Cody can be described as an average pre-teen boy, having a bowl haircut of sorts complimented by the brown hue coloring it. His eyes are typically wide and "alive" in a sense as well as his teeth being slightly gapped (and possibly missing a tooth or two). Cody always tends to stand with in a boyish manner, almost in a way as if he were in trouble (possibly reflecting his father's behavior) with his arms down at this sides and his head slightly slouched forward, in contrast to his sister who can be seen with a strong attitude and her arms being crossed most of the time. He wears a variety of clothes, ranging from normal at the house outfits, to dress shirts for fancy occasions, swim trunks and just about everything a boy of his age would wear.
Cody is representative of the pure innocence that Dexter lost as a child, as if Dexter had never lost his mother and instead continued on to be a happy, loving boy. While his sister is often doubtful of (and sometimes appears to hate) their step-father, Cody has great admiration for him and treats him as if he were his own biological parent. He has a strong attachment to the male members of the family, being originally Paul Bennett whom he had full faith in for being a good father, transferred now to Dexter, who has been in his life consistently and cared for him, alongside his sister and half-brother.
He tends not to use foul language, acts respectful amongst adults and lives out the life of a normal child. However, he does have somewhat of a temper issue as he has demonstrated in a fight with a young boy after he claimed that Dexter left a campout they were on in the middle of the night (which Cody believed to be a lie).
After the death of each of his parents, instead of slinking into a morbid and somewhat violent depression like his sister, he holds the innocent, crying attitude attributed to his normal personality. Especially most recently with his mother's death, where Astor blames Dexter and wishes he would die, Cody just wants the two of them to stop fighting all the time and live as a family.
In Season 1, Cody is a young 6 year old boy that behaves according to his age. Even though his father used to rape and beat his mother, he never remembered much of it, whereas his sister did. After his father was sent to prison and Dexter began dating his mother, Cody developed a father-son relationship with the former, always enjoying his company.
When his father returned from prison, Cody was ecstatic and would enjoy what little time the two spent together. After he found out that his father was re-incarcerated, he blamed his mother, until the latter allowed him and Astor to visit Paul again in prison.
In Season 2, Cody is saddened by the death of his father in prison and Dexter becomes his father figure. When Rita's mother (Cody's grandmother), Gail Brandon, decides to visit eventually live with the family, Cody and Astor feel uncomfortable, as she is very strict with them, especially when it comes to school work and leaves little room for them to play or have fun. Earlier on, Dexter and Rita split as a result of an affair he had with Lila West, but Cody still tries to find a way to speak with Dexter, calling him on his cell phone and purposely leaving a toy behind during his school project (which Dexter attended), so that he could return it to him later.
Dexter and Rita eventually come to terms. This doesn't sit too well with Lila, who continues pursuing Dexter, which eventually leads to her learning that Dexter is the Bay Harbor Butcher, via an imprisoned James Doakes, whom she murders right afterwards, in order to protect Dexter's identity. Soon afterwards, Dexter tells Lila that he is grateful for what she did and seemingly falls for her once again, causing her to be caught off guard and nearly killed by Dexter, but saved only because of the unintentional interference of Debra Morgan (who had no clue what was really happening). Lila tries to get revenge by trying to murder Astor and Cody, along with him, but all three manage to survive by the end of it and Lila is killed by Dexter.
Dexter continues living with the Bennett family, as Rita's boyfriend and Astor and Cody's foster-father, all the while still pursuing his extracurricular activities and spending some time for himself in his apartment.
In Season 3, Cody continues growing up under the watchful eye of both his mother and Dexter. He once even brings Dexter with him to a "father-son" presentation in school. When he is informed that Dexter and Rita are going to have a baby, his younger half-brother, he and especially Astor don't seem to take it too well (though Dexter expected differently). Dexter later proposes to Rita, in a way that touches her emotions deeply (unbeknown to her, however, he just copied someone else's words), unlike his previous failed attempts, as well as those of Astor and Cody. The two children, as well as Rita, begin preparing for the wedding and by the end of the Season, the two get married.
