Dexter Morgan

Dexter Morgan
Dexter Morgan
Dexter character
Dexter Morgan.jpg
First appearance Books: Darkly Dreaming Dexter
Series: Dexter
Created by Jeff Lindsay
Portrayed by Michael C. Hall
Devon Graye
(Teenage Dexter)
Dominic Janes
(Young Dexter)
Maxwell Huckabee
(Little Dexter)
Information
Aliases Darrel Tucker
Kyle Butler
Patrick Bateman
Sean Ellis
Dave Cutler
Dan
Occupation Blood Spatter Analyst
Serial Killer
Family Joseph Driscoll
(father, deceased in the series)
Laura Moser
(mother, deceased in the series)
Harry Morgan
(adoptive father, deceased)
Doris Morgan
(adoptive mother, deceased)
Debra Morgan
(adoptive sister)
Brian Moser
(biological brother, deceased in the TV series)
Spouse(s) Rita Bennett Morgan
(wife, deceased in the TV series)
Children Astor Bennett
(step-daughter)
Cody Bennett
(step-son)
Harrison Morgan
(son in the TV series)
Lily Anne Morgan
(daughter in book series)
Nationality American

Dexter Morgan ( Moser) is a fictional character in a series of novels by Jeff Lindsay, including Darkly Dreaming Dexter (2004), Dearly Devoted Dexter (2005), Dexter in the Dark (2007), Dexter by Design (2009), Dexter is Delicious (2010) and Double Dexter (2011). In 2006, the first novel was adapted into the Showtime TV series Dexter and its companion web series Dexter: Early Cuts.

In both the novels and the TV series, Dexter is a forensic blood spatter analyst who works for the fictitious Miami-Metro Police Department; in his spare time, he is a serial killer who preys on other murderers who have escaped the justice system. He follows an elaborate code of ethics and procedures taught to him in childhood by his foster father, Harry Morgan (which he refers to as "The Code" or "The Code of Harry"), which hinges on two principles: Dexter can only kill people after finding evidence that they are guilty of murder, and he must dispose of all evidence so he never gets caught.

The program's first season was largely based on the first novel, Darkly Dreaming Dexter, but the following seasons veered away from the rest of the book series.

In the television program, Dexter is played by Michael C. Hall. He has received rave reviews for his portrayal, both critically and popularly, and he won a Golden Globe Award in 2009 for Best Actor in a Television Series or Drama for his portrayal of Dexter Morgan in the fourth season.

Contents

Characterization

Psychological profile

Since childhood, Dexter has felt homicidal urges directed by an inner voice he calls "the Dark Passenger"; when that voice cannot be ignored, he "lets the Dark Passenger do the driving." He abides by a moral code taught to him by his adoptive father, Harry Morgan, in which he only allows himself to kill people who are themselves murderers.

Dexter considers himself emotionally divorced from the rest of humanity; in his narration, he refers to "humans" as if he is not one himself. He makes frequent references to an internal feeling of emptiness and says he kills to feel alive. He claims to have no feelings or conscience, and that all of his emotional responses are part of a well-rehearsed act to conceal his true nature. He has no interest in romance or sex; he considers his relationship with his girlfriend (and eventual wife) Rita Bennett to be part of his "disguise."

Dexter likes children, finding them to be much more interesting than their parents; accordingly, he treats victims who prey on children with particular wrath. His connection to Rita's children, Astor and Cody, sometimes supersedes his relationship with Rita herself. For example, in the novels, Dexter continues his relationship with Rita because he realizes that Rita's children are exhibiting the same violent inclinations he did at their age, and tries to control it by providing them with "guidance" (similar to that which Harry provided him). On the show, Dexter deviates from his code of only killing murderers in order to dispose of a pedophile who is stalking Astor.

Animals don't like Dexter, which can cause noise problems when he stalks a victim who has pets. The novels reveal that he once owned a dog that barked and growled at him until he was forced to get rid of it and a turtle that hid from him in its shell until it died of starvation.

Dexter occasionally behaves in a way that suggests that he does feel some rudimentary human connection. He acknowledges loyalty to family, particularly to his late adoptive father, saying, "If I were capable of love, how I would have loved Harry." Since Harry's death, Dexter's only family is his sister Debra—Harry and Doris' biological daughter. Dexter admits that he cannot hurt Debra or allow anyone else to harm her because he is "fond of her." In the first episode of Season 1 he said that "I don't have feelings about anything, but if I could have feelings at all, I'd have them for Deb." Dexter's human connections evolve even deeper in the television program. In the first season, his relationship with Rita set in motion the slow but steady humanization of Dexter, progressing further with each season; in the final episode of the TV show's second season, he finally admits that he needs the people in his life.[1] In Season 3, he doesn´t realize that his mariage proposal to Rita was sincere and he fights to live because he wants to see his unborn child. In the fourth season, before killing a female police officer who has murdered her own husband and young daughter, Dexter is nearly overwhelmed with the realization that he does not want to lose his new family. He is also horrified when he witnesses one of his potential victims abusing his family while using them as a "human shield"; Dexter vehemently insists he is nothing like that. In Season 5, after Rita is murdered, Dexter realizes that he genuinely loved her, and is devastated at losing her.

