All About Dexter

“Dexter” debuted on Showtime on Oct 1, 2006, based on the book Darkly Dreaming Dexter, by Jeff Lindsay. It was adapted for television by screenwriter James Manos, Jr., who wrote the pilot episode. The eerie, creepy, but perfect music for the show was written by Daniel Licht.

The basic premise of the series is that of a serial killer who only kills other killers. At first glance, one would deduct that Dexter Morgan, a blood spatter analyst for the Miami Dade PD, is a vigilante. However, that would not really be the case. While Dexter’s kills do result in the subsequent safety of others from the evil-doers who’ve ended up on his table wrapped in plastic, that is only a nice little perk, and not what drives him. Instead, Dexter kills because he’s compelled to do so, a “darkness” inside of him from a very early age.

(Warning: This page consists of a full summary of all 5 seasons, so be spoiler-aware).

It’s not until around halfway through Season 1 do we find out what makes Dexter tick in his thirst for blood. It was the murder of his mother, Laura Moser, witnessed by Dexter as a very young child, that essentially created the need to kill. He was adopted by Harry Morgan, the Miami cop who found him at the extremely bloody crime scene. It’s “Harry’s Code” that was instilled within him, teaching Dexter to use his urges as a means to destroy those deserving of his wrath, and never an innocent person. Harry, who passed away when he and his step-sister Deb were young adults, appears to Dexter throughout the series, as if Dexter’s living sense of right and wrong, and essentially the foundation upon which he bases his critical killing decisions. One senses that without this code, Dexter would’ve ended up no different than your standard violent psychopath.

His daily routines consist of fighting crime via his blood expertise, often alongside Deb, who eventually earns her homicide detective status. The dynamic between Dexter and his sister is part of what makes the show the success that it is. She’s a hot headed, highly emotional female cop with a keen sense of gifted hunches about those she investigates, and yet is completely naive as to her step-brother’s homicidal hobby. Dexter swears he cannot “feel” a thing for anybody, but if he could, he would love his sister.

Season 1 introduces us to Dexter’s daily life, as well as his darker “night life”. We watch him interact with “normal” people, such as his law enforcement co-workers. During many of these exchanges, we hear what he has to say to this or that individual, and then what he is really thinking, via his often witty narrated voice-overs. While the show is definitely dark and violent, it’s also peppered with humor. (Deb gets on Dexter’s nerves, annoying him to no end, as he chants intently to himself “I will not kill my sister, I will not kill my sister.”)

For the most part, Dexter is beloved and accepted by all he comes across, except for James Doakes, a heavy-handed, no-frills Sgt for the Miami Dade Police. “The only real question I have is why in a building full of cops, all supposedly with a keen insight to the human soul, is Doakes the only one who gets the creeps from me?”

The season also revolves around his romantic relationship with Rita, a single mom with 2 kids (Astor and Cody). Unlike most men, Dexter didn’t start dating her as a result of lust, attraction, and falling in love, but more importantly to him, so he could appear normal to the outside world.

The “Big Bad” of Season 1 is the Ice Truck Killer, an evil serial killer who mutilates his victims in such a way that he leaves behind “no blood”; an absolutely fascinating fact that moves Dexter to learn more. And learn more, he does, as he shockingly discovers the killer’s identity; his very own big brother, Rudy, who was also at the scene of their mother’s hacking to death with a chain saw. The single most gut-wrenching scene of the season is that of watching Dexter finally recall the horrific event, and understanding that he was “born in blood“. Unlike his brother, however, Dexter had the Code of Harry to ensure his victims were deserving of his killing tools. Big bro Rudy is excited to share his secret and life with his younger brother, but when this brotherly bond results in Deb (who is engaged to Rudy, the charming prosthetics doctor), Dexter must step in and decide that blood, as exciting as it is, is not thicker than water; hence the end of Season 1, and Rudy.

Season 2 picks up a few months after Dexter did away with his brother. In retrospect, one might surmise that Dexter’s been freed, even slightly, of feeling like a complete and total monster, compared to to the heinous acts of his now deceased brother. However, he still has Doakes breathing down his neck, now making no secret of his distrust and extreme dislike of the “creepy” Dexter. What started out in Season 1 as a gut feeling and some cursing on the part of Doakes, has turned to complete and total stalking, following and determination to uncover Dexter’s truth, in Season 2.

