One of the best things about this season was also the thing that was the biggest surprise to me - Jimmy Smits. Not that I don't like Jimmy Smits, but, to be honest, I never had much of a feeling for him either way. LA Law was before my time, and he's always popped up in more supporting roles in all of the stuff I've ever seen him in. I was a little worried, I have to admit. Bringing in a bigger name actor like Smits into a show like Dexter can be a way of saying "We're in trouble" without saying it. But Smits fit perfectly into his role, never trying to be bigger than what he was, and, though he was an integral part of the story line for this season, the writers made sure to always make sure that his character was only used when necessary. Smits inhabited his role like it was a second skin (no pun intended to those who have seen the season), and REALLY vanquished any and all doubts I had about him.
Lot's of kudo's need to go to Michael C. Hall and Jennifer Carpenter, as well, for their performances. Hall is one of the best actors around, and I'm a little surprised that he's not better known. Julie Benz, who plays Rita, also kicked it up a notch in this season (or maybe the writers just gave her a little more to work with, who knows?).
My only complaint would have to be something that the writers seemed to do last season as well, which was start the show in a very intense way, lull in the middle, and then hit it again at the end. I don't know if that's purposeful or not, but it is definitely felt. I also didn't care for Quinn. I don't know whether it was the actor I didn't like, or the character, or both. The character seemed really one dimensional and flat, and whenever they did try to breath a little bit of life into him, it was sort of like "who cares?". Ultimately, though, in a show like that, I suppose they need a few one sided characters every once in a while, just to keep the plot moving along.