Dexter will never be as solid as its first season and will never be as intense as its second season.
I thoroughly disliked last season. I didn't like the Jimmy Smits character one bit.
I'm intrigued by this season, after Sunday's premiere, though it seems like there is almost too much happening at once. I'm concerned that, like Veronica Mars' season season, there are too many mysteries and plot elements and that the show's ambition will be too much and it will collapse in its execution.
As far as long-arc drama / mystery, we've got...
- a new serial killer
- a serial killer in town who has gotten away with it for 30+ years
- an ex-FBI serial killer hunter in town, the man who almost nabbed Dexter last time (season two)
- Dexter off his game thanks to having a newborn
Add to that lots of romantic sideplots (Deb/Anton/ex-FBI guy love triangle... and the way too sudden La Guerta / Bastista romance)...
There's a lot going on. Again, almost too much.
But I'd rather watch a series try to juggle all these balls and have a few (or, let's face it, all) drop to the ground than watch a series deftly "juggle" a single element and nothing more.
But that's just me.