Also in Season 2, we meet the lovely but oh-so-toxic Lila; a British dark haired beauty with liquid poison running through her veins. She first crosses paths with Dexter at a 12 step meeting for drug addicts and alcoholics. He is sent there by Rita, who believes she’s found out that Dexter is a drug addict, which is a relief for him compared to the real truth. So in his efforts to overcome his alleged heroin addiction, he speaks at the meeting, publicly, about his “Dark Passenger“, the bad inside of him. While we know his addiction does involve a really, really big needle, we also happen to know it has nothing to do with poppies, but another type of “fix”.

Lila becomes fascinated, quickly, and soon catches on to the truth; that he is not only a killer, but what the Miami Police Dept has deemed the Bay Harbor Butcher. Lila decides they must be, simply must be, kindred spirits, sinful soulmates, and latches onto him like a leach. All the while, Doakes continues on his quest to undo Dexter, suspecting him of all kinds of twisted evil.

Rita finds out about Dexter’s intimacies with Lila and breaks it off, but that doesn’t stop Dexter from rushing in to save Astor and Cody from what would’ve been a fatal fire, set by the arsonistic Lila. Doakes was later captured by Lila in an effort to protect her serial killer crush. Dexter finds Doakes, but can’t decide what to do with him, since he knows the cop is essentially a good man. There is a moment of confession by Dexter, as he admits his demons to Doakes, but alas, the good Sgt has no chance when Lila later rushes in to set yet another fire, resulting in a massive explosion that robs us of Doakes forever.

There is some guilt that sets in when Dexter feels he has no choice but to pin the Bay Harbor Butcher murders on Doakes, but zero guilt at all when he seeks out and finds the sultry, smug Lila, who believed she’d gotten away with it all. Good riddance, Lila.

Season 3 started out with a sigh of relief from Dexter’s devoted audience. He was out of the cross-hairs of detection as the Bay Harbor Butcher. Lila was now nothing more than a cheek-slicing bad memory, and he’s ready to salvage his relationship with Rita and the kids. He’s also really ready to put his killing shirt back on and indulge in having narrowly escaped the clutches of the law. But of course, with every season, comes a new conflict; a new “Big Bad”. This season’s unlikely villain came to us in the form of Assistant District Attorney for the City of Miami, Miguel Prado.

Miguel, in the search for his brother’s killer, with an overwhelming thirst for justice and blood in his throat, happens upon Dexter. You see, Dexter really killed his brother, and then later also killed a man named Freebo, and it’s this man whom Miguel believes was his brother’s killer. Got that so far? In a moment of misguided clarity, Miguel is touched and moved that Dexter is such a righteous man that he would vindicate the death of his beloved sibling. Therefore, an unlikely friendship is formed. It doesn’t take long before Miguel wants a piece of the action, tired of years of convicting the bad guys, only to see them eventually back out on the streets.

At first, Dexter isn’t overly thrilled at having an involuntary sidekick, an “apprentice”. However, for a brief time, he starts to enjoy the strange sense of commraderie. The dynamic duo soon falls apart as Dexter finds himself cleaning up after the careless, murderous Asst D.A. The axe finally falls when Dexter finds out that his boss, Lt LaGuerta, who has a romantic history with Miguel, is on his list of intended victims. In typical ingenious Dexter fashion, the entire scenario is turned around on Prado as he finds himself in a not-so-cozy or esteemed position on Dexter’s cold steel table.

Throughout the season, we are teased by The Skinner investigation, which is, of course, tangled up and embedded significantly within the Prado storyline. We spend most of the season wondering just what type of monster is killing and discarding his victims, minus their skin. We don’t learn until the end that it is George King, the tree trimmer we barely thought twice about, who is the dreaded serial killer.

One of the most warm and fuzzy scenes of the season happens when Dexter is captured by King, as he wakes up finding himself in “such a familiar situation, … such an unfamiliar perspective“. He naturally has Harry by his side during the ordeal, as the father and son share a warm and loving exchange. Dexter forgives his father, as we see tears pouring from Harry’s eyes. Dexter says he’s never seen his father cry before, as Harry corrects that the tears are not his, but Dexter’s. It is this moment that Dexter realizes just how much he yearns to see his unborn child come into the world and raise him. This gives him the strength he needs to outwit King, free himself from his captor’s ties and do away with The Skinner.