Modus operandi

In both the book and series, Dexter selects his victims according to his adoptive father's code, and kills them only after he has discovered enough evidence to prove their guilt. He then ritually prepares a kill site that has some symbolic relevance to the killer (e.g. killing a boxer in a boxing ring or a gambler in a casino's storage shed). He completely drapes the site in clear plastic tarpaulin to catch all spilled blood, often adorning it with evidence or photos of his victim's crimes, and in some cases the actual exhumed corpses of the victims.

The actual capture of his victims differs between the books and the show. On the show, it usually entails approaching the victims from behind and injecting them with an anesthetic (specified to be an animal tranquilizer called etorphine hydrochloride, or M99), which renders his victims temporarily unconscious.[2] The injection is a tradition established with his first victim, the hospital nurse.[3] He uses the alias Patrick Bateman (the serial killer protagonist of Bret Easton Ellis' American Psycho) to procure these tranquilizers.[2] Other times, Dexter incapacitates his target by using either his hands or a garrote to cut off blood flow to the brain. In the books (and twice in the television program), he hides in the back seat of his victim's vehicle, then wraps a noose of fishing line around his victim's throat when he sits down. He then uses the threat of asphyxiation to force his victim to drive them to his prepared kill site.

Once they have arrived, he will either strangle them into unconsciousness or use the noose to drag them to the kill site proper. In such cases he anesthetizes them once he has informed them of his judgment. When victims awaken, they are naked and secured to a table with plastic wrap and, for stronger victims, duct tape. If he has not already done so, he confronts them with narrative evidence of their crimes. In the novels, the method usually involves an extended "exploration" with various sharp knives; on the show, Dexter's favored method usually involves an immediately fatal wound to the chest, neck, or gut with a variety of weapons. He occasionally varies his methods to fit particular victims; he kills Brian by cutting his throat with a silverware dinner knife;[4] he stabs gang lord Little Chino in the chest with a machete.[5] He also kills Santos Jimenez — the man who murdered his mother — in the same manner in which his mother was killed: by dismembering him with a chainsaw. Other kills see him using hammers, drills and other powertools.

Just before the murder, Dexter collects trophies from his victims so he can relive the experience. Dexter's trophy signature is to slice the victim's cheek with a surgical scalpel underneath the victim's right eye and to collect a small blood sample, which he preserves between two laboratory slides. In the TV show, Dexter keeps blood slides from all his victims neatly organized in a wooden filing box, which he hides inside his air conditioner; in the novels he keeps them in a rosewood box on his bookcase.

Ultimately, he dismembers the bodies of his victims into several sections, wraps them and the plastic sheeting in biodegradable garbage bags, then adds rocks from the dock where he keeps his boat as anchor weight and seals them with duct tape. He then takes the wrapped bags out on his boat and disposes of them by dumping them overboard into the ocean at a defined location; in the TV series, his dumping ground is a small oceanic trench just offshore. In one episode, it is inadvertently discovered by scuba divers, so he changes tactics, taking the bodies further offshore, where they will be intercepted by the Gulf Stream and carried out to sea. In the books, lesser detail is placed on his methods, with Dexter usually improvising depending on the victim. He has dumped some victims into the ocean due to the victim owning a boat and doing the same with their own victims, but uses anchors to weight the bags. Another is disposed of by dumping the body in a vat of hydrochloric acid.

General biography

At the story's outset, Dexter knows very little about his life prior to being adopted by Harry Morgan (a Miami detective), and his wife Doris. Harry only tells Dexter that his parents were killed in a car accident. When Dexter is seven, Harry discovers that the boy has been killing neighborhood pets. Harry realizes that Dexter is a sociopath with an innate need to kill, and decided to channel the boy's homicidal urges in a "positive" direction by teaching him to be a careful, meticulous killer of people who "deserve it"—murderers who had escaped justice. Doris died when Dexter was 16, and Harry died when Dexter was 20.[6] In the second season, Dexter's nemesis, Sergeant James Doakes, discovers that Dexter dropped out of medical school despite being top of his class. He also notes that Dexter studied Jujutsu in college.