In Season 4, Dexter and Rita are married, have a child, Harrison, and have moved to a new house. Cody often spends his free time playing with the children of the next door neighbour, Elliott Larson. Cody joins the "Young Sailors" club as per Dexter's request. During an overnight campout with the club, one of the children spots Dexter leaving his tent during the night (which he does, to kill Jonathan Farrow) and later tells Cody in school that Dexter did so because he was scared, causing a fight to erupt between the two. Cody subsequently leaves the club and Dexter is ashamed at Cody having to defend his lie, though he couldn't say a word. Just before "Thanksgiving dinner", when Debra refuses to join Rita and the family for a meal, due to stress at work, Dexter instructs Astor and Cody to make a melancholic video, begging her to come, which works like a charm. Later on, Dexter sends the two siblings to Disney World with their grandparents, allowing him to hunt down his deadly adversary, Trinity. However, while they are gone, Rita ends up being killed by Trinity, just before Dexter kills the latter.
In Season 5, after returning home from Disney World, Dexter fills in Astor and Cody as well as their grandparents with the sorrowful news that Rita has been killed. They are all devastated by the news and Astor especially takes it hard, hating and blaming Dexter for not protecting her (although she has no clue how right she truly is). The two live in Dexter's apartment for a few days, with Dexter, Debra and Harrison and the place is extremely cramped. Astor insists, however, on living in their old house, where their mother was murdered. Dexter bluntly refuses to allow this, however, the two children one day skip school in order to visit the crime scene where their mother was killed (originally messed up with blood, but now cleaned up). They then leave Miami for Orlando, to live with their grandparents, as per Astor's wish, although Cody still wishes to stay with Dexter.
Later on Astor comes to Miami, in order to help her friend Olivia get away from her abusive foster father, Barry Kurt. They enter their old house, where they encounter an anxious and unexpecting Lumen, who has reason to believe that an intruder affiliated with Jordan Chase may have broken in (since Chase and his group were responsible for raping and torturing her for weeks, until she escaped and began assisting Dexter in hunting them down). Dexter then has a talk with Astor, asking her why she is drinking under age. The girls spend the night in the house and soon after Dexter leaves for work, Olivia's step father, Barry, approaches near Dexter's house, which he has tracked via GPS on Olivia's cell phone. The two girls escape the place, knowing that Barry has caught on to them, leaving their cell phones behind in order to deter him. They are eventually caught by the police shoplifting, but are bailed thanks to Debra.
Dexter then has a talk with Astor and eventually learns of Olivia's situation. He promises to handle the situation, soon afterwards beating Barry to a pulp and threatening much worse if he does not leave Olivia and her mother for good. It happens as such and Dexter takes Astor back to Orlando. Astor, now having much more respect for Dexter, asks him to come inside the house when they reach Orlando so that he can meet Cody again, who has grown about a foot taller. Dexter soon returns.
In Season 7, Astor and Cody's grandparents go away on a trip without the kids. They go back to Miami from Orlando, where they reside with their grandparents, to stay the week with Dexter and Debra.
By the end of the episode, before Astor, Cody and Harrison return back to their grandparents in Orlando.
In the Novels
In the novels, he and Astor are portrayed as budding sociopaths, to whom Dexter provides "guidance". In the TV series, however, they are portrayed as relatively normal. Also in the novels, instead of a half-brother he has a half-sister, Lily Anne. Cody is mostly silent, while Astor is the talkative one of the pair. While Cody has a prominent Dark Passenger, Astor's is passive. Astor likes to watch, while Cody acts, for the most part. He and Astor kill a stray dog under the mentorship of Dexter's brother, Brian Moser.
- Cody is played by two different actors in his time on the Showtime series, first being portrayed by Daniel Goldman for the first season and then Preston Bailey for the remainder (thus far). Astor has not changed since the first season and Harrison changed (most likely to represent a small skip in time, after the first episode of Season 5...the child is maybe a month or so older and certainly a different baby).
- Ironically, Dexter was indirectly responsible for the deaths of both of Cody's biological parents, Rita and Paul. First, Dexter knocked out Paul and framed him, thus sending him back to prison where he ultimately was killed in a prison fight. Second, Dexter indirectly caused the death of Rita by hunting Trinity and not killing him when he had the chance, allowing Trinity to kill her in revenge against him.