that exciting as the lead killer. Not a great season, but bareable for sure.

The same show added a range of new characters, Dexter made a new friend who knows his secret, he is getting married and another serial killer is on the loose. He needs better alibis than ever before. Getting a little bit sick of the comic relief from Masuka and Angel (had nothing to do with the main story), everyone else still had strong performances.

Sylvester K Super Reviewer

Season 3 remains a strong show that draws on much of the groundwork laid down in prior seasons including the increasingly more interesting supporting cast and some strong new additions to the team. A few more slips than previous seasons and somewhat weaker overall. This season of Dexter begins to more deeply develop the main themes of previous seasons: Can Dexter can ever find a meaningful relationship with someone who can fully know the true Dexter? This season the question revolves around friendship and finding a connection to a fellow serial killer. Season 1 was more about blood family and Season 2 about a love interest. This is a necessary evolution for a show if it wishes to keep going and the narrative threads are tied together with references to the previous two seasons. The supporting cast also increasingly grapples with issues symbolic (although sanitized) of the titular characters issues. All of this adds an extra layer of depth that works fairly well at bridging the continually fast twisting pace of the show. Miguel is an interesting character who has fairly solid moments and chemistry with Dexter. This season pulls back a little from the frantic pace of season 2, but is still more about plot twists and turns than the original first season. The show also continues to progressively get slightly lighter in mood and tone. There are still moments of horror and gore but the dark urgency of the first season has faded. The weaker portion of this season revolves around Dexter's relationship with Rita and her family. A consistent character since the first season this entire story arch feels unnecessary and increasingly makes the show logically more implausible. The whole show is implausible but was generally internally consistent. Rita's increasing interference and Dexter's increased relationship with her makes the mechanics of his entire side job more unbelievable.

Shane S Super Reviewer

Not as good as season 2, not as bad as season 1. This time around, they experiment with giving Dexter a partner for his murderous reign. Only Miguel Prado quickly ditches “the code” and kills the innocent. But this season was slow on the action, with fewer kills and slower plotlines. Then to top it off, Dexter eliminates the season’s truest bad guy, his partner, a whole episode before the finale? That just doesn’t bode well for a show like this. Needs improvement.

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