6. No More heavy-Handed Themes

If you didn't know that religion was going to be a major theme this season, you must have been sleeping, because from the season premiere onward the audience was smacked in the head with blatant, overwrought reminders. And then it was tattooed on the show's metaphysical forehead just for good measure. Even worse, the arc itself wasn't even handled gracefully. Mos Def did fine work as Brother Sam, but really, Dexter just adopts the dude's beliefs in a two-episode time frame? And his death makes Dex question the code, yet again? All they had was a couple of beers together!

It wasn't just religion, either. In case you didn't pick up on it already, we could almost hear the writers yelling, "Look! Travis and his sister kind of mirror Dex and Deb!" Or, "Hey, guys! Gellar/Travis and Brian/Dexter—see what we did there?! Clever, right?" A little subtlety goes a long way, folks.