Both the television show and first novel gradually reveal Dexter's complete back story. Dexter was born out of wedlock in 1969 to a young woman named Laura (Laura Moser on the show). In the novels, Laura was involved in the drug trade.[7] On the show, Laura was a police informant for Harry Morgan and his secret mistress. Dexter's father (named Joseph Driscoll on the show) was in the US Army and served in the Vietnam War, but later became a drug-addicted criminal. Dexter's parents also had an older son named Brian.[4][8] On October 3, 1973, Dexter and his brother witnessed their mother's brutal murder at the hands of three drug dealers. For two days, the brothers were left neglected and sitting in a pool of blood.a[›] Harry adopted the three-year-old Dexter, while Brian was left to the child welfare system.b[›]

Dexter only remembers his mother's murder later in his life when he is called to an extremely bloody crime scene left by his brother — who has also grown up to be a serial killer. In the novel Brian escapes Miami after killing Dexter's boss, Lt. María LaGuerta, but returns in Dexter is Delicious. On the show, however, Dexter catches and (reluctantly) kills Brian, aware that he would never stop trying to kill Debra or other innocent people.

Character development in the book series

Darkly Dreaming Dexter

Doris Morgan, his adoptive mother, died of cancer when he was 16. When Dexter reaches puberty, he realizes that he is uninterested in sex and needs instruction by his father on how to behave with women.

When Dexter was 18, Harry fell ill of coronary artery disease and was confined to a hospital where Harry spots a nurse who kills people by overdosing them on morphine. Harry gives Dexter his "permission" to kill her; she is Dexter's first victim.

Near the end of the first book Brian and Dexter meet in a storage container similar to the one they were held in as children, and Brian recounts what happened. He says that one of the bodies they were surrounded by could have been their father for all they knew.

At the end of the novel, Deborah learns of Dexter's secret life after he saves her from Brian. She appears to accept it, but in subsequent books feels torn between her duties as a police officer and her loyalty to Dexter, whom she loves like a brother. (This development is left out of the television series in which she remains ignorant of Dexter's serial killing.)

Dearly Devoted Dexter

Doakes suspects Dexter being involved in LaGuerta's murder, and starts following Dexter around. However a string of murders forces Doakes, Deborah and Dexter to cooperate, while uncovering parts of Doakes's past.

Doakes' pursuit forces Dexter to spend more time with Rita and her children. After finding FBI agent Kyle Chutsky's ring in Dexter's pocket, Rita believes Dexter intended to propose to her, and happily accepts before Dexter can explain.

Deborah's developing relationship with Chutsky is interrupted when he is kidnapped by "Dr. Danco", a psychopathic surgeon who removes his victims' limbs and sensory organs, leaving them in a state of living death. Dexter rescues him, but not before Danco has removed Chutsky's right arm and leg.

Dexter in the Dark

In Dexter in the Dark, the third novel of the series, it is revealed through third person narrative of an entity referred to as "IT" that the Dark Passenger is an independent agent inhabiting Dexter, rather than a deviant psychological construction. Later, Dexter realizes the Dark Passenger is related to Moloch, a Middle Eastern deity worshiped in Biblical times. The Dark Passenger is one of Moloch's many offspring; Moloch had many children (formed through human sacrifice), and learned to share its knowledge with them. Eventually, there were too many, and Moloch killed the majority; however, some of them escaped into the world. In the novel, Dexter learns of the Dark Passenger's true nature when it briefly "leaves" him, frightening him into researching possible reasons for its existence. Dexter comes to accept his role as stepfather to both children very seriously in Dexter in the Dark, albeit in his typical fashion. For example, while on a stakeout, he begins to wonder if Cody had brushed his teeth before bed and if Astor had set out her Easter dress for picture day at her school. These thoughts distract him from hunting an intended victim, which thoroughly annoys him.

Dexter by Design

Dexter by Design is the fourth book in Jeff Lindsay's series about Dexter Morgan. Here, Lindsay deviates from the supernatural subtext of the previous book, Dexter in the Dark, and focuses on the psychological suspense. The book opens in Paris, with Dexter and Rita on their honeymoon. There, while visiting an art gallery, Dexter and Rita are introduced to the concept of body parts being used as art by an avant-garde performance piece called "Jennifer's Leg" in which the artist amputates her own limb. When they return to Miami, Dexter crosses paths with two new enemies; a suspicious homicide detective, and a new serial killer in town targeting tourists.

Dexter is Delicious

In Dexter is Delicious, Dexter grapples raising his infant daughter, Lily-Anne and wonders if her involvement in his life can help restore his humanity. Brian, Dexter's estranged brother and fellow serial killer, reappears in Dexter's life, situating himself with Dexter's family. The main event for the Miami police department is related to the appearance of cooked, partially eaten bodies and the disappearance of a teenager girl, Samantha who was later found to have fantasies about being eaten.