Rita announced she was pregnant earlier in the season, and it was a very moving un-Dexter like moment when he realizes how much he has to live for, proposes to Rita and the kids. The season ends with the marriage of Dexter and his pregnant bride, as he looks ahead to his brand new normal life he now believes he can lead.

Season 4 was a season like no other. I’ve said it plenty of times on this site, but I’ll still yell it from the mountain tops. Season 4 was absolute television drama PERFECTION. It began innocently enough, with the debut of Dexter’s new life with Rita, Astor, Cody and newborn son Harrison. Because the show works in “real time”, we didn’t get to see the birth of his bouncing new baby boy, but we definitely had the point driven home during the first few episodes, that Dexter was suffering from typical new-dad-sleep-deprivation. Some of the initial scenes featuring father and son are quite humorous. Dexter was having quite the time in trying to balance work, home, and “fun”. One of these interactions shows a loving father rocking his son to sleep as he confesses what he really is. While this would be disturbing on any level in real life, for some reason, Dexter makes it almost touching. Things even begin to get a little dangerous for him when he tries to fit in his hobby while picking up a prescription for Harrison, and crashes his car from lack of sleep in the process.

Of course, as entertaining and light-hearted as it was to watch father Dexter learn the ropes, the season was about to bring us a whole lot more. We were thrilled to see the return of Agent Frank Lundy, whom we met during Season 2 in the Skinner investigation. He is now retired from the FBI, but on a personal mission to hunt down The Trinity Killer. A trio of recent killings in the city had led him back to Miami, convinced they were connected by this elusive serial killer with a 30 year history of killing in threes.

Dexter, relieved that Lundy was still in the dark about his own activities, and not anywhere on the trail to discovering him, becomes likewise fascinated by this prolific and mysterious mass murderer. 30 years without detection. Dexter pondered that there was perhaps a lot he could learn from this man. He definitely surmised that Trinity must not be a father, since his own talent was by now beginning to suffer the effects of taking care of a newborn.

However, instead of the lone wolf he expected to find once he tracked Trinity down, what he found was, by all normal appearances, indeed a family man. Arthur Mitchell was not only a husband and father of 2 teen children, but he was also the pastor of his church, traveling around on goodwill missions to build homes for the less fortunate and needy. It is at a house construction site that Dexter introduces himself as Kyle Butler, with a made up story about being divorced and in need of spiritual guidance. Impressed by Kyle’s “honesty” and having had his ego stroked a bit, he welcomes Kyle into his world.

This world, of course, is only an illusion, with the glass threatening to break around him at any moment. Dexter learns that the pastor’s murderous urges stem from his beloved older sister Vera. Arthur was 9 when he watched Vera die in a bathroom when the glass of the shower shattered around her; the result of being startled by her younger brother’s presence. As a result, his mother later committed suicide via jumping off a roof. And because both of these events were blamed on young Arthur by his father, his father was his first intentional victim. Those 3 scenarios were re-enacted over and over with his victims in meticulous fashion, by a pathetically sad but twisted Arthur.

All hell finally breaks loose when his son, Jonah, turns against him, throwing Vera’s urn of ashes against the wall at the Thanksgiving dinner Kyle/Dexter was invited to. Dexter finally reveals that he’s not who he’s claimed to be, threatening to kill Arthur as he defends Jonah from Arthur’s violent outburst.

A crazy game of cat and mouse continued over the next few episodes, until the day we see a horrified Dexter watch as Arthur Mitchell walks calmly into the Miami Dade Police Dept. One of the best scenes of the entire show played out as the two come face to face and he holds up Dexter’s name tag. “Hello …. Dexter Morgan“.

We already knew the season finale was going to be insanely suspenseful and heartpounding; it just had to be with the growing intensity and chess game-type moves made by both Dexter and Trinity. We also were fairly certain we’d see Trinity end up on Dexter’s killing table, secured neatly like a package of human plastic wrap. We hated Trinity, but at the same time, he fascinated us to no end. What we did not know, however, was the shocking last few minutes of the finale episode, as Trinity got the last laugh, and Dexter’s world and life as he knew it came crashing down upon him. Rita was gone, history has repeated itself in the most hideous way. Rita, was gone.

