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DEXTER is an American television drama that was broadcast on the premium cable channel Showtime. The Eight Seasons (96 Episodes) ran from 1 October 2006 to 22 September 2013.
The show follows the life of Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall), a Miami Metro Police Department blood pattern analyst with a double life. While investigating murders in the homicide division, Dexter hunts and kills murderers who have escaped the justice system.
The series is based on characters created by Jeff Lindsay for his "Dexter" series of novels. Although the first season is based on the events of the first book, Darkly Dreaming Dexter, the series' subsequent seasons do not follow the other novels. DEXTER was developed for television by James Manos, Jr.
- United States: TVMA
- Showtime Advisories: Graphic Language, Adult Content, Violence
- The series received multiple nominations and awards.
- Michael C. Hall amassed over five Emmy nominations for his role as serial killer, Dexter Morgan. He won the 2007 Television Critics Association Award for Individual Achievement in Drama. He also won the 2010 Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series.
Main Title ThemeThe main title theme is by Rolfe Kent.
Since Season One, Episode Two. each episode opens with a single title sequence. It was produced by Rolfe Kent, in association with Digital Kitchen. These opening credits depict Dexter Morgan's daily morning routine, showing everything that embodies his character in a neat, stylized set of actions that detail vibrant colors and themes explaining the series in a calm pace. Every morning, Dexter is seen being bit by a mosquito, which he smacks leaving a blood spot which he stares at with somewhat of a smile. After the title is shown, he proceeds to shave and fix his breakfast. Blood from a shaving cut being magnified towards the theme of the show as well as the food he prepares (from simple ham and eggs, which he slashes open to a blood orange that he juices). At the end of the sequence, Dexter pulls a shirt over his head showing that he's a normal man with deep, cold eyes carrying a dark expression but as he leaves his apartment, all that seems to disappear under a colorful, nice guy mask as he nods towards the camera walking along the outside of his apartment.
In "Living the Dream," a parody of the title sequence was aired, which shows Dexter missing the mosquito, pulling on a stained shirt, and breaking a shoelace, all with skipping breakfast. At the end, Dexter is shown staring into the mirror with a baby crying in the background. The music becomes less lively, becoming slower and glum.
The Original Soundtrack is produced by Daniel Licht, which incorporates a variety of themes for each character. Much of Dexter's themes play out as calm, stalking pieces while characters such as Debra Morgan are given themes that harbor somewhat of a detective feel to them. Angel Batista and Maria LaGuerta (along with Miguel Prado have a distinct Latin sound to their own themes, while the villains of the show often have a dark, malicious tone. Dexter however isn't simply orchestrated music, rather like other popular drama series it is often greeted by multiple Mexican style music by Latino artists to fit the Miami setting. These songs usually arise during a change of settings, perhaps once or twice in an episode and almost always hint at a more "calm" period on the show.
At age three, Dexter Morgan is severely traumatized when he witnesses his mother being brutally murdered by chainsaw and is left sitting in her blood for two days. Thereafter, he is adopted by Miami policeman, Harry Morgan, who recognizes Dexter's homicidal inclinations and teaches him to channel them into killing only killers of the innocent. To indulge his interest in blood and to facilitate his own crimes, Dexter works as a blood spatter analyst for the Miami Metro Police Department. Even though his drive to kill is persistent, he is able to simulate (in some cases feel) normal emotions and maintain his appearance as a socially responsible citizen. Dexter is extremely cautious in his kills (e.g. he wears protective clothing, uses plastic-wrapped kill rooms, carefully cleans up afterward, and disposes of his victims in the ocean.
The first season of Dexter introduces us to Dexter Morgan, a serial killer living a double-life as a blood spatter analyst for the Miami Metro Homicide department. Viewers are given an insight into how he has perfected faking human interaction in order to appear normal, but slowly throughout the course of the season, he begins to care more about those closer to him and risks it all to protect them. This season follows closely with the first novel, Darkly Dreaming Dexter, in which a mysterious serial killer named the Ice Truck Killer (Tamiami Butcher in the novel) tests Dexter's wit and cunning which lead to a dark truth about who he is and what he's capable of. However, several key elements from the novel are replaced and changed to either eliminate characters, or keep them alive for future seasons.