Dexter in the television show

Season 1

Dexter with his biological brother, Brian.

By the start of Season 1, Dexter has settled into a stable life of blood spatter analysis for the Miami Metro Police Department by day, and ritualistic killing by night. He is seen by his acquaintances as a jovial, though quirky, lab geek and only one man, Sergeant Detective James Doakes, suspects that he's more sinister. In his private life, Dexter maintains superficial relationships – with his sister Deb, his girlfriend Rita, and Rita's children, Astor and Cody – to fit in with society, but he is constantly hunting for serial killers to satisfy his need to kill.

Rita's previous, abusive marriage leaves her afraid to have sex, making her an ideal girlfriend for the asexual Dexter. As she overcomes her demons and becomes more amorous, Dexter considers ending the relationship since he says every time a woman has sex with him, she finds out that he's empty inside.[9] However, during a therapy session with future victim and psychologist Emmett Meridian, Dexter is put into a state of deep relaxation, wherein he sees a frightening image of a small boy in blood. In a heightened emotional state, he runs to Rita's house for comfort and initiates sex.[9]

A serial killer of prostitutes appears in Miami, and Dexter notices that he is leaving hidden clues at the scene that have personal significance to Dexter, like a soccer ball where Dexter played soccer as a child. One day, Dexter receives official notification that a man named Joseph Driscoll is his biological father, and that, since Dexter is the only next of kin, he must come settle the estate and claim the body. Deb's boyfriend, Rudy, insists that they accompany Dexter and Rita to clean out the house. Dexter doubts that Driscoll is his father, but, while cleaning, discovers a thank-you card that he sent his blood donor as a child, as Dexter has a rare blood type (AB-).[10] As Harry had convinced Driscoll to donate the blood anonymously, Dexter had no idea where it had come from.[10] Dexter suspects his father's death was foul play, but the body is cremated before Dexter can obtain proof.[10] The show reveals to the viewer that Rudy (dressed as a cable repairman) murdered Driscoll with an injection of insulin designed to mimic a heart attack.[10]

Meanwhile, Dexter's continued rivalry with Rita's recently-released ex-husband, Paul, turns violent, and, to cover his tracks for knocking Paul out, he injects Paul with heroin and leaves him to be found. Paul fails a drug test (thus breaking his probation) and returns to jail.

Dexter is called to analyze a hotel room flooded with the blood of multiple persons. The sight triggers a panic attack and calls up several memories of himself as a child sitting in blood. His research leads him to discover he witnessed his mother's murder as a child, and that he had a brother named Brian. Eventually, Deb is abducted by the Ice Truck Killer (who turns out to be none other than her fiancé, Rudy), then drugged and taken to a house. It ends up being Dexter's childhood home; he finally recognizes Rudy as "Biney" (what he called Brian as a child), his long-lost brother. Brian proposes that they begin to murder together and, leading Dexter to a bound and drugged Deb, suggests that Deb be their first kill. After wrestling with internal conflicts from his attachment to his biological brother and need to protect his adoptive sister, he decides to save Deb and regretfully kills Brian by quickly slitting his throat, staging it as suicide. Deb, unaware of what happened, hails Dexter her hero.

Season 2

Season 2 finds Dexter's urges impeded by various factors. Brian's death was Dexter's final kill in the previous season and he desperately wants to return to his killing more than ever, but different events prevent him from doing so. Debra, traumatized by her ordeal with the Ice Truck Killer, moves in with Dexter, which hinders his killing. Doakes' lingering suspicions about Dexter's possible connection with the Ice Truck Killer turns into a full-on obsession, and Doakes begins to tail Dexter everywhere, even confronting him on several occasions, which forces Dexter to be passive for a month, although his urges are strong. Just as Dexter catches a chance to kill again, over 30 bodies are found in a Miami harbor, provoking a massive search for the so-called "Bay Harbor Butcher."

Rita soon figures out Dexter's deceit and (coupled with his other inexplicable behavior) concludes that Dexter himself is a heroin addict, which Dexter conveniently goes along with to hide his even more nefarious activities. Rita forces him to attend Narcotics Anonymous meetings, where he meets Lila Tournay; she soon becomes his sponsor. She convinces him to explore his past, and, while under extreme duress after confronting his mother's murderer and having continued conflict with Rita, his relationship with Lila becomes sexual. Rita dumps him, and he and Lila briefly date, before his desire to be with Astor and Cody compels him to ask for Rita's forgiveness, which she grants.