Season 5 opened unlike the other seasons, no time had passed since that fateful night of the full moon, as if frozen in suspended time. The police had arrived at Dexter’s house, the bathroom now a bloody crime scene as Deb showed up to find her brother holding her nephew in stunned silence. One can only wonder why he chose the words “It was me”, to say to his sister. Those three words held consequences for Dexter, as Det Quinn, introduced to us in Season 3, took this as a sign that Dexter had killed his wife. And it’s not like Dexter’s other actions didn’t appear to be that of a guilty man. He was guilty, at least in his own tormented mind. After all, it was because of his deadly dance with Arthur Mitchell, that Rita was dead. He decided that everyone in his life was better off without him and intended to disappear. However, he came to his senses and showed up, albeit late, to Rita’s funeral, and was cleared entirely of any involvement later on by the authorities.

This did not stop Quinn, however, who later caught a glimpse of the police artist sketch of Kyle Butler, who he believed bore great resemblance to one Dexter Morgan. When he gets in trouble for snooping into Dexter’s tattered and torn private life, Lt Guerta makes it clear to leave his grieving co-worker alone. By now, Quinn has finally become intimately involved with Deb, but this doesn’t stop him from his mission to find out the truth about Dexter. Enter one disgruntled, recently fired cop, Stan Liddy, who gives the word shady a new name. He pays Liddy to investigate Dexter, and investigate him, he does.

In the meantime, Dexter is trying to heal, having hired a new nanny to take care of Harrison while he attempts to rebuild their lives. This rebuilding includes a potential new target, Boyd Fowler. Boyd, a dead animal pickup worker, is befriended by Dexter. As time goes on, he learns that Boyd is indeed worthy of his game; a ruthless guy who enjoys torturing and murdering young women, saving pieces of their hair for a trophy, and tossing them in a barrel to later dump in the swamp.

When Boyd finally receives justice, at the hands of Dexter, he is unaware until it’s too late, that he has a living witness. Lumen Pierce, filthy dirty and held against her will in a room in Boyd’s house, tries to flee, afraid that Dexter was just like the others. Going against the better judgment of Harry’s urging him to leave no witnesses, Dexter, in a “leap of faith“, lets Lumen go.

As the season goes on, we find out the significance of Jordan Chase, successful motivational speaker, and the fact that Lumen was one of the only survivors of the rape and torture inflicted on victims by this group of insidious men.

After many efforts to get Lumen to leave Miami and go back to her home and family, she finally talks him into helping her kill the men that hurt her. Over the course of many episodes, their odd exchanges begin to grow into a strong connection and bond. He brings her into his world and teaches her his skills, in order to right the wrongs of a still traumatized but determined Lumen.

Jordan Chase’s role becomes more clear to them, at the same time that Stan Liddy is beefing up his investigation into Dexter and his mysterious blonde friend. Quinn has since decided it’s not worth losing Deb over, but Liddy doesn’t care. He also doesn’t care about justice or morality. He intends to be the hero so he can get his job, pension and rogue cop life back. Just when Liddy thought he had Dexter in the palm of his hands, of course, he does not, and Dexter very narrowly escapes Quinn’s detection that he has murdered the bad cop, albeit in self defense.

Meanwhile, Jordan has kidnapped Lumen, and Dexter calls him begging to spare her life and take him instead. And, of course, Dexter arrives at Jordan’s hideout just in time to save Lumen from certain death at the hands of Chase.

Just when we figured we’d had as much excitement as we could handle for one finale, here comes Deb, entering the hideout where Dexter and Lumen still are, the body of Chase, their murder victim, in the next room. In the course of her investigation into what she has theorized are the two vigilante lovers killing off the Barrel Girl men one by one, she’s formed a soft, romantic, noble spot for the pair. There was never a closer call than Deb, who could not see the two suspects, only their shadows. In a moment of humanity over profession, she tells the strangers to leave the scene, as she does the same, and we all breathed one huge sigh of relief that Dexter’s secret is still safe from his sister.

It’s over, Dexter has vindicated Lumen and in some small way, Rita, and he is ready to start a life with his newfound love. But Lumen’s “darkness” is gone, and therefore, she has to leave. The scene that unfolds before us, with a heartbroken Dexter almost begging her to stay, shows us that this is not the same Dexter we first met in Season 1. His Dark Passenger is still strong, but so is a growing need to connect and belong.