Season Two picks up a month after the events of the first season, with Dexter grieving first over the events in the previous season's finale and then coping with the fact that his own murder spree has been exposed to everyone. The killer is dubbed the "Bay Harbor Butcher" and when FBI Agent Frank Lundy joins the hunt. Dexter is put in the hot seat as he has to fight for his safety by playing this dangerous mind game with both the agent and his own homicide department. This season leads in a far different direction than the book series at this point, rather than following the story of Dr. Danco, Dexter meets a woman by the name of Lila West and becomes involved with her, thus forcing a heavy strain on his own relationship with Rita Bennett, the woman he has been seeing since the beginning of the series. What makes matters worse is that James Doakes, an already suspicious Sergeant detective in the homicide department, begins to hunt Dexter through his own resources and before long all of these stories clash together, near the end.
By Season Three, it's clear that the series is going far away from the novels (which is pleasing for fans so that they don't know what's going to happen next) when Dexter encounters Miguel Prado, DA for Miami and a curious character in his own right. When a turn of events leads Miguel into becoming close friends with Dexter, great risks are taken to insure whether or not Miguel should be allowed close enough to Dexter's secret life. Meanwhile, sister Debra Morgan who survived the Ice Truck Killer and assisted greatly in trying to capture the Bay Harbor Butcher is now working with Detective Joey Quinn to investigate a new string of murders connected to a man known as The Skinner. This season also sees Dexter rekindling his relationship with Rita, to the point of proposing marriage to her, and leaving her pregnant with child.
Season Four brings Dexter into a new light when he is given his own child by Rita, Harrison Morgan. Now playing the role of husband, father, friend, hard worker and serial killer, he finds himself quickly strained by the overload and this causes some problems as the fatigue grows on him. Eventually however a new problem arises as an old serial killer has returned from over 30 years ago, the Trinity Killer. When old nemesis Frank Lundy returns and suddenly sister Debra Morgan becomes injured in an onslaught, Dexter works to discover who this killer is and put him to his own form of justice. This season introduces John Lithgow to the cast as Arthur Mitchell, a long-surviving serial killer who has been at it for over 30 years. When Dexter meets Arthur, he battles with himself over killing him or sparing him to learn how he too can manage his own life in comfort. He soon learns though that there is more to Arthur than meets the eye, and this puts everything he is at risk.
Season Five picks up directly where Season Four left off, in the tragic conclusion of the previous season finale Dexter now has to cope with the consequences of his own delayed actions to deal with Arthur Mitchell. Now left alone to care for his son while stepchildren Astor and Cody Bennett move in with their grandparents, Dexter is faced with a new problem - overcoming the grief and guilt that changed his life forever. Along the way he meets a mysterious woman named Lumen Pierce (played by actress Julia Stiles), held captive by a group of rapists that have tortured and murdered women to satisfy their needs. Feeling obligated to help Lumen where he could not help his wife, Dexter begins a hunt for each of these men until he begins to clash with dangerous adversaries such as Cole Harmon and the inspirational speaker, Jordan Chase. But things aren't so straight forward, Joey Quinn who has harbored a suspicion of Dexter since the previous season now begins investigating deep into his life to try and find out more about what Dexter truly does in the dark. He enlists the help of a dangerous cop named Stan Liddy (played by actor Peter Weller) to spy on Dexter. Liddy manages to eventually capture Dexter but this only leads to his death by as they have briefly have a fight with Dexter stabbing him in the chest with his own knife. Dexter as usual disposes of the body and clears Quinn's name of being the suspect in Liddy's death. Later at Harrison's birthday party Dexter says he's ready to move on with his life.