Doakes' suspicions subside some when he realizes that Dexter is attending Narcotics Anonymous, but Doakes begins to suspect that this is also a cover for an even worse secret. As Doakes gets closer to discovering the truth, Dexter provokes Doakes into physically assaulting him at work, resulting in Doakes' suspension. Doakes follows his obsession full-time and finally catches Dexter in the act of disposing of a dismembered body in the Everglades. Dexter is forced to take Doakes captive, and begins to frame the now-missing Doakes for his crimes. Lila, who is obsessed with Dexter, discovers the cabin in the Everglades where Dexter is holding Doakes, and blows it up (with Doakes inside) to protect Dexter. The police eventually find Doakes' charred body surrounded by Dexter's murderous paraphernalia, and conclude that he was the Bay Harbor Butcher, much to Dexter's relief.

Dexter pretends to want to run away with Lila, but she soon discovers that she is meant to be his next victim. Lila decides to kidnap Astor and Cody. When Dexter finds them at her house, Lila sets the house on fire and leaves the three of them locked inside. Dexter manages to save the children and escape unhurt and follows Lila to Paris, where he kills her in the season finale.

Season 3

In Season 3, Dexter finds his life manageable until he discovers that Rita is pregnant.[6] He and Rita tacitly consider terminating the pregnancy, until Rita announces she will not regardless of whether Dexter wants to be a father to the child or not. Dexter, afraid of what kind of father he would be, considers leaving Rita to parent alone until Debra convinces him that he would be a great father. After a few failed marriage proposals, Dexter proposes again by mimicking a declaration of love from a criminal. Rita finally accepts, with the permission of the children.[6]

Meanwhile, after killing an unknown man in self-defense while attempting to kill a murderous drug dealer named Freebo, Dexter forms an unlikely friendship with the man's brother, Miguel Prado, a popular assistant district attorney.[6] While hunting down Freebo at night, Prado stumbles upon Dexter, bloody from murdering Freebo; Dexter claims he killed Freebo in self-defense. Both men become bloody, and Prado offers Dexter his bloody shirt as proof that he won't reveal Dexter's secret. The two men grow closer, and Dexter even makes Prado his best man. Prado gradually discerns that Dexter is a serial killer and they begin to murder together according to The Code. When Prado deviates from The Code to murder a rival defense attorney, it sets off a game of competing leverage and blackmail between the men. When Dexter discovers the blood on the shirt is actually bovine, he decides to kill Prado.

After being tipped-off by Prado, a serial killer ("The Skinner") who is searching for Freebo finally kidnaps Dexter the day of his wedding. When Dexter's death seems certain, his motivation to keep fighting is his desire to see his son, as he tips over the table, and kills The Skinner by snapping his neck and throwing his body into an arriving police car. With Prado dead, Deb becomes his best man and he and Rita marry in the season finale.

During the course of the season, Dexter justifies killing three people who do not fit the Code: Oscar Prado, in self defense, Nathan Marten, a pedophile who was stalking Astor, and his old friend Camilla Figg (who asks him to kill her to relieve her from the pains of suffering terminal cancer).

Season 4

At outset of Season 4, Harrison's birth and Dexter's family responsibilities leave him constantly tired, and he has not had a kill since the last season.[11] Dexter finds it more trying to conceal his secret life, which leads to conflict with Rita and also Astor, who is swiftly approaching adolescence. At Rita's urging, they go into couple's therapy.

Dexter, ready to kill Arthur Mitchell.

After his first kill of the new season, he falls asleep while driving and crashes, and the resultant short-term memory loss causes him to forget where the body is;[11] he eventually retraces his steps and disposes of the body. After retired Special Agent Frank Lundy is murdered, Dexter begins his pursuit of the so-called "Trinity Killer", who has been committing ritualistic murders across the country for 30 years.[11] Dexter becomes determined to find and execute the killer before the police find him. He is shocked to discover that "Trinity" is actually Arthur Mitchell, a family man who is widely respected in the community, much like Dexter himself. Dexter takes on the alias Kyle Butler and begins to insinuate himself into Mitchell's personal life, in an effort to learn how he balances his family responsibilities with his secret life as a serial killer. To that end, Dexter repeatedly puts off murdering Mitchell, thwarts police efforts to apprehend him, and even saves his life when Mitchell attempts suicide. Dexter soon realizes that he misjudged Mitchell, however; after spending time with the Mitchell family, he learns that his would-be mentor is an abusive tyrant whose family is terrified of him. Chastened by this realization, Dexter thinks he may be able to silence the Dark Passenger permanently, and so makes arrangements for Rita and him to take a belated honeymoon. Staying behind, he sends Rita ahead and, as the cops are near to catching Mitchell (who is poised to start a new cycle of murders) Dexter finally kills him as he tries to skip town. Upon returning home, Dexter is devastated to find his wife lying dead in the bathtub, with Harrison on the floor in a pool of his mother's blood; she was Trinity's final victim. Dexter ultimately blames himself for her death, and worries that watching his mother die will traumatize Harrison into becoming like him.