Lumen leaves, being the one single living person to know Dexter’s secrets. It’s also been highly speculated that perhaps Deb did know or suspect her brother’s possible involvement. So, while there was no cliffhanger or breathless last few moments of the season finale, there’s definitely enough questions still unanswered.

Season 6 really can’t come quick enough.

Dexter – Michael C Hall

Dexter is played brilliantly by Michael C Hall, also known for his gay, undertaker character and dysfunctional family member on HBO’s Six Feet Under. I, for one, cannot imagine Dexter being played by anyone else better than Hall. His slightly monotone style of speaking and non-chalant reactions make for a wonderful almost oxymoron type of feel when Dexter’s Dark Passenger comes to life. Even 5 seasons later, we seek to know more about his inner-thoughts and feelings. Yes, I said feelings, as we’ve watched him evolve into something damn-near human.


Deb – Jennifer Carpenter

Jennifer Carpenter brings to life, Deb, the step-sister and co-worker cop of Dexter. Starting out in Miami Dade Vice in the beginning of the series, Deb eventually makes her dream of becoming a homicide detective come true, working alongside her brother to solve the city’s gritty and often grisly crimes. She’s high-strung and tough, but also vulnerable. She’s opinionated, stubborn and more of a potty mouth than all of her male counterparts. She dearly looks up to her big brother, having no idea (yet) that Dexter spends his free time killing and dismembering the guilty.


Harry Morgan – James Remar

James Remar plays Harry Morgan, Dexter’s deceased adoptive father and former homicide detective for the same Miami Dade Police Dept that Dexter and Deb work for. Dexter would often refer to Harry’s “secrets” throughout the first few seasons of the series. One of those secrets was how he came upon his son; at the scene of the brutal murder of Dexter’s mother (whom it’s later learned, Harry had an affair with). Harry made it his parental mission to show a youthful Dexter how to channel his murderous desires into vigilante justice, via “Harry’s Code”.


Lt Maria LaGuerta – Lauren Velez

Lauren Velez portrays Dexter’s boss, Lt Maria LaGuerta, who struggles at times with being a female in a high powered position. During the first four seasons of the show, we saw her basic goodness; tough when needed and yet soft and moral at heart. Season 5 showed us she has the ability to be cold and ruthless when it comes to department politics, basically hanging Deb out to dry as a result of Maria’s bad judgment. We’ve also watched her struggle in her marriage to Angel Batista, and yet no matter what, she always roots for and goes to bat for her trusted blood spatter analyst.


Angel Batista – David Zayas

David Zayas plays the role of Det Angel Batista, a good-hearted, moral-minded though personally flawed man. One cannot help but like Angel as he balances his professional and personal life. While he’s tough on crime and a very good investigator, he’s one to wear his heart on his sleeve and sometimes too much vodka in his glass. The relationship between Maria and Angel pretty much came out of nowhere at the beginning of Season 5, as they ended up eloping in order to ward off the political powers that be. Like most everyone else, Angel likes Dexter and is none the wiser when it comes to his co-worker’s “social” activities.


Vincent Masuka – C.S. Lee

What else is there to say about C.S. Lee’s portrayal of the offbeat, highly inappropriate but hilarious forensics expert, Masuka? Essentially, while not a major player on the show, the series really wouldn’t have the same “punch” without him. Just when the show gets a bit too unsettling, leave it to Masuka to crack a joke or make a sarcastic remark to ease a bit of the heaviness. In fact, there was an episode where Masuka was hurt, angry, and intentionally quiet, feeling left out of his peers’ social circle and only then did it really become apparent, just how much comic relief Masuka can bring to a sometimes very un-funny storyline.


Joey Quinn – Desmond Harrington

Desmond Harrington’s character, Det Quinn, was introduced to us in Season 3. We weren’t really sure what to make of him at first. Was he a good cop? Was he a bad cop with secrets? Not really sure how he fit into the picture, other than making it clear he had a thing for Deb, we eventually learned that he was basically a solid cop with a good moral code, well except for some missing cash once. This, however, has not stopped Dexter from disliking him, as Quinn has slowly become quite curious about Dexter’s personal life. Now, with Quinn and Deb finally together, and he and Dexter almost colliding in their venom for each other, Season 6 should be interesting!