Season Six follows Dexter's and Miami Metro's investigations into a string of bizarre ritualistic killings featuring overtly religious apocalyptic symbolism. Professor James Gellar and his student Travis Marshall (The Doomsday Killers) seek to bring about the end of the world through killings based on the Book of Revelation. They leave signs of the Apocalypse including the Alpha and Omega or the Four Horsemen as a cryptic tableau at each crime scene. The season also introduces Brother Sam, a former drug addict and murderer who repented and became a minister. He operates a body shop where he employs other ex-convicts, to lead them to crime-free lives. Initially believing Sam to be behind the first Doomsday Killer murder, Dexter decides to kill Sam but is quickly proven wrong and finds himself befriending him. However, Brother Sam is murdered by one of his trusted ex-convicts, Nick and, going against Brother Sam's wish that Dexter should forgive his killer, murders him. Dexter learns that the Trinity Killer's wife and daughter have been found dead in Nebraska, which Jonah Mitchell reports was the work of his father, Arthur Mitchell. Dexter, the only person who knows the Trinity Killer is dead, suspects that Jonah is following in his father's footsteps and goes to Nebraska to kill Jonah, encouraged by a vision of his brother, Brian Moser, the Ice Truck Killer. Travis marks Dexter as "the Beast" and tries to kill him in one of his tableaux, the Lake of Fire, but Dexter escapes and is saved by a passing migrant boat. Finally, Travis kidnaps Dexter's son to use as a sacrifice in his final tableau, thinking that "the Beast" is dead. Dexter rescues Harrison and knocks Travis unconscious. He takes Travis back to the church where Travis carried out his earlier murders, which Dexter has set up as a kill room. Debra goes to the same church (she thinks that Dexter was doing forensics there) but winds up walking in on him just as he plunges a knife into Travis' chest, to which Dexter responds, "Oh God."
Season Seven follows Dexter's tangles with a Ukrainian mob boss and introduces the character of Hannah McKay, a mysterious widow with a green thumb and a checkered past. After witnessing Dexter kill Travis Marshall, a shocked Debra helps him cover up the murder by setting fire to the church. After learning that he is the Bay Harbor Butcher, Debra tries (unsuccessfully) to cure Dexter of his need to kill. When the head of a crime syndicate, Isaak Sirko, arrives in Miami determined to find out who killed one of his associates, Dexter becomes his target. Meanwhile, Maria LaGuerta investigates a blood slide left at the church and tries to bring Dexter to justice. After Dexter decides that his only option is to kill LaGuerta, he first murders Estrada, then lures her to the scene. However, Debra unexpectedly walks in and attempts to stop Dexter. When LaGuerta urges Debra to shoot Dexter, Debra impulsively kills LaGuerta instead.
In Season Eight, Dexter is forced to deal with his past when he comes across Dr. Evelyn Vogel, an expert on psychiatry who returns to Miami. Nicknamed the "Psychopath Whisperer," she claims to have structured the code for him alongside Harry. This season also deals with a new serial killer in Miami that removes pieces of the victims' brains. Other killers that Dexter encounters include a cannibal. Debra is overwhelmed by guilt for the murder that she committed in the past season. Dexter takes on an apprentice and Hannah McKay makes a return. After Debra is shot by Saxon, Dexter turns off her life support and buries her at sea. In the finale, Dexter fakes his death and moves to a remote location, while Hannah and Harrison start a new life in Argentina. It is unknown whether Dexter ever sees them again, or if he continues to kill.
DEXTER, like other popular shows, reaches out through various marketing styles in order to grab viewers and pull immerse them further in the universe of the series. One such event was the Dexter Alternate Reality Game, in which viewers would follow the trail of the dangerous Infinity Killer. Showtime offers other forms of media for the public to enjoy, such as the Dexter Interactive Investigation (an online YouTube-based game where players follow the trail of a serial killer in the control of Dexter Morgan), Dexter Early Cuts (an online, animated comic book showing many of Dexter's earliest kills) and Dexter the Game (which plays out some of the events of the first season on the IPAD and other products). Check out the cool WWDD Dexter T Shirt