Harry was right. I thought I could change what I am, keep my family safe. But it doesn't matter what I do, what I choose... I'm what's wrong. This is... fate

—Dexter Morgan, "The Getaway", Episode 4.12

Season 5

Dexter appears to be a principal suspect in Rita's murder, struggles to satisfy the Dark Passenger while being a single father, and must also contend with a very bitter Astor.

The season opens with a shocked, guilt-ridden Dexter clutching Harrison out as the police respond to his call, stating his complicity in Rita's murder. While he intends that he killed her in letting Trinity know his identity, the police only notice this as an admission of guilt. The FBI, however, soon clear Dexter as he was with police at Arther Mitchell's house at the time of Rita's death. He spends the next few days completely numb, unable to even fake any sort of real emotion or grief to Rita's death, attracting Quinn's suspicion that Dexter killed her in retaliation for cheating on him. As Dexter plans to disconnect and restart, he finds himself confronted by Rankin - a brash, foul-mouthed hillbilly-type at a boat shed. Angering Dexter, Dexter kills him in a fit of rage. Harry appears in a fantasy sequence and tells Dexter that this act was the first human thing he'd seen Dexter do since Rita died.

Distraught over Rita's death, Astor and Cody leave to go live with their grandparents. A struggling Dexter attempts to move on by hiring an Irish nanny to look after Harrison while he goes out to find his next kill. He settles on Boyd Fowler, a known sex offender and serial killer whose connection to a string of missing women makes him the perfect target. Dexter kills Fowler, only to find Fowler's latest victim, a young woman named Lumen Pierce (Julia Stiles) who is still alive. He takes Lumen in and shelters her.

Dexter and Lumen are captured by Jordan Chase.

Lumen is slow to trust Dexter, but comes to realize he means her no harm. She reveals that Boyd Fowler wasn't the only man who raped her. As Lumen gradually becomes integrated into Dexter's life, she begs him to help her to go after her attackers. Dexter reluctantly agrees. They stalk a children's dentist and the head of security for a well-known, high-profile motivational speaker named Jordan Chase. As the plot thickens, it becomes clear that Jordan Chase was also one of Lumen's attackers.

To keep the police occupied, Dexter puts them on the trail of Boyd Fowler. To get a better idea of what they're dealing with, Dexter becomes personally acquainted with Jordan Chase and stumbles onto a photo that proves that all of Lumen's attackers (who are also guilty of torturing, raping and murdering twelve other women) have known each other since childhood.

Dexter eventually finds a vial of blood that Jordan wears around his neck. After extracting a sample, he discovers that the blood belongs to a woman named Emily, the first victim of the rape club. She provides Lumen and Dexter with the identity of the mysterious fourth attacker in the photo, Alex. Dexter allows Lumen to kill Alex by stabbing him in the heart. Dexter and Lumen then become lovers before continuing their hunt for Chase. As Lumen and Dexter plan to capture Jordan Chase, Dexter realizes that there are cameras in his apartment. Dexter, assuming he is being watched by Quinn, waits for him to return to the surveillance van. As he opens the door to capture Quinn, Stan Liddy, whom Quinn had hired to tail Dexter, stuns Dexter with a taser. After Liddy calls Quinn to bust Dexter, Dexter attacks Liddy and kills him in self defense after Liddy tries to stab him.

While Dexter deals with Liddy, Lumen gets a call from Emily. Emily pretends to be frightened of Jordan Chase's wrath and threatens to call the police, but it is revealed that she is setting a trap to allow Chase to capture them. Dexter returns to the apartment to find Lumen gone. He tracks Chase to the camp where the rape club had started. In a fit of emotion, he accidentally wrecks the stolen car he is driving and is captured by Chase. Chase brings him to the building in which he is holding Lumen. As Chase is about to kill them, Dexter frees himself with a knife he had stashed and immobilizes Chase by stabbing him through his foot and into the floor. Dexter cuts Lumen free and knocks Chase out. When Jordan wakes up, Dexter allows Lumen to kill him. While they were still in the kill room, preparing to move the body, Deb arrives on the scene, though her view of Dexter and Lumen is obstructed by a sheet of plastic. Dexter and Lumen, trapped, remain silent. Deb, correctly believing the woman behind the sheet to be the rape club's final victim and Dexter her male vigilante accomplice, tells Lumen she sympathizes with her and Dexter that she admires him. Without requesting their identity, she warns that she is about to call the scene in and urges them to flee before the police arrive.