Astor & Cody – Christina Robinson and Preston Bailey

Christina Robinson has portrayed Astor, the daughter of Rita Bennett, since she first arrived on the scene of Dexter dating her mother in 2006. Preston Bailey has portrayed her little brother Cody since Season 2. Daniel Goldman played the role for the first initial season. The two children have grown up dramatically before us as the seasons have passed, especially Astor, who’s teenage angst set firmly in after the murder of her mother. We weren’t sure if we would see the kids again, following Rita’s horrific demise, but it was nice to see that Dexter hasn’t lost that part of his life and the kids he’s grown very fond of.


Baby Harrison

Though it’s not clear what the child actor’s name is, it IS clear that Dexter fathering a son was one of the most pivotal storylines in the show. It took Dexter a while to warm up to the thought of bringing possibly another “Dexter” into the world, especially following history repeating itself and Harrison also being “born in blood”. Some fans of the show feel that Harrison makes Dexter too human. I say it adds wonderfully to the ongoing conflict and turmoil. Without it, and with Rita (his previous living “anchor”) gone, Dexter would be just a killing machine with a few ghostly conversations with his dead father.


The Nanny – Maria Doyle Kennedy

Maria Doyle Kennedy plays the role of the nurturing Irish nanny, hired by Dexter at the beginning of Season 5. From all appearances, she comes across as a typical loving care giver for Harrison and by all accounts, Dexter has entrusted her fully with the well being of his son. And yet, there is something we just aren’t sure we quite trust yet. Many fans of the show have speculated that the dear Nanny may have secrets, may be hiding something much darker than the sometimes creepy songs she sings to Harrison as she watches him sleep. Only time will tell if our suspicions are correct. For now, we must be content to wonder, and wait.


Rudy – Christian Camargo

Season 1’s Big Bad was Rudy, played by Christian Camargo. Dexter never knew he had a brother, but he did. Normally, this would be a heart-felt reunion, two siblings finding each other after decades of separation. However, in Dexter’s case, his flesh and blood sibling took literally the words “flesh” and “blood”; and to a whole new disturbing level. Enter the Ice Truck Killer, killing his victims, ridding them of all their blood, slicing them into perfect parts and putting them on ice. He was also engaged to Deb, who only knew him as the caring doctor who specialized in prosthetic limbs. All in all, this “Big Bad” started the series off with a bloody bang, as Rudy’s ultimate death at the hands of Dexter would forever change a part of him.


Lila Tournay – Jaime Murray

What can we even begin to say about Lila? Jaime Murray’s portrayal of the truly narcissistic, evil through-and-through beauty was played to cruel perfection in Season 2. Dexter meets Lila at an AA meeting that he attends as part of Rita’s insistence that he beat his non-existent heroin addiction, and also to throw Doakes off his tracks as to Dexter’s true addiction. It is Dexter’s Dark Passenger speech in front of the 12 step crowd that attracts Lila in the worst way. As her actions go from just slightly dangerous to downright homicidal (goodbye Doakes), not even Dexter’s children were immune from Lila’s evil plans to keep Dexter forever. And of course, even the most clever, plotting Lila couldn’t escape Dexter’s revenge in the end.


Miguel Prado – Jimmy Smits

In Season 3, Dexter finds himself attracting the likes of esteemed Assistant District Attorney for the City of Miami, Miguel Prado, played by the talented Jimmy Smits. During the course of unwittingly killing Prado’s brother, he crosses paths with the high profile, very powerful Miguel. As their strange relationship grows, Miguel reveals his own inner demon just waiting to be unleashed so he may deal more harshly with those he believes are deserving of eternal punishment. He begs to be taught the ways of Dexter, and like a kid in a candy store, soon veers off on his own homicidal frenzy. We don’t like Miguel at ALL by the time he ends up one of Dexter’s blood sample collections.


Arthur Mitchell – John Lithgow

Season 4 of Dexter was, in the humble opinion of this blog owner, the single BEST drama to EVER air on TV, very much to the credit of one John Lithgow, who brought to life the complex, cunning, creepy and downright terrifying Arthur Mitchell, aka The Trinity Killer. The Trinity Killer was, by day, a humble, loving family man and church pastor, who just happened to kill in threes for the past 30 years. The story that unfolds as the season goes on left us breathless and on the edge of our seats. This was one “Big Bad” that we almost hated to see on Dexter’s chopping block, if for no other reason, than we didn’t want it to end. But end it did, in one of the most shocking season finales, ever.


