***** SPOILER WARNING *****
As with most long-running TV series, there are some predictable elements of DEXTER's sixth season, but there were also some twists and surprises, along with continued character growth for Dexter Morgan – and surprisingly his sister Deb.
Edward James Olmos portrayed Professor James Gellar, a noted professor of religious studies.
The build-up of his character started a little slow but I think his lack of engagement with Dexter early on had something to do with that. Of course, the episode "Get Gellar" revealed that would have been an impossibility as Gellar, rest his soul, was already dead and had nothing to do with the killings in the first place.
I was both delighted and disappointed in the revelation.
I always have a hard time watching Mr. Olmos as a bad guy, so I was relieved he wasn't going to end up on Dexter's table. But I also would have loved to see his Gellar face off with Dexter.
Prior to the big reveal, Gellar had grown to become an adversary worthy of matching wits with Dexter. I had written a review just prior to "Get Gellar" that expressed my opinion that the professor could be the most intelligent opponent that the serial killer had faced yet. That's not to take away from John Lithgow's outstanding portrayal of the Trinity Killer in Season 4, but simply a difference in the characters themselves.
Unlike Trinity, who was a chilling serial killer but relatively unremarkable except in that he had a family (and Lithgow), Gellar was an intellectual on a divine mission. The complexity of the Revelation tableaus was unsettling and pointed to a highly evolved perpetrator -- one killing with an actual goal in mind and not just acting on base impulses or the compulsion to take lives.
In contrast, Colin Hanks' Travis Marshall, while slippery and intelligent, proved to be an off-his-rocker religious zealot who got Gellar fired, then brought the professor's scholarly sketches to "life." For me, that took a bit of wind out of the sails of the Doomsday Killer. Hanks is a capable actor and did a good job with the character, but he lacks the visceral intensity Mr. Olmos brings to the screen. I think it's a pity we didn't get to see that intensity unleashed against Dexter's dark passenger.
That said, the only other thing I would have liked to be different about Season 6 would be to have seen more of Mos Def's Brother Sam. He gave a compelling performance as criminal-cum-preacher who walked the walk. He was an absolute delight.