The next day when Dexter returns from work, Lumen tells him that since all of her attackers are dead she no longer feels the need to kill. She knows that Dexter's need to kill will always be there because that's "who (he) is", and she leaves to return to the life she once had before her kidnapping. The season ends with Dexter surrounded by friends and family at Harrison's first birthday party.

Season 6

A few years later, Harrison is old enough to walk and Dexter has begun searching for a preschool, though his atheism conflicts with the largely-religious preschools that he applies for. Recieving little-than-useful interpretations from a victim and Batista, he finds a greater understanding through Brother Sam (Mos Def, an ex-con, charged with murder, who had turned his life to helping other released cons in religion. While Dexter initially sees his religion as a mask, Brother Sam proves himself to be redeemed, becoming a friend to Dexter and his son, helping him through a crisis when Harrison underwent an appendectomy. In converse, a serial killer modelling scenes from the Book of Revelations leads Dexter considering religion as another type of "Dark Passenger" for others.

However, things go awry when Brother Sam is shot fatally in his garage. Dexter, realising a friend of Sam's, Nick, is responsible, swears vengeance. Despite this, Sam forgives Nick on his deathbed and implores Dexter to also forgive him; in the name of his friend, Dexter considers this path of forgiveness over retribution. While Nick initially appears remorseful over the shooting, the fact that Sam had died leaves no evidence that would convict him, which Nick gleefully gloats about. An enraged Dexter drowns him in the surf, reawakening a dormant Brian Moser, who begins to direct Dexter towards a darker path.

Reception

Critical reception

Michael C. Hall at Comic-Con.

The character of Dexter Morgan has been given mostly positive reviews and Michael C. Hall has been highly praised for his performance, winning many awards. The New York Daily News said of the character that it was "a central character and performance that takes your breath away." The Hollywood Reporter noted that "Hall... is brilliant at conveying the subtle complexity of Dexter." The Detroit Free Press gave season 2 of the series a 70/100 and said that "Hall invests strange, demented Dexter with real heart and humanity." The Variety said that "Michael C. Hall's portrayal of the title character remains a towering achievement, one that eclipses the show's other shortcomings and rough patches." The San Francisco Chronicle said of the actor that "the allure of the series always has been and always will be Hall, who manages to make a killer (who kills only people who deserve it, mostly) likable, believable, engaging and funny."[citation needed] Joshua Alston with Newsweek magazine mentioned the character along with Tony Soprano and Jack Bauer as an example of the growing popularity of antiheroes.[12] Commenting that Hall was "adept at portraying repressives," Ginia Bellafonte of the New York Times said that this vigilante operates on the "stylized libertarianism that sees institutional failure wherever it looks."[13] Calling Dexter "the thinking woman's killer", Wendy Dennis of Maclean's magazine remarked that the show enjoys a high female audience because they are attracted to damaged men that are still sweet, handsome and dependable.[14]

Michael C. Hall found a career high for his performance as Dexter Morgan. He has been very highly awarded. He was nominated twice in 2007 and 2008 for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Television Series or Drama and he won it in 2009. He has also been thrice nominated for Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series in 2006, 2007 and 2008 and won in 2009. He has also been nominated for 2 Satellite Awards for Best Actor – Television Series Drama in 2006 and 2008 and won in 2007. He has been nominated for 3 Saturn Awards for Best Actor on Television in 2008, 2009 and 2010 and won in 2007. He was also honoured with an Astra Award for Favourite International Personality or Actor in 2008. He has been nominated for 3 Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actor – Drama Series in 2008, 2009 and 2010. He has also been honoured with a Television Critics Association Award for Individual Achievement in Drama.

Connections to actual crimes

Mark Twitchell

Connections were established between Dexter Morgan and Mark Twitchell, of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, during his first-degree murder trial. After weeks of testimony and gruesome evidence presented in court, Twitchell was found guilty of the planned and deliberate murder of 38-year-old Johnny Altinger on April 12, 2011.[15] Twitchell, an aspiring filmmaker, had adopted the persona "Dexter Morgan" on Facebook and made a movie that was similar to how Dexter operates.[16] Prosecutors alleged that Twitchell had begun a double-life inspired by Dexter.[17] Twitchell wanted to reenact the life of Dexter Morgan, and after writing a script for a Dexter movie, began posing as a woman online interested in having an affair with married men.[18] Detective Mark Anstey of the Edmonton Police Service was quoted as saying, "We have a lot of information to suggest he definitely idolizes Dexter," and Twitchell had posted a Facebook status stating that he believed he had "way too much in common with Dexter Morgan."[19][20]

Andrew Conley

Andrew Conley said the show inspired him to strangle his 10-year-old brother.[21] In an affidavit filed in Ohio County court, police said Andrew stated that he "watches a show called Dexter on Showtime, about a serial killer, and he stated, 'I feel just like him.'"[22] Even further, after killing his brother, he put a plastic bag over his head, mimicking a practice that Dexter ritualistically commits to dispose of his victims.[23] After committing this act and placing the body in his car, he continued to his girlfriend’s house, reminiscent of Dexter Morgan who returns to his wife after committing murders.