Jordan Chase – Jonny Lee Miller

Though it takes some time throughout the course of Season 5 to begin to piece together just what Jordan Chase’s role was, in the disturbing Barrel Girls case, it didn’t take long to see just what a great villain Jonny Lee Miller can play. Chase is a motivational speaker who appears to live for the purpose of empowering others to “Take it”; move forward in their lives and make positive change. The only thing is, Chase’s version of “Take it”, involved blonde pretty girls ending up soaking in barrels of formaldehyde. As his true self finally begins to be revealed, we almost felt deprived with how quickly Lumen, guided by Dexter, put him out of his misery.


Paul Bennett – Mark Pellegrino

Mark Pellegrino portrayed the unsavory ex-husband of Rita, Paul Bennett; a drug using, prison-parolee who was known to physically abuse Rita during the course of their marriage that produced the 2 kids. There were times we tried to give Paul the benefit of the doubt, as a struggling ex-con wanting to re-connect with his children. However, most of the time we simply despised his very existence in the life Dexter was working to build with Rita and the kids. Paul wasn’t a “Big Bad”, but he was bad for his former family. Therefore, Dexter did what he does best and found a permanent solution to keep him out of their lives forever.


The Skinner – Jesse Borrego

Though Jesse Borrego didn’t have a huge on-screen role as George King, aka The Skinner; he was technically a “big bad” in the sense that he was skinning prostitutes. However, other than a few brief glimpses of the seemingly harmless tree trimmer, we spent much of Season 3 not knowing the identity of the lowly serial killer. Perhaps we didn’t give George enough credit, though, since he succeeded in capturing Dex as he wakes up and finds himself at the mercy of the Skinner. It is within this scene, that Dexter forgives his father, realizing just how much he wants fatherhood, himself, and to be there for his son. Therefore, the Skinner is no more.


Boyd Fowler – Shawn Hatosy

In the beginning of Season 5, Dexter is looking for fresh prey, something to get him back on track in the aftermath of Trinity’s final act; robbing Dexter of a wife and his kids of a mother. Enter Boyd Fowler, played by Shawn Hatosy, a dead animal pickup worker who takes his job a bit too seriously, the perfect prey for Dexter to play with and kill. He gets more than he’s bargained for, however, when there is a witness to Boyd’s demise, a would-be victim named Lumen, locked away in Boyd’s house. It is only later on in the season that we learn the truth about Boyd’s connection to the real “Big Bad”, Jordan Chase, as the entire twisted plot began to unfold and unravel.


Stan Liddy – Peter Weller

Best known for his role as Robocop, Peter Weller did an amazing job bringing us the likes (or dislikes) of Stan Liddy, a disgruntled, highly corrupt ex-cop, fired for misconduct. It’s shortly after Liddy becomes unemployed that Quinn approaches him to investigate Dexter. This later becomes a real problem for Quinn, as he doesn’t want Deb to find out, but the damage is already done, and the shady Liddy is relentless in his Dexter probe so he can be a hero and given his job back once he has uncovered Dexter’s secrets. One of the closest calls of the season was when Dexter barely escaped Liddy’s crime scene without detection.


Sgt James Doakes – Erik King

Gone but not forgotten: Sgt James Doakes, played to the hilt by Erik King. Doakes played an important role in being the one person who saw through Dexter’s facade of normalcy. Some of the best lines of the show were from exchanges between Dexter and Doakes. And yet, even as Doakes gets close to the truth, Dexter is aware that this was a good cop and “good man”, therefore removing him from his target list. This one dilemma made for some great TV. In the end, it was Lila and not Dexter, who brought about the end of Doakes. While it made for a great storyline, his character, I believe, was done away with far too soon.


Frank Lundy – Keith Carradine

Lundy was one of my favorite characters on the show. The FBI Special Agent, portrayed by Keith Carradine, brought a real sense of respectability and class to the show. Initially brought in to hunt down the Bay Harbor Butcher (aka Dexter), one got a sense that Lundy really knew his serial killers (though in the end, didn’t have a clue he had one on his own team.) During the course of his unexpected romance with Deb, and even after the case was closed and had to move on, we looked forward to a possible return. And return, he did, in Season 4, this time on the hunt for the Trinity Killer. It was indeed a loss when he was cut down cold by Trinity’s news journalist daughter.