James Hamill

James Hamill, a former student was tried and convicted for the murder of a 65 year old man in Basingstoke, UK. During the trial, James Hamill noted that he was inspired by vigilante nature of the show Dexter. The victim, Harry Gare was thought to be involved in the distribution of narcotics in the south of England. James Hamill stated "I have no regrets, these people are plighting our society, if we don't do anything about it, who will?" - he is currently serving a life sentence in Chelmsford Prison.

Notes

^ a: While Harry finds the boys in the shipping container on the television show, the investigating officer who finds Dexter is never specified in the novels.
^ b:  Brian was ultimately sent to a mental institution for disturbed children. The first novel implies that Harry chose not to adopt Brian because he was older and more likely to be traumatized; in the TV program, both Brian and Tom Matthews, Harry's best friend and former superior, state this to be true.

References

  1. ^ "The British Invasion". Dexter. Showtime. 2007-10-14. No. 9, season 2.
  2. ^ a b "Return to Sender". Dexter. Showtime. 2006-11-05. No. 06, season 1.
  3. ^ "Popping Cherry". Dexter. Showtime. 2006-10-15. No. 03, season 1.
  4. ^ a b "Born Free". Dexter. Showtime. 2006-12-17. No. 12, season 1.
  5. ^ "Waiting to Exhale". Dexter. Showtime. 2007-10-07. No. 02, season 2.
  6. ^ a b c d "Our Father". Dexter. No. 1, season 3.
  7. ^ "Born Free". Dexter. No. 1, season 1.
  8. ^ "Truth Be Told". Dexter. Showtime. 2006-12-10. No. 11, season 1.
  9. ^ a b "Shrink Wrap". Dexter. Showtime. 19 November 2006. No. 8, season 1.
  10. ^ a b c d "Father Knows Best". Dexter. Showtime. 2006-11-26. No. 9, season 1.
  11. ^ a b c "Living the Dream." Dexter. Showtime. 2009-10 No. 1, season 4.
  12. ^ Alston, Joshua (January 12, 2009), "Too Much of A Bad Thing". Newsweek. 153 (2): 58-59.
  13. ^ Bellafante, Ginia 11/23/2007, "Sympathy for the Devil: The Nice-Guy Serial Killer Next Door". New York Times.
  14. ^ Dennis, Wendy (March 19, 2007), "The thinking woman's killer". Maclean's. 120 (10): 51-52
  15. ^ "Twitchell guilty of first-degree murder". Edmonton Journal. 2011-04-12. http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/twitchell-case/index.html. Retrieved 2011-04-12. 
  16. ^ Zabjek, Alexandra; Gelinas, Ben (2011-04-16). "A star only in his own warped mind". Edmonton Journal. http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/star+only+warped+mind/4629779/story.html. Retrieved 4 October 2011. 
  17. ^ Bennett, Dean. "Edmonton filmmaker Mark Twitchell denied knowing murder victim: trial". The Canadian Press. http://www.1310news.com/news/national/article/201712--edmonton-filmmaker-mark-twitchell-denied-knowing-murder-victim-trial. Retrieved 5 October 2011. 
  18. ^ Lasswell, M. (2009, April). Such a Nice Boy Serial Killer: How the TV Series Dexter Glorifies a Murderer. Culture and Civilization , 78-80.
  19. ^ "last link on the left > deadmonton > johnny brian altinger". LastLinkontheLeft.com. http://www.lastlinkontheleft.com/e2008altingermark1.html. Retrieved 2011-02-26. 
  20. ^ "Would-be victim sought in case of filmmaker charged with murder". CBC.ca. 2008-11-03. http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2008/11/03/twitchell-film.html. Retrieved 2011-02-26. 
  21. ^ "Andrew Conley, 17, said TV killer 'Dexter' inspired him to strangle 10-year-old brother: 'I had to'". NYDailyNews.com. Retrieved May 18, 2010.
  22. ^ December 3, 2009 (2009-12-03). "Prosecutors: Ind. Teen Felt Hunger To Kill". WLWT.com. http://www.wlwt.com/news/21799757/detail.html. Retrieved 2011-02-26. 
  23. ^ Lasswell, M. (2009, April). "Such a Nice Boy Serial Killer: How the TV Series Dexter Glorifies a Murderer. Culture and Civilization, 78-80".

Further reading

External links


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