Rita (Bennett) Morgan – Julie Benz

Okay, she wasn’t a guy, but she was definitely good, and by far the biggest loss of the show thus far. Rita, played by Julie Benz, started out as Dexter’s new girlfriend, somewhat damaged and broken herself from her previous turbulent and violent marriage. Completely naive to Dexter’s blood thirst, she brought a purity and innocence to his otherwise empty life, becoming an anchor and lifeline to normalcy. They eventually married and had a baby together, as Dexter set about creating the perfect “normal” life with Rita and the kids. Though they had their ups and downs, and she was often annoying, especially in Season 4, it was still utterly shocking and sad when Trinity left her as his final victim and calling card.


Lumen Pierce – Julia Stiles

Also not a guy, and not gone gone. For some, including myself, it was difficult to watch Dexter interact with another female so soon after Rita’s death. However, the circumstances under which Lumen, portrayed by Julia Stiles, came into Dexter’s life was definitely a unique one. A victim of the Barrel Girl rapists/killers, rescued and released by Dexter, Lumen refuses to go away. She wants justice for what was done to her and only Dexter can help. The two slowly merge into first, a hunting duo, and as the events unfold, so do their subsequent feelings for one another. In the end, she doesn’t stay, her own Dark Passenger having left her. But she’s somewhere in the world, knowing all of Dexter’s secrets. Registered & Protected

Awards Won


AFI Awards: TV Program of the Year—Official Selection
IGN: Best New Show
IGN: Best Actor—Michael C. Hall
IGN: Best Villain—The Ice Truck Killer
IGN: Best Character—Dexter Morgan
Satellite Awards: Outstanding Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series—Julie Benz


Emmy: Outstanding Main Title Design
Emmy: Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series
IGN: Best Storyline
IGN: Best Television Program
Satellite Awards: Outstanding Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series—David Zayas
Satellite Awards: Outstanding Actor in a Series, Drama—Michael C. Hall
Satellite Awards: Outstanding Television Series, Drama
Saturn Awards: Best Actor in a Television Program—Michael C. Hall
Television Critics Association: Individual Achievement in Drama—Michael C. Hall


Saturn Awards: Best Syndicated/Cable Television Series
Scream Awards: Best TV Show


Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actor In A Television Series – Drama (Michael C. Hall)
Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television (John Lithgow)
SAG Awards: Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series—Michael C. Hall


Emmy: Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series—John Lithgow for playing Arthur Mitchell in “Road Kill”
Emmy: Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series—Steve Shill



Golden Globe: Nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series: Drama—Michael C. Hall
IGN: Best Television Program
Satellite Awards: Outstanding Actor in a Series, Drama—Michael C. Hall
Satellite Awards: Outstanding Television Series, Drama
SAG Awards: Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series—Michael C. Hall


Emmy: Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing, Drama
Emmy: Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music
Golden Globe: Nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series—Drama—Michael C. Hall
Saturn Awards: Best Supporting Actor in a Television Program—James Remar
Saturn Awards: Best Supporting Actress in a Television Program—Jennifer Carpenter
Saturn Awards: Best Syndicated/Cable Television Series
Television Critics Association: New Program of the Year
WGA: Episodic Drama—any length—one airing time Dark Defender
WGA: Best Dramatic Series
Peabody Award: Announced April 2, 2008
SAG Awards: Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series—Michael C. Hall


Emmy: Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series—Michael C. Hall
Emmy: Outstanding Drama Series
>Emmy: Outstanding Art Direction—Tony Cowley, Linda Spheeris
Emmy: Outstanding Cinematography—Romeo Tirone
Golden Globe: Best Television Series—Drama
Golden Globe: Nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series—Drama—Michael C. Hall
WGA: Best Dramatic Series
SAG Awards: Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series—Michael C. Hall
SAG Awards: Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series


Emmy: Outstanding Drama Series
Emmy: Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series — Michael C. Hall
Emmy: Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series — Jimmy Smits
Crime Thriller Awards: The International TV Dagger
Golden Globe: Best Television Series – Drama
Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actor In A Television Series – Drama (Michael C. Hall)
Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television (John Lithgow)
SAG Awards: Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series—Michael C. Hall
SAG Awards: Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series


TCA Award: Individual Achievement in Drama – John Lithgow
Emmy: Outstanding Drama Series
Emmy: Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series – Michael C. Hall
Emmy: Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series
Emmy: Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series
Emmy: Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive Media – Fiction
Emmy: Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series (One Hour)